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Where Found This should come as no surprise. Argentine Ants are native to Argentina. Brazil, as well. They probably came to the U.S. on coffee ships before 1891. Now found in the southern U.S. and common in California, with isolated infestations in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Oregon and Washington. Habitat Shallow nests in the soil near a source of moisture, such as along sidewalks, under rocks, between plants, near water pipes, in potted plants and wall voids. Food An ant with a sweet tooth. Yes, ants do have teeth. Often found outside near insects, such as aphids, which produce a honey-like secretion called honeydew. They prefer sweets, but also feed on oil, protein foods, fat, and meat.
Damage Mainly a nuisance pest, but since they crawl over garbage, sewage and carrion, they can transport disease organisms. Invasion Argentine ants come inside when the weather is very wet or very dry, and when they are short on honeydew. Biology Long live the queen. All 20 of them. Colonies have many queens, and hundreds to several thousand workers. Numbers change depending on time of year. To survive the winter, nests are formed by colonies joining together. Different colonies get along, but Argentine ants are very territorial and aggressive towards other ant species. Mating takes place in the nest, so winged reproductive females are not often seen. Development from egg to adult takes an average of 74 days. Good Riddance Proper exterior treatment is important for long-term control. Locate nests by following ant trails from food sources. Successful control involves treating nests
whenever possible. Look for objects in the yard under which ants might try to colonize or hide. These ants commonly run along the foundations of a structure or along the edges of concrete walks below the height of grass or groundcover. If ants have invaded interior areas, preparation of lower cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms may be necessary. A treatment of wall voids near plumbing is suggested. This is a persistent pest in the Southwest. Multiple treatments may be necessary throughout the year to maintain control. Failure to gain control may be due to improper application techniques, equipment, or failure to eliminate the nest. Contacting the insects with the material is essential to control. Control with applications of liquid residual pesticides, baits or dusts. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Where Found Many species are native to North America and are found throughout the United States. Habitat The walls have ears. Hollowed out spaces in wood are used as nests. Nests are first made in decayed wood and then enlarged into sound wood. Indoors, nests are in wood (perhaps softened by fungus/rot), insulation and wall voids. Outdoors, nests are in old firewood, rotting fence posts, stumps, dead portions of living trees, and under stones and logs. A colony has a main nest connected to satellite nests by a cleared trail about 1/4 inch wide. Food Why eat lumber when you can live in it? These ants do not eat wood. They live within it. Outdoors, they consume plant juices, insects, honeydew produced by insects, and spiders. If they are foraging indoors, they can consume sweets, grease, meat and eggs. They can follow a regular trail when foraging or can appear as solitary foragers, appearing on your kitchen counter individually.
Biology Now Entering Carpenter Antville: Population 10,000-20,000. Although large in size, mature colonies have up to 100,000 ants and usually only one functional, wingless queen per colony. Development from egg to adult takes at least 60 days. Swarmers aren't produced until the colony matures. In the West, swarmers may appear between February and June. Damage Carpenter ants can weaken structures by hollowing wood for nests. They are capable of inflicting painful bites, but that is a rare occurrence. Invasion Carpenter ants enter structures through doors, windows, pipes, utility wires, and branches of trees or shrubs that touch the structure. Good Riddance Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Inspection is important, as this species of ant commonly nests in hollow voids such as the interior of walls, hollow-core doors and various void areas in attics or sub-areas. Listening devices can be helpful in locating the nest(s).
Small piles of wood shavings mixed with insect parts or insulation can mark nesting locations. Many times, an interior nest is a satellite of the original colony located outside. Watch for foraging trails outside, which are most active at night. Be alert to the emergence of swarmers that are common in mating season — February through June. Check attics, basements and crawl spaces. These ants can also enter structures on wires and pipes. Locate high moisture areas (a moisture meter can be useful). Once nests are located, appropriate treatments with aerosol or dust formulations can be made. Depending on location of infestation, preparation may be necessary. Parent colony must be located and destroyed by removing or treating directly with an appropriate registered pesticide, which may also require drilling into wood or wall voids. Preventative measures include barrier treatment with registered pesticides, pruning of plants near buildings, caulking of gaps on the structure, and treating the lowest 3-6 feet of tree trunks and utility poles. Contacting the insects with the material is essential to control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Orange to reddish, reddish to dark brown to brownish black. 2 species bicolored with head and thorax red, coupled with gaster brownish black or pedicel red/brown with gaster brown/black. Characteristics They have rows of long hair under the chin, but should not be confused with anyone's grandmother. Where Found Mostly west of the Mississippi, and mostly outdoors in dry soil. Habitat Harvester ants do not invade homes and are found outdoors, preferring dry soil. It is extremely easy to identify the nest by looking for a clear zone and the low, flat, horseshoe-shaped crater around their entrance hole.
Food Their favorite food is the seeds of different types of grasses—convenient, since they tend to construct their mounds in the grass. They also like to snack on the bodies of insects and spiders. Biology Harvester ants swarm from June to October, but most commonly in August and September following rain showers. Males die soon after mating and the female will start the colony, which can survive for a long time. When swarming, they will often fly to a high spot, such as a tower on a building, before moving on. Colonies have been documented to live as many as 17 years. They generally feed on seeds and grasses, and store the seeds in the nest. Damage They cause damage by clearing the vegetation around the entrance hole of their mound. Depending on the species, they will clear an area ranging from 1 to 35 feet in diameter around the entrance hole. Their nest also goes 10 to 15 feet deep into the ground. Many species
will relocate the nest periodically. Clearing the vegetation keeps the shade from the mound area, which is crucial for their activity. Harvester ants prefer a ground temperature of 90 to 115 degrees F and are sluggish at 70 degrees F. They will remain in the nest if the temperature goes above 120 degrees F. These ants are very aggressive and will inflict a painful sting. The sting can kill small animals if they accidentally disturb the nest. Invasion They seldom come inside, but lawn infestation will result in patches of cleared grass. Good Riddance Treat the nest during the hottest part of the day, when the all the colony members are inside the nest. Inject an appropriately labeled residual insecticide directly into the nest and also use the fan tip to treat the area around the mound. The mound can also be treated, but not at the same time, with appropriately labeled bait materials. Regular lawn maintenance is also crucial in eliminating the favorable conditions for harvester ants.
Color Light yellow to reddish brown in color, with abdomen often darker to blackish. Where Found This species is native to Africa, but has been spread by commerce to nearly every part of the world. The specific name, from which the common name was derived, resulted from Linnaeus' mistaken belief that the ant was one of the plagues of Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. They generally nest inside, but also nest outside under rocks, in cracks, even on roofs near evaporative cooling units. They will establish outdoor nests when the temperature is warm and food source is available. Habitat They are a common pest in homes, apartments, hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.
Food Pharaoh ants have a broad diet that includes fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Only 10% of the worker population will be foraging at a time. They are avid travelers and love to return to favorite spots. They will go quite a distance while foraging for food and have established trails. They also use electrical and telephone wires to get through walls and between floors. They can be seen trailing along windowsills, countertops, and baseboards. They will feed on a wide variety of materials and they have been observed to feed frequently on syrup, fruit juice, honey, jelly, cake, pie, grease, meat, or dead insects. Biology Generally, they nest indoors and new colonies are established by a "budding process". A mature colony contains a few hundred to thousands of workers with multiple queens. They do not swarm and mating occurs within the nest. Apparently, even ants have a sense of propriety about these things. Damage In hospitals, they are infamous. They will infest the dressing of patient wounds and follow IV tubes to sleeping patients. They also harbor pathogenic bacteria, and will contaminate food sources.
Invasion Inside, they will nest anywhere. They prefer warm and hard to reach places like wall voids, behind baseboards, under floors and between linens. Once they find a suitable nesting site inside, they will breed continuously throughout the year. In warmer climates, they will nest outside of the building. Good Riddance They are one of the more common household ants, and carry the dubious distinction of being the most difficult household ant to control. On the outside, treat all the ground with repellent chemical or granular bait at the recommended high rate. On the inside, use one of the approved ant baits. Do not use any pesticides on the inside. Residual insecticide use will make the control effort more difficult. Place the stations out wherever the ants have been seen, particularly near the foraging and nesting sites. Baits can be placed both indoors and outdoors, depending on the activity.
Check the label for specific information; but in general, use three bait stations in an average size room or one bait station per 100 square feet of surface area. More bait stations may be needed for heavy infestations. If you cannot find any activity, put out some jelly and recheck later in the day. Remove the jelly and put your stations out where you see ants. The ants should be eliminated within a week. If ants continue to be a concern after two weeks, check for the following:
  • Did you make a thorough outside treatment? Ants could be nesting on the outside and coming inside for food and water.
  • Did you use any pesticides in the area you put out your stations, even days before you started the control measures?
  • Did you use enough stations?
Color Red head and thorax and red/black abdomen with long, bristly hairs. Where Found Much like Carmen Miranda, fire ants first came to the U.S. from South America in the 1930's. They originally spread throughout 17 southern states, but eventually made it to California. Unlike Carmen Miranda, they are not very entertaining. Habitat Fire ants are family-oriented. Which just goes to show, you can find a little good in even the worst of us. They live in communities made up of dome-shaped mounds of soil that are about 18 inches across and about 8 to 12 inches tall with small holes. They tend to build nests in open, sunlit, irrigated, grassy areas, but may also nest in rotten logs, walls of buildings, or under sidewalks.
Food Fire ants eat a high-protein diet. Or whatever's lying around. In that sense, they are true omnivores. They typically feed on seeds, insects, young tree bark, honeydew and other sweets, preferring oily meats and nuts. Red imported fire ants are particularly destructive to vegetation. Biology Typically, a colony will have 80,000, but up to 250,000 individuals can forage over an area with a radius of more than 100 yards. The lifespan of workers depends upon their size, 30 -180 days. Queens may live 2-6 years. Development from egg to adult takes an average of 38 days. Damage In a word – ouch. They are one of the worst ant pests in the U.S. in terms of human health, property damage, and environmental damages. They become agitated when nests are disturbed and can quickly climb onto the object or person causing the disturbance and begin stinging. Stings are a serious concern to people and pets. Venom injected into the skin causes a burning sensation.
Good Riddance A thorough inspection should be performed on exterior areas. Typically, this ant makes mounds around the nest opening but can also nest in logs, wall voids or electric supply boxes. This species has large colonies, deep nests, and are sensitive to control materials. Because of that, baits work well. Continuous monitoring is recommended and several applications may be necessary throughout the warmer seasons. Injection of liquid materials or dust formulations can be made to visible mounds, but they may fail due to depth of nesting sites. If this ant is found nesting in voids, injection of dust formulation will work. Contacting the insects with the material is essential to control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions. Antz at the Movies Antz – If I had kids, I wouldn't let them see it, but I'm biased. A Bug's Life – Another misleading animated film seeking to convince children ants are cute. Beware. Empire of the Ants – Back in the 70's, even ants were after Joan Collins.
Color Depending on species, body color ranges from brown to pale yellow. Where Found Throughout the United States. Commonly found indoors. Food Let's just say they would do well on the Atkins diet. They prefer foods high in protein content and feed on meats, breads, fruits, animal fats, oils, nuts, and dairy products, but will readily feed on sweets. Outside, they will look for almost anything organic, including insects, honeydew (a honey-like material secreted from aphids and similar insects), seeds and germinating seeds. Biology Queens. Why stop at one? Colonies are composed of a few hundred to several thousand, and many queens. Nests are located in very small cavities; under debris or objects on soil, behind wall paneling or loose floor molding, and within wall voids or cabinets. Mating flights take place in late July to early Fall. Some mated females may return to the nest after the nuptial flight.
Thief ants are generally confused with pharaoh ants because of similar size and color. They may be distinguished by having only two enlarged club segments at the end of antennae while pharaoh ants have three enlarged segments. Damage These nuisance pests damage seeds, contaminate sweets, and carry disease-producing organisms to food. They may be an intermediate host for poultry tape worms. Good Riddance This species of ant closely resembles the pharaoh ant. It will take a professional to identify, which is important due to the treatment precautions listed. (Please see the pharaoh ant control section listed in this website). After this ant species has been identified, proper treatment can be made. Locating the nest is an important control step. Liquid or gel bait formulations are generally used to control this pest. When inspecting for this ant outside, take note and eliminate insects that provide protein and honeydew sources, such as aphids. Locate and treat nests directly if possible. If using baits, locate control measures near foraging trails of ants. Check food areas, pet dishes, and dishwasher or trash compactors for ant trails.
Areas of moisture are good areas to inspect and treat if necessary. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Before eating, nymphs are translucent or pale, while adults are mostly reddish brown or mahogany. Characteristics Bed bugs are very thin, oval, and flat. Just like a potato chip, if you'll pardon the comparison. They have a 3-segmented beak, 4-segmented antennae, and small compound eyes. They have wings but don't actually fly. Instead they scurry across the floor. Nymphs resemble adults. Where Found Bed bugs were sending people jumping in bed since well before World War II, though got under control with much-needed improvements in hygiene, and widespread control measures. Recently they have made a comeback, and are found throughout the world. Habitat Bed bugs cut straight to the chase - instead of eating our food, they eat us. Or at least our blood. Thus they prefer places where we spend a lot of time sitting and sleeping, such as the sofa in front of the widescreen TV and our mattress.
Also box springs, headboards, bed frames, furniture, curtains, loose wallpaper, behind picture frames and items in rooms. They make themselves at home and invade apartments, hotels, motels, shelters and modes of transport. They are nocturnal - getting busy on you when you are busy sleeping. Food Bed bugs are basically tiny vampires. They mainly feed on human blood, but may also attack pets, poultry, and other mammals and birds. Biology Females lay eggs in secluded areas on rough surfaces, laying up to 5 a day (in batches of 10-50) and 500 during a lifetime. They are tiny and white, sticky, and covered. Don't try to go looking for them; you will need a good magnifying glass, because they're about the size of a dust speck! They're not much bigger once they hatch as nymphs; only the size of a pinhead. They molt 5 times before reaching maturity, and need a blood meal in between each molt. Under favorable conditions (70-90°F) they can mature in as little as a month, producing 3 or more generations per year. If there's not a ready source of blood around, nymphs can survive for months, and adults over a year.
Damage Bed bugs - ouch! - cause - ouch! - painful bites. They suck blood with their piercing mouths that contain 2 needle-like stylets. One has a groove that carries saliva into the wound, while the other has a groove through which blood is sucked. Bites are around the neck, feet, arm or hands, and similar to that of a flea, without a red area in the center. Bed bugs have been found carrying 27 human pathogens, but have not been proven to transmit disease. Invasion Bed bugs are practiced hitchhikers. They can be picked up in trains, planes and other automobiles, or carried on clothing, bedding, luggage, or firewood. They also live on mammals and birds near homes. There are 3 species that attack people, and may also bite birds, rodents and bats. Good Riddance They key to eliminating bed bugs is being thorough. As they don't fly, they generally stick close to their host. Thorough inspection and treatment is necessary to achieve control. Infestations can be identified by fecal spots, egg cases, and shed skins under wallpaper, behind picture frames, mattresses, box springs and inside cracks and crevices near where people sleep.
This includes all furnishings and draperies. You may also notice blood spots on the sheets or blankets. Preparation is necessary, and you must thoroughly wash sheets and mattress covers. Vacuum infested areas before and after treatment. Then remove vacuum bag, seal in an additional plastic bag, and discard. You can purchase a plastic bed cover to seal off mattresses from further infestation; just make sure it is the type designed for this. If you decide to treat the infestation on your own, remember that contacting the insects with the material is essential. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target/pest location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions. As the treatment process is very thorough, you may want to use a professional exterminator. Continued monitoring and additional treatments may be necessary. For apartments, motels, hotels or other commercial facilities, please contact us through the link listed in this website. This insect requires treatment of all areas it has spread to for effective and long-term control, so it is important to survey these areas for proper recommendations.
Color Normally reddish-brown, which gives them their name. They are in fact not any redder when full of blood, but gray-blue or olive colored. Characteristics Walnuts, or tiny beans? Body is flat and slightly wider in the rear; seeing them clinging to your dog's fur might make you wonder if he got into your nut or bean stash. Males have tiny pits on their backs, similar to walnuts. Mouths are visible from above, and larvae have 6 legs. Where Found Throughout the U.S., but most common in warmer states as well as warm climates throughout the world. Habitat If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas — and some ticks, too. As it's a "dog" tick, dogs are their main target, but they are also common anyplace in the home that is warm and dry where dogs live in.
Food Dog blood. Ugggh. Biology A life of gorging and molting. This is basically how larvae develop. As most everything happens with a meal of blood, females feed and then drop off the host dog to lay eggs, after which her life is deemed complete, and she dies. Usually she crawls upward to wall or ceiling crevices or cracks, laying her 1,000-3,000 tiny dark brown eggs, which look a lot like caviar. Eggs hatch after 9-60 days into tiny larvae with 6 legs, called "seed ticks". Then they crawl down the wall and attach themselves to a dog so they can feed, although they can last 8 months without. They engorge 3-6 days and enlarge to 1/6 inches (2mm) and become blue. After the meal, they head off to find a spot to molt, and basically repeat this process. By 1-3 weeks they are reddish-brown nymphs with 8 legs. Then they feed for 4-9 days, grow to 1/8 inch (3mm) and turn dark gray. Once again they go off to molt, becoming adults in 12-19 days. They immediately seek a host dog, but can survive up to 18 months if unable. Once they find a good candidate, they feast for 6 to a record 50 days and mate – must be a taxing business. They may complete the cycle in 2 months, but there are usually 2 generations per year in the north, and 4 generations in the south.
Damage When the household dog isn't happy, neither is the household. Although they seldom attack humans, as we generally have less fur to cling to, they are carriers and transmitters of several disease organisms. Invasion All brown dog ticks need is to move upward, and they can find a host dog. Good Riddance Concentrate your efforts on areas your dog spends most of its time. Treatment should focus on dog's resting places, upholstered furnishings, cracks and crevices, under porches, and any possible crawl spaces the dog has access to. Thoroughly clean home and kennel areas before starting treatment, both indoors and outdoors. Also treat your dog on the same day as this pesticide application. As treatment is extensive and specific application equipment is necessary, you may want to use a professional exterminator. Inside treatment should focus on areas up to 4 feet and be concentrated around where your pet spends time. Exterior treatment should include walks, shrubbery and lawns.
Continue to monitor your pet after treatment, especially if it goes into other areas that may possibly be infested. For your own protection, use repellent, wear light-colored clothing, and frequently inspect tick-infested habitats.
Color These little devils are reddish when plump full of blood. Normally brownish-black to black. Characteristics Cat fleas would make excellent high jumpers. They've got long hind legs, perfect for lift-off, no wings needed, achieving up to 6 inches in height. They are flattened from side to side, but get nice and plump when they've got a belly full of blood. Where Found Anywhere you find cats, you'll likely find cat fleas. And if your dog gets fleas, those are probably cat fleas too. No wonder dogs and cats don't tend to get along. Habitat Obviously, they hang around cats a lot. But they also feed on other less high-maintenance animals, such as opossums, foxes, mongooses and rats. They linger indoors in narrow cracks where they know these animals frequently visit. Outdoors they live in humid climates, and larvae live in the same locations, especially where there is plenty of moisture.
Food Cat fleas stay on a liquid diet - they feed on blood. As for larvae, they have slightly different dietary requirements. They must consume adult flea fecal material of digested blood in order to complete development. No picky eaters here. Biology After a nice meal, the female goes and lays 4-8 eggs in a host animal's hair or its bed. And she does this after every meal – she can lay up to 400-500 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are minuscule white ovals, about 1/64 inch (0.5mm) long, and take 1-12 days to hatch. They may fall or be shaken off into crevices where the animal spends a lot of time. Larvae demand high relative humidity (45-75%) as they go through 3 instars (stages). This can take from 1-2 weeks, to several months. Larvae pupate in a cocoon, camouflaged on the surface so no one disturbs them. This process may last 4-14 days, or up to a whole year. Even after, the teenage pupae still wants to laze in bed, up to 20 more weeks. They like staying comfy and protected from pesticides and other nuisances that can be a real rude awakening. Once they finally poke their heads out from the cocoon, they immediately realize they are famished and seek out a source of blood. If unsuccessful, they can survive for several months on their reserve of stored fat. Once they find a host, they get cracking, feeding, mating and laying eggs.
Lifespan is tricky to calculate – as with every invasion, sacrifices must be made. This means that many live only a few days, as cats' thorough grooming removes almost half of their numbers. The remaining survivors can live about a year. Damage Not only are they a real nuisance to whatever they infest, they act as hosts themselves. Dog tapeworms can infest indoor cats, and rodent tapeworms can infest humans. Not only that, they can transmit plague and marine typhus. Invasion Cat fleas ride around on pets and can even jump 6 inches (15cm) to hitch a ride onto people's shoes and clothes. They can survive without a continual food source, so the population can grow to be a nuisance even in the absence of their host. Good Riddance Fleas are usually associated with pets when found within homes. However, this doesn't mean we humans are off the hook, as they can easily jump onto our shoes or clothes. They can also be carried in from an area just outside. If you don't have any pets, there is still an animal that is causing the problem. This could include feral cats, opossums or rodents. Get rid of this problem by using traps and exclusion methods.
If pets are present, they should be treated on the same day as treatment is rendered for best results. All surfaces that pets spend time on should be cleaned. Before this, you must vacuum to remove pet hair and fecal matter of adult insects, which larvae need to develop. Vacuum floors, wall-floor junctions, upholstered furniture, and base of furnishings where pets rest. Remove vacuum bag immediately, seal in a plastic bag, and dispose in an outside trash bin. Thorough treatment should be made to the inside and exterior areas. All carpeted floor areas, along edges of floor molding, and under cushions of furniture should be treated. In exterior areas, concentrate on places that pets spend time in or on, including lawns and shaded areas under landscape bushes. Suggestion: at the start of 'flu season', treat areas inside your home with an I.G.R. (Insect Growth Regulator).It affects the development of larvae, interrupting their pupation cycle and achieving excellent sustained flea control. As the treatment process requires great thoroughness, you may want to use a professional exterminator. Continued monitoring and possible additional treatments may be necessary. Contacting the insects with the material is essential to control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Color Whitish with a dusky patch on each shoulder and pale reddish legs. Characteristics Difficult to see against a light surface due to small size and light color. Has a short, distinctly crab-like body with well-developed claws and pale reddish legs. Where Found Throughout the U.S. and around the world. Habitat In a word -- ouch. Most often found in the pubic hair of adult humans where they cling to the pubic hair with highly modified claws. In some cases of heavy infestation, can also be found on the torso or in facial hair. Food These insects are blood feeders.
Biology Females lay two to three whitish eggs during a 14-hour period and may lay 15 to 50 eggs in a lifetime. Eggs hatch in six to eight days. Damage Bites can cause severe itching and skin irritation due to infection. "Blue spots" may result from the bite. They do not transmit disease agents. Invasion Mainly acquired through sexual contact. Can also be innocently acquired through other means, such as sharing a bed with an infested person. Good Riddance See a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment. There is usually no need for a pesticide application, as this insect dies shortly if not on its host. Follow doctor's instructions and use prescribed medications as directed. Wash entire body thoroughly with soapy water and/or specially recommended shampoos.
Wash all clothes and bedding in hot soapy water and dry in dryer on higher heat cycle. It's important to alert one's sexual partner as to the presence of pubic lice because precautions or treatment may be required.
Color Adults are tan to grayish. Eggs, called nits, are dark-colored during development, but egg cases are white after hatching. Characteristics Wingless, parasitic insects with six legs used to grasp hair. They are exquisitely adapted to the living conditions on your hair and scalp. They live out all stages of their life on their host. They can crawl pretty quickly, but are lousy at hopping, flying or jumping. Where Found These insects are relics from prehistoric mummies. And they should have stayed there. Now they occur all over the world. Habitat Head lice are great with kids. Unfortunately. Well, they'll sure keep them busy scratching. Children are most vulnerable to lice, thanks to their questionable hygienic habits of sharing just about everything – hats, combs, brushes, sleeping bags, stuffed animals and clothes. Head lice spend their whole lives roaming around the hairy heads of all ages.
Food Like tiny vampires, they feed on human blood. Biology Egghead – yes, they lay their eggs on your head. All of them. Usually eggs are attached with a glue-like substance where the hair meets the scalp. Females produce about 3-5 eggs during 24 hours and live only 7-10 days. Most eggs are laid at night, and hatch within 7-8 days. A newly-hatched louse must have a blood meal within minutes of birth to survive. Developing lice (nymphs) mature in 7-10 days, and adult females start laying eggs after an additional day. Total lifespan is about 25 days. As people have constant body temperatures, females reproduce continuously throughout the year. Damage You may wonder if lice come equipped with itching powder, 'cause that's all you can seem to do. They can also deprive you of a good night's rest, though they don't penetrate your skin. They are known to transmit infectious agents between people. Saliva and feces may cause irritation and sensitivity to bites. Excess scratching increases the chance of secondary infection. You may try to get rid of the lice by using harmful or toxic substances, and this can be the greatest harm.
Invasion Transferred between humans from shared items, such as hats, combs, pillows, brushes, furry toys, etc. They may also remain on bedding or upholstered furniture for a short time and can easily re-infest. Good Riddance Don't let lice make a monkey out of you! In the case of intense itching, thoroughly inspect head and neck. Alert others that head lice have been detected and consult a physician to prescribe effective treatment. Use the specialized comb usually included with the medication to remove nits (egg sacs) from head. Remove lice and nits from the environment by vacuuming, washing, and drying on high-heat cycle. You can also freeze objects, such as hats, that you suspect of being infested. Sometimes, the physician may recommend treatment for other family members due to the possibility of spreading within the family. Children can pick lice up from school. Check head daily and remove nits until infestation is gone. Then, inspect weekly to detect re-infestation. Pesticides are not necessary, as this insect does not live long once off its host.
Color Red, orange, yellow, brown, or shiny black, usually with various markings including white spots. Often bright yellow, red or orange with black markings or black with yellow, orange, or red markings. Characteristics Most species of this beetle family are highly beneficial insects. In fact, only 3 of 475 U.S. species are not beneficial. Where Found Ladybugs are found worldwide with about 475 species occurring in the U.S. and Canada. Habitat Ladybugs like a temperate climate with temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees. Cooler winters drive them to hibernate under logs, in leaf piles or in people's homes.
Food Bug tartare. Or, making a meal of mealybugs. Larvae and adults eat aphids, mealybugs, mites, scale insects, other soft-bodied insects, and their eggs, making them very beneficial. Biology Overwintering adults emerge from hibernation and lay orange eggs in single or multiple groups of 12 on plants infested by aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, etc. Larvae pass through 4 molts. Mature larvae attach to leaves by the tip of their abdomens and pupate without forming a cocoon. Gardeners love them. Damage Feeling lucky? Actually, ladybugs are not only considered beneficial?in many cultures, they are a sign of good luck. However, some species have a habit of overwintering in structures and can sometimes be considered nuisance pests.
Good Riddance Considering how beneficial they are, you might just roll out the welcome mat instead. Many homeowners raise certain plants in hopes of attracting ladybugs to the garden, and home centers often sell them as natural pest control agents because of their appetite for unwanted bugs. Ladybugs are not of any health or structural importance, and no direct control is recommended. Nonetheless, should you be facing a ladybug invasion in great numbers that get out of hand, exclusion using preventative physical barriers is one of your best solutions. Attic gables, overhangs, etc. should be screened with at least 16-mesh screening. If they're already inside, and no matter how much you sing to them you can't get them to 'fly away home,' try vacuuming. But be forewarned?they can stink up your vacuum hose.
Color The upper side of the wings is tawny-orange, the veins and margins are black, and in the margins are two series of small, white spots. Characteristics Getting there is half the fun. In one of the most spectacular natural phenomenon of the insect world, adults make mass migrations from August — October, flying to hibernate along the California coast and in central Mexico. At the wintering sites in Mexico, they roost in trees and form huge aggregations that may have millions of individuals. They leave for the north in the spring. What really makes this amazing is that the butterflies making this pilgrimage have never done it before! How?s that for Mother Nature and instinct? Where Found Found in much of temperate North America into the tropics and South America, as well as some islands in the Pacific and Australia.
Habitat Found in fields, meadows, prairie remnants, urban and suburban parks, gardens, and roadsides. Overwinter in conifer groves. Food Caterpillars eat plants in the milkweed family. Hence the name. Adults take nectar from a variety of flowers. Biology In migration, females lay eggs along the way on the leaves of the milkweeds. Caterpillars eat the leaves and flowers. The migration south and then northward return spans the life of three to four generations of the butterfly. Invasion Most people would welcome one. Gardens are planted specifically to attract these beauties.
Color Tan to pale green. Forewings are tan with green along front margin. Compound eyes are chocolate-brown at sunset, pale tan soon after sunrise and during the day. Characteristics Let us give thanks. They usually lie in wait for prey with their front legs upraised -- as if praying. They attach egg cases to weeds or twigs where the eggs overwinter. Where Found Widely found throughout the U.S. Habitat Meadows and gardens, on tall herbs, flower clusters and shrubs. Food The praying mantis is carnivorous, and eats other insects, but isn't very particular, eating both nuisance pests and beneficials. They are also capable of eating small animals like frogs, lizards and even hummingbirds.
Biology During fall, praying mantis females deposit a sticky egg case on the underside of a leaf or on a twig. If the egg case survives winter, the offspring, called nymphs, emerge in late spring or early summer. The nymphs have voracious appetites and will never be accused of waiting patiently for a meal since they typically cannibalize each other if they don't have an adequate supply of aphids and other small insects. Egg cases are commercially available for placement in landscaping. Damage The praying mantis is a beneficial insect, and should cause you no concern -- unless you are an insect too, in which case, praying is good.
Color Beauty in flight. This group includes some of the largest and most strikingly colored butterflies. The tiger swallowtail is brightly colored with yellow and black. The black swallowtail is black with 2 rows of yellow spots around wing margins. The zebra swallowtail is pale greenish with black stripes. Again, with more than 550 species, the range of colors is amazing. Characteristics Simply put — gorgeous. Outsized, prominently marked butterflies. The adults are often tailed like the forked tail of some swallows, giving the insect its name. The hind wings usually display elongated tails that are believed to mimic antennae, distracting predators from more crucial body parts. It is not uncommon to see swallowtail butterflies with one or both tails missing, probably for this reason. Where Found Widely distributed around the world. Although the majority of swallowtails are found in tropical areas, they live on all continents except Antarctica.
Food Adults feed on flower nectar. Caterpillars feed on a variety of woody and herbaceous plants, depending on the species. Biology Like all butterflies, Swallowtails undergo a complete metamorphosis. The life cycle has four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Egg — It takes 3-5 days for eggs to hatch. Larva — The caterpillar has five instars. Pupa — The chrysalis stage lasts 9-11 days, or over winter. Adult — Northern areas have 1-2 generations; southern areas may have three. The adult female lays her fertilized eggs on the host plant, and one instar after another feeds voraciously on the host plant, shedding its skin to allow room for growth of the next instar, until the full grown caterpillar is ready to enter the chrysalis stage. Larvae have antennae-like structures called osmeteria behind the head that they can extrude, at the same time emitting pungent chemicals, to deter predators. All North American species overwinter as pupae. Invasion We should be so lucky.
Color Phasmids generally mimic their surroundings in color, normally green or brown, although some species are brilliantly colored and others conspicuously striped. Many stick insects have spectacularly beautiful wings. Others just look like a stump. Even for the humble Walking Stick, life isn't fair. Characteristics The walking stick resembles the twigs among which it lives, providing it with one of the most efficient natural camouflages on Earth. Stayin' alive. Stayin' alive. Many stick insects play dead to thwart predators, and some will even shed a limb to escape an enemy's grasp. Others swipe at predators with their spine-covered legs, while one North American species, Anisomorpha buprestoides, emits a putrid-smelling fluid. Where found: Walking sticks are found predominantly in the tropics and subtropics. Although several species live in temperate regions, stick insects thrive in forests and grasslands, where they feed on leaves. Mainly nocturnal creatures, they spend much of their day motionless, hidden under plants.
Food Walking Sticks are herbivores and mainly eat leaves. Biology Their eggs are oval, dark brown, 2-3 mm long, and have a lighter-coloured knob at one end. When they hatch, this knob comes off and the walking stick climbs out. The eggs hatch after 10-12 weeks at room temperature. After they hatch, the egg shell often remains attached. Hatchlings are about 1 cm long. Rather long, skinny pets. If you keep walking sticks as pets, you should be careful to prevent the escape or either the adults or the nymphs. The non-native species may become especially destructive because they have none of their natural enemies to control their proliferation. Make sure any eggs are disposed of as well, by crushing, boiling, or burning, as no special care is needed for many species' eggs to hatch. In the United States and Canada, tropical species such as the Indian Walking sticks are considered plant pest and a permit (United Stated Department of Agriculture or Canadian Food Inspection Agency) is required to import them.
Color Reddish-brown, with a yellowish band around the edge of the pronotum (top body plate), which is widest in the rear. Characteristics Males look much longer than females, as their wings are longer than their abdomens. Front wings are veined and leathery. Cockroaches are flattened and oval-shaped, with extremely long, threadlike antennae. Their head is mostly hidden, and it has chewing mouth parts. They're not the best of fliers, but you can see a plague of roaches when they decide to take a mass migration. Where Found Just as original Americans hailed from other countries, the American cockroach is not native to North America. Also called a "Palmetto Bug," it may have come from Africa. Habitat Even roaches love Hawaii. Warm, humid places between 70° and 82.4°F are heaven for them. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about them bothering you on the beach.
It is far more common to find them in food storage, food preparation areas, food processing plants, and in the food. They also like the basements and steam tunnels of commercial buildings, such as restaurants, markets and hospitals. In the U.S., these are the most common critters you'll find crawling around manholes and sewers. Food Whatever they happen to come across. Biology The females carry purses - except cockroaches' aren't crammed full of lipstick, pens, and mints. They're full of eggs. The female drops her egg capsule (or oötheca) near a food source, or else glues it somewhere else with a secretion from her mouth. Each 'purse' contains 14-16 eggs, and females will lay them 9-10 times during her lifetime. Development to an adult is even longer than life as one — 20 months at room temperature, with 10-13 molts. Adult life is only 15 months, or even half that if the temperature rises into the mid 80s F. Damage Nobody likes cockroaches roaming around their house to start with, but they also carry diseases.
Invasion Cockroaches know plenty of ways to invade. They can get into buildings in packaging, come up through sewer drains, and occasionally, they'll just walk in the front door. Good Riddance Preparation will be necessary if found inside residential homes. Empty lower cabinets in kitchen and bathroom, and pay close attention to moist areas. Drains or wet areas should be inspected and treated. The source of the cockroaches is usually outside, so you should also pay special attention to woodpiles and areas of organic accumulation or vegetative overgrowth. Cracks in concrete walkways or around hollow block walls create shelters and should be treated. If possible, maintain an 18-inch vegetation-free zone around the structure. As the treatment process is very thorough, you may want to use a professional exterminator. Continued monitoring and possible additional treatments may be necessary. Contacting the insects with the material is essential to control. Use of residual liquid pesticides and dusts is recommended. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Disclamer: If all attempts to exterminate roaches fail, Western Exterminator does not condone the use of nuclear radiation as a last resort, as this is largely known to be unsuccessful. In this case you may simply have to set aside your differences and co-habit.
Color Adults are light-brown to brown in color. Characteristics Their name comes from the two lighter bands across their dark brownish bodies at the base of the wing and abdomen. Where Found Most commonly found in the northeastern, southern, and midwest regions of the United States, brown-banded cockroaches like kitchens, bathrooms, and higher resting places. They are commonly found on ceilings, high on walls, behind picture frames and light fixtures, near refrigerator motors, in closets, furniture, and similar areas. Food They prefer starchy materials, but are scavengers and eat a wide variety of items. They can cause problems in hospitals by coming out at night to feed on bodily fluids, thereby risking cross-infection.
Biology And you thought rabbits were fast breeders. The brownbanded cockroach can go from 2 to 800 in no time. Adult females will carry the ootheca (egg case) for a day or two after its formation and then glue it to a surface. On average, she will produce 14 egg cases, averaging 18 eggs per egg case. The life cycle (egg to adult) can be completed in 90–280 days, averaging about 161 days. Wing pattern can be used for differentiating adult roaches; wing covers the entire abdomen in males whereas it covers only part of the abdomen in females. On average, adults live up to 10 months. These cockroaches dislike light and, unless in large members, are not normally seen during the day. Damage Brownbanded cockroaches spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. They can also cause damage to computer and other electrical equipment.
Invasion They prefer warm and dry locations, and are frequently found behind crown molding, tables, chairs, appliances, computers and phones. They are transported through infested furniture and will spread rapidly. Good Riddance Getting rid of these takes a little preparation. Empty all kitchen and bathroom cupboards. Since this insect also lives in higher areas once established, you should also inspect closets, furniture, around high shelves and ceiling or wall moldings. Cracks and crevices in these areas require treatment too. Use of residual liquid pesticides and dust formulations injected in wall voids is recommended. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Color Light brown to tan, with two almost parallel dark stripes, bars, or streaks on prothorax. The female is darker than the male. Characteristics Although most insects are attracted to light, German cockroaches avoid it, as they are nocturnal. They cannot fly, and the female's abdomen is broader than the male's. Where Found These cockroaches are not from Germany, but Africa. They found transport through early commerce with Europe, and are now found throughout the world. Habitat They like their personal space. Adults need only 5 mm of space, while the smallest nymphs need only about 1 mm. They are usually found indoors, especially in warm and humid places, such as bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens and other rooms where people eat casually. Luckily, they don't try to terrorize us, but spend most of their time hidden out of sight in cracks or crevices.
Biology Familiar with the phrase, 'breeding like cockroaches'? This is the fastest reproducing species of pest cockroaches. A single female and her offspring can produce over 30,000 individuals within a year! The female carries her egg capsule until within 1-2 days of hatching, then drops it off in a sheltered place. She may produce about 5 egg capsules (30-40 eggs each) in her life, and is very active when reproducing. Females that aren't carrying their egg capsules are not active, and come out for food and water only when necessary. Development time varies, but is usually 3 months. It can also be faster, producing 3-4 or more generations per year. Adults live about 3-7 months. While they may boast high numbers, they may succumb to cannibalism and other population pressures. Males aren't the bravest, hiding even in the dark of night. The last 3 days before molting, developing nymphs also hide. Damage They can transmit disease organisms and cause allergic reactions in some people.
Invasion They sneak in with paper products, packaging and used appliances. In summer, they may move between buildings, and can also survive outdoors when warm, though uncommon. Good Riddance Due to its habits, all possible areas of infestation need to be treated. Prepare by emptying all cupboards in kitchens and bathrooms. Inspect and treat all closets, dressers, or other furnishings relatively close to food and water. Inspect and treat cracks and crevices with a residual material. It often takes 7-10 days for control as more insects come into contact with the material. Cockroach baits are available, but due to competition with other food sources, may not be enough to produce a 'knock-down' of the population or achieve satisfactory long-term results.
You may want to use a professional, as great thoroughness is required during the treatment process. Continued monitoring and additional treatments may be necessary. It is essential to contact the insects with the material in order to control. Use of residual liquid pesticides and dust formulations injected in wall voids is recommended. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color These cockroaches are shiny brown and oval-shaped, with no wings and a single pair of antennae. Characteristics Unlike most cockroaches, they are wingless, but are excellent climbers and can even scale smooth glass. Males are distinguished from females by their thicker, hairier antennae and the pronounced "horns.? Females carry the ootheca (egg case) internally, and release young nymphs only after the eggs have hatched. Parents and offspring will commonly remain in close physical contact for extended periods of time. In captivity, these insects can live 5 years. Where found: They are from the island of Madagascar off the African coast, where they can often be found in rotting logs on the forest floor. Habitat These insects live on forest floors, where they hide amidst leaf litter, logs, and other detritus. At night, they become more active and scavenge for meals.
Food The Madagascar Hissing Cockroash is an herbivore, and feeds primarily on vegetable material and fruits that fall near its home on the forest floor. Invasion Ssssseriously? Actually, people keep them as exotic pets. Their ability to produce sound, unusual appearance and interesting behavior all contribute to their appeal. The fact that they don?t bite contributes to their appeal as well. They need a small living area and a spot for them to hide because they do not like the light. They also need sticks because they sometimes like to climb. Biology Females create a cocoon-like egg case called an ootheca and carry their eggs (and neonatal nymphs) inside their bodies. They then bear living young?as many as 60 nymph roaches. Males possess large horns on the pronotum (behind the head), while females have only small 'bumps'. The presence or absence of the pronotal horns allows easy identification of the sexes. Nymphs undergo 6 molts before reaching maturity in 7 months. Adults are wingless and can live for 2 to 5 years.
What?s all the noise about? Hissing is a way of demonstrating colony hierarchy, as well as courting and communication. Madagascar hissing cockroaches hiss by exhaling air through breathing holes. This is a unique trait because most insects that make noise do so by rubbing their body parts together or by employing vibrating membranes.
Color Typically shiny black, dark brown, or even dark reddish-brown. Where Found Despite the name, originated in North Africa, but have left the nest to explore the world. Habitat Any place damp. Found outdoors under stones, in leaf litter and other debris. Found indoors in spaces between walls, crawl spaces, basements and floor drains. May crawl up water pipes. Usually found in lower kitchen cabinets. Food Anything lying around, even if it's got a little dirt on it. This includes starches and organic matter in the process of decaying. In other words: filth.
Biology Eggs are usually deposited a day after formation. Females may drop or glue them to a warm and protected area near a source of food. Development time from egg to adult varies according to temperature; at room temperature, development takes about 20 months. Adults may live 1-6 months. Damage A disgusting health hazard, as they feed on filth, which increases their potential as disease transmitters. This species also has a strong odor. Phew. Invasion They squeeze through any possible opening, from doors, along pipes and air ducts, through drains and unscreened ventilation openings. Good Riddance Outside treatment is important for control. When noted inside, treatments should be made to both interior and exterior areas. Preparation is necessary; emptying lower cupboards in kitchens and bathrooms and treating cracks within is recommended.
On the exterior, cracks in walkways and hollow block walls should be treated. Garages should also be inspected and treated, especially the expansion joint between the concrete slab and foundation. Areas tending to become moist should also be inspected and treated. 7-10 days are often required as more insects come into contact with the material. Cockroach baits are available, but due to competition with other food sources, may not be enough to produce a 'knock-down' of the population or achieve satisfactory long-term results. You may want to use a professional, as great thoroughness is required during the treatment process. Continued monitoring and additional treatments may be necessary. It is essential to contact the insects with the material in order to control. Use of residual liquid pesticides and dust formulations injected in wall voids is recommended. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Light tan, brown, or creamy yellow with brown bands. Colors may vary with species. Characteristics One of the only insects with a 'neck' – which is actually the prothorax. They have soft bodies, a round head with chewing mouthparts, and long, threadlike antennae. Not all have wings, but if so, they are veined and cellophane-like, and held up like their own personal roof when resting. The front wings are larger than hind wings. The young resemble adults but are wingless. They are active crawlers, and often associated with damp books, hence their name. Where Found There are 287 species throughout the world and in the U.S. They like damp, secluded places in grass, dead leaves, and litter under trees, shrubs and damp wood. Also under lichens, moss, or bark, where they gobble up molds and mildews. They are common along coping joints around swimming pools.
Habitat Often caught with a good book – or rather, chowing down on the mildew, starch sizing, and glue in moldy pages. Also found in sweating pipes, new plaster and sheet rock, damp spills and wooden pallets. Outdoors, they reside under loose, damp bark, and some may be found in grain and agricultural products. You might also spot some in museums or libraries, which are a paradise of neglected books. Food They have two main food groups: mold, and mildew. Biology Eggs are laid bare or encrusted with or without webbing. They breed in wall voids, storage trunks, groceries, stored flour, rugs, paper, cartons, rope fibers, closets, cabinets and even pianos. In some species it only takes one to reproduce – meaning males are not needed. They mature in 4-6 nymphal instars (stages). They need plenty of moisture, with a minimum relative humidity of 50-60%, as they lose body moisture through their exoskeletons. They also rely on high humidity for their food source, mold, to grow. When humidity levels drop too low they may migrate elsewhere. In warm weather they can mature in 3-4 weeks. Typically, outdoor species have wings, while indoor species have small wings or none at all.
Damage Booklice are as bad for books as Fahrenheit 451. They wreak havoc in libraries and museum collections, as well as stored products and food processing plants. They are a nuisance in homes and sometimes commercial buildings. The presence of booklice bodies in house dust are believed to contribute to asthma attacks. Invasion Dampness and mold growth supports breeding, continuing the reign of established populations. They may also invade via stored goods, groceries, cartons, paper and construction material. Good Riddance Psocids rely on high amounts of moisture to survive, so drying out areas of concern may, in some cases, control this insect without the use of pesticides. Pesticides are necessary when they are present in large numbers. You will need to prepare food areas, and keep humidity below 50%, as they have trouble surviving dry conditions. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Adults are black, and wing covers have an orange/red stripe down the middle. They also have a pattern of white and orange/red oval scales. Larvae are reddish-brown with black or brown hairs. Characteristics Get a haircut, kid. Larvae have a lot of hair. They are short and stout, widest in the middle. They also wriggle up and down when they crawl. Adults are oval-shaped, with compound eyes that are notched around an inner margin. One segment is much shorter than the other two. The underside of the abdomen has black patches of scales on each side. Where Found Throughout the world, but they've got a sweet spot for northern U.S. Habitat Why build when you can buy used? Carpet beetles are thrifty. They simply move into places where other things have lived. Examples include wall voids, old rodent bait in attics and crawl spaces, and wasp or hornet nests.
A graveyard is suitable, too; they don't mind places cluttered with dead bugs and spiders. From May to July, they get outdoors to stop and smell the flowers, where they enjoy pollen and nectar, and mate. They like chipmunk, insect, and bird nests outside, and even just the dead bird itself. Food Larvae eat anything and everything. Literally – wool, hair, bristles, feathers, silk, furs, dried plants, rye flour, wheat, clothing and fabrics, even your insect collection. Or your carpet. By the time they're adults, they get real picky and shorten their list down to pollen and nectar. Biology Females lay 30-60 eggs, usually in May through June, either indoors or in food for larvae. Eggs hatch in 10-20 days, and then mature in 6 instars (stages) in about 60-80 days. They pupate in the last larval skin, which is like their security blanket, as they hold on to it awhile. Pupation takes 1-2 weeks. Afterwards, adults stay quietly tucked inside the old skin for 18 days. Then, they suddenly become active for a few days to a month. Outdoors, ¼ of them overwinter as larvae, while the other ¾ overwinter as adults, still snuggled in their larval skins. Indoors, heated buildings keep them active through winter and spring. Total development is 77-110 days at room temperature, but can take up to 2 years.
Damage Your carpets, fur and insect collections are not safe from these bugs! The hairs on larvae can cause pulmonary irritation from inhalation. Invasion Adults fly, and can easily get inside if they see something they like. And they like a lot of things. Good Riddance These insects infest both natural fiber items and items in your pantry. Thorough inspection is necessary to ensure all appropriate areas are treated. Preparation is necessary to achieve long-term control. Inspect and treat areas where the following items are stored: pantry goods, old cereal products, old pet food, fur coats, mounted animal specimens, natural fiber, and furniture or carpets. Also areas under the dryer that collect lint, and areas under furniture or along walls that collect pet hair. These areas should be vacuumed or cleaned before treating. Clean up any spilled pet food or old rodent bait used in attics or sub-areas. Use of residual liquid pesticides and dusts are recommended. Due to the thoroughness required during the treatment process, you may want to use a professional exterminator.
Continued monitoring and possible additional treatments may be necessary. Contacting the insects with the material is essential to control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Silvery to gunmetal-colored, silver-gray, some with dark lines along length of body. Color A real fish out of water, as they're not even fish. They are, in fact, nocturnal, wingless insects. Their bodies are flattened and tapered from head to rear, and covered with scales. There are 3 long bristle-type appendages at the end of the body. Antennae are long and threadlike, while eyes are compound, small and widely-spaced. Where Found Much like silver and fish, they make their way around the world. Habitat Silverfish aren't picky houseguests; they'll take any vacant room in the house. They're flexible in breeding sites as well, such as wall voids, floors and attics. Keeping the house at room temperature and high humidity makes them very happy critters.
Food Beware of cannibals. Along with themselves, they will also eat paper, and in the case of some species, linen, tissues and even cellulose. Faced with the option, silverfish will opt for protein over carbs. All that aside, they can go without food or water for weeks, but once they find it, will stick close. Biology Knock first. Breeding can take place in almost any room of the house. Eggs are laid in cracks, and cannot hatch below 70 degrees F. Nymphs molt a number of times, and nymphs and adults can survive between 32 and 112 degrees F. Damage Mostly they just ruin your paper, especially glazed paper, wallpaper and books. Invasion Cardboard cartons of books and papers are the perfect vehicle for silverfish and bristletails.
Good Riddance You're going to have to prepare to rid this pest from your home. Lower cupboards in kitchens and bathrooms should be emptied, as well as floors of closets and storage areas. You should also make a residual treatment in cracks and crevices, where eggs are laid. A general treatment along the edges in closets and linen storage areas is also recommended. If necessary, attics and basements should be inspected. Use of residual liquid pesticides or dusts is recommended, and continued monitoring and possible additional treatments may be necessary. Contacting the insects with the material is essential to control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color These flies have a brilliant finish. They boast the latest metallic colors – blue, green, dull brass and sometimes black – easily standing out at any party. Larvae are pale yellow to white. Characteristics More like vultures than flies. They're the first decomposers to arrive at the scene of a fresh kill. They have spongy mouthparts and feathery antennae, at least on the bottom two-thirds. Larvae are eyeless, legless creatures. Their 'head' is a pair of dark hooks. Their bodies are tapered from a large, rounded rear. Where Found Blow flies are loyal to their home colors throughout the U.S. The blue bottle fly is most common in the North and Canada, while the bronze bottle fly stays loyal to the South, and green bottle flies are found mostly in the Midwest, North, and southern Canada. All of these individuals are quite common in California, Arizona and Nevada as well.
Habitat Playing in the pigpen. Blow flies hang out in places we would never allow our children. This includes areas of filth and garbage – around dead bodies, animal excrement, and decaying vegetation. Food The deader the better – indoor flies dine on the delicacies of dead rodents, birds and other small animals. Outdoors holds animal excrement and garbage. Yum-o. Biology Step one – purchase meat. Step two – let rot in the sun. Blow flies should appear in no time. Females lay eggs in their food, like rotting meat. Larvae feed on the surface and then burrow into the less-decayed part underneath. They go through 3 instars (stages) and leave the food to pupate into an adult, usually within the top 2 inches of soil. They usually emerge over winter as mature larvae or pupae. Development time varies, but is usually 10-25 days. Damage Disease transmitters – to be expected after playing in garbage.
Invasion Most active on warm, sunny days – perfect for all matter of decay. They rest on cool or cloudy days. They are attracted to light from windows. Some species have Superman-like flying abilities; the black blow flies can fly from 4 up to 28 miles from their starting point (N.P.M.A. Field Guide to Structural Pests). Good Riddance Hit them where it hurts – with a bar of soap. Sanitation is key, and it is important to identify breeding sites. Use tight-fitting closures for garbage receptacles and empty, clean and dry on a regular basis. Pesticides can help reduce the population, but cannot stand alone without sanitation. Residual pesticides can help when placed on fly resting areas. If the above steps are ineffective, look for other sources on neighboring property. Large numbers or regular sightings of blow flies indoors can indicate a dead animal or a gas leak, both of which are unpleasant. (Call the Gas Co. to check for a possible leak.) Mercaptan is added to natural gas to give it an odor and can attract flies. Finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Larvae are nearly all white, except for black mouth hooks and yellow tips of breathing pores. Adults are dull tan to brownish-yellow or brownish-black, and eyes are usually bright red. Characteristics Mature larvae are both eyeless and legless. They are tapered from a large, rounded rear to a pair of dark mouth hooks at the 'head' end. Adults have antennae with feathery bristles. Wings have thickened front margins and intersect in two places. Where Found Mythbuster: you will not necessarily attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. Vinegar flies are common everywhere; in homes, restaurants, supermarkets, or wherever food is allowed to rot and ferment. Habitat They live and breed in and around their food source. Look for an infested product and the source near where you find the greatest concentration of adults.
Biology Mythbuster 2: you can catch flies with vinegar. Larvae develop in the brine or vinegar of fermenting foods, such as fruits and vegetables or in their jarred counterparts that weren't sealed right at the factory. The eggs are laid near the surface of these foods, where the larvae feed on mostly yeast after hatching about 30 hours later. After a 5-6 day feast, they head to a dryer spot to pupate. When you're a fly, there's no time to waste; after emerging as adults they mate in about 2 days. Good thing humans have longer lifespans than flies; just think if we waited only 2 days to mate. At 85 degrees F, their life cycle can be done and over within a whopping 8-10 days. Damage Flies aren't known to get top marks in the hygiene department, and for good reason. They transmit disease and contaminate food with bacteria and other disease-producing organisms. Invasion The common door screen isn't much help against the common fruit fly. But don't despair.
Good Riddance Sanitation and eliminating of breeding sites is critical to controlling this fly. This insect's food source and breeding site are one and the same, and most adults will be nearby. Aerosol pesticides will only provide temporary relief if the breeding site is not eliminated. Careful inspection is necessary. It is important to look for foods that may have dropped under furniture or appliances, as even one small piece of fruit can multiply their population. A drain may also be a breeding source; if you suspect it you can cover it with plastic wrap. Adult flies will be on the underside if it is the source. Some drain lines may require cleaning. Finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Color Larvae are whitish to clear with a black head. They almost look like tiny, wriggling snakes. Adults are brown to black, and their wings are light to clear and have a Y-shaped vein. Characteristics They're somewhat of a magician. If it's a very moist day and there are a lot of gnats out and about, larvae can leave charming little slime trails, just like snails or slugs. They can also pull off a few other magic acts; on mushroom farms they can multiply right before your very eyes. Larvae have elongated, legless bodies. Where Found Common throughout the U.S. Habitat They love any place damp or anything growing, such as potted plants. They often rest on growing plants and even litter. They are attracted to light, so don't be surprised if you find them all over your windows.
Homes and offices are big target areas, as they are full of moisture sources — potted plants, under appliances, in crawl spaces or beneath slabs, and moisture-damaged walls. Of course there's plenty more water outside, too. Large quantities of decaying vegetable matter in damp soil – let's say a vegetable garden – are pretty much begging for an infestation, and gnats are not ones to disappoint. Food A rotten diet — who said fresh is best? The name comes from what the larvae eat – they chow down on fungi and decaying matter. Other larvae mostly stick to the decaying plants, animal excrement, or fungus, but some feed on rotting wood or bark of fallen trees. Biology All-natural birthers. Not only do gnats love moisture for their food, they love it for laying their eggs. Moist organics or potting soils are perfect birthing grounds. It takes only about 2 weeks from egg to adult. Damage Basically just a nuisance in offices, institutions, and homes – though the fungi suffer too.
Invasion They get through plain old screens and into your home, then breed somewhere moist. Good Riddance Controlling these insects depends on finding and eliminating its breeding sites. So go throw out all your potted plants right now. (Just kidding). But do inspect them. This fly requires high humidity levels, so stake out areas with high moisture content. Leaks in wall areas or over-watered potted plants are good bets. This is a nuisance pest, so pesticides alone will not get rid of the problem. A good method is drying out moist areas or over-watered house plants. Using aerosol pesticides to kill flying adults will only provide short-term relief, though it can be useful in knocking down populations of adults while you follow the above recommendations. As previously stated, you have to find and eliminate the source to achieve long-term control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Larvae are cream-colored and greasy-looking. Pupae are brown and egg-shaped. Adults are dull gray. Characteristics Larva is an eyeless, legless maggot, tapered from rear to end, and with a pair of dark hooks. Adult faces have two velvety strips, silver above and gold below. Thorax has four narrow stripes. Sides of abdomen are usually pale, and mouthparts are spongy. Where Found Is there any place on Earth you can escape to without being pestered by flies? Habitat Females will lay eggs on almost any warm, moist material with a food supply. Most house flies stray only 1-2 miles from their larval habitat. During the day they rest on surfaces 5 feet from the ground or below; at night they rest above the 5 foot level, but always near food.
Food Flies are the ultimate garbage disposal. They love human food, but also think excrement is pretty tasty. For the record, I wouldn't trust any fly's recommendation about food. Biology The female lays oval, white eggs in clusters of 20-50, which hatch in 8-20 hours. She can lay 350-900 eggs in her lifetime. Larvae go through 3 instars (stages) in 3-7 days at 70-90 degrees F. Full grown larvae travel up to 150 feet in 3-4 days to pupate in a cool, dry place. Depending on the temperature and humidity, the pupa goes from yellowish to black during a period of a few days to a month. After emerging, the body then hardens and the wings dry within about an hour. Life is fast and short-lived; development from egg to adult can occur within a week, and total lifespan is 15-25 days, depending on temperature. Damage Flies spit out both ends when they land. In addition to excreting and regurgitating, they also have sticky pads on their legs that help transmit disease organisms; especially the ones that spend most of their days hanging around filth.
Good Riddance Sanitation is key to reducing these pests, as well as identifying breeding sites. Use tight-fitting closures for garbage receptacles and make sure to empty, clean, and dry them regularly. Cleaning up after pests will help curb their attraction to your property. Pesticides will help reduce the population, but cannot stand alone without sanitation. Applications of residual pesticides can help when placed on fly resting areas. If reduction is not achieved after following the above steps, look for other sources in neighboring properties. If flies have entered interior areas, they can be knocked down with a non-residual flying insect material. Check window screens and door seals to help keep flies from entering the structure. Finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color The brown-grey thorax has three black longitudinal stripes in the males. These are much more indistinct in the female. The first two segments of the abdomen are translucently yellow with a dark-brown basal color. Characteristics The little house fly is somewhat smaller (3.5-6 mm or 0.14-0.24 inch) than the common housefly, which certainly helps explain the name. It is slender, and the median vein in the wing is straight. Fannia at rest hold their wings over the back more than the house fly does, creating a narrower V-shape to the wing outline. Where Found Little house flies are found world-wide and have a life expectancy from two to five weeks. Habitat More of an outdoor type. Little house flies are more reluctant to enter homes than house flies. They tend to congregate in outdoor areas such as patios, entryways, and garages. As temperatures decline, they seek cover in buildings or protective vegetation.
They seldom land on human foods and are not considered a significant carrier of human disease agents. However, their habit of hovering at face height makes them annoying. Food What'll it be tonight? Poultry, cow or dog feces? They do not have 5-star taste buds. Little house flies are commonly found in garbage depots and other places where food waste is stored. They prefer to dine on liquid and semi-liquid decaying organic matter, especially poultry, cow, and dog feces, kitchen wastes, such as the end of putrid potatoes or carrots, silage, and compost. Biology It's the circle of life. And it moves us all. The life cycle of the little house fly basically starts in very damp, putrid excrement or liquid manure. The females lay their eggs in batches of up to 50 and may lay altogether up to 2,000 eggs. The eggs hatch after only 2 days (24-48 hours at 75-81 degrees Fahrenheit) and the larvae require 6 more days to reach pupation, which lasts 7 days. They develop into adults in 2-4 weeks, depending on temperature.
Damage Flies spit out both ends when they land. In addition to excreting and regurgitating, they also have sticky pads on their legs that help transmit disease organisms; especially the ones that spend most of their days hanging around filth. Good Riddance As with all nuisance flies, eliminating breeding sites is the preferred method of controlling Fannia. Accumulations of manure (especially from poultry) or other decaying organic matter are ideal developmental sites. These developmental sites must be removed or spread thin to fully dry. Fannia are not attracted to the same fly baits or traps that collect house flies. Some relief can be obtained by placing fans in areas where male Fannia tend to swarm, as the increased air movement will make the site less attractive to them. It might help take the stink away, too.
Color Adults are black, brown, or yellowish. Larvae are whitish, yellowish-white, or grayish. Characteristics The little house fly is somewhat smaller (3.5-6 mm or 0.14-0.24 inch) than the common housefly, which certainly helps explain the name. It is slender, and the median vein in the wing is straight. Fannia at rest hold their wings over the back more than the house fly does, creating a narrower V-shape to the wing outline. Where Found The phorid fly is found throughout the United States and worldwide. The greatest variety are found in the tropics. Habitat The sweet smell of home. Larvae breed in a variety of moist decaying organic matter, including dung, fungi, and decaying plant material. Breeding material can include the moist organic film lining drain pipes, the moist residue in the bottom of trash receptacles, in elevator pits, garbage disposals, and faulty septic systems.
Food Breathe easy. Your round kernels are safe! But watch the mac and cheese. The merchant grain beetle cannot attack round kernels. Its flat body form lets it crawl through very small cracks and into imperfectly sealed packages. It is commonly found in oilseed products like nuts and cereal products, rolled oats, rice flour, cake mixes, macaroni, and cookies. Biology Females lay their eggs close to the larval food, with 1-100 being laid at one time and up to 749 in her lifetime. The developmental time (egg to adult) varies from 12 to 28 days, depending on temperature and larval food sources. Phorid flies can often be identified by their escape habit of running rapidly across a surface rather than taking to the wing. This behavior is a source of one of their alternate names: scuttle fly. They are a diverse and successful group of insects. Approximately 4,000 species are known. Fun fact, but not for fire ants: They are close, but they're not friends. Phorid flies represent a new and hopeful means to control fire ant populations in the southern United States, where fire ants were accidentally introduced in the 1930s. The genus Pseudacteon, or ant-decapitating fly, of which 110 species have been documented, is a parasitoid of the ant in South America.
Members of Pseudacteon reproduce by laying eggs in the thorax of the ant. The first instar larvae migrate to the head. The larvae develop by feeding on the hemolymph, muscle tissue, and nervous tissue in the head. Eventually, the larvae completely devour the fire ant's brain, causing it to do nothing but wander aimlessly for approximately two weeks. After about two to four weeks, they cause the ant's head to fall off by releasing an enzyme that dissolves the membrane attaching the ant's head to its body. The fly pupates in the detached head capsule, requiring a further two weeks before emerging. Various species of Phoridae have been introduced throughout the U. S. Southeast, starting with Travis, Brazos, and Dallas counties in Texas, as well as Mobile, Alabama, where the ants first entered North America. Damage "I see dead people." Several species of phorid flies breed in human corpses and are commonly referred to as coffin flies when they become problems in morgues, mortuaries and mausoleums. Adults can be found on flowers or on larval food materials, which consist of moist decaying organic matter. Because they frequent such unsanitary places, they may transport various disease-causing organisms to food materials. Phorid flies are of great concern in health-care facilities because of their unsanitary habits, and because larvae have been found in the open wounds of patients.
Good Riddance The key to control is finding and eliminating all of the breeding sites. Don't stop until all potential sources have been inspected and eliminated.
Color Usually bluish-gray with black bands and reddish feet. Characteristics They have a soft voice with guttural series of rolling coos. Where Found Originally found wild in Europe, North Africa, and western Asia, feral pigeons have become established in cities around the world. The lack of adequate sanitation, deliberate feeding of the birds by humans, and "cliff-type" nesting sites on older buildings are the principal factors that attract pigeons to cities. They will inhabit roofs, ledges, drain spouts, lofts, attics, caves, etc. They also frequent parks and sidewalks, where they become habituated to people feeding them. Pigeons are mainly creatures of habit and tend to feed, nest, and roost in the same place day after day.
Food No bread crumbs? No problem. These bird-brained beauties also eat livestock manure; they're not picky, and actually pretty disgusting. (But please don't feed the birds. They do carry diseases.) Other favorite treats include seeds, grains, some fruits and green feed; but will feed on insects. Biology Pigeons pair for life, which may last for 15 years or longer. In urban environments, they may live for 3-4 years. Pigeons have a hearing range close to humans, but they have a poor sense of taste and smell. Remember—they eat manure. They also exhibit distinct behavioral patterns like nesting, feeding, roosting, and loafing. Nesting and roosting sites (places where they sleep or rest) may occur in the same area or be as far as 5 miles apart. Breeding occurs year-round with 1-2 eggs per batch. The eggs hatch after 17-19 days of incubation, and young pigeons will leave the nest after 4 to 6 weeks. More eggs may be laid before the first young are gone. An adult pigeon eats about one pound of food a week. Pigeons, their nests, and droppings are of major concern because 50 or more diseases and ectoparasites are associated with them.
Damage Pigeons are of great medical concern because more than 50 diseases and ectoparasites are associated with them, which leads to their description by non-romantics as flying rodents. Pigeon nests and droppings will also lead to dermestid beetles, flies, clothes moths, and stored product pest infestation within buildings. Invasion They will construct nests in protected locations like building ledges, rooftops, attics, drain spouts, and lofts. Good Riddance There are many techniques for excluding birds from an infested structure. Exclusion strategies include structural modification, bird netting, plastic and metal spikes, monofilament and steel lines, and trapping. In addition, gels, paste, and liquids can also be used for excluding the birds from the structure. Structural Modification: Birds like to land on flat surfaces. When the building ledges are angled (45 degrees), it prevents birds from landing on building edges. Sheet metals, Styrofoam blocks, wood, stone, and other materials can be used to give the desired angle. Bird Netting: There are several types of bird nettings that can be used for exclusion. In general, netting provides the best long-term control in keeping the birds out of a structure. In warehouses and commercial buildings where bird activity is a major concern, bird nets can be used to prevent the birds from getting into overhead pipes, roof air conditioning units can be netted off form the birds, etc.
Plastic and Metal Spikes: Spikes can be used as a physical barrier in preventing the birds from landing on an area, such as perching on ledges and beams of buildings. Spikes have sharp pointed edges extending out at angles. They can be installed around ledges, roof peaks, eaves, windowsills, or any places that are prone to roosting. The spikes must be properly installed to prevent birds from nesting inside them. Because netting and spikes are more effective long-term control methods, they are the preferred methods. Chemical Repellents: Chemical repellents are available in different formulations such as gel, paste and liquids. They differ considerably in cost, effectiveness, and texture (thick and tacky, jellylike or viscous). Choose the one that works best based on the experience. These repellents are not non-toxic and because of their "sticky" properties cause the birds to move elsewhere.
Color Usually yellowish to dark brown, and sometimes with darker stripes or markers. Characteristics That's a lot of boots. "Centi-" is Latin for 100, and "-pede" refers to legs, but centipedes actually have 15-177 legs. Each segment of its body has a pair of these legs. Centipedes are long, narrow, and nearly always flattened. The first pair of legs form claw-like poison fangs, while the last pair merely face backwards. First instars (stages) have only 4 segments, but acquire more with each molt. Habitat Centipedes prefer dark, damp secluded places, such as under boards, stones, piles of litter, under logs, or under bark and in crevices in damp soil. Indoors, they can be found in moist basements or closets. Food They feed on other small insects, spiders, and sometimes may go for a plant (if they get the urge). They get most of their daily liquids from their prey.
Biology Centipedes love the nightlife. That's when they like to hunt. Another active period: summer. This is when females lay their eggs, in or on the soil. One type can lay 35 eggs over a few days. Adults can live a year, and some up to 5 or 6 years. Invasion All those feet are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do - right into your damp bathroom, closet, basement or potted plant. Good Riddance Luckily this insect is only an 'occasional invader' into our homes and businesses. To help control this insect, apply residual materials around the outside of the building. Clean up accumulated leaves and debris and create an 18-inch vegetation-free zone around the foundation. Check doors that may need weather stripping along the bottom to prevent these insects from entering. Inside areas may need to be treated, but the source will be the exterior, so control should be focused there. You can vacuum to remove insects in lieu of a pesticide application. If you attempt to control these insects and make an application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location.
Control with applications of liquid residual pesticides, baits or dusts. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Characteristics They have wings and they stink to high heaven, but only fly in warm weather. Even more interesting is their method of attack. They stand on their heads to shoot out an oily, smelly discharge. Color] Most are jet black, and some are dark brown. Their shells can be smooth or coarse. Stink bug larvae are thin, shiny and green to dark brown in color. Where Found Eleodes obscurus is a species of darkling beetle in the genus eleodes. It ranges from southern British Columbia to northern Mexico and east to Texas, Kansas and Wyoming. The diet of Eleodes obscurus includes dead plant material, animal remains, roots, and seeds. Habitat They live in a variety of ecosystems, including shrubs, open dunes and mountains. Deserts are home to the largest and most foul-smelling stink bugs.
Food Stink bugs are herbivorous, and eat the detritus or debris of grass and forbs. Some varieties are a pest to fruit crops and some ornamental plants. Biology A little stink goes a long way. The pungent odor stink bugs project is a pretty effective self defense tool. Hence, they have very few predators. One noteworthy exception is the grasshopper mouse, which counteracts by grabbing the bug, sticking its rear end in the sand, and biting its head off. Mmmmmm. During spring, summer and autumn, stink bugs are awake at night. Come winter, they switch to being awake in the day. They?ve been observed wandering aimlessly around the desert. Good Riddance The best defense is a good offense. Prevent them from entering your house to start with by sealing cracks around windows, doors, etc. with a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Damaged screens on doors and windows should also be repaired or replaced. Exterior pesticide applications may offer minor relief.
Applications should consist of a synthetic pyrethroid and be applied by a licensed pest control operator in the fall, just prior to bug congregation.
Color Varies from pale brown with dark marks, to plain reddish-brown, to black with pale legs. Characteristics This is perhaps the strangest looking bug out there. And coming from us, that says a lot. If 'earwig' doesn't sound odd enough, it's also known as the 'Pincher Bug' thanks to a huge pair of pinchers - on its butt. Its body is long and flat, and has two sets of wings. The front ones are leathery, short and meet in a straight line down the back. The hind wings are fan-shaped and folded under the front wings. It also has a pair of threadlike antennae about half its own body length. Where Found These guys have been doing pretty well for themselves, as there are already 22 different species in the U.S. alone. Habitat Earwigs are hard-core winter enthusiasts, and spend the frigid season outdoors. They hang out in pairs in underground cells or burrows in winter. Females lay and tend their eggs and newly-hatched nymphs underground too.
Food If it's dead, it's dinner. Especially if it's a plant or insect. On a lighter note, European Earwigs are more refined than their Yankee counterparts, enjoying honey straight from the comb. Damage Thankfully, both ears and wigs are safe from earwigs, unless you've got any dead bugs or plants in them. Instead they damage vegetables, flowers, fruits, ornamental plants and sometimes cultivated plants. Red-legged earwigs infest Irish and sweet potatoes sitting in storage, roots of greenhouse vegetables, flour mills and breweries. Striped earwigs aren't known to do any damage to plants. Invasion Despite being nocturnal, earwigs are attracted to light. European and Red-legged earwigs may enter homes through cracks or may be brought inside on other items. Good Riddance Luckily this insect is only an 'occasional invader' into our homes and businesses.
Control can be achieved by applying residual materials around the exterior of the structure. To aid control, address areas of high moisture. Check under stones, dark areas, between wooden fence boards, and moist areas of gardens near the structure. Clean up accumulated leaves and debris, and create an 18-inch vegetation-free zone around the foundation. Also check doors that may need weather stripping along the bottom to prevent insects from entering. Inside areas will also need treatment - however, the source will be the exterior, and control should thus be concentrated there. You can use a vacuum to remove insects found inside in lieu of pesticide application. If you attempt to control these insects and make an application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Control with liquid residual pesticides, baits or dusts. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Color Typically black; also vary to brownish-yellow or straw yellow. Characteristics All the better to see you – the field cricket has long, threadlike antennae that are even longer than its body. Plus it has another set on its behind, for even better detection. They have wings that lay flat on their back, which are rubbed together to create chirping. Females have a long tube-like structure for laying eggs, called an ovipositor, at the tip of the abdomen. Where Found Crickets are found throughout North and South America, so they are somehow missing out on their favorite sport. In the U.S. there are about 25 species. Habitat Field crickets are outdoorsy types. They prefer moist places. Food Plants and other insectsƒincluding other crickets on occasion.
Biology Females lay 150-400 eggs one at a time in firm, moist soil. Young crickets usually overwinter as eggs, but may also overwinter as mid to late-stage nymphs. There are 8-9 instars (stages) of nymphs. Total development from egg to adult takes about 80-90 days, and there are 1-3 generations per year. Damage Jiminy Cricket! They can do some serious damage. They are especially destructive to field and vegetation crops, such as wheat, oats, alfalfa, rye, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans. They can form huge swarms that ravage the Midwest and South. They can also chew through fabrics, such as wool, linen, cotton, silk, or man-made fibers, and even fur and leather. Soiled fabrics are especially vulnerable. Invasion Rest at ease; even if they do get into your house, they don't live long indoors. They can enter through small cracks and openings, but usually die by winter. Good Riddance One reason crickets are such pests is how noisy they are.
The reason for all this noise is that males chirp day and night to attract a mate. To combat an infestation, reduce the amount of un-mowed grass and weeds, and move woodpiles away from the building. Look for any entry points around windows, doors, and other openings, and seal. Install screens on windows and doors. Use a vacuum in lieu of a pesticide application.In some cases, cracks and crevices will also need to be treated. Registered baits work well if found in attics. Exterior applications of liquid residual pesticides, dusts or registered baits around the base of homes will contact the insect before they can enter. Repeated applications may be necessary over the summer months.
Color Adults are yellowish-brown to tan, sometimes with stripes or other markings. Newly-born first instar (stage) nymphs are whitish, and remain light in color for 2-3 months. Characteristics Head and thorax are fused together, resembling a narrow shield. The abdomen is strongly segmented; the last 5 segments look like a tail, ending in a stinger that usually curves up. Four pairs of legs and pedipalps (appendages in front of legs) that resemble lobster claws. Where Found Just like the Scorpion King, these guys stick to the desert. Mainly in the southwest dry regions and the South. In the west, scorpions have been found as far north as British Columbia. Habitat Homebodies. Scorpions live over 90% of their lives hidden wherever they take up shelter. They hide in burrows and under rocks, logs or debris, avoiding realtors at all costs. Indoors, scorpions can live in crawl spaces or attics, if temperatures stay below 100 degrees F (38 degrees C).
Food Cannibals welcome. Scorpions are nocturnal feeders, mostly on insects or bugs, but sometimes on each other. After catching large prey in their 'claw-like' pedipalps, the scorpion repeatedly stings. Smaller claw-like parts munch the food into bite-sized particles, to which a liquid from the scorpion's body is added to make a 'juice'. A dry pellet is discarded after feeding. With a water source nearby, a scorpion can go for months without food. Biology Mothers give birth to live young, which crawl up their backs and remain until the first molt, 7-10 days later, then come down to feed, scattering. They mature into adults within several months to 4 years (6 molts). Adults live from 1 to 6 or more years. Occasionally, a lost body part may grow back, which is handy, but it may be malformed. Damage Ouch! This is a pest with a bite akin to the bee, but worse, mostly because of the large barbed 'pinchers'. Dangerous to humans, especially if there is an allergic reaction, which can be life-threatening.
A painful sting is delivered, accompanied by itching, tingling, some swelling or tenderness, and possible discoloration – like a bee sting. Though personally, I'd rather just be stung by the bee. Invasion Scorpions are nocturnal, hiding during the day. Seeking shelter at dawn, scorpions may crawl into shoes, clothing and folded blankets. Indoors, they may seek water in sinks or bathtubs. They may move through wall voids upon entering. Good Riddance Luckily, the scorpion is only an 'occasional invader' into our homes or businesses. Control can be achieved by applications of residual materials around the exterior of the structure. Remove debris and stones, and raise woodpiles off the ground. Tighten door, window and screen openings. As scorpions are most likely to be found outdoors, control should be focused in those areas. They are mostly nocturnal and spend most of their lives hiding in burrows or other shelters. You can use a vacuum to remove scorpions instead of a pesticide application. Afterward, immediately dispose of the vacuum bag outside. If you attempt to control scorpions and make a pesticide application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Control with applications of liquid residual pesticides or dusts. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Backs are dark gray to black, and abdomen is light gray. Head, antennae and legs have a reddish hue. Characteristics Springing into action, springtails use the forked structure attached under their abdomen to fly into the air, like fleas. Unlike fleas, they do not bite. They are wingless and humpbacked. Where Found They may seem to put on airs with their fancy spring tail, but are really one of the most primitive insects. They are primarily native to North America, but found almost everywhere. Habitat Springtails are used to extremely close quarters — up to 50,000 per cubic foot (0.03 cu m) That's a small personal bubble. They love moist outdoor locations, such as algae, fungi and decaying vegetables. Inside, they seek potted plants, floor drains, damp basements or crawl spaces. They are also fans of dried milk powder.
Food Bon appétit. Pupae eat decaying vegetation, fungi, pollen and algae. For the main course, it's bacteria, poop and rotting flesh. Biology Eggs are spherical, and the young look just like the adults except for color and size. Damage One of the worst things for your swimming pool. They can also cause allergies and dermatitis in those who are sensitive to them. They are associated with fungi and mildew, and infest whenever they smell the aroma of mildew. Infestations are at their worst during hot, humid weather, and decline during cold weather, as the air is dried out by heating systems. One species makes its home on the surface of ponds and streams, drinking out of cisterns and wells. Invasion They may enter homes when the environment becomes dry and sources of moisture are rare. They may invade through window screens, vents, with merchandise or ornamental plants – or they may simply walk right through the open front door. They may also be attracted to light.
Good Riddance This insect requires large quantities of moisture. They may invade a building when in close proximity. Homeowners can combat this pest by removing debris, leaves, boards and stones from around the outside of the building. Eliminate any fungus and mildew. Create a lower moisture zone around the building or cut back on watering, and dry out any areas of the lawn that are over-watered. Exterior pesticides will help, but are insufficient for long-term control without the control of moisture conditions. Usually it is unnecessary to use treatment indoors, but if some insects do invade, vacuum them up and dispose of them outdoors in the vacuum bag. If you attempt to control these insects and make an application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Control with applications of liquid residual pesticides, baits or dusts. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Bi-colored, like Shamu. Only smaller. They have a white belly and throat, and are pale gray/buff to deep red/brown above. Young are gray above with white below. Characteristics Whale of a tail – their tails are always sharply bicolored, and more than half their head and body length put together. Hind feet have six pads each. Ears are large and bulging. Where Found Common in rural areas of western U.S., from Mexico to the Yukon and Northwest territories of Canada. In eastern U.S., from Hudson Bay to Pennsylvania, southern Appalachians, Arkansas, and Texas. Habitat Outside, they either move in or make their own home in burrows. Their favorite pieces of real estate are tree hollows, old fence posts, log piles, and abandoned nests and burrows. Inside, they live in wall voids, corners, small places in basements and attics, storage boxes, and stuffed furniture. Their home range is a roomy ½ – 3 acres, with up to 10-15 deer mice per acre in summer.
Food Share similarities with deer; includes seeds, nuts, berries, fruits, underground fungus and insects. Deer mice also have the foresight to store food away for winter. Biology Deer mice begin breeding at only 5-6 weeks old and give birth from early March through November. Gestation period is 21-24 days, and there are up to 4 litters a year, with 2-7 young per litter. Damage Deer mice aren't so bad after all. They're actually a vital member of the forest community. This is because they disperse seeds, which are food for other animals. When it gets cold outside, they seek shelter in garages, sheds, stored vehicles, and homes bordering wooded areas. They may get into stored food or nest in furniture. The worst thing is that they are primary carriers of hantavirus, similar to the flu, which is transmitted mainly by sniffing dust particles contaminated with the urine or feces of infested mice.
Invasion Talk about a tight squeeze. These mice can pass through a hole the diameter of a pencil. They're also excellent climbers. They are nature lovers, so are not usually found in cities or suburban areas, except those bordering parks or other wooded areas. Good Riddance When dealing with this species of rodent, use care when cleaning up old evidence of droppings or urine, as they have been associated with hantavirus. Consult the C.D.C. (Center of Disease Control) website for information on hantavirus. Overall, the key to control rodents includes sanitation, elimination of their shelter, and rodent-proofing the structure. Cleaning up spillage will enhance the chances of rodents visiting control measures. Getting rid of rodent evidence allows monitoring of the population control, while removing clutter and excess storage allows the setting of control measures and monitoring for population decrease. Exclusion is an important aspect of rodent control in structures. Most rodent problems are a result of indigenous species seeking food and shelter in our homes or businesses. Rodents also have an advantage; they can "flatten" their bodies to fit through openings (¼ inch for mice). A thorough inspection is important to identify entry points and to repair them, and is the only way to achieve long-term control in areas where this rodent is indigenous.
Once the entry points have been repaired, use of mechanical trapping devices is recommended. We do not recommend the use of rodenticides inside residential properties. When using any rodenticide, read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label instructions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Varied; usually light brown or dusty gray on top, with a light gray or cream belly. Characteristics This mouse wins the gold – it's the number one pest in the world, and also the most easily identifiable rodent. If, by some chance, you've never seen a mouse, description includes: smooth fur, pointed nose, small eyes, large ears with some hair; short and broad feet; dark, hairless, scaly tail. They are extremely nearsighted and could probably use a tiny pair of mouse spectacles. They can only see clearly 6 inches in front of them. Also, they're color-blind. On the other hand, they are natural athletes. They can climb, run up rough walls and along pipes, ropes, and wires, jump 12 inches high and down from 8 feet, and can sometimes swim. Droppings As much as you love finding their little 'presents', you'd probably rather not study them, so we'll just tell you. Adult droppings are ⅛-¼ inch (3-6 mm) long, and rod-shaped with pointed ends, but without ridges.
Where Found Mi casa es su casa. They are thought to have originated from Central Asia and made their home in Israel 2,000 years ago, but of course, now they are everywhere. Habitat Do not disturb. House mice love dark, secluded places with plenty of privacy and comfort to nest in. They make nests of paper, fabric, insulation, packing materials and cotton. Food They love seeds and sweet liquids. They feed mainly at dawn and dusk. They absorb moisture from food, but will also drink water, especially when bulking up their diet with protein. Biology Community-oriented. "Community nests" are made up of multiple females sharing the same nest with their own broods. Which can get pretty crowded – pregnancy takes 18-21 days, with 5-8 per litter, 8 litters per year, and 30-35 weaned per year. As a female can have a litter every 40-50 days, there may be more than one litter in the nest at a time. House mice are very social; related males and females are compatible.
However, unrelated males are aggressive, and mature house mice are aggressive toward any and all strangers. Territories are small and marked with, what else, urine. A dominant male rules over the rest of the lower-ranking community. Maturation takes 35 days. Lifespan depends on a number of factors. Indoors and with plenty of food, they may live up to 2 years or more. Damage Besides gnawing a hole through your favorite slippers, they will eat and contaminate stored food, and transmit disease through droppings, urine, bites, as well as direct contact, or contact with cats, fleas and mites. Invasion A house mouse can squeeze in through any opening larger than ¼ inch. Good Riddance Overall, the key to control rodents includes sanitation, elimination of their shelter, and rodent-proofing the structure. Getting rid of rodent evidence allows monitoring of the population control, while removing clutter and excess storage allows the setting of control measures and monitoring for population decrease. Exclusion is an important aspect of rodent control in structures.
Most rodent problems are a result of indigenous species seeking food and shelter in our homes or businesses. Rodents also have an advantage; they can "flatten" their bodies to fit through openings (¼ inch for mice). A thorough inspection is important to identify entry points and to repair them, and is the only way to achieve long-term control in areas where this rodent is indigenous. Once the entry points have been repaired, use of mechanical trapping devices is recommended. We do not recommend the use of rodenticides inside residential properties. When using any rodenticide, read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label instructions, restrictions and precautions. Disclaimer: Although Western personnel provided the audience for the world-premiere screening, we do not in any way promote the extreme pest control required to eliminate the tiny mouse featured in the hit movie "Mouse Hunt." Such measures and equipment utilized by both professional exterminators and amateurs are drastic and do not define the typical measures necessary... But then the star was not the typical mouse.
Color Brown with scattered black hairs, gray to yellowish-white on underside. Characteristics The name is a misnomer; the Norway rat is not Norwegian at all. The name is supposed to come from where it was classified. But what's in a name anyway; other aliases include brown rat, sewer rat, barn rat, water rat, grey rat, and wharf rat. They could do with shedding a few pounds, and their fur is coarse and shaggy. They have small ears and eyes, and a scaly two-colored tail. Droppings With a bigger rat comes bigger...well you know. Up to ¾ inch (20 mm) long, and capsule-shaped. Where Found Previously in Central Asia, north of the Caspian Sea, but now found pretty much everywhere.
Habitat Norway rats are well-prepared for emergency. They dig burrows with hidden emergency exits. Any place will do; railroad embankments, piles of garbage, under concrete. Naturally adapted to flat, dry, grassy plains. Food Norway rats are big foodies. Though that doesn't necessarily mean they all have sophisticated palates on par with Ratatouille. Not to say they'll eat anything, but they do like lots of meat, fish and dry dog food. They admit they have an addiction to buffets, and tend to gorge themselves, then come back for more later. These rats will gnaw through anything to get to their food, even plastic or lead pipes. Biology All that eating comes with a lot of social time. Might as well start a neighborhood so they can have potlucks and block parties. Pregnancy takes 3 weeks, with 3-6 litters per year and 7-8 young a litter. Newborns grow hair after 1 week, open eyes in 2 weeks, are weaned at 3-4 weeks, and mature in 2-5 months. Adult life lasts 6-12 months or longer, if in captivity. Other than their vision, their senses are keen (touch with long whiskers). They are color-blind. They are nocturnal, and can run, climb, jump, swim, and love to explore.
Damage What don't they do? They gnaw on objects, eat stored food, and transmit disease by droppings, urine, bites, fleas and mites in their fur. Invasion Openings must be larger than ½ inch to squeeze through. Good Riddance Overall, the key to controlling rodents includes sanitation, elimination of their shelter, and rodent-proofing the structure. With Norway rats, look for evidence of burrows. Gnaw marks, droppings, footprints, and 'tail-drag' marks are signs they've already infiltrated your home, as well as dark greasy markings that come from rubbing against things.
Cleaning up spillage will enhance the chances of rodents visiting control measures. Getting rid of rodent evidence allows monitoring of the population control, while removing clutter and excess storage allows the setting of control measures and monitoring for population decrease. Exclusion is an important aspect of rodent control in structures. Most rodent problems are a result of indigenous species seeking food and shelter in our homes or businesses. Rodents also have an advantage; they can "flatten" their bodies to fit through openings (¼ inch for mice). A thorough inspection is important to identify entry points and to repair them, and is the only way to achieve long-term control in areas where this rodent is indigenous. Once the entry points have been repaired, use of mechanical trapping devices is recommended. We do not recommend the use of rodenticides inside residential properties. When using any rodenticide, read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label instructions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Usually brown with black intermixed, to gray or black above with a lighter underside. Droppings Up to ½ inch (12.5 mm) long and spindle shaped. Where Found These critters roam around the world. In the U.S. they are most common in coastal and southern states, especially near seaports. Habitat No acrophobia here – these little daredevils love heights. Treetops and roofs are good, indoors and out, but sometimes they will descend from their lofty position and make do with burrows, basements, sewers, or under buildings. Food Mom didn't raise no picky eaters, but she did teach them to like their fruits, veggies and cereal. Yet they tend to eat a lot all at once, returning to the spot time after time. They know what they don't like, and will shy away from it.
Biology Pregnancy lasts 3 weeks, and females have 4-6 litters per year, with 6-8 young per litter. Newborns grow hair after 1 week, open their eyes at 2, and are weaned at 3-4. They mature in 2-5 months and are adults for 9-12 months. As with the Norway rat, they have poor vision and are color-blind, but their other senses are sharp. They are nocturnal and can run, climb, jump and swim. They explore a lot, though are bashful of unfamiliar objects. Damage Let's just say they don't bathe every day, and transmit disease through droppings, urine, bites, fleas and mites in their fur. Also, they eat stored food. Invasion A half inch opening will do it. Good Riddance Overall, the key to controlling rodents includes sanitation, elimination of their shelter, and rodent-proofing the structure. Gnaw marks, droppings, footprints, and 'tail-drag' marks are signs they've already infiltrated your home, as well as dark greasy markings that come from rubbing against things.
Cleaning up spillage will enhance the chances of rodents visiting control measures. Getting rid of rodent evidence allows monitoring of the population control, while removing clutter and excess storage allows the setting of control measures and monitoring for population decrease. Exclusion is an important aspect of rodent control in structures. Most rodent problems are a result of indigenous species seeking food and shelter in our homes or businesses. Rodents also have an advantage; they can "flatten" their bodies to fit through openings (¼ inch for mice). A thorough inspection is important to identify entry points and to repair them, and is the only way to achieve long-term control in areas where this rodent is indigenous. Once the entry points have been repaired, use of mechanical trapping devices is recommended. We do not recommend the use of rodenticides inside residential properties. When using any rodenticide, read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label instructions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Not surprisingly, the feet are white. So is the belly. Upper parts are grayish to reddish-brown; tail is the same two colors. The young have gray upper parts and white bellies. Characteristics Tail is longer than half but usually less than length of head+body, and is covered with short hairs or fur. Hind feet have 6 pads each. Where Found Eastern U.S. from mid-Maine south to North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama; west to Montana, Colorado, and Arizona. Habitat Nests in hidden places, such as old bird or squirrel nests, burrows, logs, tree stumps or buildings. Soiled nests are abandoned. Its home range is 1/2 to 1-1/2 acres, with 4-12 mice per acre. These mice sometimes stay in the nest, but in cold weather, they may enter homes, garages, sheds and stored vehicles.
Food Seeds, nuts, fruit, beetles, caterpillars and other insects. Biology Night mice. These nocturnal creatures are active all year. Females begin to breed at 10-11 weeks of age, and have 2-4 litters per year, with 2-6 young per litter. Pregnancy is about 3 weeks long. Life span is 2-3 years in the wild, 5 or more in captivity. Damage White-footed mice are structural pests in rural, outbuilding, shed-type buildings and in suburban homes near woods. They damage furnishings and stored food. They are also carriers of Hantavirus, which is transmitted by inhalation of dust contaminated with urine and droppings of infected mice.
Invasion Openings larger than 1/8 in (3 mm) permit entry, which is more likely in cold weather. You can detect them by:
  • Gnaw marks.
  • Droppings.
  • 4-toed front footprint in front of longer 5-toed hindprint.
  • Dark, greasy markings from fur rubbing against surfaces.
  • Shallow burrows under plants.
  • Greasy runways along walls and bare soil runways outdoors.
  • Nibbled food.
Good Riddance Exclusion is best. Seal entries with 1/8 in (3mm) hardware cloth, giving attention to pencil-sized holes. Preventive measures include storing bird seed and dry pet foods in areas other than garages and sheds. Registered baits are available. Safety precautions should be used in consideration of potential for Hantavirus transmission. Use only a registered pesticide, read entire label and strictly follow all directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Color This is a classy breed of spiders. While black or brown, they have red patterns and markings. Females have two reddish triangular markings on their undersides that resemble an hourglass or sometimes only a single triangle. There are usually red markings above the spinnerets. Males usually have a colored pattern on top, and a row of red spots along with white lines or bars extending to the sides. As for spiderlings, they are usually orange or white, with markings on top, as well as one or two reddish ones beneath. Characteristics Short honeymoon? The common name derives from the belief that the female devours the male after mating. Thankfully for the male, this is rare in nature. The abdomen is almost spherical. Where Found The widow makes every place her home. There are 5 species in the U.S. alone. Habitat Any place protected and dry — woodpiles, under stones and decks, in hollow trees or stumps, rodent burrows, low branches, barns, sheds, meter boxes and barrels.
Food Whatever's hanging around. Females avoid light and like hunting at night. Their victims, other insects, are caught hanging upside down in their webs. Biology Females lay eggs in woven silk sacs ⅜-½ inch in diameter, which turn from white to pale brown. Spiderlings molt, then take a real ride by spinning silk threads and 'ballooning' out on a breeze. Spiderlings are also very fashion-conscious – they don't like repeating an outfit too many times. They go through different colors or patterns as they mature through each of the 4-9 instars (stages) in 54-107 days. Most overwinter and develop into adults in spring, dying in late July. Total development time takes nearly a year. Females may live 2 or more years after maturing, while yet again, males get the short end of the stick with a lifespan of only up to 6 months. Damage As with many insects, the female is the nasty one. Her bite is poisonous, her venom full of neurotoxins; but luckily she is only aggressive if you try to mess with her eggs.
Spiderlings are also poisonous, but only if you eat them within their first 18 days. Unless you were raised Tarzan-style, this shouldn't be much of a problem. Males are quite docile; as adults they do not have venom sacs nor do they attack prey. Invasion Places you hardly ever visit, such as cluttered parts of garages, basements, and crawl spaces, are excellent places for spiders to make their homes. Good Riddance There are 6 steps to controlling spiders. 1) Inspection: determine what conditions need to be corrected to achieve desired level of control. 2) Identification: determine target pest and possibly treatment strategy depending on species habits. 3) Prevention: fix building conditions allowing entry; lighting that may attract their prey. 4) Sanitation: eliminate debris outside such as woodpiles, high weeds, rocks and overgrown shrubs that give shelter. Indoors, eliminate clutter and areas out of regular access. 5) Mechanical Measures: control is enhanced when removing webs mechanically. Spiders are all about going green, and recycling their silk, so a light dusting of non-repellent insecticide dust on the remaining webs will help control. 6) Pesticide Application: along with the above listed recommendations, pest control materials will greatly reduce active populations and regain overall control.
When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions. For large infestations or multiple sightings, we recommend using the services of a professional exterminator.
Color Various shades of—you guessed it—brown. Color varies from tan to dark brown, usually with a darker fiddle-shaped marking on the dorsum or top of the cephalthorax whose neck points towards the abdomen. Immatures very similar to adults except for being smaller and slightly paler.. Characteristics Varies in size, but an adult with legs extended is about the size of a U.S. quarter. The adult females vary from 7 to 12 mm in length, averaging about 9 mm, and the males are a little smaller, averaging about 8 mm. Where Found Throughout the south central and mid-western United States stretching down into Mexico. Despite sensationalist news headlines, there are no indigenous populations of brown recluse spiders in California. , There are four species of native recluse spiders in Western's service areas. The most common is the desert recluse, found mostly in the Sonora and Mojave deserts, the foothills of the lower San Joaquin Valley, and in adjacent areas of Mexico.
Occasionally, one or a few spiders may be transported to a non-native area in boxes or furnishings, but infestations seldom become established. Imposteors and wannabes. Due to six eyes arranged in the same pattern, spitting spiders and woodlouse spiders are sometimes misidentified as brown recluse spiders. Many common tan or gray spiders have dark markings on the head region, which convince people they have caught a bona fide recluse spider. These spiders include cellar spiders, pirate spiders, and sheet web spiders. The Public's Health medical journal and entomologists from the University of California have published articles cautioning medical professionals and urging them not to be so quick to blame spiders in general for skin lesions and swelling. Conditions that can cause necrotic wounds and/or that have been misdiagnosed as brown recluse spider bites include: infections with Staphylococcus or Streptococcus species, Herpes Simplex, diabetic ulcer, Lyme Disease, fungal infection, poison ivy/oak, dermatitis, and others. Habitat Word to the wise: check your shoes. The brown recluse lives outdoors in cracks and crevices, in and under rocks. They do not build webs to capture prey, but do use silk to build retreats in which to hide during the day. They emerge from retreats at night and actively hunt down prey, or may wait for prey to land in the small area several inches from retreat.
As dawn approaches, they may crawl into dark places such as clothing, trousers, or shoes. Mature males roam in search of females. These spiders are readily found under trashcans, plywood, tarps, tires, in boxes, etc. Food The good news is, they eat roaches. They also prey on firebrats, crickets, and other soft-bodied insects. They forage for food nocturnally, and are well-known for surviving long periods (6-12 months) without food before perishing Biology After mating, which occurs from February to October, 40 to 50 eggs are deposited in off-white, round, 6 mm, silken cases. From one to five egg sacs are produced in a lifetime, which normally averages from one to two years, or may be up to four years. Spiderlings emerge from eggs in 25 to 39 days and resemble adults but lighter in color Damage If bitten, people may develop necrosis (dead tissue) at the site of the bite. You may not be aware of being bitten for 2 or 3 hours, or a painful reaction may occur immediately.
A stinging sensation is usually followed by intense pain. Local pain is frequently quite intense, and the area surrounding the bite remains congested and hard to touch for some time. The tissue affected locally by the venom is killed and gradually sloughs away, exposing the underlying muscles. Healing takes place slowly, perhaps 6 to 8 weeks. The end result is a sunken scar resembling a hole punched or scooped from the body. Scars ranging from the size of a penny to less than a quarter have been reported. It is difficult for a physician to accurately diagnose a "brown recluse bite" based simply on wound characteristics. It is absolutely necessary to have the spider for a positive identification. If bitten, remain calm, and immediately seek medical attention. Apply an ice pack directly to the bite area to relieve swelling and pain. Collect the spider (even a mangled specimen has diagnostic value), if possible, for positive identification by a spider expert. A plastic bag, small jar, or pill vial is useful and no preservative is necessary, but rubbing alcohol helps to preserve the spider. Invasion Inside, they will nest anywhere. They prefer warm and hard to reach places like wall voids, behind baseboards, under floors and between linens. Once they find a suitable nesting site inside, they will breed continuously throughout the year. In warmer climates, they will nest outside of the building.
Good Riddance Spider control is a six-step process, which should include: Inspection - Determine conditions that might need correction. Identification - Determine target pest and possible treatment strategy based on species habits. Prevention - Check building conditions allowing entry; lighting that may attract their prey. Sanitation - Check debris outside, such as wood piles, high weeds, rocks and overgrown shrubs that give shelter. Indoors, eliminate clutter and vacuum areas out of normal access regularly. Removal of webs greatly enhances a control program. Since spiders reuse their silk, a light dusting of remaining webs with a non-repellent insecticide dust will aid in control. Pesticide Application - Reduce the active population and give overall control when performed along with the above listed recommendations. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions. For large infestations or multiple sightings of spiders, we recommend using the services of a professional exterminator.
Color Yellowish-brown carapace (bony shield). Abdomen is dirty white with a few dark spots, sometimes even a triangular spot. They're also a fan of the army look, and may be nearly black with several dark V-shaped stripes, like those of an army sergeant. The male has orange legs while the female's are banded yellow. Characteristics Females' abdomens are rounded, while males' are elongated. They have serrated bristles on the last segment of the fourth pair of legs, and 8 eyes with two lateral pairs almost touching. Where Found Throughout the world, and common in the U.S. and Canada. Habitat As hunters, spiders must be tactical, lurking in protected places, unbeknown to their prey. Good spots are under windows or eaves with light, which will draw prey. Inside, they take to garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, in corners and closets, and under furniture.
Food Rest assured; your food is safe. Thus spiders aren't actually that bad, as not only do they stay away from your food, they clean up other pesky insects roaming around your house. They can go weeks or even months without eating if there aren't any bugs around. Biology Like many good mothers, spiders are natural multitaskers. In order to keep an eye on their eggs and catch bugs at the same time, they usually place the sac in the middle of the web. Eggs are laid; a cozy 250 to a brownish, silky sac, and enclosed in a tough, papery cover. It is about ¼-⅜ (6-9mm) in diameter. If need be, it may be moved to a warmer or cooler place. Egg sacs may have to share the web, so things can get pretty cozy. A female can produce up to 17 sacs in her lifetime. The eggs hatch in 7-10 days, yet first instar(stage) spiderlings remain in the sac until after the first molt. The spiders then come out of the sac, ballooning down. They go through 6 or 7 molts to mature, then live as adults for 1 year. Damage Mainly they just eat up those pesky bugs crawling around your kitchen. But their webs collect dust.
Good Riddance There are 6 steps to controlling spiders. 1) Inspection: determine what conditions need to be corrected to achieve desired level of control. 2) Identification: determine target pest and possibly treatment strategy depending on species habits. 3) Prevention: examine building conditions allowing entry; lighting that may attract their prey. 4) Sanitation: consider debris outside such as woodpiles, high weeds, rocks and overgrown shrubs that give shelter. Indoors, eliminate clutter and areas out of regular access. 5) Mechanical Measures: control is enhanced when removing webs mechanically. Spiders are all about going green, and recycling their silk, so a light dusting of non-repellent insecticide dust on the remaining webs will help control. 6) Pesticide Application: along with the above listed recommendations, pest control materials will greatly reduce active populations and regain overall control. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions. For large infestations or multiple sightings, we recommend using the services of a professional exterminator.
Color Usually dark brown to blackish, sometimes tan to yellowish/reddish-brown and/or with reddish golden hairs, etc. Where Found There are about 30 species found in the United States, with most occurring in the South but more commonly in the southwestern states. Habitat Tarantulas are nocturnal and spend most days secluded in their burrows or retreats. These are located in natural cavities in the ground — old rodent burrows, under stones or debris on the ground, in cracks of trees, etc. They line the upper portion of their burrow with silk.They usually hunt close to home, often waiting inside until their prey gets close enough to capture. A number of tarantulas often occupy the same general area, such as a hillside or pasture. Food Are you sitting down? Because this is gross. Larger varieties of tarantula will snack on animals as large as lizards, mice, and birds.
The tarantula's mouth is located under its chelicerae (pointed appendages which are used to grasp food) on the lower front part of its prosoma (head and thorax). The mouth is a short straw-shaped opening that can only suck, meaning that anything taken into it must be in liquid form. Prey with large amounts of solid parts, such as mice, must be crushed and ground up or predigested, which is accomplished by coating the prey with digestive juices that are secreted from openings in the chelicerae. Really gross, huh? Otherwise, they mainly eat insects. Biology Mating occurs in the autumn, and the female produces an egg sac the following summer. Egg sacs average 800-850 eggs each, and are up to 2-3" in diameter. After their first molt, young tarantulas venture out on their own. They molt about once each year and become adults in 5-7 years, though some take longer. Adult males die about 6 months after reaching maturity. Adult females are very long-lived, often living in excess of 20 years. They continue to mate once each year and produce an egg sac the following spring. They also continue to molt once each year, during which any damaged palps and/or legs are replaced. Damage Let's boogie! A myth once existed that the tarantula bite could cause a huge desire for dancing a frenzied dance.
Although the site of one can be alarming due to its size, the tarantula is mainly a nuisance pest. Bites by United States species are no more harmful than a bee sting. Good Riddance Pesticide application is almost never warranted. Sanitation to eliminate nearby burrows and exclusion are particularly important. Exclusion is important because tarantulas often enter structures through doors with wide gaps at the bottom and unscreened windows or doors left open at night. Most calls are for single tarantulas that have entered structures. We suggest any tarantula be captured in a box, removed, and released outside as the preferred method. And just in case you skipped the section above on food, watch out for those digestive juices.
Color You've probably heard of bald-headed, but never bald-faced.This comes from the fact that their bodies are mostly black while their face is mostly white, or 'bald'. Wings are smoky black. Where Found Throughout the United States. Nest Bald-faced hornets have never heard of recycling. They don't believe in reusing their nests the next year. Nests are gray and full of many compartments, with a papery outer covering. They are hung near the ground or else very high, in trees, shrubs, vines, overhangs, sheds, or utility poles. Depending on how outgoing the hornets are, they nest in the open or well-hidden. Nests can be as long as 24 inches, with a diameter of 14 inches. Biology Snow-queen: only the newly-hatched queen survives the winter. She hibernates somewhere protected, while the rest of the colony dies. They are fairly sociable, unless you disturb the nest or aggravate them. Queens lay fertilized eggs, while workers consist of sterile females, and males that hatch from unfertilized eggs in late summer.
In spring, the new queen builds a nest from chewed wood. Talk about building an entire colony from scratch; that's exactly what she has to do. The queen must lay an egg in each compartment or cell, and then raise the first offspring herself. She feeds the larvae protein from flower nectar and other insects. It takes a whole month for the first workers to emerge, but they get right down to work, taking over the feeding and nest building so the queen can concentrate on her egg laying. Once the nest is finished, it will have 3-5 combs or clusters (of several hundred cells each), which are attached one below the other. At its peak, the nest will be buzzing with 100-400 workers. When the colony goes into decline, larger cells are built to raise new queens and males, which will leave the nest to mate. Damage Bald is beautiful — not harmful. Although having a nest nearby may be pesky, they actually eat many pest insects you'd rather not deal with. Good Riddance As these insects sting protecting their nest, special handling is required. In some cases, it is best to perform treatment at night when the insects are in their nest. Aerosol or dust products are the most effective. In some cases, the applicator should wear protective equipment, as poor technique can aggravate the insects and provoke them to sting.
Sometimes the property owner may not be able to eliminate the nest, as it is generally inaccessible and contact with control material is necessary. Professional exterminators, however, are equipped with protective bee-suits, appropriate control measures and application equipment that ensure overall safety. Once the insects have been controlled, entry points in the structure should be sealed if nest was located there. If you attempt to control these insects and make an application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Color Carpenter Bees come in all colors of the rainbow. California carpenter bees (found in the mountains of California/Oregon) are mostly metallic green/blue with grayish wings. Female valley carpenter bees (valleys, lower foothills of California, Arizona) are trendy ladies – shiny black with bright metallic purple/bronze shine and smoky wings; males are a sultry golden brown or buff. Mountain carpenter bees (foothills/mountains of California/Arizona/Nevada/Oregon) are black, and the male's head has yellow, white and black hairs. Where Found Worldwide, with 7 species in the U.S. Habitat Carpenter bees are genuine tree huggers. That's because they live in them. No need to labor building a nest. Simply bore a hole into weathered wood, and you've got the perfect place to raise your young. Valley carpenter bees prefer partly deceased oak, eucalyptus and other hardwoods. California carpenter bees favor more aromatic dwellings, including incense cedars and redwood trees. Mountain carpenter bees have been known to nest in structures. Unlike other bees, they are loners, and do not form colonies.
Food Although they live in trees, they don't eat them. Like other bees, their staples are pollen and nectar. Biology Mating takes place in spring after overwintering in old tunnels. The female then finds a suitable tree and bores a hole straight into the wood, then follows the grain of the wood to make a gallery to lay eggs. She may reuse a gallery from a previous year, or make an addition to an old gallery. At the closed end, she lays an egg onto a mass of pollen and partly digested nectar, then seals it with chewed wood pulp. Development from egg to adult takes 1-3 months. Damage Don't let their size scare you. Females can sting, but fortunately do not sting often. Males are aggressive towards humans and may hover or buzz around one's head, but they do not have stingers. They are not a threat to structures. Invasion They bore into tree wood, but not usually into painted wood.
Good Riddance You must apply control products directly into the burrows to achieve control. Treat each gallery with an appropriate, registered material (usually an aerosol). After treatment, monitor for further activity. There is no preventative treatment for this insect and new infestations will need to be addressed as necessary. If you attempt to control these insects and make an application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Brown-orange, and sometimes black. Bodies covered in tiny pale hairs. Characteristics Honey bees are lucky; they're the only bees with hairy eyes. They've also got big, flat feet, so they don't make much of a dance partner either. Africanized honey bees, though nearly identical, are a tougher strain — hard at work from dawn to dusk producing more honey. They're also aggressive. Where Found While native to Europe and Asia, the honey bee was introduced to the U.S. to make honey. The Africanized honey bee (aka "killer bee") was brought to South America from Africa, eventually made its way to the U.S., and is well noted throughout the Southwest. Habitat Expect crowding: colonies can consist of 20,000-80,000 citizens. Nests are made in trees, wall voids, sheltered areas, and Africanized honey bees even nest underground.
Food Naturally - honey. Along with flower nectar and a food made from pollen called "bee bread". Biology Get used to sharing the hive with your siblings - all 1,500-2,000 of them. Female workers lay eggs that are not fertilized and develop into males, called drones. The queen mates once and can lay 1,500-2,000 eggs in a single day. These eggs are fertilized by drones and hatch 3 days later as larvae (grubs). The workers then make them a scrumptious "royal jelly" in their mouths and feed it to them. There's no time to get your 4-year degree; bees start work right away. Young workers tend the brood, build the comb, ventilate the hive, and guard the entrance. Older workers venture outside the hive to gather pollen, nectar, and "bee glue", a waxy substance from tree buds. Life is short; workers live only about 5-7 weeks except those that develop in autumn, which get some extra time overwintering. If you're a drone you only get a few weeks. When the colony reaches a population problem, or the queen begins failing, the colony swarms to another hive or place of shelter such as a wall or hollow tree.
Damage Honey bees are actually quite friendly and beneficial, though they don't sing or dance. They make honey and wax, and pollinate trees which produce flowers and seeds. They are defensive and not likely to attack unless provoked, and generally only to protect their hive. However, as most people know, stings can be painful, even severe, especially in light of an allergic reaction. Do not rub or scratch the area but remove the barbed stinger with fingernail or knife blade, and clean. Africanized honey bees, on the other hand, are much more aggressive, and likely to attack in the presence of loud noise and vibration (power equipments-tractors and lawn mowers, etc.) as well as large, dark objects moving within 50-150 feet. Take care with these bees; they may even pursue up to 300 feet. Invasion Honey bees get in through cracks and can even build nests in walls. Remove any white clover or flowering weeds, and keep away from food, water, and sugary substances. Good Riddance As Africanized honey bees are extremely identical to honey bees, always exercise caution when approaching or treating the honey bee species.
Should you suspect Africanized honey bees due to aggressive behavior, consult a professional exterminator or beekeeper. Poor application techniques risk aggravating the bees; applicator and others may be stung. Most cases are a result of the bees' swarming during the spring, by which process the bees reproduce. Often the swarm will 'rest' at a tree branch for a few hours and then move on. Monitor bee activity to determine if their residence will become permanent. If nesting in a tree, professional beekeepers can remove them. However, if they nest inside a structure they are harder to remove and may need to be exterminated by a professional, who is much better (and more safely) equipped with bee-suits and other materials. Once control has been achieved, entrances to a structure should be sealed if a nest was made there. If the bees have been in the structure for a long time, honey removal is required or else staining may occur and other insects or rodents may be attracted. If you decide to make an application to control the insects, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Color Mostly plain light brown with no distinctive markings. The female has a pale whitish dorsal band at the base of each abdominal segment. Characteristics There are more than 3,000 varieties of mosquito. All are terribly annoying. Where Found Throughout the U.S. and southern Canada. Habitat Larvae develop in standing water. Around urban and suburban homes, small containers such as bird baths, barrels, wading pools, etc., anything that traps water is a great nursery for larvae. Adults occur in these areas, with females being quite the partiers, taking blood meals from dusk until dawn, and sometimes entering homes in the fall in search of a sheltered place to overwinter.
Food Adults usually take blood from birds but may also feed on mammals. A blood meal is usually required for the development of eggs, but some populations are able to develop eggs without it. Damage The northern house mosquito is the most important vector of West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis in the northern United States and southern Canada. The southern house mosquito is a major domestic pest in many urban areas, particularly as indicated by indoor biting. It carries several diseases, including Murray Valley encephalitis, dog heartworm and fowl pox. Good Riddance Eliminate standing water; even small plant saucers can support a mosquito population. Clean out roof gutters of debris that trap and hold water. A fly swatter works equally well on both the northern and southern house mosquito.
Color Adults are brownish with yellow markings. Characteristics Paper wasps can be easily identified by the appearance of their nest, which is umbrella-shaped and held by a single comb or pedicel. Unlike yellow jackets, paper wasp nests are open and are not completely covered. Where Found Widespread geographically. Habitat Generally, paper wasps construct their nests on twigs and branches of trees and shrubs. They will also readily construct their nest on porch ceilings, under eaves, attic rafters, etc. Food The adults feed on nectar, sap, or similar materials, and the larvae feed on other insects and spiders.
Biology Paper wasps are semi-social insects that live in small colonies without a worker caste. The fertilized queen will overwinter in a protected area and start a new colony in spring. Other inseminated queens will help the founding queen in colony maintenance. Each cell will be filled with egg and larval food. Damage They are nuisance pests and inflict painful stings when disturbed or alarmed. Invasion It can be very inconvenient, and somewhat disturbing, to encounter paper wasps at your front door, but they aren?t likely to attack. Good Riddance Conduct a thorough inspection to locate all nests. As a rule, paper wasps are not very aggressive and can be treated at any time of the day with an appropriately labeled insecticide. After treatment, remove the dead wasps and the nest. During treatment, do not stand directly under the nest, as wasps may fall on you, stinging in revenge.
After removing the nest, treat the area with the same residual insecticide, which will kill the wasps returning to their nesting site. After eliminating the wasps, trim down the shrubs and hedges around the structure. Low impact treatment options include exclusion, sanitation and regular nest removal.
Color The most common yellowjacket you'll see is banded black and, yes, yellow. However, other species boast their own colors – black and white, and sometimes with red markings. Characteristics When not in use, wings are folded lengthwise. Where Found Throughout the world. In the U.S. there are 16 species. At least as many schools use the yellowjacket as their mascot. Habitat Construction Queen: these ladies have no problem getting down and dirty building a nest for their colony. The queen overwinters and begins the nest, laying her eggs. The nest is made of chewed cellulose and will eventually consist of 30-50 compartments, surrounded by a paper 'envelope'. The combs are just like little apartments in an upside-down high-rise; each egg gets its own 'apartment'.
Food Yellowjackets enjoy meat (other insects) with a cool drink of nectar. They also love any sugary or high-carb foods we're picnicking on. Biology Yellow is the new black. These insects, being extremely social, can't get enough of showing off their trendy, yellow jackets. New queens who have mated emerge from their winter hibernation and begin the nest, laying eggs. There are female workers that do not reproduce and males that emerge in late summer, which are both reared in cells previously used for workers. Queens get the roomiest cells, naturally. In fall, newly-emerged males and queens leave the nest and mate, leaving the rest of the colony to die. Damage Watch out! These wasps are well-known to pack a punch. They sting several times, so be warned if approaching the nest entrance – there sure isn't any honey in there. On the other hand, yellowjackets eat other bothersome bugs, too.
Invasion Luckily you don't have to worry about them mooching off your own house. They may be a pest, but they build their own nest. They can be on the ground, in shrubs, trees, buildings, garages, attics and sheds. Good Riddance As these insects sting protecting their nest, special handling is required. In some cases, it is best to perform treatment at night when the insects are in their nest. Aerosol or dust products are the most effective. In some cases, the applicator should wear protective equipment, as poor technique can aggravate the insects and provoke them to sting. Sometimes the property owner may not be able to eliminate the nest, as it is generally inaccessible and contact with control material is necessary. Professional exterminators, however, are equipped with protective bee-suits, appropriate control measures and application equipment that ensure overall safety. Once the insects have been controlled, entry points in the structure should be sealed if nest was located there. If you attempt to control these insects and make an application, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Adults are reddish-brown. Larvae are brownish-white or yellowish-white. The end of the non-movable last body segment is dark. Characteristics The confused flour beetle has wings but is too confused to know what to do with them, let alone fly. Adults are gradually larger toward the tip, ending in a 'club' of four segments. The sides of the thorax are almost straight. Full-grown larvae have hard, cylindrical bodies, and look somewhat wiry. Where Found Can't take the heat. The beetle moved from its balmy home in Africa to cooler climates around the world. They are more common in the northern states in the U.S. Habitat This seems rather typical of most people – life revolves around their food sources.
Food Beware of drug addicts. These beetles like snuff tobacco, drugs, and even poison rodent bait. (Perhaps this explains why they are always so confused.) Also on the list, are plant and museum specimens. More healthful options include damaged grain and grain products, peas and beans, shelled nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and spices (such as cayenne). Biology Females choose a nice spot in bagged foods to lay their 300-500 clear-white, sticky eggs – 2-3 per day. 5-12 days later the eggs hatch, and depending on temperature, the complete life cycle takes 7 weeks to 3 or more months. 4-5 generations can take place each year in heated storage facilities and processing plants. Damage Other than being a nuisance all on their own, they make our food stinky and bad-tasting. Invasion Enter damaged stored products and chow down.
Good Riddance There are 6 steps to control stored product pests. 1) Prevention – inspect any incoming products, and reduce locations that insects may be entering through. 2) Good Sanitation – discard any spilled or damaged products. Vacuum the spilled products, especially in small cracks and crevices where they may accumulate. Completely empty storage areas and check all products carefully for signs of infestation. 3) Proper Storage – store products in sealed containers that will not allow insects to enter. Cardboard or paper containers are easier to penetrate by larvae or adults and should be discarded. 4) Stock Rotation – don't forget about theold products sitting at the back of storage rooms. These are vulnerable to infestations, as they remain undisturbed and possibly damaged. 5) Ventilation – many pests that invade stored products need a high level of humidity to survive, so reducing moisture content in stored products is essential. 6) Control – some stored product pests tend to pupate away from the infested products. Therefore it is important to treat prepared pantry storage areas. Summary – finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. Using aerosol pesticides for flying adult insects will only provide temporary relief. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Mature larvae are white. Adults are reddish to dull brown. Characteristics The drugstore beetle was largely teased as a child for being a humpback, as his head and thorax are bent downward, concealing most of the head from above. The body is made up of a series of small basal segments followed by three much larger elongated segments that make up the outer half of the antennae. Pits on wing covers are in long rows. Mature larvae may be mistaken for very tiny elbow macaroni, as they are C-shaped. They are covered in short hairs and have well-developed legs with four segments. Where Found Everywhere, if you look hard enough (but you may need a magnifying glass). In your home, good places to look are kitchen light fixtures, as they are attracted to light. Habitat Females lay eggs in and near stored goods and foods.
Food We don't know exactly what drug the drugstore beetle is going to get at the store, but he will eat it. He'll also eat the hair right off your head, museum specimens, leather, books and manuscripts. Don't think your own food is safe, 'cause it's not. Biology Females lay oval, whitish eggs in food, but don't mistake them for Parmesan cheese crumbles. In a few days, they hatch and go through 4-6 stages over the next 4-5 days in a silk cocoon with food particles (a snack) woven into it. Complete life cycle takes about 7 months, with 1-4 generations per year, depending on temperature. Damage Larvae are the more fearsome of their species, having strong jaws that easily bore through packaging materials of stored goods. The name may have come from their being a pest of stored herbs in apothecaries, or early 'drugstores'. Invasion The beetles get into stored items and infested foodstuffs. Adults can fly and are attracted to big lights in the sky.
Good Riddance There are 6 steps to control stored product pests. 1) Prevention – inspect any incoming products, and reduce locations that insects may be entering through. 2) Good Sanitation – discard any spilled or damaged products. Vacuum the spilled products, especially in small cracks and crevices where they may accumulate. Completely empty storage areas and check all products carefully for signs of infestation. 3) Proper Storage – store products in sealed containers that will not allow insects to enter. Cardboard or paper containers are easier to penetrate by larvae or adults and should be discarded. 4) Stock Rotation – don't forget about the old products sitting at the back of storage rooms. These are vulnerable to infestations, as they remain undisturbed and possibly damaged. 5) Ventilation – many pests that invade stored products need a high level of humidity to survive, so reducing moisture content in stored products is essential. 6) Control – some stored product pests tend to pupate away from the infested products. Therefore it is important to treat prepared pantry storage areas. Summary – finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. Using aerosol pesticides for flying adult insects will only provide temporary relief. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Even if they aren't as pretty as their cousins the butterflies, the moth still has distinctive colors. Each forewing is coppery red on the outer half, with a creamy white basal half. The head is yellowish to reddish-brown. Mature larvae can be even more colorful (including green, pink, or brown) depending on what they eat. Usually, though, they are dirty white. Characteristics Larvae have 5 pairs of well-developed legs on abdomen, each with hooks. Adults have wings. The hind wings are broader than the front, and fringed with long hair-like scales. Where Found Started out in Europe and Asia before taking flight around the world. Habitat Home is where the stomach is. Look before taking that next bite – the larvae's home is your food!
Food Whatever you're eating! Or whatever foods you bring home. These are eclectic eaters, but prefer dried foods such as fruit, nuts, seeds, crackers, powdered milk, dried red peppers, cereals and other grains. They have a sweet tooth for chocolate and candy. They'll also raid your pets' food, from dry dog food to bird seed. And because of the webbing it uses when developing in your food, it also spoils more than it can eat. Biology As your food supply makes a great place to raise full and happy larvae, that's exactly where the female lays her eggs. They are laid either singly or in small groups during a 1-18 day period. As soon as the larvae hatch, they waste no time getting to the good stuff – settling down in a crevice of your corn flakes. They then make a webbed, tunnel-like case, in or near which they feed – and it's made of none other than silk and insect excrement. If you find any larvae in your cereal box, hopefully you've done so before you've taken the first bite. The length of larval stages (13-288 days) depends on temperature and food availability. Last instar (stage) larvae leave their food to scout out a good place to develop into pupae. The complete life cycle takes 25-135 days, with 4-6 generations per year.
Damage Blame the parents. Adults are pests by laying eggs in your food, where the larvae get down to work. They produce web-material that spoils your food. Then they grow up and start the whole process all over again. Invasion They get into boxes and bags of food from grocery stores. Good Riddance There are 6 steps to control stored product pests. 1) Prevention – inspect any incoming products, and reduce locations that insects may be entering through. 2) Good Sanitation – discard any spilled or damaged products. Vacuum the spilled products, especially in small cracks and crevices where they may accumulate. Completely empty storage areas and check all products carefully for signs of infestation. 3) Proper Storage – store products in sealed containers that will not allow insects to enter. Cardboard or paper containers are easier to penetrate by larvae or adults and should be discarded. 4) Stock Rotation – don't forget about the old products sitting at the back of storage rooms. These are vulnerable to infestations, as they remain undisturbed and possibly damaged.
5) Ventilation – many pests that invade stored products need a high level of humidity to survive, so reducing moisture content in stored products is essential. 6) Control – some stored product pests tend to pupate away from the infested products. Therefore it is important to treat prepared pantry storage areas. Summary — finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. Using aerosol pesticides for flying adult insects will only provide temporary relief. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions and precautions.
Color Adults are typically a dark brown or dark reddish-brown. The larvae are a yellowish-white. Characteristics Adults are about 1/8" (3mm) long, with a flattened body. There are 6 saw-like teeth on each side of the prothorax, very similar to the saw-toothed grain beetle. They have well-developed wings, and are known to fly. Mature larvae are less than 1/8รข?? (3mm). Where Found A truly multicultural bug, the merchant grain beetle can be found worldwide and easily tolerates cooler climates. Habitat Adults can fly and are attracted to light. And with those saw-like teeth, they can chew into unopened paper or cardboard boxes, through cellophane, plastic, and foil wrapped packages. Food Breathe easy. Your round kernels are safe! But watch the mac and cheese.
The merchant grain beetle cannot attack round kernels. Its flat body form lets it crawl through very small cracks and into imperfectly sealed packages. It is commonly found in oilseed products like nuts and cereal products, rolled oats, rice flour, cake mixes, macaroni, and cookies. Biology The female lays 22-190 white, shiny eggs either singly or in small clusters in crevices in food material over several months. The eggs hatch in a few days. The life cycle (egg to egg) typically requires 30-40 days, but may require over a year. Adults usually live several months. Good Riddance These insects contaminate more food than they consume, and usually are discovered leaving the infested food to crawl about. In any structure, good sanitation is the key, along with the immediate transfer and storage of products packaged in paper, cardboard, or plastic bags into tight sealing jars or Tupperware-type containers. Any infested product should be thrown away.
Color Adults are reddish-brown. Larvae are white and tinged with yellow. Characteristics Adults are about 1/8" (3-4mm) long. Their antennae have an abrupt, 3 segmented club. The wings are functional, but they typically fly only short distances. Full grown larvae are about 1/8"- 1/4"(4-5mm) long, hard-bodied, cylindrical, and wiry in appearance. Where Found The red flour beetle is one of the most important stored product pests found in homes and grocery stores. It is of Indo-Australian origin and now occurs worldwide in the warmer climates. In the United States, it is found primarily in the southern states Habitat Damp flour. Mmmmmmmm! Red flour beetles are attracted to flour with a high moisture content. Adults are very active, quickly running for cover when disturbed, and can be found either on the surface or deep within the food material. Because of their small size and shape, they can frequently invade storage containers. Adults can fly and are attracted to light.
Food Consider the red flour beetle—and get your daily serving of bran. Red flour beetles are known as "bran bugs", since they primarily attack milled grain products, such as flour and cereals. Both adults and larvae feed on grain dust and broken kernels, but not the undamaged whole grain kernels. Not just carboholics, they also survive on peas, nuts, dried fruits, spices, milk chocolate, drugs, snuff, cayenne pepper, and herbarium, insect, and other museum specimens. And if you've ever wondered what happens to bits of food that fall in cabinet cracks, crevices and furniture, now you know. Biology The red flour beetle female deposits about 300-500 clear, white, sticky eggs on or among food materials in cracks, in bags, or through the mesh of sacks containing food. The female lays 2-3 eggs per day, and lives for 2-3 years. The eggs hatch in 5-12 days into brownish-white larvae and reach maturity in about 30 days under optimal conditions. In heated storage facilities and processing plants, there are 4 or 5 generations annually.
Invasion These beetles often hitchhike into the home in infested flour and can multiply into large populations. For the full list of all they're likely to attack, see "Food" above. Good Riddance First of all, good sanitation is the key. Store susceptible foods in insect-proof containers of glass, heavy plastic, or metal, ideally with screw-type lids, or store foods in a refrigerator or freezer. Carefully examine foods such as flour, pancake flour, cornmeal, cereals, raisins, dry dog and cat food, spices, candy, dates, dried meats and fruits, rice, and macaroni at the time of purchase. Check the packaging date to establish freshness. Examine broken and damaged packages and boxes to avoid bringing these stored product pests accidentally into the home. Purchase seldom-used foods in small quantities to prevent long storage periods of one month or more, especially during warmer months. Properly ventilate the storage area to discourage these moisture-loving pests. Any infested product should be thrown away
Color Adult is dull reddish-brown; larva is creamy white with a brownish-black head. Characteristics Most characteristic is the long anteater-like 'snout' at the front of its head, with a pair of chewing mandibles on top. The male's snout is shorter, wider, and more distinctly punctuated than the female's. Adult's elytra (forewings) usually have four, faint, red to yellow spots, and wings are used for flight. There are deep pits on the thorax that are round or irregular-shaped. The midline of the pronotum (top body plate) is usually puncture-free. Larvae are legless and fairly smooth. They look more humpbacked than anteater-like, and are thicker in the middle. There are 7-8, tiny, fingerlike sensory projections on the lower mouthpart. Where Found They are believed to have originated from India, where there is plenty of rice. They are now all over the world, especially warm climates. In the U.S., they are common in field and stored grain.
Habitat As with most insects, they like to stick close to their food source (either in or near it). I suppose we're not much different. Food Work well on a raw-food diet. Includes corn, wheat, rice, rye, buckwheat, cereals, beans, nuts, cotton, grapes, apples and pears. You may find 'surprises' in your breakfast cereal that are truly surprises if left neglected too long. Biology Larvae must raise themselves in their own grain of rice. Females lay eggs in single grains by boring a hole inside. She lays 300-400 eggs in her lifetime, but seldom in winter, as egg laying decreases with temperature. The grain is then sealed off with a gelatinous material after eggs are laid. Larvae go through 3-4 instars (stages) in about 18 days, then pupate for 6 days. Adults aren't ready to leave the nest just yet, but at least they aren't mooching off mom and dad; they remain another 3-4 days to ensure they are hardened and mature. Life span varies; in summer it can be as short as 32 days, but adults can live for 3-6 months.
Damage A plague upon crops and stored grain. Invasion A vicious cycle: insects fly from stored grain to crops in the field, which in turn go into storage, continuing the infestation in a potentially endless cycle. Adults are also attracted to light. Good Riddance There are 6 steps to control stored product pests. 1) Prevention - inspect any incoming products, and reduce locations that insects may be entering through. 2) Good Sanitation - discard any spilled or damaged products. Vacuum the spilled products, especially in small cracks and crevices where they may accumulate. Completely empty storage areas and check all products carefully for signs of infestation. 3) Proper Storage - store products in sealed containers that will not allow insects to enter. Cardboard or paper containers are easier to penetrate by larvae or adults and should be discarded. 4) Stock Rotation - don't forget about the old products sitting at the back of storage rooms.
These are vulnerable to infestations, as they remain undisturbed and possibly damaged. 5) Ventilation - many pests that invade stored products need a high level of humidity to survive, so reducing moisture content in stored products is essential. 6) Control - some stored product pests tend to pupate away from the infested products; therefore it is important to treat prepared pantry storage areas. Summary - finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. Using aerosol pesticides for flying adult insects will only provide temporary relief. When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Color Adult is light to dark brown; mature larvae is yellowish-white. Characteristics Judge me by my size, do you? Although these guys are puny, they are armed to the teeth. They have a row of six, saw-like projections along each side of the prothorax (first segment of the thorax). Naturally, this is where the name stems from. Their bodies are long, narrow, and flattened. They have wings but haven't been caught using them yet - for flying, that is. Mature larvae are long and fairly smooth, with 3 segmented antennae (second segment is longest, third is very small). Where Found Following grains throughout the world. Habitat Home is food. Food is home. What else do you need?
Food Overall they stick to a pretty good diet. First and foremost they love grains, cereals, and bread. Also pasta, dried meat, and dried fruits and nuts. Sounds pretty well-rounded. But everyone has their weak spots - for them it's sugar, chocolate and candy, as well as tobacco products and drugs. Biology They thrive in warm temperatures (86-95 degrees F) and high relative humidity (70% plus). Females find a crevice in food to lay their eggs in, either individually or in clusters. Egg laying occurs during a 2-5 month period, and females can lay up to 285 eggs. Eggs hatch 3-17 days later, depending on temperature. Larvae undergo 3 molts, and make a cocoon, where they grow those saw things. They make it out of, what else, food, and glue it together with a sticky substance from their mouth. They then hang in their cocoon by the rear end. Most adults live 6-10 months, but may live over 3 years. Damage Stored grains take the hit, found in grocery stores and homes.
Invasion Considering how tiny they are, even the smallest crack in a food container or poorly sealed package is a wide open door. Good Riddance There are 6 steps to control stored product pests. 1) Prevention - inspect any incoming products, and reduce locations that insects may be entering through. 2) Good Sanitation - discard any spilled or damaged products. Vacuum the spilled products, especially in small cracks and crevices where they may accumulate. Completely empty storage areas and check all products carefully for signs of infestation. 3) Proper Storage - store products in sealed containers that will not allow insects to enter. Cardboard or paper containers are easier to penetrate by larvae or adults and should be discarded. 4) Stock Rotation - don't forget about the old products sitting at the back of storage rooms. These are vulnerable to infestations, as they remain undisturbed and possibly damaged. 5) Ventilation - many pests that invade stored products need a high level of humidity to survive, so reducing moisture content in stored products is essential. 6) Control - some stored product pests tend to pupate away from the infested products; therefore it is important to treat prepared pantry storage areas. Summary - finding and eliminating the source is the best way to achieve long-term control. Using aerosol pesticides for flying adult insects will only provide temporary relief.
When using any pesticide, be sure it is registered for the target pest/location. Read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label directions, restrictions, and precautions.
Color Umm—mostly brown. Characteristics Wood affected by brown rot acquires a brownish stain and shrinks abnormally during drying, resulting in a cracked, cube-like appearance. The cracks run perpendicular to the natural woodgrain. When this cube-shaped wood is dry, it crushes easily into powder. Brown rot produces fruiting bodies which look like crusts, shelves, or mushrooms, with a tough, leathery, corky or woody texture when mature. Where found: Brown rot occurs throughout most of the United States where there is abundant moisture. Comparison with other groups: Some sap-staining fungi do cause brown or black stains, but do not result in abnormal shrinkage of the wood into brittle cubes that crumble when crushed. Surface-staining fungi which also result in brown or black stains give the wood surface a powdery or fuzzy appearance, but these types do not produce shrinkage or cubes either.
Biology Brown rot is spread by spores. It can reduce the strength of the wood, and cause it to absorb more moisture. Some brown rot fungi can withstand high heat and dryness. Some species can remain dormant for long periods, and then revive when moisture is present. Damage Affected wood becomes brownish. While drying, the wood tends to crack perpendicular to the grain, resulting in cube-like structures which are easily crushed into powder when dry. Good Riddance A thorough inspection is needed in order to identify the source of moisture, and to lower or preferably eliminate it. Structural modifications may be needed, depending upon the extent of damage.
Characteristics These are the biggest termites in the U.S.! Log cabins, watch out. Droppings Oval-shaped pellets about 1 mm that often clump together and may be the same color as the wood eaten. Where Found States on the western coast of the U.S. and those adjacent. Also, the desert or semi-arid southwest, and southern Florida. Nest As the name suggests, dampwood termites nest in… damp wood. Logs, stumps, and dead, even decaying, trees will do. They will move into buildings where wood is touching the ground, or where there is a source of moisture, such as a leaky pipe. Food Where there is food, there is home – wood.
Biology Dampwood termites do not usually live or burrow underground. They do not need contact with damp ground, but do need wood in contact with some sort of moisture. Swarming time depends on the family. Swarmers excavate a chamber in the wood, enter, and seal it off. They then mate, and the female (queen) lays eggs. There is no worker caste; immatures do all the work. Swarming takes place in daytime in the spring in the northern regions, and following rain in southern regions. In the fall, swarms can get pretty big in some areas. Damage Dampwood termites are architects. But it's not so fun viewing their galleries inside your house. They eat across the grain of the wood, making tunnels, chambers and galleries. Their 'artwork' also leaves something to be desired, unless you're a termite – droppings stick to the walls in moist conditions, may be used to seal off galleries, and accumulate on the bottom in dry conditions. Invasion During swarming time, they enter decaying wood from outdoors.
Good Riddance In the case of wood-destroying pests, a registered company and state-licensed inspector will need to inspect the structure to find and identify conditions. A written report will be issued, which must list findings and appropriate recommendations as per the rules and regulations established by local regulatory agencies. Most importantly, check for moisture conditions and decaying wood, as this is what attracts termites. Moisture control and correction of poor building conditions are necessary to control this species. Pesticides are not necessary in most situations involving this species. Recommendations for replacement of damaged wood should also include recommendations for correction of the conditions that created the problem.
Color The adult deathwatch beetle is reddish-brown to nearly black, sometimes with areas of pale hairs. Larva is nearly white. Characteristics Hairy-legged larvae. In adults, a hood-like prothorax usually encloses the head. Larva is c-shaped with an enlarged thorax, short 2-segmented antennae, and yes?hairy 4-segmented legs. Where Found Around the world, with about 310 species occurring in the United States. Habitat Sapwood of softwoods and hardwoods with a moisture content of 13-30%. Food Anobiids can digest wood cellulose, due to yeast cells in their digestive tracts.
Biology The deathwatch beetle is nocturnal. Females lay their 20-60 eggs in cracks, in old exit holes, and under surface splinters of wood. Development from egg to adult takes 1 year under very favorable conditions, but it usually requires 2-3years indoors, and sometimes longer. Adults communicate with each other, and probably locate mates, by tapping their heads against wood, usually at night. Deathwatch beetles might have acquired their name during medieval times in Europe when people heard the tapping while sitting up with a sick or dying person during the night. Legend has it they attributed the sound to the tapping of the staff of the scythe of the grim reaper coming to take away the soon-to-be deceased! Damage Damage to structural timbers, lumber and lumber products, especially in the southeastern states and in moist coastal states. In structures, most species attack only older wood that is 9-10+ years old. Invasion The female deathwatch beetle usually lays eggs on the same wood from which she emerged. Look for round exit holes with piles of gritty powder nearby and new holes in the spring.
Good Riddance When using any pesticide, be certain it is registered for the target pest/location, read the entire label first, and follow all directions, restrictions and precautions. If infestation is active, control with localized treatment and replacing wood or fumigation of structure by a licensed fumigator.
Characteristics Soldiers have a forehead that slopes down gradually from the top of the head. In a side view, it looks flattened to slightly rounded. Antennae have a third segment that is enlarged and clublike. The pronotum (top body plate) is as wide or wider than the head when viewed from above. Color A swarmer's head and pronotum is orange brown and the abdomen is dark brown. Wings are smoky and the membrane and pigmented veins are blackish. A soldier's head is orange to reddish-brown, with a whitish eye spot. Droppings Some fancy poop. Hard, oval-shaped pellets with rounded ends, and 6 concave sides. But at less than 1/32 inch (1mm) long, that may be hard to tell. Where Found Southwest U.S. and northwest Mexico. They can also be found in Florida, and outside these areas via infested furniture and picture frames being transported.
Habitat Just as dampwood termites like damp wood, drywood termites like – what else? – dry wood. Moisture content 12% and under. Food Home and food are one in the same – wood. Biology Unlike other termites, they don't have anything to do with dirt. Instead, they are homebodies, setting up house in wood. As there is no worker division, immatures and nymphs get stuck with all the work. Termites swarm and then find cracks or knotholes in wood with potential for a cool pad. They start by gnawing a small tunnel, then close it, excavate a chamber, and mate. Yet they may stay dormant for nearly a year and work on their relationship instead. Or, they can lay up to 5 eggs, 20 nymphs and 1 soldier. By the end of the second year the colony may have grown to 6-40 nymphs and 1 soldier; by the third year there may be 40-165 individuals, and by the fourth year the population explodes to 70-700. By this time, swarmers may have developed. They swarm in dozens or sometimes even hundreds – not a welcome sight. Swarming typically occurs in September – November on a bright day in warm, sunny weather (80 degrees F), peaking after a sudden temperature increase.
In Arizona, they swarm on July nights. Swarmers, like most bugs, are attracted to light. Damage In buildings they damage interior structure. Invasion Ironically, we are to blame for helping them invade our own homes. They are distributed by human activity, as in the shipping of infested furniture, picture frames, and lumber. Swarmers directly fly into wood, and are likely to target exposed places such as doors, window frames, eaves, attics, molding, or where shingles and paper overhang wood. They then look for a protected joint or crevice. Apparently, they are either creatures of habit or forgetful, as they often re-infest the exact same place when swarming. Good Riddance In the case of wood destroying pests, a registered company and state-licensed inspector will need to inspect the structure to find and identify conditions. A written report will be issued, which must list findings and appropriate recommendations as per the rules and regulations established by the regulatory agencies in the various states. Consult with your local office for the requirements that affect your structure.
Evidence of this termite is small 'pellets' or possible red-headed swarming, winged insects which may leave their wings behind on various surfaces. This termite lives in the wood it consumes, and swarms annually. Regular inspections are important to identify infestations. There are various control methods, including fumigation, heat treatment, or local treatment with residual materials. The proper method of control depends on where the evidence of the infestation is located. Recommendations for replacement of damaged wood should also include recommendations for correction of the conditions that created the problem.
Color Adults are reddish-brown to black. Larvae are nearly white. Characteristics Most species are long and cylinder-shaped, with rasp-like teeth, heads going downward $#151; so not easy to see from above. (Under the microscope it looks like the beetle is protecting its head with armor.) Where Found Around the world; about 60 species in the United States. Habitat Sapwood of both hardwood and softwood lumber, and products that are less than 10 years old, with a moisture content of 6-30% or more. Food Bostrichid larvae feed on wood cell contents, which is mainly starch, with some protein and sugar.
Biology Female bostrichids bore into wood, making tunnels across the grain of the wood before laying eggs in wood pores. After molting several times, a mature larva bores closer to the surface, makes a chamber, and pupates. The emerging adult bores to the surface and exits. Development from egg to adult usually takes 1 year. For some species that breed in partially-seasoned wood, it may take up to 5+ years in fast drying wood. Damange: Lots. Structural damage to lumber and manufactured products. Invasion Does this tree make my frass look big? Adults are usually seen outside of wood from spring to autumn. Look for round exit holes with piles of powdery frass without pellets. Good Riddance Have a professional inspection to determine activity. If infestation is active, a licensed technician can control by:
  • Localized pesticide application, surface or injection.
  • Replacement of wood.
  • Fumigation.
Color The adult powderpost beetle is reddish-brown to black. The larva is nearly white. Characteristics Adult has a long, narrow, flat body with sides almost parallel. Larva is C-shaped, with enlarged thorax, short 4-segmented antennae, and legs with long claws. The term "powderpost" comes from the fact that the larvae of these beetles feed on wood and, given enough time, can reduce it to a mass of fine powder, which makes them easy to identify. Where Found Around the world; about 11 species in the United States. Habitat King of the Forest. Kind of. True powderpost beetles make their homes in the sapwood of hardwoods, such as oak, hickory, ash and other natives (as well as tropical species, such as bamboo), that are usually less than 10 years old. Food Wood cell contents: mostly starch, with some sugar and protein.
Biology Adults are active at night, fly well, and are attracted to light. The female lays (15-50) eggs in exposed wood pores, cracks and crevices, but never on wood that is painted, polished or waxed. Development time from egg to adult is 9-12 months, but can be as little as 3-4 months, or as long as a few years. Damage Big fans of hardwood floors. Lyctids attack lumber and manufactured products. They also attack structural timbers, although hardwoods are not often used today for this purpose. Eggs and larvae enter via unfinished infested wood during seasoning or storage, and can literally turn it to powdered dust. Good Riddance You can spot powderpost beetles by the small perfectly round exit holes they leave, the piles of very fine powdery dust (think talcum powder but not nearly as pleasing), and the presence of emerging adults in late winter/early spring. Have a professional inspection to determine activity. If infestation is active, a licensed technician can control by:
  • Localized pesticide application, surface or injection.
  • Replacement of wood.
  • Fumigation.
Color The winged reproductive caste (alates) is dark brown to brown or black, with brownish-gray wings. Except for the queen, all other members of the colony are whitish. Characteristics Soldiers look like peanuts. But we can't recommend them roasted. Swarmers have wings. The front wings have two dark, hardened veins in front, and the front wing is larger than the hind wing. When swarming, they are black and their wings are twice the rest of their body. Where Found They are the most destructive and widespread termites in the U.S. As the name suggests, they are most common in the western states, from British Columbia, south to western Mexico, and east to Idaho and Nevada. Habitat Unlike other termites, subterraneans prefer not to live in their food, having a slightly elevated sense of lifestyle. They are also unique in that they choose to live underground. Rather than embracing moisture like dampwood termites, they live between it – below the frost line but above the water table.
They're claustrophobic, and build mud tubes so they can easily get fresh air and food. Secondary colonies may live above ground if there is moisture, such as a leaky pipe. Food Do they read the comics first? The world will never know. No spring wood is safe from them, but in summer, they stick to the newspapers because they cannot digest the lignin in the wood. Biology It takes two to start a colony. After swarming, a pair of reproductives construct a cavity for a future home site, then mate within one day. The female lays about 10 eggs, which hatch 50 days later, giving the pair plenty of time to get settled in. Development takes over 5 months, with up to 7 instars (stages). Swarmers don't even appear until the third or fourth year. Swarming takes place in daytime in the spring in the northern regions, and following rain in southern regions. In the fall, swarms can get pretty big in some areas. Damage They mostly eat spring wood, leaving the summer wood untouched, so the damaged wood appears to be layered. Soil is found in the galleries of their nest.
Invasion A crack less than 1/16 inch (1-2 mm) wide is all the clearance they need. Good Riddance In the case of wood-destroying pests, a registered company and state-licensed inspector will need to inspect the structure to find and identify conditions. A written report will be issued, which must list findings and appropriate recommendations as per the rules and regulations established by the regulatory agencies in the various states. Consult with your local office for the requirements that affect your structure. This termite lives in the ground rather than the wood, traveling through tunnels they create to reach their food. This insect swarms annually. It is important to have regular inspections to identify infestations. The control method recommended depends on the location of the infestation. Liquid barrier treatment or baiting may be recommended. In light of certain physical conditions, the structure, or at the property owner's request not to use residual pest materials, termite baiting systems may be more practical or desirable. Recommendations for the control of this insect should also include recommendations to repair structural damages caused by it.
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