The 5 Most Common NYC Apartment Bugs

by | Aug 15, 2023 | Pest Control Guides

“How’s things with your apartment?” It’s a very common question here in the Big Apple, but unfortunately an alarmingly common answer is something along the lines of: “I’ve got bugs.” Even more unfortunate is that there are a lot more run-of-the-mill common NYC apartment bugs than you ever thought.

Worried you’ve got New York City apartment bugs?

  • See droppings laying around?
  • Something smelling musty or ammonia-like?
  • Nibble damage on your food, wiring & furniture?
  • Spotted nesting materials?
  • Waking up with bite marks or itchy skin?
  • Hear scratching at night?
  • Seeing trails, tracks & egg casings?

Are you pretty sure you’re dealing with apartment bugs? Because they’ve lived, thrived, and reproduced for generations in the densely populated city and other similar urban environments, common bugs in apartments here in New York City can be very difficult to get rid of. Even so, it’s absolutely critical to act quickly as soon as you sense a potential outbreak. Leave it too long and, because they reproduce so quickly, a little problem can become a full-blown infestation almost before you know it.

Common apartment bugs are more common than you think

They’re filthy; they spread disease; they damage your stuff; they cost you money and they ruin your peaceful life at home. So let’s run over the most typical NYC apartment bugs – and offer a few quick tips about what to do next:

1. Roaches

Ah, the dreaded cockroach. We all know what those flat bodies, long antennae, and six creepy legs look like, but you’re more likely to spot them late at night as they scuttle around nibbling up your crumbs and leaving coffee ground-like droppings all over the place.

  • WHAT ARE THE RISKS?: They breed rapidly, spread disease, trigger your allergies and contaminate your food.
  • HOW TO GET RID OF THEM: Keep your apartment clean, fix any leaks, seal any cracks, and lay some roach baits and traps. Given they may be coming from a neighbouring apartment or common area, you could consider trying an

2. Bedbugs

If you love someone, you hope those small, reddish-born, flat bedbugs don’t bite. If they do, you may only spot tiny little bloodstains or equally-tiny poop on your bedsheets. Also watch out for itchy bite marks (often in rows) on your skin and a sweet, musty odor.

  • WHAT ARE THE RISKS?: Yes, the bites are painful and they can trigger allergic reactions. They’ll then cling to your sheets and clothes and get spread all over your apartment.
  • HOW TO GET RID OF THEM: Wash your bedding in hot water and then vacuum all over as you’ve never vacuumed before. Even better, use a bed bug steamer instead of a vacuum for greater effectiveness. 

3. Rats/mice

“Aaaaaaarghhh!” No matter who we are, that’s pretty much what we all say when we see them – especially a giant New York City rat. Rats and mice in NYC can be easily confused but here’s how you can identify them. If they’re big with long tails and pointed snouts, that’s definitely a dreaded NYC rat. Mice, on the other hand, have short talks and rounder ears. Be on the lookout for gnaw marks, droppings, rustling sounds, and places to burrow near food sources.

  • WHAT ARE THE RISKS?: They can wreak havoc with your property; their droppings and urine are disease-soaked, and – yes – they bite.
  • HOW TO GET RID OF THEM: Look around your apartment to try to figure out which tiny cracks they’re wriggling through. Then, eliminate their food sources and set some decent mouse traps with good reviews.

4. Ants

Well, we all know what ants are. Some smell (odorous house ants), some are red and eat through wood (carpenter ants), some are yellowish (thief ants), and some behave like acrobats when you bother them (acrobat ants). Follow their trail to whatever they’re munching on, and look out for visible ant mounds.

  • WHAT ARE THE RISKS?: Apart from contaminating your food, they sting and they bite – and a bite from a New York City fire ant really burns!
  • HOW TO GET RID OF THEM: You’ll need to ensure all your food is well sealed, and then pick up all the crumbs, try to block those entry points, and then look into laying some ant baits.

5. Silverfish

This one is less well-known than New York rats, that’s for sure, but these creepy, tiny, wingless insects with their distinctive fish-like elongated bodies and silvery-grey scales move quickly and proudly around your damp, humid spaces.


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  • WHAT ARE THE RISKS?: They eat through your books, documents, and fabrics – and they’re absolutely gross.
  • HOW TO GET RID OF THEM: They’re attracted to moist spaces – so if you have a leak or your apartment is damp, get it fixed. You can also try applying diatomaceous earth.

Can’t get rid of those common NYC bugs?

New York City never sleeps – and neither do those New York apartment bugs, including flies, spiders, apartment beetles, centipedes, moths, earwigs, lice, and crickets. If your do-it-yourself efforts haven’t cured your worsening infestation, give Pest Control Heroes a try. We only work with the very best pest controllers New York City wide – and they’re all fully verified, licensed, publicly-recommended, and offer upfront pricing and 100% workmanship guarantees.

Sick of those common bugs in NYC? Enter your details at Pest Control Heroes for a free quote.

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