The Most Common Animals You Share Your Home With

List Rules
Please only vote for the animals or insects you have actually found in or around your house.

We humans share the planet with a pretty large number of animals. Some of them are super adorable and let us put jackets on them or allow themselves to be instagrammed on a daily basis. Others are so majestic and beautiful we catch them and put them on display behind glass and bars. Still more of them can be turned into clothes and spicy, crispy sandwiches. But... then there are the ones that come onto our property without invitation, like they own the place. And for some reason when you call 9-11 the cops tell you to just kill the spider yourself.  

Do you ever wonder what the most common un-invited animal in your home is? I do. These are the kinds of things that keep me up at night. I know this list can't be exhaustive because there really are so many animals that share our homes that we don't even see like bedbugs and lice... so I'm focusing on the big ones. And, heads-up, my list is focused on North America because that's the continent I live on. Vote up the animals that you have encountered on your property.


  • 1
    51 VOTES

    House Fly

    If there was list ranking the most annoying household pests, I think this little a-hole would be #1 with very little competition. House flies are major carriers of disease and can infest all types of homes. They are attracted anything edible, including your food, your animal's food, garbage and feces. Once you see an adult fly you already have a problem. They live about 30 days and quickly mature from an egg to an adult. They breed in moist decaying vegetable matter like an uncovered garbage can or a compost bin.

    Once in your house, house flies can be found resting on walls, floors or ceilings. 
    Outside, at night, they prefer to rest near food sources approx. 5 to 15 feet off the ground.

    51 votes
  • Honeybee
    Photo: Tanner Smida / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0
    2
    35 VOTES

    Honeybee

    This lady has become the most common type of bee you might find outside your house - sometimes banging the insides of your windows - and, despite what you may have heard from the media -- that's not necessarily a thing to celebrate. Honeybees are not native bees, they were brought over here from Europe for agriculture and now they are basically domesticated livestock much like cattle. The European Honeybees that work so hard for us on tree crops and other types of crops are usually managed colonies by beekeeping businesses... however, they have wings and by nature, they will sometimes escape captivity.

    Over the several hundred years since they were brought over here, they have become successful at forming many wild colonies in North America. They are one of the few types of bee that is social. Most of our North American native bees are not social, preferring solitary lives. Now, imagine that this colonizing bee comes into your neighborhood and you are a bumble bee, carpenter bee or mason bee? Honeybees quickly and efficiently out-compete all the locals for food when they move into an area. More and more of our native bees are losing out --- to climate change, to habitat loss, to agriculture & household pesticides and to these non-natives taking all the food. Our natives are extremely important to our local ecosystems. Many of the plants and trees that are native to this continent are plants that honeybees will not pollinate at all.  There are even some domesticated plants like tomatoes and eggplants that honeybees cannot pollinate. Have you seen honeybees replace your local bees? Think back, when was the last time you saw a bumble bee? A sweat bee? A mason bee?

    35 votes
  • 3
    33 VOTES

    Crane Fly

    (Also called Mosquito Hawks)

    You've seen these guys up on your ceilings during certain times of year, freaking your kids out because they are so huge and terrifying-looking. The common name “mosquito hawk” is sometimes given to these flies; however the name usually comes with the belief that these super-clumsy, long-legged insects are predators, perhaps preying on mosquitoes.  Not true, not even at all. Crane flies are among the gentlest of insects. Most are nectar feeders, sipping sweet sugars from plants and possibly helping out a little with pollination in the process - this is why they have that long 'mosquito-esqe' proboscis. It's for nectar, not blood sucking. Other species live out their short lives relying on fat reserves built up during their larval stage, lacking mouth parts entirely.

    Yep, short lifespans. They don't get long on this earth to bumble around your house banging into things, maybe a couple of days. If you want to be kind, trap them and send them outside so that they might spend their very-brief lives free of your harsh, unyielding walls. 

    33 votes
  • 4
    40 VOTES

    House Mosquito

    The odds are good that this is the mosquito you unwilllingly share your life with. Recently the Asian Tiger mosquito has come to parts of the south US, but in general, you have Culex Pipiens in the north and Culex Restuans Theobald in the south.

    Pale brown in color with white stripes, it is usually found in or near standing water. Anywhere that water can collect and remain undisturbed is a popular breeding site for these types of mosquitoes. The female can lay anywhere from 50 to 400 eggs at one time. These eggs typically take 10 to 14 days to hatch although they can take longer, depending on the weather.

    Vector control is very important nowadays as mosquito-bourne illnesses like Zika and West Nile become prevalent. Make sure neither you nor your neighbors have small, hidden bodies of standing water on your properties. Water can pool in abandoned tires, old buckets or cans... pretty much anywhere that can't drain. 

    40 votes
  • 5
    27 VOTES

    House Centipede

    If you have seen one of these speedy dudes, no doubt you have been paralyzed in terror. They are everything that people fear in one package. Fast, way too many legs, and ugly. It is like they were engineered out of all the scariest bugs into one super-scary bug. But, never fear.

    Meet Scutigera coleoptrata,  more commonly known as the House Centipede. This creepy crawly is not dangerous at all. Not unless you happen to be a bed bug, a cockroach, a termite or a silverfish. They even hunt spiders. Unless you like any of those particular pests in your house with you, you should make an effort to leave this guy be. He is an unstoppable security guard, patrolling your home and hunting down all the things that do damage to your home. And for free! 

    27 votes
  • 6
    31 VOTES

    Argentine Ant

    If you live in the northern parts of North America you may not see these little invasives, but if you live in the South or any part of the world that is even a little bit warm - meet the Argentine ant.

    This tiny little lady is originally from Argentina and is the success/devastation story of the insect world. They have spread to every continent except Antarctica. They have been so successful in their world domination partly because different nests - when they spread into each others' territories - seldom attacking or competing with each other, unlike most other ants. Thus, in most of their introduced range, they form supercolonies.

    You will see them, when they come into your home (if they do at all), as teeny-tiny little black ants that congregate around water sources like your kitchen sink or your bathtub. Interestingly, you can sometimes see queens foraging alongside the workers. They will come inside when it gets particularly hot or dry outside -- or super rainy. When you do see the scouts, try to cut off their foraging trails to keep them from finding whatever treasure they are looking for. If a scout never makes it back to the colony, the rest of them might not end up marching into your home.

    31 votes