Ants

CARIBBEAN CRAZY ANT

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark brown to gray/black
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, segmented
Size: 1/16 – 1/8”
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
Crazy ants are often seen running around in an irregular, haphazard manner when they are searching for food.  They feed on other insects, aphid honeydew, fruit and seeds.  Caribbean crazy ants build their nests outside, under rocks, or near foundations but will sometimes build them underneath floors or carpeting.  Rainfall interrupts their food supply and they often journey out of their nest in search of shelter and nourishment.

HABITAT:
Crazy ants will build nests in both dry and moist environments.  Colonies from 2,000 to 10,000 ants are found in mulch beds and leaf piles.

THREATS:
Caribbean crazy are not a health threat, but are a nuisance when in your home.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house since they provide a pathway into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or small openings around the foundation and that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home.

PEST DATA:
Color:  Brown/Black
Legs: 6
Shape Segmented, oval
Size:  1/8″
Region:  Entire US

HABITS:
Pavement ants will eat almost anything, including other insects, bread, seeds, nuts, aphid honeydew, sweet substances, meat and cheese.

HABITAT:
They establish nests in or under stones and cracks in pavement and can infest structures.

THREATS:
Black pavement ants can contaminate food.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house since they provide a pathway into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or small openings around the foundation and that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home.

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark brown to black and shiny
Legs: 6
Wings: Varies
Shape: Segmented, Oval
Size: 1/16″to 1/4″
Antenna: Yes

Region:  Southeastern US

Argentine ants were introduced to the US from South America in the 1890’s and can be found throughout the Southern US and West Coast.

DIET:
Argentine Ants prefer sweet substances but will eat almost anything including meats, eggs, oils and fats. When foraging for food, Argentine ants leave pheromone trails wherever they travel not just from nest to food source. This habit ensures they do not waste time revisiting the same area twice. While the workers of most ant species are primarily responsible for gathering food, Argentine queens also assist with foraging for food.

HABITAT:
Argentine ant colonies are located near wet environments that contain a food source. These colonies can grow to monumental size, sometimes covering an entire garden or your whole back yard.

IMPACT:
Argentine ants do not pose a health threat, but they can contaminate food by leaving their bodily waste behind.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house since they provide a pathway into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or small openings around the foundation and that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home.

Carpenter-Ant

PEST DATA:
Color: Range in color from red to black
Legs: 6 Wings: Varies
Size: 5/8″
Shape: Oval
Antenna: Yes
Region:  Entire US

The tunnels that Carpenter Ants bore through wood when building their nests cause significant damage to homes and buildings requiring expensive repairs. There are several types of carpenter ants throughout the US and range in size from 1/4″ to 3/4″. Each colony is established by a single, fertilized queen. She starts her nest in a cavity in wood, where she raises her first brood of workers. She feeds them saliva and does not leave the nest or feed herself during this time. These workers begin foraging for food to feed the next generation of the colony which grows very rapidly and can eventually produce 2,000 or more workers.

HABIT:
Carpenter ants do not eat the wood they remove during their nest-building activities, but deposit it outside entrances to the colony in small piles. The diet of carpenter ants includes living and dead insects, meat, fats and sugary foods of all kinds, including honeydew and nectar from plants.

HABITAT:
Carpenter ants build nests anywhere they can find water, moldy/damp wood, tree stumps, firewood or in house plants. They also build nests inside buildings, usually entering through wet, damaged wood.

THREAT:
Carpenter ants don’t carry disease, but when building a nest inside a home, Carpenter Ants dig smooth tunnels inside the wood. These tunnels damage the wood and potentially weaken the structure. This kind of damage can be very expensive to repair.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house since they provide a pathway into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or small openings around the foundation and that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home.

Red-Ant

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark reddish brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/8″ -3/8″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Southern and Southeastern US

HABITS:
Red Imported Fire Ants will build large mound nests in the soil and will sting humans who disturb them.

HABITAT:
Nest mounds are usually outdoors in landscaped areas and near a structural foundation. Fire ants will gain entry to a building through holes or cracks.

THREATS:
The sting of a red imported fire ant is painful and often results in a raised welt that becomes a white pustule. Often, a person stung by a red imported fire ant receives multiple painful stings from more than one of the ants. Persons allergic to insect stings will react more severely.

PEST DATA:
Color: Brown or Black
Legs: 6
Wings: Varies
Size: 1/16″to 1/8″
Shape: Segmented, Oval
Antenna: Yes

Region: Entire US

Odorous Ants nest near homes and produce a strong, rotten coconut-like smell when crushed. Native to the US, these ants are very social, living in colonies of up to 100,000 members.

HABITS:
Odorous house ants like to eat dead insects and sugary sweets, especially aphid honeydew.

HABITAT:
Typically living for several years, these ants commonly make their homes in exposed soil, under stones, logs, mulch, debris and other items. They will also nest in wall and floor cracks.

THREAT:
Odorous House ants do not pose a health threat, but they can contaminate food by leaving waste behind.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house since they provide a pathway into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or small openings around the foundation and that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home.

Fabric Pests

PEST DATA:
Color: Black centers, irregular white, brown, yellow patches
Legs: 6
Shape: Round
Size: 1/16″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Their backs are a patchwork of black, white, brown, and yellow.

HABITS:
They feed on keratin, animal protein, wool, fur, felt, silk, feathers, skins, leather natural carpets, dead insects, horns, hair, and bones.

HABITAT:
Carpet beetles are found in closets, attics, carpets or any place that might have a food source.

THREATS:
Carpet beetles can damage upholstery, clothes, carpets, blankets, pillows, comforters, and taxidermy.

PREVENTION:
Dry clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time in sealed plastic containers.  Use moth balls when necessary.

PEST DATA:
Color: Larva has light/dark brown stripes. Adult has scales that are black.
Legs: 6
Shape: Round
Size: 1/16″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Their backs are various shades of black.

HABITS:
They feed on keratin, animal protein, wool, fur, felt, silk, feathers, skins, leather natural carpets, dead insects, horns, hair, and bones.

HABITAT:
Carpet beetles are found in closets, attics, carpets or any place that might have a food source.

THREATS:
Carpet beetles can damage upholstery, clothes, carpets, blankets, pillows, comforters, and taxidermy.

PREVENTION:
Dry clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time in sealed plastic containers.  Use moth balls when necessary.

PEST DATA:
Color: Black centers, with white, brown and yellow patches in an irregular arrangement
Legs: 6
Shape: Round
Size: 1/16″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
They feed on keratin, animal protein, wool, fur, felt, silk, feathers, skins, leather natural carpets, dead insects, horns, hair, and bones.

HABITAT:
Carpet beetles are found in closets, attics, carpets or any place that might have a food source.

THREATS:
Carpet beetles can damage upholstery, clothes, carpets, blankets, pillows, comforters, and taxidermy.

PREVENTION:
Dry clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time in sealed plastic containers.  Use moth balls when necessary.

PEST DATA:
Color: Off White – Tan
Legs: 8
Shape: Bean shaped
Size: 1/75″
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

 

HABITS:
House dust are microscopic bugs that feed on dead skin shed by humans and pets as well as other protein sources that have a dry or low moisture content.  Dust mites excel at absorbing moisture and multiply during humid months.

HABITAT:
A bed contains from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside due to the abundance of dander.  10% of the weight of a used pillow can consist of dead mites and their feces.  Upwards of 100,000 mites can live in a single square yard of carpet.  They are also found on furniture and clothing.

THREATS:
Protein substances in dust mite droppings produce antibodies in humans and pets which may cause an allergic reaction. This may result in nasal congestion, itching, watery eyes, sneezing and swelling and irritation of respiratory passages.   50-80% of people with asthma are affected by dust mites.

PREVENTION:
Enclose mattresses and pillows in a protective cover.  Wash bed linens often using very hot water and change beds at least every two weeks.   Reduce temperature and humidity to control dust mite populations.  Frequently vacuum beds, pillows and carpets using a HEPA filter vacuum.

PEST DATA:
Color: Light yellowish-brown.
Legs: 6
Shape: Long triangular
Size: 1/2″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Webbing clothes moth are also known as the common clothes moth.

HABITS:
The caterpillars are considered a serious pest, as they feed on natural fibers, including wool clothing and stored grains and produce.

HABITAT:
They prefer dim areas and if disturbed by bright lights will move underneath furniture or carpet edges. Area rugs are often a target because larvae can easily crawl underneath to feed and do damage. They will also crawl to the edges of rooms and hide within cracks in search of darkness and food.

THREATS:
They can damage clothing, carpets, natural fabrics, leather, hides, furs, feathers, horns, hair, silk and bone.

PREVENTION:
Regularly vacuum carpets. Dry clean or air clothing outside. Place camphor, mothballs, lavender, or red cedar in closets that are not accessible by children or pets. Remove abandoned bird and insect nests attached to building structures.

Occasional Invaders

PEST DATA:
Color: Brown / black
Legs: 6
Shape: Long
Size: 3/4″ – 7/8″
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
Males rub their hind legs together making a loud chirping sound when trying to attract a mate.

HABITAT:
Crickets feed on other insects whether living or dead. They will also feed on items with a high protein content such as fabrics, wool, silk, and carpeting. They are attracted to lights and will seek shelter in homes during colder weather.

THREATS:
Although crickets are not a health risk to humans, they can damage property by attacking fabrics.

PREVENTION:
Reduce areas of moisture and hiding places around your home.  Eliminate leaf piles, grass clippings and stacks of firewood.  Encapsulate damp basements and crawl spaces to reduce humidity.

PEST DATA:
Color: Shades of yellow/orange to red/brown or shiny black with various markings including spots
Legs: 6
Shape: Oval/round
Size: 1/31″ – 3/8”
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Ladybugs, also known as lady beetles or ladybird beetles, are a highly beneficial group of insects, but some like the Asian lady beetle become a nuisance when they infest structures.

HABITS:
Ladybugs consume aphids and other sap feeders such as mealybugs, mites, and scale insects that harm crops and garden plants.

HABITAT:
Ladybug populations expand during the warm summer months because of the large aphid infestations that feed on young tender foliage.  During autumn and winter, adults hibernate in weather-protected places such as under leaf piles, rocks and landscape timbers. Asian lady beetles often shelter indoors near windows, walls, and attics.

THREATS:
Asian lady beetles aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions in some individuals. They also emit a noxious odor and viscous yellow fluid which can stain objects that they come in contact with.

PREVENTION:
Seal cracks and openings by using a good quality silicone or latex caulk.  Replace or repair damaged screens on doors and windows. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any insects that have already gained access to a building.

PEST DATA:
Color: Blackish or brownish, some red, orange or with mottled patterns.
Legs:
Shape: Long, worm-like
Size: 1/16″ – 4½ ”
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Millipedes usually have 30 or more pairs of legs, while one species has over 333 pairs of legs.

HABITS:
Millipedes usually feed at night on decaying plant matter and sometimes dead insects. During autumn, millipedes seek warmer conditions and migrate in large numbers.  Sometimes they enter buildings, basements and crawlspaces seeking shelter when it is excessively wet or dry outside.

HABITAT:
Millipedes are usually found in areas with high moisture and an abundance of organic matter including mulch, leaf litter, compost, boards, stones, flower pots.  It is difficult for millipedes to survive indoors unless there is high moisture and a food supply.

THREATS:
Some millipede species excrete a foul smelling fluid from pores along the sides of their body which can be toxic to small animals and pets.  It can cause small blisters on sensitive skin.

PREVENTION:
Reduce areas of moisture and hiding places around your home.  Eliminate leaf piles, grass clippings and stacks of firewood.  Encapsulate damp basements and crawl spaces to reduce humidity.

PEST DATA:
Color: Yellow/brown with stripes
Legs: 15 – 177 pairs
Shape: Long, worm-like
Size: 1/8″ – 6”
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Centipedes can have from 15-177 odd numbered pairs of legs.

HABITS:
Centipedes are nocturnal and feed on dead insects, worms, crickets, termites, ants, flies, spiders, cockroaches and decaying plant matter. Sometimes they enter buildings, basements and crawlspaces seeking shelter when it is extremely wet or dry outside.

HABITAT:
They are usually found in areas of high moisture and it’s difficult for them to survive indoors unless there is high moisture and a food supply.

THREATS:
Some species have a painful bite.  While not usually dangerous some people may have an allergic reaction.

PREVENTION:
Reduce areas of moisture and hiding places around your home.  Eliminate leaf piles, grass clippings and stacks of firewood.  Encapsulate damp basements and crawl spaces to reduce humidity.

PEST DATA:
Color: Silver to brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Oval, elongated
Size: 1/2″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Silverfish have a silvery-metallic, scaly, appearance and are wingless but can run quickly. They prefer cool, humid conditions and prefer to be hidden.

HABITS:
Silverfish are nocturnal and feed on stored foods such as flour, rice, wheat, oats, paper, glue, clothing and items containing protein and carbohydrates. Silverfish can survive up to a year without food.

HABITAT:
They require a moist, humid, poorly ventilated area such as bathrooms, basements, crawl space, and attics.

THREATS:
Silverfish have no direct harmful effect against humans or pets.  They are mainly a nuisance pest.  They can contaminate food and damage wallpaper and books.

PREVENTION:
Encapsulate damp basements and crawl spaces to reduce humidity.  Repair leaking pipes and drains. Repair moldy, wet wood.  Remove old books, magazines, newspapers, and cardboard boxes.  Keep dry-goods such as sugar, flour, and grains in tightly sealed plastic containers.

PEST DATA:
Color: Black
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented, oblong
Size: 1/16″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
Springtails resemble fleas but have a unique looking head and a hump-back and are not a flea at all.  Snow fleas feed on decaying wood, plant matter, fungi, mold and algae.

HABITAT:
Snow fleas prefer damp rich soil near ponds, streams, damp basements and crawl spaces. They sometimes live in house plants.

THREATS:
Snow fleas do not survive in dry conditions and are not a threat to humans or pets.

PREVENTION:
Reduce areas of moisture and hiding places around your home.  Eliminate leaf piles, grass clippings and stacks of firewood.  Encapsulate damp basements and crawl spaces to reduce humidity.

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark gray/brown to black
Legs: Seven pairs
Shape: Oval or round when curled up
Size: 3/4″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Pillbugs, sometimes known as rollie-pollies, are the only crustacean that lives entirely on land.  Pillbugs have an oval shaped back with seven hard segmented plates and equal pairs of legs.

HABITS:
Pillbugs are primarily nocturnal and eat decaying vegetable material. They are known for their ability to roll into a ball for protection from predators.

HABITAT:
Pillbugs live in moist locations. They are found under damp objects or under organic debris.

THREATS:
Pillbugs do not spread diseases or invade food products. However, the pillbug is often considered a pest when it gains entry into a home.

PREVENTION:
Pillbugs live on moist, rotting organic matter and are unable to survive in dry areas.

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, narrow
Size: 1″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

It’s purely a myth that earwigs crawl into people’s ears at night and tunnel into their brains. They are easily identified by their long pinchers at the back of their body.

HABITAT:
They are usually found in areas of high moisture.  It is difficult for them to survive indoors unless there is high moisture and a food supply.  They are nocturnal and feed on organic matter, leaves, flowers, fruits, mold and insects at night. They enter structures through through cracks and crevices.

THREATS:
Earwigs have a frightening appearance but are not a threat and do not spread diseases.

PREVENTION:
Reduce areas of moisture and hiding places around your home.  Eliminate leaf piles, grass clippings and stacks of firewood.  Encapsulate damp basements and crawl spaces to reduce humidity.

PEST STATS:
Color: Brown/gray or dark green
Legs: 6
Shape: Triangular or shield
Size: 3/4″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Eastern US

HABITS:
When disturbed or crushed, stink bugs release a protective noxious odor from pores in their bodies.  Most species feed on plant juices but some drink the bodily fluids of caterpillars and other insects. They are active from spring until autumn.

HABITAT:
Stink bugs feed on plants and will lay their eggs in large masses underneath leaves. They are attracted to the lights of buildings.

THREATS:
Stink bugs do not bite. Use care when handling them to avoid contact with the odorous secretion. Some species will damage cotton plants and other crops.

Rodents

PEST STATS:
Color: brownish gray/black with a white or gray underside
Legs: 4
Shape: Large eyes & ears with a long, thin body.
Size: 6″-8″ body with a 8″ tail
Region: Southern US and Coastal States

HABITS:
Roof rats will feed on slugs, snails, cockroaches, insects, seeds, nuts, fish and shellfish.  Tell-tale signs of an infestation are gnaw marks, damage to walls, and chewed electrical wires.

HABITAT:
Roof rats seek sheltered, hidden areas particularly in the upper parts of buildings such as attics where they will form a colony.  They will also nest in woodpiles, storage boxes and in areas with lush vegetation.

THREATS:
Roof rats can damage property and cause electrical fires.  They also carry numerous diseased such as rat-bite fever, typhus, infectious jaundice, food poisoning, and trichinosis.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate outside food and water sources such as leaking pipes, sprinklers, pet dishes, bird baths, open garbage containers, and fruit on the ground.  Prune shrubs and tree limbs so that they do not provide an easy pathway for rats to enter your home.  Seal all windows and vents with screening.  Caulk all openings larger than a quarter.

PEST DATA:
Color: Gray, brown or black
Legs: 4
Shape: Long
Size: 8″ body plus 4″ tail
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

Norway rats, sometimes called street or sewer rats, have smaller eyes and ears and shorter tails than other rats.

HABITS:
They are excellent climbers and often enter a home in the fall when outside food sources become scarce.

HABITAT:
Norway rats live in fields, farmland and in structures. Rats are often found in woodpiles. Rodents can gain entry to a home through a hole the size of a quarter.

THREATS:
Rats can chew through wiring, causing fires. They also spread numerous diseases such as rat-bite fever, typhus, infectious jaundice, food poisoning, and trichinosis.

PREVENTION:
Keep firewood stored well away from the structure. Remove debris piles. For proper Norway rat control, seal any holes larger than 1/4 inch. Remove moisture and harborage sources to get rid of Norway rats.

PEST DATA:
Color: Light brown to black
Legs: 4
Shape: Round
Size: 2″
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

House mice are extremely adaptable to many environmental conditions and reproduce rapidly in favorable conditions.  Just one female can produce an additional 35 mice per year

HABITS:
House mice can breed throughout the year and will often share nests.

HABITAT:
House mice live in sheltered structures, but they can also survive outdoors.

THREATS:
Mice bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home and their urine can cause allergies in children

PREVENTION:
To eliminate house mice, seal any cracks and voids larger than a pencil. Don’t overlook proper drainage at the foundation and always install gutters to divert  water away from the building.

PEST DATA:
Color: Brown, with white feet and belly
Legs: 4
Shape: Round
Size: 5″ – 8″
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

Deer mice rarely invade homes, and are found in rural areas.

HABITS:
The deer mouse prefers the outdoors.

HABITAT:
Deer mice prefer covered areas, hollow tree logs, and piles of debris.  On rare occasions, deer mice will venture indoors, where it may nest in undisturbed areas such as attics.

THREATS:
deer mice transmit the potentially fatal Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. This disease can be transmitted through contact with mouse carcasses, or by breathing in aerosolized urine droplets of infected mice.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate outside food and water sources such as leaking pipes, sprinklers, pet dishes, bird baths, open garbage containers, and fruit on the ground.  Seal all windows and vents with screening.  Caulk all openings larger than a pencil.

PEST STATS:
Color: Brown – black with a lighter underbelly
Legs: 4
Shape: Round
Size: 16″ to 28″ inches long
Region: Entire US

Muskrats are a semi-aquatic rodent native to North America are are related to voles and lemmings. They are not a true rat. They feed on cattails and other aquatic vegetation.

HABITS:
Muskrats burrow into the banks of streams, ponds or lakes and create an underwater entrance about 6-8 inches wide. In marshes they construct a lodge from mud and vegetation that are up to three feet in height. They help maintain open areas in marshes, which helps to provide habitat for aquatic birds.

HABITAT:
The muskrat inhabit wetlands, areas in or near saline and freshwater wetlands, rivers, lakes, or ponds, canals or irrigation channels. They are able to live near streams containing sulfurous water adjacent to coal mines which will not support fish and frogs.

Stinging Pests

PEST STATS:
Color:  Brown/gray, red abdomen
Shape:  Oval with gear shaped back
Size:  1.5″
Antennae:  Yes
Region:  Entire US

HABITS:
The wheel bug is one of the largest true bugs in eastern US but is camouflaged and seldom seen. It has a characteristic wheel or gear-shaped dorsal armor structure.  It moves and flies slowly, and in flight produces a noisy buzzing sound which can easily be mistaken for the flight of a large grasshopper.They eat other insects such as caterpillars and Japanese beetles. Because most of their prey are pests, wheel bugs are considered beneficial insects,

THREATS:
They can cause a painful bite if handled that can take months to heal and leave a small scar.  Caution is highly advised when handling them.  Wheel bugs possess two red-orange colored scent sacs that can be fired  if disturbed. The scent produced by it is not as powerful as that produced by the stink bug, but is still strong enough to be detected by human noses.

PEST DATA:
Size: 3/8″ – 5/8″
Shape: Wasp
Color: Black with yellow stripes
Legs: 6
Wings: Yes
Antenna: Yes

HABITS:
Yellow jackets eat spiders and other insects. They will also feed on human food, especially meats and sweets. Unlike bees, wasps do not make honey or store food.

HABITAT:
Yellow jackets and humans are often found in the same environments. They usually build underground nests near trash in cool, dark spaces. They also build nests in trees, shrubs and in holes in walls. Most yellow jacket colonies only remain active for one year until the queen flies off to start a new colony. The remaining wasps die in the fall and the nest is abandoned. Yellow jacket nests are active during the day and dormant during the evening.

THREATS:
Wasps help farmers by eating pests that can destroy crops. Yet, they are also dangerous because they can sting and inject venom multiple times. For most people, a yellow jacket sting causes a welt with temporary pain, but it can cause life-threatening allergic reactions to others.

PREVENTION:
Do not leave sweet drinks or meats out in the open.
Call a pest management professional if you find yellow jackets around your house.

PEST DATA:
Color: Brownish/black with red markings
Legs: 6
Shape: Wasp-like, with long legs
Size: 5/8 – 3/4”
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Mahogany Wasps are a variety of paper wasp that get their name from the paper-like material that they construct their nests with. Paper wasps are sometimes called umbrella wasps, after the shape of their distinctive nests. Various species are found throughout the United States.

HABITS:
Paper wasps are semi-social and live in small colonies. They eat nectar and other insects including caterpillars and flies.

HABITAT:
Paper wasps hang their comb nests from twigs and branches in trees, shrubs, porch ceilings, tops of window and doorframes, soffits, eaves, attic rafters, deck floor joists and railings. In the autumn, pregnant females will seek shelter, and may venture indoors.

THREATS:
Paper wasps are not aggressive by nature, but will sting if disturbed or feel that their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and cause the same risk of allergic reaction as with other insect stings.

PREVENTION:
Before trimming shrubs, hedges, or picking fruit, check for paper wasp nests. Treat wood fences and deck railings with an oil-based sealer to deter paper wasps from gathering cellulose from the wood. If you have a paper wasp infestation, contact a licensed pest management professional. Do not attempt to remove a nest on your own.

PEST DATA:
Color: Brownish with yellow markings; a few species with reddish markings
Legs: 6
Shape: Wasp-like, with long legs
Size: 5/8 – 3/4”
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Paper wasps are sometimes called umbrella wasps, after the shape of their distinctive nests. Various species are found throughout the United States.

HABITS:
Paper wasps are semi-social and live in small colonies. They eat nectar and other insects including caterpillars and flies.

HABITAT:
Paper wasps hang their comb nests from twigs and branches in trees, shrubs, porch ceilings, tops of window and doorframes, soffits, eaves, attic rafters, deck floor joists and railings. In the autumn, pregnant females will seek shelter, and may venture indoors.

THREATS:
Paper wasps are not aggressive by nature, but will sting if disturbed or feel that their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and cause the same risk of allergic reaction as with other insect stings.

PREVENTION:
Before trimming shrubs, hedges, or picking fruit, check for paper wasp nests. Treat wood fences and deck railings with an oil-based sealer to deter paper wasps from gathering cellulose from the wood. If you have a paper wasp infestation, contact a licensed pest management professional. Do not attempt to remove a nest on your own.

PEST STATS:
Color: Black, patches of bright red
Legs: 6
Shape: Females  are wingless and look like an ant; Males have wings and look like a wasp.
Size: 1/8 – 7/8”
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Velvet ants or “cow killers” are actually wasps and get their name from the very brightly colored fuzzy females.

HABITS:
Female velvet ants attack the nests of ground-nesting bees and wasps.  They lay their eggs on the larvae then the young eat the host .

HABITAT:
During the warm summer months, female velvet ants are often seen running haphazardly on the ground. Sometimes they will enter a building when searching for food.  Males are often seen on flowers.

THREATS:
Female velvet ants have a very potent sting that has earned them the nickname “cow-killer.” Male velvet ants lack a stinger but have wings.

PREVENTION:
Velvet ants are solitary and usually found only one at a time. To  eliminate these stinging ants, contact a pest management professional.

PEST STATS:
Color: Black metallic with  pale markings
Legs: 6
Shape: Long , slender, thread-like waist
Size: 1/2 – 1+”
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
Mud dauber wasps build their nests using mud and do not live in colonies. They target spiders by paralyzing them with venom, bringing them inside their nests and feeding them to young wasps.

HABITAT:
Female mud daubers use mud to build nests with several 1″ long tubes. Nests are build in ares protected from the weather such as attics, garages, barns, sheds, porches,  eaves and seldom used doorways.  Nest are usually inactive and empty after springtime when their young have finished hatching but may be adopted and re-inhabited by other species of wasps.

THREATS:
Mud daubers are not very aggressive and stings are rare. They are considered nuisance pests, but often help to control the numbers of spiders.

PREVENTION:
Consult a pest management professional to remove wasp nests.

PEST STATS:
Color: Pale face, Brown & yellow abdominal stripes
Legs: 6
Shape: Long body
Size: 3/4 – 11/2”
Antennae: Yes
Region: Eastern half of US

European hornets, also called the Giant Hornet,  were introduced to the US via New York in the 19th century.   They are significantly larger than yellow jackets and can be active after dusk during the summer.

HABITS:
They live in colonies of between 200-400 hornets and hunt other large insects such as yellow jackets, grasshoppers, crickets, flies, and honeybees. They are also attracted to sweet substances and to window and porch lights.

HABITAT:
European hornets live in weather protected areas such as attics, barns, sheds, abandoned buildings, holes in trees and abandoned beehives. Outside nests have  a protective shell made of wood cellulose.

THREATS:
European hornets will strip the bark from trees and shrubs to obtain sap as well as use it to construct their nests. They possess the ability to sting multiple times with venom that causes swelling and itching along with the risk of an allergic reaction.

PREVENTION:
Yellow colored bug-bulbs make it more difficult for hornets to navigate at night.  Remove any fallen, rotting fruit from trees.  Consult a licensed pest management professional to remove nests.

PEST STATS:
Color: Yellow with brown stripes
Legs: 6
Shape: Oval
Size: 1/2″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Honey bees are very beneficial social insects that pollinate more than 100 crops across the US.

HABITS:
Honeybees eat nectar from plants and pollinate many flowers, plants, fruits and crops in the process.  They produce honey which they store in honeycombs to feed their young during winter which is also gathered for commercial uses.

HABITAT:
Honey bees will build their nests in holes, hollows of trees, and also protected areas such as walls, chimneys, and attics.

THREATS:
The sting of a Honeybees can be painful and cause an allergic reaction.

PREVENTION:
Contact a honey bee pest control professional or experienced beekeeper to safely remove a honeybee nest.

PEST STATS:
Color: Black / yellow stripes
Legs: 6
Shape: Oval
Size: 1″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Bumble bees are beneficial social insects that pollinate plants and crops across the US.

HABITS:
If disturbed, bumble bees will aggressively defend their nests while buzzing loudly.

HABITAT:
Bumble bees nests are usually located underground in old rodent burrows, under sheds and in compost heaps, but will sometimes build their nests in weather protected areas such as attics, and bird boxes.

THREATS:
If disturbed, bumble bees will pursue for long distances. Bumble bees can repeatedly sting and inflict one of the most painful stings.

PREVENTION:
Remove all places that might encourage bumble bees to build a nest.  Seek a bee pest control service for assistance with removal.

PEST STATS:
Color: Golden/yellow, dark brown stripes.
Legs: 6
Shape: Oval; bee shape
Size: 1/2″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Southern US

Africanized “killer” bees are a dangerous stinging insect that can only be distinguished from a honey bee by measuring its body and wing spans.

HABITS:
They often aggressively attack when the colony is threatened and will pursue perceived aggressors for more than a quarter mile.

HABITAT:
Africanized bees nests are sometime built in water meter boxes, junk piles, mailboxes, tires, crates, flower pots and empty cars.

THREATS:
Because Africanized killer bees have a higher number of guard bees and attack in greater numbers than honey bees, they are a greater threat to humans and pets.

PREVENTION:
A pest control professional or beekeeper must be consulted for an Africanized killer bee infestation. If chased by Africanized bees, run in a zig zag pattern and seek shelter.

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Wood Destroying

PEST STATS:
Color: Yellowish brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, narrow, oval
Size: 1/2″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Hawaii, California, East Coast

Formosan termites are a voracious and aggressive subterranean species of termite originally from China.

HABITS:
Formosan termite colonies build extremely large and intricate nests whose walls are lined with mud.

THREATS:
It is extremely important to prevent a termite infestation since it is so difficult to control once a structure is infested.  Consult a pest professional about formosan termite treatment.

PREVENTION:
Avoid pooling water near foundations by diverting water away with downspouts and gutters. Encapsulate crawl spaces to reduce humidity.  Eliminate stored wood which comes in contact with soil especially around the wood portions of buildings.

PEST DATA:
Color: Brownish
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, narrow, oval
Size: 1/2″ – 5/8″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Southwest US, southern Florida.

Dampwood termites infest wood with a high moisture content. They are normally larger in size than other termite species with the bodies of king and queen termites ranging in size from 1/2″ – 5/8″ long.  They have two pairs of equally sized and shaped wings that extend beyond their abdomen.  Nymphs and workers are between 5/8″ to 3/4″.

HABITS:
Dampwood and drywood termites, have no worker caste. Nymphs care for kings, queens and the soldier caste.

HABITAT:
Dampwood termites are less likely to be found in buildings because there is not enough moisture content in the wood.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate contact between the building and large sources of pooling water and  snow drifts.  Ensure that water and runoff from downspouts/gutters is sufficiently diverted aways from buildings.

PEST DATA:
Color: Light brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, narrow, oval
Size: 3/8″ to 1″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Southeast, southern and Southwest US

HABITS:
Drywood termites do not live in the soil but excavate a nest directly in wood.  Colonies can consist of up to 2,500 members and lack a worker caste with work being performed by the immature termites.

HABITAT:
They infest dry wood such as siding, eaves, wall framing and the beams in attics.  They can also infest furniture and interior woodwork.

THREATS:
Serious damage to the structural timbers of buildings, woodwork and furniture is caused by drywood termites.

PREVENTION:
Seal all cracks and crevices in a structure so that termites can not enter and form a new colony.   Ensure that firewood and scrap wood is stored at least 20 feet from the home.

PEST DATA:
Color: Creamy brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, narrow, oval
Size: 1/8
Antennae: Yes
Region: Found throughout U.S.

Subterranean termites build underground colonies consisting of up to 2 million members or sometimes in isolated areas above ground.  Mud tubes are small tunnels that termites build to protect themselves from dry air, predators and also to obtain food . They organize themselves into worker, soldier and reproductive castes in order to divide work duties.  Worker are blind, wingless, sterile, creamy white/gray colored with a darker rounded head.  They eat wood, forage for food and build mud tubes, and care for young termites.  Soldier are similar looking but have powerful black colored mandibles. Young reproductive termites or nymphs have wing buds while mature ones are winged.

HABITS:
Termites feed on wood and products containing cellulose. During the spring their sudden appearance in large numbers during the daytime is known as “swarming”.  They then shed their wings and migrate to form new colonies.

HABITAT:
Subterranean termites need constant access to moist underground soil in order to survive.

THREATS:
Subterranean termites the most destructive species of insect.  The damage that they inflict on wood buildings often goes unnoticed until timbers become structurally unsound.  Nearly 1 in 5 homes have or will have termite activity.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate contact between the building and large sources of pooling water or snow drifts.  Ensure water and runoff from downspouts and gutters is sufficiently diverted aways from buildings. Repair leaking pipes and drains. Repair moldy, wet wood.   Never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard.  Maintain a 1″ barrier between structural wood and the surrounding soil. Encapsulate damp basements and crawl spaces to reduce humidity.

Carpenter-Ant
  • PEST DATA:
  • Size: 5/8″
  • Shape: Oval
  • Color: Range in color from red to black
  • Legs: 6 Wings: Varies
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Region:  Entire US

The tunnels that Carpenter Ants bore through wood when building their nests cause significant damage to homes and buildings requiring expensive repairs. There are several types of carpenter ants throughout the US and range in size from 1/4″ (about the width of a pencil) for a worker carpenter ant to 3/4″ (about the size of a quarter) for a queen carpenter ant. Each colony is established by a single, fertilized queen. She starts her nest in a cavity in wood, where she raises her first brood of workers. She feeds them saliva and does not leave the nest or feed herself during this time. These workers begin foraging for food to feed the next generation of the colony. The colony population grows very rapidly and can eventually produce 2,000 or more workers.

HABITS:
Carpenter ants do not eat the wood they remove during their nest-building activities, but deposit it outside entrances to the colony in small piles. The diet of carpenter ants includes living and dead insects, meat, fats and sugary foods of all kinds, including honeydew and nectar from plants.

HABITAT:
Carpenter ants build nests anywhere they can find water, moldy/damp wood, tree stumps, firewood or in house plants. They also build nests inside buildings, usually entering through wet, damaged wood.

THREATS:
Carpenter ants don’t carry disease, but when building a nest inside a home, Carpenter Ants dig smooth tunnels inside the wood. These tunnels damage the wood and potentially weaken the structure. This kind of damage can be very expensive to repair.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house since they provide a pathway into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or small openings around the foundation and that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home.

Biting Insects

Dog Tick

PEST DATA:
Color: Brown/black body
Legs: 8
Shape: Flat; broad oval
Size: 1/8 “
Antennae: No
Region: Central and Eastern US

HABITS:
Dog ticks are sometimes called wood ticks.  They feed on the blood of animals such as deer and domestic animals such as cats and dogs.

HABITAT:
Dog ticks prefer to hide in grass and shrubs.

THREATS:
They carry bacteria responsible for several diseases in humans, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.

PREVENTION:
When in an area where ticks are common, wear long sleeved shirts and pants, preferably light colored so ticks will be easy to detect. Tuck pants into socks. Use a tick repellent. To get rid of ticks and their risks indoors, inspect clothing and skin when heading inside. Wash clothes immediately.

BLACK LEGGED DEER TICK

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark brown to black body
Legs: 8
Shape: Flat; broad oval
Size: 1/8“
Antennae: No
Region: Eastern US
Summer Insect Health Risks

The black-legged tick, sometimes called deer ticks, are named for its dark legs, which contrast with it’s pale body.

HABITS:
These ticks like to feed on the blood of white-tailed deer.

HABITAT:
Black-legged ticks prefer to hide in grass and shrubs.

THREATS:
Black-legged/Deer ticks can spread Lyme Disease.

PREVENTION:
When in an area where ticks are common, wear long sleeved shirts and pants, preferably light colored so ticks will be easy to detect. Tuck pants into socks. Use a tick repellent. To get rid of ticks and their risks indoors, inspect clothing and skin when heading inside. Wash clothes immediately.

Chigger MIte

PEST DATA:
Color: Red, Dark Orange
Legs: 6
Shape: Small oval
Size: 1/60 of an inch
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Chiggers are also called berry bugs, harvest mites, red bugs, scrub-itch mites.

HABITS:
The six-legged parasitic larva feeds on humans, rabbits, toads, box turtles, quail, and insects. They do not actually “bite”, but instead form a hole in the skin and chew up tiny parts of the inner skin. The severe itching causes hives and skin rash after the larvae detach from the skin.

HABITAT:
Chiggers are found damp areas where the vegetation is low such as lawns, golf courses, and parks.

THREATS:
Chiggers do not normally carry diseases in the US.

Horse Fly

PEST DATA:
Color: Black
Legs: 6
Shape: Triangular
Size: 3/4″ – 1″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

HABITS: Female Horsefly bites are more painful than a mosquitoes as they use their razor-like jaws to tear and slice flesh apart. They are even able to bite through clothing. The flies will pour clot-preventing saliva into the open wound and then suck the blood for several minutes. If not treated quickly, the bites may cause large swellings or lesions, become itchy and cause a high fever.

HABITAT: Suitable habitats include salt marshes, swamps, bogs and areas along the edges of ponds, lakes and streams. Horse fly larva will feed on organic debris, insects, small crustaceans, snails, earthworms and other organisms and are also cannibalistic and will eat other horse fly larvae.

THREATS: Horse flies can transmit equine infectious anemia virus and anthrax among cattle and sheep. They are the most common cause of tularemia between rabbits and humans in the Western US. They are suspected of transmitting Lyme disease as well. Large numbers of horse flies can cause an animal to lose up to 300 ml of blood in a single day and can severely weaken or even kill them.

PREVENTION: Since these flies are commonly found along endangered wetlands, control is impractical as it can be toxic to fish, birds and mammals. Common repellants containing DEET (N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) are not effective in keeping these flies from landing but may discourage them from biting. To reduce bites, it is recommended to wear light-colored clothing, a cap or hat.

Bed Bugs

PEST DATA:
Size: 1/4″
Shape: Flat, broad, oval
Color: Mahogany to rusty brown and they turn red after sucking blood
Legs: 6
Wings: No
Antenna: Yes

Bed bugs are commonly found in beds, hotels, upholstered chairs and couches or any place where humans spend a lot of time.

DIET:
Bed bugs can feed on the blood of any warm-blooded animal. Their most common targets are humans because, unlike animals with fur, we have a lot of exposed skin for them to bite.

HABITAT:
Bed bugs are typically found around beds and nearby small cracks and crevices.

IMPACT:
When Bed bugs feed, they inject the bite with saliva to keep blood from clotting and an anesthetic to keep the host from feeling the bite and moving. Bed bugs do not spread disease, but their bites can become red, itchy welts.

PREVENTION:
Don’t take mattresses or padded furniture that has been left at the curb or on the street.  Check your bed sheets for blood spots. Keep your suitcases covered in plastic and off the floor when you travel. When you travel, take a small flashlight to help you look for bed bugs. When you return from a trip, wash all your clothes in very hot water. Bed bugs are difficult to see.  If you suspects that you have bed bugs, call a pest management professional.

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark reddish/brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Flat
Size: 1/12″ to 1/6″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Cat fleas feed on the blood of cats, dogs, rats, humans or any warm-blooded animal.

HABITS:
Fleas spread by jumping as high as 8″ and as far as 16″ to infest rodents, household pests and other wild animals.

HABITAT:
In order to feed, fleas seek warm-blooded hosts at all times. Clothing, blankets, and carpeting can spread fleas to other areas.

THREATS:
Fleas carry diseases such as Bubonic Plague, Typhus, Flea Allergy Dermatitis, and can transfer tapeworms.  They can cause anemia in pets, and produce painful, itchy, red-colored bumps on skin.

PREVENTION:
Keep your lawn manicured to avoid attracting rodents.  Protect pets using a veterinarian prescribed flea treatment.  Thoroughly clean and repeatedly vacuum carpets often to eradicate fleas and prevent egg laying.   Consult a pest control control professional to eliminate rodents and fleas.

PEST DATA:
Color: Light-brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Flat
Size: 1/12″ to 1/6″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

Human fleas feed on the blood of cats, dogs, rats, humans or any warm-blooded animal.

HABITS:
Fleas spread by jumping as high as 8″ and as far as 16″ to infest rodents, household pests and other wild animals.

HABITAT:
In order to feed, fleas seek warm-blooded hosts at all times. Clothing, blankets, and carpeting can spread fleas to other areas.

THREATS:
Fleas carry diseases such as Bubonic Plague, Typhus, Flea Allergy Dermatitis, and can transfer tapeworms.  They can cause anemia in pets, and produce painful, itchy, red-colored bumps on skin.

PREVENTION:
Keep your lawn manicured to avoid attracting rodents.  Protect pets using a veterinarian prescribed flea treatment.  Thoroughly clean and repeatedly vacuum carpets often to eradicate fleas and prevent egg laying.   Consult a pest control control professional to eliminate rodents and fleas.

PEST DATA:
Color: Yellow with black stripes
Legs: 6
Shape: Triangular
Size: 1/2″ – 3/4″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
The bites of female deer flies are more painful than a mosquitoes as they use their razor-like jaws to tear and slice flesh apart. They are even able to bite through clothing. The flies will pour clot-preventing saliva into the open wound and then suck the blood for several minutes. If not treated quickly, the bites may cause large swellings or lesions, become itchy and cause a high fever.

HABITAT: Suitable habitats include salt marshes, swamps, bogs and areas along the edges of ponds, lakes and streams. Deer fly larva will feed on organic debris, insects, small crustaceans, snails, earthworms and other organisms.

THREATS: Deer flies can transmit equine infectious anemia virus and anthrax among cattle and sheep. They are the most common cause of tularemia between rabbits and humans in the Western US. They are suspected of transmitting Lyme disease as well. Large numbers of deer flies can cause an animal to lose up to 300 ml of blood in a single day and can severely weaken or even kill them.

PREVENTION: Since these flies are commonly found along endangered wetlands, control is impractical as it can be toxic to fish, birds and mammals. Common repellants containing DEET (N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) are not effective in keeping these flies from landing but may discourage them from biting. To reduce bites, it is recommended to wear light-colored clothing, a cap or hat.

HABITS:
Female mosquitoes ingest blood while male mosquitoes feed on plant nectars. They can develop from egg to adult within 10 to 14 days and are most active from dusk to dawn.   They will fly up to 14 miles in search of a blood meal.

HABITAT:
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water sources such as storm drains, old tires, children’s wading pools and birdbaths.

THREATS:
Mosquitoes are well-known to spread diseases such as West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, Malaria and dengue fever.

PREVENTION:
Eliminate or reduce mosquito breeding sites by replacing all standing water at least once a week. This includes bird baths, ponds and unfiltered pools. Remove unneeded vegetation and trash from around any standing water sources that cannot be changed, dumped or removed. For passive mosquito management, introduce mosquito-eating fish to standing water. Screen windows, doors and other openings with mesh. Avoid going outdoors when and where mosquitoes are most active: during dusk or dawn. For stronger mosquito treatment, use insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin whenever or wherever mosquitoes are likely to bite.

Flies

PEST DATA:
Color: Tan/ light abdomen with dark stripes
Legs: 6
Shape: Small oval with humped-back
Size: 1/8″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
Phorid flies are small hump-backed flies that resemble fruit flies feed on decaying matter, especially fruits and vegetables. Phorid flies escape by rapidly running across a surface rather than taking to wing.

HABITAT:
Phorid flies are small pests that are commonly found in homes, restaurants and other facilities where food is processed. They are found on moist, decaying matter that has been stationary for several days. For this reason they are also known as Coffin Flies.

THREATS:
Phorid flies are found in unsanitary conditions, so they are a potential heath concern, especially when present in health facilities.

PREVENTION:
Phorid flies are best prevented through vigilant sanitation practices. To exercise proper phorid fly management, remove kitchen trash daily, and keep counter surfaces clean, keep pet food bowls and litter boxes clean.

PEST DATA:
Color: Black
Legs: 6
Shape: Triangular
Size: 3/4″ – 1″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Found throughout U.S.

HABITS: Female Horsefly bites are more painful than a mosquitoes as they use their razor-like jaws to tear and slice flesh apart. They are even able to bite through clothing. The flies will pour clot-preventing saliva into the open wound and then suck the blood for several minutes. If not treated quickly, the bites may cause large swellings or lesions, become itchy and cause a high fever.

HABITAT: Suitable habitats include salt marshes, swamps, bogs and areas along the edges of ponds, lakes and streams. Horse fly larva will feed on organic debris, insects, small crustaceans, snails, earthworms and other organisms and are also cannibalistic and will eat other horse fly larvae.

THREATS: Horse flies can transmit equine infectious anemia virus and anthrax among cattle and sheep. They are the most common cause of tularemia between rabbits and humans in the Western US. They are suspected of transmitting Lyme disease as well. Large numbers of horse flies can cause an animal to lose up to 300 ml of blood in a single day and can severely weaken or even kill them.

PREVENTION: Since these flies are commonly found along endangered wetlands, control is impractical as it can be toxic to fish, birds and mammals. Common repellants containing DEET (N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) are not effective in keeping these flies from landing but may discourage them from biting. To reduce bites, it is recommended to wear light-colored clothing, a cap or hat.

PEST DATA:
Color: Tan/light abdomen
Legs: 6
Shape: Small oval
Size: 1/8″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
Fruit flies prefer to eat moist decaying fruits, vegetables and garbage that has been hasn’t been moved for several days.

HABITAT:
They are commonly found in homes, restaurants and other places where food is processed or open trash containers are located.

THREATS:
Fruit flies are a heath concern as they indicate unsanitary conditions.

PREVENTION:
Vigilant attention to sanitation practices including the daily removal of indoor trash, keeping counter surfaces clean, and keeping sinks free of dishes containing food residue.

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark gray
Legs: 6
Shape: Small oval
Size: 1/4″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Entire US

House flies are a group of related species with a very similar appearance.   They are about 1/4″ and only live between 15 and 25 days.

HABITS:
They are not able to chew and feed by absorbing liquids.  House flies are attracted to sugar and taste using their feet.

HABITAT:
House flies tend to stay within 1-2 miles of where they were born; however, they have been known to migrate up to 20 miles to find food.

THREATS:
House flies are known to spread nearly 100 different kinds of disease-causing pathogens to humans.

PREVENTION:
Vigilant attention to sanitation practices including the daily removal of indoor trash, keeping counter surfaces clean, and keeping sinks free of dishes containing food residue.  Eliminate open waste bins.  Clean pet bowls and waste immediately.  Repair or replace screens on doors and windows.

Pantry Pests

PEST DATA:
Color: Red/black
Legs: 6
Shape: Narrow, oval
Size: 1/10″
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
The confused flour beetle is small enough to enter packaged food and reproduce.

HABITAT:
They are found in kitchen cabinets, pantries, warehouse and anywhere food is stored.

THREATS:
They can infest food stores and contaminate it with their droppings.

PREVENTION:
Keep dry-goods such as sugar, flour, cereal, pasta, rice and other grains in tightly sealed containers or store open containers in the refrigerator. Clean spills and crumbs. Discard infested packages.

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Narrow, oval
Size: 1/10″
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
The sawtoothed grain beetle is small enough to enter packaged food and reproduce.

HABITAT:
They are found in kitchen cabinets, pantries, warehouse and anywhere where food is stored.

THREATS:
They can infest food stores and contaminate it with their droppings.

PREVENTION:
Keep dry-goods such as chocolate, sugar, flour, cereal, pasta, rice and tobacco in tightly sealed containers or store open containers in the refrigerator. Clean spills and crumbs. Discard infested packages.

PEST DATA:
Color: Brown/black
Legs: 6
Shape: Narrow, oval
Size: 1/10″
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
The lesser grain beetle is small enough to enter packaged food and reproduce.

HABITAT:
They are found in kitchen cabinets, pantries, warehouse and anywhere where food is stored.

THREATS:
They can infest food stores and contaminate it with their droppings.

PREVENTION:
Keep dry-goods such as sugar, flour, cereal, pasta, and rice in tightly sealed containers or store open containers in the refrigerator. Clean spills and crumbs. Discard infested packages.

PEST DATA:
Color: Gray/black bands
Legs: 6
Shape: Narrow, oval
Size: 1/2″
Region: Southern US

HABITS:
The Indian meal moth is small enough to enter packaged food and reproduce.

HABITAT:
They are found in pet food bowls, birdseed, kitchen cabinets, pantries, grain bins, grain storage warehouses and anywhere where food is stored.

THREATS:
They can infest food stores and contaminate it with their droppings.

PREVENTION:
Keep dry-goods such as sugar, flour, cereal, pasta, and rice in tightly sealed containers or store open containers in the refrigerator. Clean spills and crumbs. Discard infested packages.

PEST DATA:
Color: Brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Narrow, oval
Size: 1/10″
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
The merchant grain beetle is small enough to enter packaged food and reproduce.

HABITAT:
They are found in kitchen cabinets, pantries warehouse and anywhere where food is stored.

THREATS:
They can infest food stores and contaminate it with their droppings.

PREVENTION:
Keep dry-goods such as sugar, flour, cereal, pasta, and rice in tightly sealed containers or store open containers in the refrigerator. Clean spills and crumbs. Discard infested packages.

Roaches

PEST DATA:
Color: Brown with two parallel stripes
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, oval
Size: 1/2 – 5/8″
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
German cockroaches prefer warm humid environments and will eat almost anything.

HABITAT: Any crack or crevice as small as 3/8″ can allow cockroaches access to a home or building. They will infest any room where food and water are located and will eat other insects, wallpaper paste, toothpaste, pet food, soap, fecal matter, sewage and anything with nutritional value.

THREATS:
Cockroaches carry bacteria, parasitic worms, numerous diseases, cause allergic reactions and aggravate asthma in people and pets.

PREVENTION:
Vigilant attention to sanitation practices including the daily removal of indoor trash, keeping counter surfaces clean, and keeping sinks free of dishes containing food residue.  Eliminate open waste bins.  Clean pet bowls and waste immediately.  Repair or replace screens on doors and windows.

Spiders

PEST DATA:
Color: Light to dark brown, with characteristic dark brown violin marking on back
Legs: 8
Shape: Round
Size: 5/8″
Antennae: No
Region: Found in the south central Midwest from Ohio to Nebraska and southward through Texas to Georgia

Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back.

HABITS:
Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal and eat other bugs like cockroaches and crickets. Male brown recluse spiders wander farther than females and will crawl into shoes or other clothing.

HABITAT:
Brown recluse spiders often live outdoors in debris and wood piles. They can be found indoors in storage areas, dark recesses and in wall voids.

THREATS:
Like the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider bites in defense and does not bite humans instinctively. They will bite humans when the clothing they are hiding in is worn. The brown recluse spider bite is painful and can produce an open, ulcerating sore.

PEST DATA:
Color: Pale yellow to light brown or gray
Legs: 8
Shape: Long skinny legs with a small body
Size: ¼-3/8”
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

Long-bodied cellar spiders are one of several organisms that are sometimes referred to as “daddy-long-legs”. Cellar spiders live in dark and moist places.

Habits:
Cellar spiders build webs in corners or dark, damp buildings. They hang upside down on the underside of the web. The webs are not cleaned but instead a new web is continually added. This habit can result in extensive webbing in a relatively short time.

Habitat:
The spiders and their webs are usually found in dark and damp places, such as cellars, basements, and crawl spaces, corners of garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, on eaves, windows, and ceilings, in closets, sink cabinets, and bathrooms

Threats:
Cellar spiders do not pose a threat to humans. While they are commonly found in homes, they usually stay in one place. They are not known to bite. Urban legend has it that their venom is of the most deadly of spiders, but their weak mouthparts keep them from injecting venom into humans. While it is correct that they cannot successfully bite, their venom is not very potent.

Prevention:
Seal cracks around doors and windows and use screens.  Use Yellow bug light bulbs on exterior fixtures. Encapsulating basements to lower humidity will discourage spiders.

PEST DATA:
Color: Pale yellow to light brown or gray
Legs: 8
Shape: Long skinny legs with a small body
Size: 7mm
Antennae: No
Region: Found throughout U.S.

Harvestmen are one of several organisms commonly referred to as “daddy-long-legs” because of their very long, thin legs.

HABITS
Daddy-long-legs have no venom gland nor the ability to produce silk and therefor can not build webs. They are not spiders. Many species are omnivores and eat small insects, plant material, fungi, and dead organisms.

Habitat:
They are usually found in dark and damp places, such as cellars, basements, and crawl spaces, corners of garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, on eaves, windows, and ceilings, in closets, sink cabinets, and bathrooms

Threats:
Cellar spiders do not pose a threat to humans. While they are commonly found in homes, they usually stay in one place. They are not known to bite. Urban legend has it that their venom is of the most deadly of spiders, but their weak mouthparts keep them from injecting venom into humans. While it is correct that they cannot successfully bite, their venom is not very potent.

Prevention:
Seal cracks around doors and windows and use screens.  Use Yellow bug light bulbs on exterior fixtures. Encapsulating basements to lower humidity will discourage spiders.

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark brown, lighter stripes
Legs: 8
Shape:  Large robust hairy body with long legs
Size: 1/8 – 3/4“
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
Wolf spiders normally reside in burrows near rocks, stone walls, fallen trees, firewood stacks and in leaf litter piles.  They hunt during the nighttime by chasing after their prey instead of constructing snare webs.  During daylight hours they prefer secluded places. Springtails and other small insects comprise their diet. Although they are confused with Brown Recluse and resemble tarantulas they are not closely related to either.

HABITAT:
Wolf spiders may occasionally enter dwellings when searching for food.  They will never attack people and will only rarely bite when provoked. Wolf spiders that are inside of a home should be collected and released outdoors.

THREATS:
Wolf spiders are not poisonous to humans. A bite is no more painful or dangerous than that of a bee. On rare occasions, people bitten by a wolf spider may have an allergic reaction and should seek medical attention.

PREVENTION:
Seal all cracks and screen windows and doors.  Inspect bags and boxes before bringing them into your home.

PEST DATA:
Color: Black, with characteristic red “hourglass” on back
Legs: 8
Shape: Round
Size: 3/4″ length; 3/8″ in diameter
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape under their abdomen. Contrary to legend, female black widow spiders rarely devour the male black widow spider after mating.

HABITS:
Black widow spiders spin their webs near ground level. They often build their webs in protected areas, such as in boxes and in firewood.

HABITAT:
Black widow spiders are often found around wood piles and gain entry into a structure when firewood is carried into a building. They are also found under eaves, in boxes, and other areas where they are undisturbed.

THREATS:
The venom of a black widow spider is a neurotoxin and is used as a defense. Black widow spiders do not bite humans instinctively. The black widow spider bite can cause severe pain. Young children and the elderly are especially susceptible to a severe reaction to a black widow spider bite.

PREVENTION:
Avoid black widow spider bites by wearing heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time. Spiders often hide in shoes, so check shoes and shake them out before wearing. When spider webs are visible, use caution before putting your hands or feet in that area. If you suspect an infestation, contact a black widow control specialist immediately. This is the safest way to get rid of black widow spiders in your home.

PEST DATA:
Color: Black, brown, tan, or gray.
Legs: 8
Shape: Compact with short legs
Size: 1/8 – 3/4“
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

About 300 varieties exist in the US and are known for their jumping ability which they use to hunt. They are an occasional nuisance pest indoors, and some colored species may cause concern when people mistake them for Black Widow spiders. .

HABITS:
Jumping spiders do not construct snare webs but do build homes with two openings in a woven, saclike structure. Jumping spiders are active during the daytime and do not shun sunshine.  While they possess acute daytime vision being able to detect and react to movement up to 18″ away;  they have very poor night vision. They can rapidly move and jump in all directions for short distances.

HABITAT:
Jumping spiders can live in forests, grassland, under furniture or any location that has enough food and shelter.  They can be seen hunting on trees and near windows and doors where other insects are found.

THREATS:
While they can bite, the jumping spider bite is not poisonous. They are not usually considered dangerous.  If symptoms arise, consult a physician.

PREVENTION:
Seal all cracks and screen windows and doors.  Inspect bags and boxes before bringing them into your home.

PEST DATA:
Color: Dull yellowish tan/brown with several dark spots
Legs: 8
Shape: Elongated abdomen
Size: Female – 3/16 – 5/16“, Male – 1/8 – 3/16”
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

The common house spider is harmless and is usually the spider that people most often encounter in their homes. The compact cobwebs that it creates are often a nuisance. Because of it’s brown coloration, it is often mistaken for brown recluse spiders.

HABITS:
The house spider build cobwebs in random locations where it is likely for them to catch prey. It they do not catch prey, they abandon that web and build another one in a different location.

HABITAT:
House spiders feed on flies, mosquitoes, ants and other small insects.

THREATS:
House spiders are nuisance pests but little threat to humans.

PREVENTION:
To prevent common house spiders from entering the home, seal cracks and use screens on windows and doors. Use a vacuum to remove adults, egg sacs and webs. If a broom is used, adults usually escape.

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