Updated February 10, 2008
"Pests" are just animals (yes, bugs are animals) that we don't want invading our territory and making life inconvenient for us. There are no good or bad animals because they each serve a purpose in nature, so don't kill indiscriminately.
Get a Free Inspection A great way to find out what pests you have in your home is to call a pest control company that offers free inspections and have them come out to inspect your home every early or mid spring (when most pests start emerging from dormancy). This will help you discover potential problems or current problems you didn't know about. This is especially important for pests like termites, carpenter ants, mice, and so forth, which can cause bigger problems if you let them go. Many companies offer free inspections. It may be a good idea to get inspections from at least two different companies to ensure that you don't end up getting a bogus inspection report from a company that is trying to scare you into using their services.
Learn About Your Pests Get online and start doing research about the pests your inspector discovers. Most inspectors will be able to give you some information about your pests, but get online and get a more detailed background in how your pests live to help you determine how you should get rid of them. Don't let any pest control service convince you to do something that goes against what you discovered in your research.