What Makes A Pest Worse Than Others?

You want to avoid finding these pests inside your Cleveland, Ohio, home. This article is the list of the worst possible pests infesting our area.

We base the results on the following:

  • Costs involved to remedy the infestation.
  • Contamination/ Damage they incur.
  • The stress involved in dealing with it.
  • The complexity of the issue. Or how easy it is to resolve.
  • How common it is in the area.


#1 Norway Rats Roaming Cleveland Sewers

We believe rats are way worse than any other pest found in Cleveland, OH.

Sewer rats in Ohio come up through the drains.

Rats run our sewer drains looking for a place to enter homes.

Why do I say that?

  • The cost involved in trapping and repairs is high.
  • You are left with a contaminated home by the end of the process.
  • Our rat exterminators can often solve it overnight. If a rat is trap-shy, the trapping process can take weeks!
  • Just read about it below. After, you will see how stressful a situation it can become. I deal with a lot of pests. Nothing would make me want to move more than a rat.
  • It is common in our area too. Anywhere with a combined sewer system is a risk. Cleveland, Rocky River, and Lakewood are hotspots. Even parts of Fairview Park get rats. Westlake and Bay Village, not so much.

Expenses Related to Repairing Entry Points

Occasionally, rats come in from a hole outside of your house. Other times, they come up through a basement toilet. Sewer pipes are not filled with water. Rats have an open door with a dry toilet or floor drain trap. You can fix these issues quickly. You can repair the hole outside, mess with the toilet, or install a floor drain strainer.

Rats come up through dry drain traps and broken drains.

Check your drains if you have a rat inside your home.

Rat infestations can become complex. Some people have broken sewer lines in their homes. Rats can burrow into the soil around the break. Broken sewer pipes are a challenging fix. Sometimes this has happened so long that a colony of rats is in the drains and the ground around your home.

Then they start popping up like gophers. In some homes, they come up through holes in the top of your foundation cinder blocks. Sure, you can seal the top of the foundation block. But how do you keep them out of the foundation? How the heck do they get in there in the first place?

Sewer lines do not only break under your basement floor. They can break above the basement ceiling. This is usually where a toilet drain connects to the main drain stack. But those old cast iron sewer lines can break anywhere. How do you find where the break is without visible leaks? It is not easy to find a plumber to locate hidden breaks. You need to perform a smoke test on your plumbing system.


Most of the time, they come up through the sewer. That means their bodies are not the cleanest. You don’t want them dragging sewage through your home. Salmonella can live on these surfaces for a while. The longer that they are in a house, the greater the damage. They will get between your kitchen cabinet bases and the floor. You can’t clean up poop and whatever else they drag under there. Contamination from rodents is difficult to undo. Your house will never be the same.

Time To Resolve The Problem

Rat trapping takes at least three visits. If you notice them right away, hire a rat exterminator immediately. The sooner you get traps professionally set, the better. Rats are scared of new objects. They also store food like squirrels store acorns.

Rats are hard to catch when:

  • They have time to become familiar with your home. Rats will see traps as new objects, and they will avoid
    Adult and young juvenile rat sizes.

    Large adult rats are much harder to catch than small rats.


  • Also, if they can grab food, they will store it. At that point, they are more likely to feed on their food cache than to stick their heads in a trap.
  • When you get an alpha rat inside your home. Juvenile rats are young and dumb. You can catch them easier. Older rats have more experience in the face of danger. They know what to avoid. We have been in houses where the rat will not go near a trap. Rats make exterminators into a hero or a zero. Older or alpha rats can make you regret your choice of career.

Rats that have been in a house for a while can be near impossible to catch. And, commonly, people try to do it themselves before calling an exterminator. DIY rat trapping gives the rats time to become familiar with the objects in their new territory. It gives them time to find food and store it. You are not doing your exterminator any favors by waiting! Especially if the rat escaped your glue trap or set off one of your snap traps. Rats become trap shy when this sort of thing happens. The likelihood that they go near anything similar after that is very low.

How To Prevent Rat Problems

  1. Call a Cleveland rat exterminator immediately if you notice a disturbance in your home. In that case, we can catch the rat quickly. It won’t have time to get established or see traps as foreign objects. Rats avoid foreign things.
  2. Have your plumbing inspected if you are concerned about rats. Plumbers can do a smoke test or scope the lines with a camera. Brass backflow devices might be an option in your area.
  3. Do not feed birds or wildlife. Do not have food outside that would attract rats. Open compost piles are an excellent example of this. If you have any of this, ensure there are no potential entry points outside your home.
  4. Since rats are scared of new objects, always have a trap set inside. Then when it pops up, it will go right for it. You will make short work of a rat infestation this way.

Bed Bugs Being Spread Through Cleveland

Bed bug home removal

Clevelanders have the most difficulty controlling bed bugs.

I was reluctant to put our Cleveland bed bugs so high on this list. Just because they can be easy to remove. They also cause less damage than rodents.

The Reason Bed Bugs Are Bad In Cleveland:

  • The cost is high. You are paying at least 500$ for a decent bed bug service in Cleveland.
  • And the stress is high too. This pest is enough to drive someone crazy.
  • The problem can get highly complex, too, especially in the apartments and multi-family dwellings around Cleveland, OH.
  • Depending on where you live, they can be widespread. Years ago, we turned on an ad that charged us 15$ per call. Our phone rang 15 times in one hour from people with bed bugs. And we are only one pest control company in Cleveland. It opens your eyes to how common bed bugs are throughout Cleveland, Ohio. 

Bed Bugs Are Superbugs!

Bed bugs are the only living organisms that can mutate their mitochondrial DNA. There is one kind of shrimp that can do it too. Mitochondrial DNA are the genes received from their mother. Other creatures get weakened by inbreeding. Bed bugs do not because of this ability. This ability to mutate their DNA and inbreed allows them to become more resistant to pesticides.

Pesticide Resistance

There are different classes of insecticides. Each class kills pests differently. You want to mix it up so the bugs don’t get used to the control products. And you get better control by using more than one class of insecticide. The bed bug sprays sold in stores are pretty much all pyrethroids. They kill bed bugs in one way.

Think about how many people get bed bugs in Cleveland, OH. And how many people use this one kind of pesticide against them. There are a lot more people in the world than you can comprehend. And only a small percentage know how to perform a bed bug treatment. Needless to say, many people haphazardly spray one type of bug spray on a highly adaptable creature.

So bed bugs are being exposed to pesticides without dying. Have you ever seen the Princess Bride movie? The main character drinks a little poison over time. Then he gets immune to it. Then he uses it to kill his adversary. Pesticide resistance is similar to that.

Costs Involved with Bed Bug Infestations in Cleveland, OH

Bed bugs can become widespread throughout large apartment buildings. Most of these bed bug infestations are caused by introducing a single pregnant female into the building. One pregnant bed bug can cause an infestation in a building with one hundred apartments! Landlords must take drastic measures to remedy such an issue. Heat treating a house can cost a couple of thousand dollars. Think about fumigating a giant building like that!

Factor in the cost of treatment. Then all it takes is one person to bring one bed bug to the building. Then the problem starts all over! If you get bed bugs, you should be smart enough not to bring them into your home again. But with multi-family housing, they can come through the walls, or you can pick them up in the laundry room. The risk of reinfestation is moderately high when customers are not educated.

Due to these risks, bed bug treatments are expensive.

Other reasons for the high cost of controlling bed bugs in Cleveland are:

  • Bed bug heat treatments require heating an entire home with expensive equipment. It takes a long time to perform this type of service.
  • Chemical treatments are very detailed. It requires the disassembly of beds.
  • You must apply control products in sensitive areas. Spraying beds and furniture with pesticides raises liability.
  • Bed bug control products are expensive. Common pesticides cost a couple of dollars per gallon of solution. Our spray costs nearly 40$. Throw in mattress encasements or an ActiveGuard liner; the cost is much higher than other pest control services in Cleveland, OH.
  • There are at least three scheduled services (inspection, treatment, and follow-up inspection). Exterminators must cover the cost if you require more than three visits.

How Do Bed Bugs Get Bad in Cleveland?

  1. Condominiums are tough. It is the condo owner’s responsibility to take care of their unit. The management can’t barge in on everyone and search their beds whenever they want. Problem units are hard to detect. I have been to expensive condos on the lake. Some units are scary how many bed bugs are in them. They are providing a source for the entire building.
  2. Bed bugs get bad in transient populations. These pests are hitchhikers. What better way to move around than on travelers. Rental properties are similar. Tenants move out without reporting the infestation to the landlords. Then the vacant unit must be treated. Bed bugs can go dormant if no one lives in the house, making treatments more difficult.
  3. Bed bugs get bad when tenants do not report bed bug infestations promptly to the landlord. Then landlords need to follow guidelines by inspecting adjacent units. When they fail to do that, things get out of hand.
  4. People’s skin desensitizes as they age. As a result, bed bugs are worse in older adults. They also get to the point where they need assistance caring for themselves and cannot communicate their needs. These are excellent living conditions for bed bugs. Likewise, bed bug populations are prolific in the special needs community.

How Common Are Bed Bugs In Cleveland, OH?

All areas around Cleveland, Ohio, get bed bugs. No one is safe. You can pick one up just about anywhere. Communities with many rentals and places where people cannot afford professional bed bug treatments get hit the hardest.

Damage and Contamination

People must treat infested furniture before disposing of their beds and couches. The number one way bed bugs spread around Cleveland, OH, is by used furniture. Usually, this is when people take furniture off the tree lawn.

Besides that, bed bugs are not known to transmit disease. A lot of people think they must dispose of their beds and couches. It might be a good idea to do so if bed bug feces have stained the fabrics. Highly infested material should be disposed of too. Most of the time, you can keep the furniture if an exterminator treats it. Throwing out furniture adds to the cost and stress of dealing with bed bugs.

How Bad is the Stress Dealing With Bed Bugs?

Bed bug exposure can take a toll on your emotional and mental health. Individuals are affected in different ways. Some people stay up all night surfing the web for answers. Other people start collecting fuzz balls and pieces of debris in baggies. They continuously search for anything that could be a bed bug. Some people even start picking things out of their hair. In extreme cases, people develop delusional parasitosis. They think they are under constant attack from pests.

Bed bugs will mess with your head. Life, in general, is stressful. Our beds provide sanction from everything. When bed bugs take away this security, people lose it.

We recommend always calling a professional exterminator when discovering any pest problem. Doing so hastens the control process. And it takes the stress off of you. There is no need to plague your mind with online tips and tricks. Just leave it to a professional and get on with your life.

#3 Mice Are In Most Cleveland Homes

  • Mice are the most common pest in Cleveland, OH, besides ants. Mouse behind dishwasher.
  • Costs vary along with the complexity of the issue. It can be as easy as sealing around your air conditioning lines and setting a few traps. In other cases, you must make extensive repairs. Sometimes finding the entry point is like finding a needle in a haystack.
  • Then you have the contamination part of mouse infestations. Mice can ruin the insulation on the basement walls. Mice also trample down attic insulation.

You can spend tons of money between trapping, mouse-proofing, and decontamination

People See Mice as a Normal Problem To Have

People freak out when they get a rat or bed bug inside. Yet people do not get as disturbed when mice get inside. They tell themselves they have an old house. As a result, they will get mice. But no one ever says that they have an old bed. So they will have to live with bed bugs. People live with mice for years because of this mindset. This is why mice are number three on the list, not number one.

Mice Contaminate More Homes In Cleveland Than Any Other Pest 

I would rather have bed bugs than mice inside my house. Bed bugs stay contained in a small area. They do not carry disease pathogens. You can isolate and remove them reasonably quickly. Sure, you can trap mice. But they get in the walls. They poop and pee in areas that are not accessible. They can die and get stinky. I could go on and on. But if we put it to a vote, people would rather have mice than bed bugs or rats.

#4 Flea Infestations In Cleveland, Ohio

Flea infestations in Cleveland.

Fleas can seam impossible to get rid of once established in a home.

  • Fleas are tiny monsters. Try smashing one between your fingers. Then watch as they jump away. To our naked eye, they look like little jumping bugs. But they have armor like an armadillo and teeth that nightmares are made of.
  • You cannot hide from a flea. If you leave an infested home, they will sit dormant until you return. The moment you walk in the door, they feast.
  • Who wants any part of that? The good thing is that they do not cause contamination or destroy your home.
  • And fleas are an uncommon pest to have in Cleveland.

How Flea Problems Become Complex

A misunderstanding of fleas can cause significant stress in dealing with an infestation. Most people do not see fleas as anything besides something that your pets get. Yet some other form of wildlife supplies the flea population to your pet. Pet flea medication would address the issue if it were an isolated incident. The people who struggle controlling fleas in their Cleveland homes fail to find the source.

Flea control can be difficult for Cleveland exterminators too. It is not a high-quality job for us to take. You have to broadcast spray pesticides over nearly every surface. You have to treat carpets, basements, furniture, and shaded parts of the yard. Due to the lifecycle, you have to do it twice. But the spray will not provide results if you have a flea-ridden raccoon or feral cat around.

Why Flea Infestations Will Stress You Out

Nobody wants to deal with fleas. Who wants to vacuum their home every other day? You do not want to have to put pesticides on your furry friends. Mostly ones that soak into their bodies and kill anything on them for a month. Spreading bug spray everywhere twice over might be necessary. But why? Because some raccoon got into your chimney? It is hard for our Cleveland flea exterminators to tell people they must do all that, plus pay to remove some form of wildlife from the property. And it is hard on everyone if the spray does not work because some wild animal lurks on the property.

#5 Clevelanders Hate Chipmunks

It surprises me that people get their panties in a ruffle about chipmunks. When I walk around in public with my uniform on, people always ask about chippies. We also get a lot of calls about them. Chipmunk around its burrow.

Why Do People Hate Chipmunks?

  • They prefer to see fewer in their yards.
  • They do not like the holes in their landscape beds.
  • Chipmunks can undermine paved areas. But most people are not dealing with this issue.

They see chipmunks as vermin. Yet, chipmunks are native to Cleveland, Ohio. And they do not cause much structural damage. Sometimes they get inside. But this is uncommon. They dig holes in the mulch and can dig up some of your bulbs. The sheer number of them gets people on edge. And that is also what makes controlling them difficult. Ten years ago, you could buy strychnine powder at a garden center. One scoop in their holes would get rid of chipmunks. Now, there are no more poisons labeled for chipmunk control. So you have to trap them.

The problems with trapping chipmunks:

Chipmunk damage on a Cleveland patio.

Chipmunk burrows undermine patios and pavement.

  • Ohio requires you to check chipmunk traps daily. If you hire a Cleveland chipmunk removal company, this can get expensive. The drive time and gas expenses can put trapping out of your budget.
  • Once you trap the chipmunks on your property, the neighboring chipmunks converge on the abandoned nests. Then you are quickly right back where you started.
  • Chipmunks reproduce fast. If you leave a few survivors, chipmunks will repopulate your yard.
  • There can be a lot of chipmunks. Once you start, this can be an ongoing process. Do you want to wage war against chipmunks?


As you can see, there are a lot of different pests in Cleveland, Ohio. In our minds, the worst tend to be rodents and parasites. These critters can empty your bank account and scramble your brain. More than anything, they leave a mark on your home that you wish was never there.

As with any pest, you want to deal with the problem before it gets bad. Lakewood Exterminating has solutions to protect homes all over Cleveland, Ohio. Our cost-effective solutions take pest problems out of your hands. Free up time to live your life. Call Lakewood Exterminating for a free consultation at (216) 466-2486. Or Use Our contact page to tell us what’s bugging you.