Of all the ant species, carpenter ants are one of the most problematic. They can cause serious property damage to homes and other buildings. Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Much like termites and other wood destroying insects, this excavation can compromise the structural soundness of the wood over time.
Carpenter bees get their common name from their habit of boring into wood. Carpenter bees do not eat wood but cause damage to structures by drilling circular holes to create tunnels inside wood. Unlike other common bees, such as honeybees and bumble bees that live in colonies, carpenter bees are not social insects and build individual nests into trees outdoors or into the frames, eaves or sides of buildings.
Powderpost beetles lay their eggs in cracks of wood and the larvae tunnel into the surface, filling it with a very fine powder-like dust. Powderpost beetles have long, narrow, flat bodies that allow them to easily attack wood surfaces. These beetles are reddish-brown in color. Some researchers believe that powderpost beetles are second only to termites in the United States in their destructiveness to wood and wood products.
The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting roaches and a major pest in the United States. It’s also commonly known as the water bug, the Bombay canary or the palmetto bug. Cockroaches are some of the most resilient pests in the world. They exhibit unique survival tactics, including the ability to live for a week without their head. This makes getting rid of American cockroaches a difficult task for homeowners to do themselves.
The common house spider gets its name from the fact that it is usually the spider most often encountered indoors. It is a nuisance pest, probably more because of its webs than the spider itself. The house spider is found worldwide and is common throughout the United States and Canada.
Drywood termites infest dry wood, like that found in attic framings. They can be transported to new locations via an infested piece of furniture, a picture frame, etc. Drywood termites can chew through support beams, floors and walls, causing expensive home repairs. In fact, drywood termites and other termite species cause a collective $5 billion in property damage each year.
European hornets are much larger than yellowjackets and, unlike most stinging insects, can be active at night. Seeing large worker European hornets is a sign of infestation. Nests in common areas such as hollow trees, attics, porches and inside wall voids are another sign of an infestation, and may indicate that European hornet removal is necessary. Nests that are not covered by an external structure have a brown papery envelope. Nests that are sheltered have little or no envelope covering their cells.
Paper wasps generally have a similar body shape to yellowjackets, but somewhat slimmer with a thin “waist,” with six long legs and an almost triangular side view, as well as two wings and antennae. They are mostly brown with some yellow coloration. Paper wasps often build nests in residential yards, so one of the main signs of an infestation is the physical sighting of the nest itself and nearby wasps moving around the nest.
All yellow jackets are wasps, but not all wasps are yellow jackets. They are most active in the late summer and early autumn when a colony is at its peak. Yellowjacket stings pose significant health threats to humans, as they are territorial and will sting if threatened. They are known to sting repeatedly and can cause allergic reactions. Yellowjackets and other stinging insects send over 500,000 people to the emergency room each year.
The house fly is the most common fly found in and around homes. It has a worldwide distribution and is prominent in the United States. House flies are not only nuisance pests while buzzing around homes, but they are potential disease carriers. House flies have short lifespans, but they can quickly reproduce in large numbers, leading to large house fly populations if not identified and effectively controlled.
Fruit 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.
Fruit flies are found in unsanitary conditions, so they are a potential heath concern, especially when present in health facilities.
These moths like to feed on dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, candies, bird seed, dog food, powdered milk, dried red peppers and candy. Attracted to the light, these bugs are found worldwide in areas where food is stored, such as grocery stores and infest foods and can contaminate food products.
Centipedes typically overwinter outdoors in protected situations and lay their eggs during the summer, usually in or on the soil. Females of Scutigerahave been known to produced 35 eggs over a period of days.
Centipedes are found in areas of high moisture, such as loose bark, in rotting logs, under stones, in trash or piles of leaves and grass. When they invade homes, centipedes are most commonly found in damp basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms or potted plants.
Millipedes are found throughout the world, with about 1,000 species occurring in the United States alone. They are typically found in areas of high moisture and decaying vegetation, such as under trash, in piles of grass clippings, flower-bed mulches, piles of leaves, etc. Millipedes do not usually survive indoors for more than a few days unless there are high moisture conditions and a food supply is present. Some millipede species give off an ill-smelling fluid through openings along the sides of the body. Underscoring the importance of millipede control, this fluid can be toxic to small animals and pets, and can cause small blisters on humans.
Silverfish are not considered a threat to humans, as they do not bite or spread disease. Keep an eye out for feeding marks, although they may be irregular whether they are holes, notches along an edge, or surface etchings. Yellow stains, scales and/or feces (tiny black pepper-like pellets) may also be seen on infested materials.
People have noticed silverfish when they come down on ceiling soffits and/or drop from skylights and canister light fixtures in the ceiling, likely entering through shake roofs.
Fleas transport themselves on rodents and other mammals, and usually remain on their hosts at all times. Fleas infest both household pets and wild animals like opossums, raccoons and skunks. They can also be found on shoes, pant legs or blankets, which can transfer the fleas to new environments. They also transmit the bacterial disease murine typhus to humans through infected rats. Their saliva can cause serious flea allergy dermatitis in pets and their debris has been reported to cause similar allergic reactions in humans. Fleas can also transfer tapeworms and cause anemia in pets, which is why active flea management is an important component of pet care. Flea bites commonly cause painful, itchy red bumps.
House dust mites feed on dander (dead skin which is shed) from humans and animals. They may also feed on protein based foodstuffs, preferring dried products over products with moisture. People may be allergic to house dust mite cast skins and droppings. These reactions will not be a rash type of reaction but rather a respiratory constriction, a common symptom of asthma. Itchy, watery eyes may also be symptoms. Approximately 50-80% of asthmatics may have symptoms due to house dust mites.
Also known as the wood tick, the American dog tick gets its name from the fact that adult ticks prefer to feed on domestic dogs, coupled with the tick species being found only in North America. The American dog tick is a member of the hard tick family, meaning that it possesses a hard exterior shield. American dog ticks are known to harbor bacteria responsible for causing diseases in humans such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which is spread when they suck blood from their host. Exposure to these ticks is most likely to occur during spring and early summer.
American dog tick bites can cause itching, fever and, in some cases, tick paralysis. Ticks are not able to feed immediately after latching on to a host, as their mouthparts require several hours to imbed deeply enough to feed. This makes it very important to promptly remove a tick from the skin at first sight.
House mice are not only a nuisance, but they can pose significant health and property threats. In nature, mice prefer to eat cereal and seeds, but they will also eat insects, nuts and fruits. Inside structures, mice will consume almost any human food, but prefer grain based products. In nature, mice prefer to eat cereal and seeds, but they will also eat insects, nuts and fruits. Inside structures, mice will consume almost any human food, but prefer grain based products. If you see a mouse scurrying across the kitchen floor, there is likely a family of mice hiding out of sight.
Norway rats are primarily nocturnal and often enter a home in the fall when outside food sources become scarce. These rats are known to gnaw through almost anything – including plastic or lead pipes – to obtain food or water. Norway rats often nest in basements, piles of debris or undisturbed materials. Rodents can gain entry to a home through a hole the size of a quarter. Rats can cause damage to structures through their gnawing and eating. These rats are also vectors of diseases including plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis and salmonellosis. In addition, Norway rats can contaminate food and introduce fleas into a home.
WIKIPEDIA, WIKIMEDIA, PEST WORLD.ORG, NATIONAL PEST WORLD ASSOCIATION, FLICKR, PEXELS, PESTS.ORG
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