Common Apartment Bugs, 7 Likely Suspects

There are over 43 million apartment-based households in the United States. And for those of us in apartment living, bugs are almost inevitable.

Whether you are renting a three-bedroom apartment or a small studio, knowing which pests are the most common and how to avoid them is crucial.

In this article, we will educate you on the following things:

  • Why infestations are so common in apartments
  • Seven of the most common pests to look out for
  • What you can do to eradicate the problem

Why Are Bug Infestations So Common in Apartment Living?

The average apartment building can be an attractive place for bugs to call home. They see your apartment, as well as your neighbors, as a source of food, water, and shelter. All rent-free!

Dirty Dishes Are a Pest’s Best Friend

You’ve probably heard your mother nag you about cleaning your dishes as a child. But she was right. It’s so important to keep your kitchen dishes and cookware clear, especially when you live in an apartment.

Even if you keep an immaculate home personally, that doesn’t mean your upstairs tenant does. Because of this, apartment buildings require management to be on top of pest control at all times.

Tenants that leave crumbs and half-full glasses around, even in the kitchen sink, are asking for trouble.

Clutter Only Invites Pests

It can be really easy to put off organization, but it’s essential, especially when you live in a smaller space. Letting things pile up in closets or corners is often done because there isn’t much space to put things.

However, these pileups create tiny little areas that are hard to clean, the perfect home for pests. Bugs don’t care whether or not you have a clean home, and in fact, they probably prefer that you don’t.

Pest Love to Cool Off in Stagnant Water

Everything that lives on planet earth needs water in some form in order for them to survive. Water is more essential than food for all of us, including pests. And it’s not only crucial; it’s sought out.

You are cordially inviting insects into your home by leaving bowls or glasses filled with water in the kitchen sink.

We all let some of our dishes soak for a few minutes before washing them but leaving them like that for more than twelve hours or so is not recommended.

Be sure the plumbing throughout your apartment is not leaking, even if you need to check it yourself.

And if it is leaking or your faucets aren’t draining correctly, then make sure the landlord takes care of it as soon as possible.

Seven of the Most Common Pests to Look Out For

While there are a plethora of pests that can make your life miserable depending on where you live in the United States, we will look at the ones you are most likely to see.


Sneaky, small, and just downright annoying, ants are the most common pests in apartment living, as well as most places! There are hundreds of different species, and they are almost everywhere.

Ants will do whatever they can to get into your apartment, and once they do, they will likely stay if given the change.

You will find ants more prevalent in the summer or warm climates as they will do anything to get out of the heat.

It is common for ants to come inside your home searching for open cereal boxes or food containers. Crumbs and food residue are another reason ants will decide to make your home theirs.

They love any sugary, sticky, or greasy foods, which they will gladly bring back to show the rest of the colony.

Using their unique pheromones, they will then guide the rest of the colony back to their discovery.

Because ants are tiny and sometimes tricky to spot, it may be a few days before you notice them.

But once you do, you will most likely see them in that classic toga line that leads directly to the sweet or sugary substance they love so much.


Finding rodents in your apartment can be especially horrifying. They are noisy, damaging, fast, and spread disease.

Both rats and mice are excellent chewers and can gnaw their way through many materials with ease. They love the warmth of your home in winter and will also willingly partake in any food left out.

Because mice are so small, they can easily find their way into your home in cracks as small as a quarter of an inch!

While mice aren’t exactly dangerous, they can do incredible damage for their small size.

When nibbling or feeding, mice contaminate things easily because while they are gnawing away, they are also depositing out the back end.

The structural damage to walls or electrical wires can wreak havoc if they get in the walls. Their favorite places to hide are behind refrigerators and under furniture, where they can easily find electrical cords.

Rats are a lot bigger than mice and can do just as much, if not more, damage. Signs of infestation not only include droppings, like the mice but gnaw marks on furniture and burrows along baseboards.

Like mice, rats also love to chew and can potentially be a fire hazard if they are chewing through wires. They can also transmit disease through their urine and feces and carry parasites in their fur.


Cockroaches are the epitome of the classic pest, especially in apartments. They are very resistant, which gives them the advantage when sneaking through the cracks in apartment building walls and city sewers.

They thrive year-round and don’t discriminate once they find their way into urban apartments.

You’ll find them near water, most commonly in your kitchen or bathroom, and because of their size, they can easily move from one apartment to the next through plumbing.

They will eat just about anything, from toothpaste to garbage to pet food.

Not only are roaches attracted to filth, but they spread it. They quickly spread bacteria as they move about the floors, countertops, and sinks.

This makes them dangerous because they are bringing this bacteria from sewers and excrement, which can easily cause salmonella and cause illness.

Roaches can also cause children who suffer from asthma to have breathing issues.

German cockroaches are the most common type of roach seen, especially in urban areas. Winter puts apartments at the most significant risk because they will do anything to avoid the cold.


Much to the horror of many, spiders live in places all over the world, including apartments. They often stay near entrances to buildings as this is where other bugs may wander in, and a spider’s ultimate goal is to catch other bugs in their webs.

Believe it or not, spiders can actually help to decrease other pest problems.

You’ll also often find them in dark closets or in cluttered spaces. But rest easy; most spiders are harmless and will do their best to stay away from you.

Indian Meal Moths

Indian meal moths are commonly found in food products that are stored. Most adults can lay hundreds of eggs inside boxes of dry food, like cereal or rice.

These eggs hatch and feed off the food before growing into adults, where the cycle repeats.

These moths can wreak havoc on apartment buildings as they spread contamination to other food sources, and an infestation becomes almost imminent.

Because these moths are tiny and fit into small spaces, they can easily find their way into food through crevices in the walls and cabinets.


You don’t have to be a pet owner to have a flea infestation. Because there is such a high turnover rate in apartments, it’s entirely possible that a previous tenant had a pet with fleas.

Fleas will happily infest furniture along with animals and humans while waiting for their next victim.

Fleas can easily make homes out of any fabrics, including carpets, clothing, bedding, and stuffed animals.  

Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs are those bloodsucking hitchhikers that will go wherever their host goes. These tiny bugs feed on the blood of humans preferably but will also feed on pets as well.

Bed Bugs find their way into apartment buildings and other buildings through clothing or luggage, and they often travel on used furniture that may have been gotten at a yard sale.

Bed Bugs particularly love hotels as the high turnover rate of guests promises plenty of new hosts.

Bed Bugs can bite and cause irritation but aren’t disease transmitters. Their bite can leave behind red soars on the skin that can become infected.

Preventing the Problem

You can do several things to prevent the problem of bug infestation in an apartment building.

  • Wipe down all surfaces in the home. Pay close attention to the kitchen
  • Keep damp items clean. Don’t give bugs a place to call home.
  • Store food properly in airtight containers and keep vegetables in the fridge.
  • Fill cracks in your home with caulking and pay attention to the baseboards.
  • Make sure your apartment has scheduled visits with a qualified exterminator.

Alright, that’s it for this article, here are a few hand-selected articles that you might also find interesting reads:

Little Flat Brown Bugs in House – What Are They?

What Are the Tiny Jumping Bugs in My House?

Tiny Grey Bugs In My House – What Are They?

Steve Foster

Mad about bugs and wanting to publish as many articles as I can to help educate people about these amazing beautiful creatures! For more info check out my about page

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