Harvester ants are one of the larges ants and can grow as long as 1/2 inch.
Colors vary depending on species and range from reddish brown to black.
Harvester ants gather and feed on seeds and other vegetation.
Harvester ants are very common in urban areas and one nest can house up to 12,000 workers. Harvester ants are very large and have a nasty and painful sting. They will fiercely protect and defend their nest. Nest openings typically have a large, circular, flat area around them, which is created by workers as they clear the nest of any soil or debris. The nests can go as deep as 15 feet and can have a great number of chambers.
Winged males and females swarm, couple and mate and the males die soon after. Females immediately find a nesting site where they drop their wings, dig a burrow and lay their eggs, which develop through several stages to become workers. Once mature, these worker ants care for other developing ants, enlarge the nest and forage for food.
Harvester ant colonies are typically widely separated; however, there can be heavy infestations in pasture and rangeland. These ants are known to destroy agricultural crops and can significantly reduce crop yields if left uncontrolled. They colonize in ornamental turf and landscape areas where their presence is undesirable.
Workers are usually 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch while queens can grow as large as 3/4 inch.
Carpenter ants range in color from tan to black. They can also be reddish or orange in color or have a combination of black and red.
Carpenter ants dine on a wide variety of foods. Although their natural food sources are other insects, plant juices and the honeydew produced by aphids and other insects, they will readily forage for water and food scraps inside a house.
Carpenter ant colonies, which can have up to 100,000 workers, are usually found within buried or partially buried moist wood such as dead trees, rotting logs and stumps. They also construct nests in houses, telephone poles, and other wooden structures and are commonly found in porch pillars and roofs, windowsills, and other wood in contact with soil. Carpenter ants establish a parent colony and then branch off satellite colonies that may be in a structure. The workers maintain contact between the colonies as they travel to and from each colony over well-defined trails.
Generally there is a single fertilized queen in each carpenter ant colony and she creates a nesting site in a cavity in wood. This is where she raises her first batch of workers, which dine on her salivary secretions. The first workers begin to gather food to feed the younger larvae. As more and more workers mature and begin gathering food, the colony grows rapidly. A colony must contain about 2,000 workers in order to produce young queens and males and can take up to six years to reach this stage. Each spring, mature colonies produce winged reproductive ants, called swarmers, which fly out to start new colonies. These swarms often occur from satellite colonies within homes, so homeowners may see large swarms of flying ants inside their homes at night.
Carpenter ants do not actually eat the wood they remove during nest-building activities. Instead, they deposit it in piles just outside the entrances to the colony. The wood is used solely as a nesting site.
The Argentine ant grows to about 1/8 inch long and all workers are the same size.
They are shiny and range in color from dull gray-black to gray-brown.
Their primary food source is the sweet honeydew produced by aphids and mealy bugs. Protein foods may be part of their diet, but Argentine ants prefer sugar and will also dine on household food products and garden fruits. They enter houses in search of food and water. Argentine ants are fond of sweets, tuna, syrups, juices, eggs, dead spiders and rodents, vomit, feces and just about any other organic matter they can find.
Argentine ants build shallow nests in the soil beneath stones, concrete slabs or other debris. They may also be found in piles of lumber, bricks, landscape mulch, insulation, walls and trees. Argentine ant colonies can grow very large with tens of thousands of workers and multiple queens. Colonies often combine becoming one huge super-colony extending over several residential properties. Argentine ants are very aggressive and will drive out other ant species.
Colonies contain thousands of workers and many queens, and mating takes place within the confines of the colony. Queens are the only ones that lay eggs. Since Argentine ants have as many as eight queens for every 1,000 workers, they raise more babies, making it very difficult to kill a colony.
Though the Argentine Ant is a small, non-stinging ant, it is very territorial and aggressive and will drive away or kill competing ant species. They make a chemical called iridomyr-mecin which they smear on their enemies to kill them or make them run away. Neighboring colonies of Argentine ants appear not to be aggressive toward each other, allowing for the rapid spread and domination of this species.
This ant is one of the smallest, with workers only reaching about 1/16 inch long and queens reaching 1/8 inch long.
The little black ant is related to the Pharaoh Ant and is about the same size but is shiny black instead of orange.
The little black ant has strong jaws but is unable to chew food. Instead they suck out the liquid and leave any solid parts behind. They prefer to eat the sweet honeydew produced by aphids and mealybugs but they also consume whatever human food they can find. Little black ants also feed on protein from live or dead insects.
Little black ants are active both during the day and at night, spending much of their time carrying food back to the nest. This ant is most commonly found outdoors and usually builds nests in the soil under debris or other objects, as well as in open areas and in turf. The nest opening has a small crater of soil around it. Sometimes, these ants will build their nests indoors behind walls or under carpets. The colonies are small but have numerous queens, and will relocate if they are disturbed.
Little black ants live together in colonies and each colony has at least one queen. The queen lays eggs that the worker ants guard, feed and defend. Eggs hatch into grubs, which grow into new workers. It takes ten days for ant eggs to hatch. Some ants have wings and if the colony gets too big, these ants fly away, mate, and start new colonies.
Little black ants can carry 20 times their body weight. During the night, workers move eggs and young larvae deeper underground to protect them from the cold.
Workers are about 1/8 inch long.
Odorous house ants range from dark brown to shiny black.
The odorous house ant will eat just about any sweet food but prefers the honeydew produced by aphids and mealy bugs.
The odorous house ant gets its name from the strong odor it gives off when it is crushed. The unpleasant aroma is likened to rotting coconuts. Odorous ant colonies can have up to 10,000 workers who forage for food in long, distinct trails. These long trails of ants are often seen indoors as they crawl over and contaminate various household surfaces. Outdoors the odorous house ant makes shallow soil nests under any material on the ground, within hollow trees, or in any other available cavity. Indoors they build their nests in wall voids, under insulation in crawl spaces, or within cavities in wood.
When a new colony is initiated, a queen lays a small batch of eggs and tends to the larvae that hatch. The adults that develop from these larvae go on to become workers and take over colony labor activities. During cold winter months, adults become inactive and larvae development slows. In spring, queens resume egg laying and colonies grow substantially during spring and summer. Odorous house ant colonies can produce hundreds of laying queens.
When they become alarmed, workers run around in an erratic fashion with their abdomens raised in the air. Colonies have been knows to grow to more than 100,000 ants.
The pavement ant ranges in size from 1/10 to 1/8 inch.
This is a shiny black, double-node ant that has a small pair of spines at the back of the thorax.
Indoors these ants feed on greases, pet foods and any sweet materials. Outdoors they feed on fruits and the sweet honeydew produced by aphids and mealy bugs.
Pavement ants have a habit of creating nests under asphalt or concrete slabs. As they build their shallow nests, they push small mounds of soil out through cracks and expansion joints. The nests may also be found under debris or objects on the ground, as well as within structures near heat sources in the winter. Activity is generally begun at dusk or later, and the slow moving workers commonly forage for food within structures. They are attracted to lights and may find their way indoors at night. The pavement ant is capable of stinging.
Queens lay eggs and tend to the young who eventually develop into worker ants. Existing workers take over the egg-tending responsibility and shift the brood from place to place as moisture and temperature fluctuate in the nest. Workers often go inside structures to forage for food for the queen and her young.
Pavement ants move in slow deliberate motion and are not easily disturbed. They may move through plumbing pipes and electrical wires. In spring, adjacent colonies fight, producing spectacular sidewalk ant battles.
Pharaoh ants are tiny - only about 1/16 inch long.
This double-node ant is light reddish-orange in color, which makes it difficult to see. The abdomen tends to have some black areas as well.
They feed on a wide variety of foods including jellies, honey, shortening, peanut butter, corn syrup, fruit juices, baked goods, soft drinks, greases, dead insects and even shoe polish. They also gnaw holes in silk, rayon and rubber goods.
Tiny pharaoh ants become a huge problem when they inhabit structures. Colonies can become very large, with several hundred thousand workers and many queens. In response to repellent chemicals, colonies often split off into new colonies. Workers will forage for food hundreds of feet from the colony and find their way back using trails established by pheromones. Pharaoh ants have a strong desire for moisture and nests may be established in almost any void or large crevice, as well as outdoors in the soil under debris or objects.
Females can lay 400 or more eggs in their lifetime. Most lay 10 to 12 eggs per batch and eggs hatch in five to seven days. The entire life cycle takes about 45 days. Unlike most ants, pharaoh ants breed continuously throughout the year in heated buildings. A single queen can produce many hundreds of workers in just a few months.
Pharaoh ants mechanically transmit disease and contaminate sterile materials. Mature colonies can contain 300,000 or more members.
This is a highly polymorphic species, with various sizes of workers within a single colony. The largest workers in the colony can be as much as ten times the size of the smallest workers.
The red imported fire ant is covered in long, bristly hairs and is identified by its red head and thorax and red and black abdomen.
The workers are aggressive predators, feeding on any other insects they find as well as small mammals or birds, earthworms, frogs and lizards. They dramatically alter the natural habitat when they move into an area.
The red imported fire ant is one of the worst ant pests in the U.S. in terms of human health, property damage, and environmental damage. Colonies may have several hundred thousand workers and dozens of queens, and workers very aggressively defend their nest with stinging. Nests are created in the soil and can be identified by the large mound of soil raised above the surface. They are very common in turf. Red imported fire ant nests may go as deep as eight feet in the soil, and produce mounds above ground that are three feet tall and two feet wide. When their mound is disturbed they will rapidly overwhelm the intruder and, on a chemical command, begin stinging simultaneously. Nests may be found in wall voids, rain gutters, bath traps, and under carpets, as well as in electrical equipment.
Males die after mating and the female creates a brood cell in the soil and deposits 10-15 eggs using her tubelike ovipositor. These hatch in seven to ten days and are fed by the queen. Within 15 days, pupae emerge and begin to forage for food. Within 30 days, larger workers emerge and the colony grows. The queen lives up to seven years and produces an average of 1,600 eggs per day throughout her life. A red imported fire ant colony can hold more than 250,000 ants.
Most red imported fire ant stings result in a raised welt that becomes a white pustule. If a person is allergic, however, he or she may experience a more grave reaction. Victims rarely receive a single sting; instead, a person typically receives many hundred stings simultaneously. Red imported fire ant colonies may contain numerous queens and have multiple satellite colonies. Up to 200 mounds per acre have been found.
Chigger mites are microscopic in size - about 1/20 inch.
Chiggers are bright red with hairy bodies that appear velvety.
During the larval stage the mite is referred to as a chigger. It is during the larval stage that this mite is a parasite on humans and many animals, including other mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. The chigger does not burrow into the skin, but instead inserts its mouthparts into a skin pore or hair follicle to liquefy tissue and draw it out of the host along with blood and other liquids. Chigger bites cause red welts and severe itching. Adult chiggers are predatory and feed on other mites, insect eggs and also tiny insects.
Chiggers have long legs and are very fast crawlers. They make their home in tall grass and in low, damp vegetation areas such as woodlands, berry patches, orchards, along lakes and streams, and even in dry areas such as lawns, golf courses, and parks. Chiggers climb onto people as they walk through these kinds of areas and commonly attack campers, hikers, bird watchers, berry pickers, fishermen, soldiers, and homeowners.
In spring, females become active and lay up to 15 eggs per day. These eggs hatch into six-legged, parasitic larvae which, climb onto vegetation to more easily find a host. After feeding on a host for four days, the chiggers fall off and become eight-legged nymphs, which mature to the adult stage. Nymphs and adults feed on eggs of springtails, isopods, and mosquitoes. The life cycle of the chigger is 50 to 70 days and adults can live up to a year.
Chiggers are most abundant during late spring and summer. They prefer to feed on parts of the body where clothing fits tightly including the waistline and under socks. They also prefer areas with thin and tender flesh such as armpits, ankles, back of the knees, front of the elbow, or the groin.
Adults reach about 1/2 inch long.
Dermacentor ticks are flattened top to bottom, and are much wider at the posterior end than the front. There are tiny pits scattered over the top of the body, and color ranges from grayish brown to dark reddish brown.
These ticks feed on the blood of dogs, wild animals, and humans. They are the most common ticks found infesting and biting humans. They do not embed their entire head into a host, only the mouthparts. To keep blood from clotting, the tick injects an anti-clogging agent.
It is often found in wooded areas where it can find animal hosts such as deer and raccoons.
Ticks require a blood meal at each stage of life in order to mature, and the female must engorge herself with blood to produce the thousands of eggs she lays. Hard ticks in general have a two-year life cycle, with eggs hatching in the spring. After fertilization by the male, and a blood meal, the female hard tick produces a single batch of up to several thousand eggs, and then she dies. These eggs are usually found in a secluded crevice of some sort. Only a small percentage of eggs make it all the way to maturity.
Dermacentor ticks spread diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Colorado Tick Fever, Encephalitis, Tick Paralysis, Q Fever, and Tularemia. If a person is bitten by a tick and develops flu-like symptoms, a reddish rash around the site of the bite or arthritis-like joint pain, they should consult a doctor immediately.
Cat fleas are the most common fleas and reach about 1/6 inch in size.
Cat fleas are wingless insects with flattened bodies and long hind legs for jumping. They are black to reddish black in color.
The cat flea is a blood feeder and adults will remain on an animal until forced off.
The flat body of the flea allows it to pass easily between an animal?s hairs and it infests both cats and dogs. Pets typically pick up fleas outdoors and carry them indoors where they rapidly reproduce. Fleas are usually most abundant in areas where the pet sleeps.
The female lays smooth, oval eggs on the host animal which are dry and easily slide off the animal's body to the surface below. The white eggs are virtually impossible to see against a lawn, carpet or bedding, so they rest on these surfaces until the wormlike larvae emerge. Females produce between 18 and 25 eggs every day at the rate of about one per hour. If a dog has just 10 fleas, they can produce over 1,200 eggs per week.
Flea pupae are immune to any kind of insecticide and it can take several weeks for the adult to emerge from the pupae and be killed by the treatment.
Bed bugs are usually 3/8 to 1/2 inch in length.
Bed bugs are generally reddish-brown in color and are wingless insects. They have an extremely flattened body except when they are engorged with human blood. They have a large, round abdomen, and a short mouth.
Bed bugs are nocturnal blood feeders and crawl onto sleeping human hosts to feed. They feed by piercing the skin with an elongated beak through which they withdraw blood. Engorgement takes about three to ten minutes. Bed bugs are very resilient and adults can survive for more than one year without eating.
While the human bed bug is not associated with the spread of any diseases, its bite can have a serious effect on people who are sensitive to its saliva. Swelling and severe itching or other immune system reactions may be a common side effect of bites although the bite itself is generally painless. The human bed bug is nocturnal, feeding only at night when people are asleep. During the daylight hours it hides in any available crack, void or hole in the immediate area.
Female bed bugs lay their eggs by gluing them to hidden surfaces and lay several eggs each day with a total of about 200 eggs. Eggs are deposited into bed frame cracks, behind headboards, inside mattress seams, in baseboards, trim and bedside furniture.
The presence of bedbugs may be determined by a sweet odor in the room. Bed bugs are increasingly being encountered in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, dormitories, shelters and modes of transport. International travel and immigration have probably contributed to the resurgence of bed bugs in the United States. Bed bugs do not fly, but can move quickly over floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces.
Adults are about 1/8 inch long.
The rhipecephalus tick is flattened top to bottom, and much wider at the posterior end than the front. There are tiny pits scattered over the top of the body, and the color is somewhat uniform reddish brown.
Rhipecephalus ticks are strictly blood feeders and typically use domesticated pets as their host. Females become enormously bloated when feeding; sometimes swelling to ? inch long. Then they drop off the animal to lay eggs.
The rhipecephalus tick is more commonly known as the brown dog or kennel tick and is commonly found on dogs. It can create a serious nuisance in the home when pets become infested. These ticks gorge on a single blood meal at each stage of their lives and remain attached for several days to over a week. When ticks become fully engorged, they drop off the host and seek a protected area in which to hide. Ticks in all of the life stages may be found behind baseboards, under window and door moldings, in window pulley openings or in furniture.
After fertilization by the male, and a large blood meal, the female produces a single batch of up to several thousand eggs, and then she dies. These eggs are usually placed in a secluded crevice of some sort and are often deposited between boards, under plaster or carpeting, or in other cracks and crevices. The eggs usually hatch in about three weeks and the larvae wait months to find a host.
This tick is thought to be a vector of Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Adults can live up to 1 1/2 years, without feeding, but must feed before mating.
Field crickets grow to 1 or 1 1/2 inch long.
Field crickets are black, compared with the tan or light brown house crickets. They have long, thin antennae and long, enlarged hind legs designed for jumping. They also have two large spikes (called cerci) that extend from the back of their abdomens. Adults have wings.
Field Crickets eat plant material including seeds and small fruits. They also eat both living and dead insects. If they become very hungry, field crickets will cannibalize each other.
Field crickets are seen and heard during late summer and fall. They are generally found outdoors, but have been known to invade homes in search of warm hiding places in the colder months. Once indoors, they can cause damage to fabrics, paper, leather, furs and other materials indoors. They also cause tremendous destruction to outdoor landscaping. Field crickets are subject to huge population surges, and may become extremely abundant virtually overnight.
After mating, female field crickets look for damp soil in which to lay their eggs. They inject a needle-like ovipositor deep into the soil to deposit 50 or so eggs. Females lay 150 to 400 eggs over the course of their short life cycle. Eggs hatch in the spring, usually in May. Young crickets are called nymphs. They eat a great deal and grow very quickly, shedding their outer skin about eight times as they mature. Each time they molt, they look more like adults.
Field crickets are fully mature at about two months old and begin looking for mates. Males sing and dance to attract females. The song is made by rubbing the front wings together and females hear it through tympanum (eardrums) on their front legs. When a female approaches a male, he does a back and forth courtship dance. Adult and nymphs die when cold weather arrives, but eggs beneath the soil survive to hatch in spring.
House crickets are generally about 1 inch long.
House crickets are light tan or brown and have long, thin antennae and enlarged hind legs for jumping. The adults have wings that are held flat and overlapping on their abdomen. On the head there are three black bands that run side to side.
House crickets attack all types of material, and often it is synthetic fabrics that are most damaged, although cotton, wool and silk are attacked as well. They also feed on food such as baked goods as well as other organic matter and insects both dead and alive.
House crickets attack all types of material, and often it is synthetic fabrics that are most damaged, although cotton, wool and silk are attacked as well. They also feed on food such as baked goods as well as other organic matter and insects both dead and alive.
Females appear to be prolific, producing an average of 730 eggs. The eggs hatch within two to three months. Females use a long narrow structure called an ovipositor to deposit eggs into the ground or other damp material such as sand or peat moss. Adult crickets will often eat their own young and it is normal for some adults to die naturally after mating.
House crickets are known for their characteristic chirping noise. It is only the male cricket that sings, and he does so to attract females. When they chirp, crickets rub the teeth on the sharp edge of one wing against a thick, rough scraper on the opposite wing, using it as a bow. As the temperatures rise, their songs become louder and faster.
Adult Jerusalem crickets are extremely large insects and may grow up to 2 inches in length.
These crickets are light brown in color and shiny. They have strong legs, enormous heads and strong mandibles. Their abdomen has black bands across the top segments.
Jerusalem crickets are primarily predatory; eating other insects, but will also feed on vegetables and root crops.
Jerusalem crickets have huge, strong mandibles, which they use for digging. Their jaw strength allows them to burrow under rocks or bury themselves in holes in the soil. These are wingless, nocturnal insects. Due to their large size and active movement they cause fear among people who stumble upon them. They can be aggressive and are capable of inflicting a painful bite. Jerusalem crickets are often found beneath dead wood or other solid objects laying on the ground.
Male and female Jerusalem crickets drum their abdomens against the bottom of their burrows or the ground to attract one another. Small clusters of their relatively large eggs are laid by the female in soil pockets. Their complete life cycle may extend three years or more. Females are known to kill and eat males following copulation.
The Jerusalem cricket spends most of its life underground and aerates the soil by nibbling on roots, tubers, and decomposing organic matter.
Adults are 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch long with compact, wide bodies.
Blow flies are usually shiny and metallic ranging from bright blue to coppery orange to almost black.
Blow flies are scavengers that feed on trash, decaying animals and animal feces. They are usually the first insects to reach a dead animal. Blow flies are an important part of the decomposition process because they recycle nutrients back into the soil.
Blow flies are extremely common. They are loud buzzing fliers that are attracted to lights, food odors and warm/cool currents around windows and doors. The sudden appearance of dozens of blow flies in a building could indicate there is a dead rodent, bird, or other animal in the wall, ceiling or attic.
Female blow flies lay several hundred eggs on or near suitable food sources such as garbage containers, dumpsters and compost piles. Tiny maggots hatch from eggs in 6 to 48 hours then undergo several stages before becoming adult flies. It takes 16 to 35 days for the development from egg to adult.
Maggots have hook-like mouth parts that tease apart tissues in which they live. Adults have sponge-like mouth parts similar to those of house flies. Blow flies are important decomposers of dead animals and other rotting organic material, such as decomposing plant material. Their larvae are frequently used in forensic science to determine facts about a crime scene.
There are several species of carpenter bees that are fairly small, but the common species that may invade structural wood are some of the largest bees in North America, with some of the largest over one inch long.
Carpenter bees are normally shiny metallic blue-green to black, although the male may be light tan.
Carpenter bees dine on pollen and nectar.
Carpenter bees are solitary bees that get their name from their habit of boring chambers in solid wood in order to create living quarters for their larvae. The wood is not eaten, but instead is reduced to sawdust, called frass, and ejected from the tunnels. The female carpenter bee does the excavating, and several females may work in the same section of wood and use the same entrance hole, but they create separate galleries for housing their larvae. The galleries may be used repeatedly, with each new female lengthening the tunnel, which often can reach over ten feet in length.
Males and females spend the winter in old galleries and emerge in the spring to mate. The female creates an average of six or seven cells; each separated by a plug, and places an egg and a food supply of pollen and nectar in each cell. Once this is completed she never returns to care for the larvae. The male carpenter bee guards the outside of the nest and attempts to chase away predators. The male does not have a stinger, but can cause concern with his hostile buzzing.
Damage from carpenter bees is hidden within wood, often with only the round entrance hole visible. Males can be very aggressive, but do not have a stinger. Females do have a stinger and will sting if they become agitated. Carpenter bees often use the same tunnels and galleries year after year and wood damage can become extensive.
Adult flesh flies are some of the largest flies and can grow as large as 1/2 inch long.
Flesh flies are black and light gray with a checkerboard effect on the top of their abdomen. They usually have red eyes and a red tip at the anal area.
Flesh fly maggots occasionally eat other larvae but also eat the larvae of grasshoppers and have been known to eat beetles, snails and caterpillars. Flesh flies and their larvae are also known to eat decaying vegetable matter and excrement.
Flesh flies are scavengers that spend their lives in and on decaying flesh. They will also inhabit decaying organic materials such as vegetation piles and animal droppings as well as garbage dumpsters. They are very loud, buzzing fliers and are strongly attracted to light.
Eggs hatch within the female, and she then deposits living larvae onto a food source usually an open animal wound or a badly decomposed human or animal carcass. Flesh flies have been known to lay so many eggs on an animal carcass that, when they hatch, the carcass is transformed into a squirming mass of maggots.
Forensic entomologists use flesh flies and their larvae to determine the progress of decomposition at crime scenes. A sudden appearance of flesh fly swarms inside a home could indicate there is a dead animal in the walls, attic or basement.
Horseflies are some of the largest flies in North America, with adults of some species growing to over an inch long with a 2?- inch wingspan.
Horseflies are heavy bodied with the abdomen tapering to a narrow end. Colors range from black to brown, sometimes with stripes or spots.
Horsefly females are blood feeders, while the males feed on plant juices. The mouthparts of the female are like scissors. They use them to slash open the skin, cause the blood to flow with their saliva, and lap up the blood.
Horse flies are extremely annoying, have painful bites, and can be serious threats to the health of livestock and horses when they feed in large numbers. Painful bites from large populations of these flies can reduce milk production from dairy and beef cattle and interfere with grazing of cattle and horses because animals under attack will bunch together. Animals may even injure themselves as they run to escape these flies.
Females lay batches of 25 to 1,000 eggs on vegetation that stand over water or wet sites. The larvae that hatch from these eggs fall to the ground and feed upon decaying organic matter or small organisms in the soil or water. The larvae stage usually lasts from one to three years, depending on the species. Mature larvae crawl to drier areas to pupate and ultimately emerge as adults.
Livestock blood loss can be significant where horse flies are numerous. Horse flies consume about 1 cc of blood at one meal. If there were 20 to 30 flies feeding for 6 hours they would consume 20 teaspoons, which amounts to one quart of blood in just ten days.
The adult house fly reaches 1/2 inch long.
House flies are dark gray and easily distinguished by the pattern of wing veins, four dark longitudinal stripes on the top of the thorax, and the yellow sides of the abdomen on the males.
House flies eat a wide variety of food including human food, animal food, carcasses, garbage and excrement. They cannot eat solid food and have spongelike mouthparts that they use to suck up pre-digested, liquefied food.
The house fly got its name from its common occurrence in homes, particularly during more rural times when horses and livestock were used as transportation. House flies are found just about anywhere there are humans and often swarm near garbage piles and manure. They are considered a health risk and should be eliminated whenever possible.
The house fly breeds prolifically, with females laying anywhere from 350 to 900 eggs in their lifetime, with a record of 2,400 eggs from a single female fly. The interval from egg to adult fly can be completed in less than one week under warm, moist conditions, and there can be many generations each year. Adult flies live as long as 54 days and females mate multiple times. Breeding sites include any moist, decomposing organic material, such as lawn clippings, manure, animal waste, soiled garbage containers, outhouse receptacles, and decomposing plant materials.
These flies are inactive at night and rest on ceilings, beams and overhead wires within buildings, trees, and shrubs, various kinds of outdoor wires, and grasses. House flies can transmit more than 100 different pathogens.
Indian meal moths are small moths that grow to 3/8 inch or less with a wingspan up to ? inch.
The adult moth is very distinctive, with a coppery red outer half to each forewing, and a creamy white basal half.
The Indian meal moth can be found infesting the widest range of food products of any moth. It will infest virtually any processed food of vegetable origin including cereals, candy bars, pet foods, spices, grain products, seed products, powdered milk, dried fruit and nuts and even dried flower arrangements.
Indian meal moths and their offspring infest all kinds of food products. The larvae cause damage to food items by spinning silken threads as they feed and crawl; webbing food particles together. Homeowners notice small moths flying indoors in a zigzag pattern near or in front of television sets. Occasionally, the larvae, which look like white worms with black heads, crawl up walls and suspend from the ceiling attached to a silk thread. Other times, a few larvae may be found in a food package along with unsightly webbing, cast skins and fecal pellets. Packages of whole wheat, graham flour and corn meal are often infested.
A female Indian meal moth can lay up to 400 eggs on food material over a two to three week period. She usually lays her eggs at night and, under favorable conditions, they can produce as many as eight generations per year. The larvae often leave their food supply when they are ready to spin their cocoons and they may wander about in search of a suitable place to pupate.
Not only homes, but restaurants, grocery stores, warehouses, pet stores, seed companies and mills become infested. The Indian meal moth is considered the most troublesome of the grain-infesting moths in Ohio.
Mud dauber wasps can reach 1 inch long.
The most common mud daubers are black and yellow or metallic blue. Mud daubers are long wasps with extremely long, thin waists and small abdomens.
Mud daubers feed mostly on spiders.
Mud daubers are solitary wasps that create nests from blobs of mud. Mud is rolled into a ball, carried to the nest and molded into place with the wasp's mandibles. The wasp creates columns of hollow cells. These wasps do not defend their nests and sting only when they feel directly threatened. Nests are commonly found in eaves, under bridges or in attics of houses.
The female mud dauber gathers food, in the form of insect larvae or spiders, stings it to paralyze it, and then places this immobilized prey in the cell. She then lays one egg in each cell, seals the cell with mud, and never returns. The larvae feed on the insects and emerge to start the cycle again.
If the female does not complete a cell before nightfall, she will seal it temporarily and then reopen it in the morning to continue her work.
Umbrella wasps can reach 1 inch long
Umbrella wasps come in a variety of colors including yellow with black, orange, or reddish brown. They are very similar to yellowjackets.
Adult umbrella wasps feed on sugary liquids. They gather natural foods, such as insect larvae, to feed to their offspring.
The umbrella wasp derives its name from the upside-down umbrella shape of its nest. These insects are closely related to yellowjackets, but have smaller colonies of up to several hundred workers. The nest is constructed of a paper-like substance that is a combination of chewed wood and wasp saliva. The nest hangs from a horizontal surface, supported on a single paper stalk with a single row of downward pointing cells. They are often built under eaves or inside attics. The umbrella wasp inflicts a painful sting.
In early fall, the umbrella wasp colony begins to produce males and special reproductive females. These female mate with males and soon leave the nest in search of protected spots in which to spend the winter. The remaining workers eventually die and the nest becomes vacant.
In the evening, workers rest on the wide, flat section of the nest. Colonies do not survive the winter, and are started by a single fertilized female.
Velvet ants are fairly large, from 1/2 inch to over 1 inch in length.
Velvet ants are covered with long hairs of bright colors, from red to orange to yellow to white, or combinations of several colors.
Nectar is their preferred food.
Velvet ants are actually wasps. The female has a stinger, but no wings and resembles a large, hairy ant. Males are smaller, do not have a stinger, and have well developed wings for flight. Females are often found rapidly walking over the soil surface in their search of food. Velvet ants are active during the day, and they may be some of the first insects to hit the trail in the morning and last to settle in for the night. They retreat from high ground temperatures in the middle of the day by burrowing under debris or climbing into plants.
After mating, female velvet ants go in search of wasp or bee pupal chambers. Once found, they enter a nest and use their ovipositor to lay an egg on or near the host. If the parent is still present, the velvet ant may be carried away by the other bee or wasp. A grub-like larva eventually emerges from the egg, feeds on its host, and grows to full size in a matter of days.
Velvet ants are solitary wasps. They are often referred to as ?cow killers" because their painful sting is said to be able to kill a cow.
The webbing clothes moth can grow to 3/8 inch long.
Webbing clothes moths are cream or golden colored with shiny, tan wings. The wings are long and narrow and there is a fringe of long hairs along the lower edge of the hind wing.
These moths feed on wool clothing, carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, furs, stored wool, animal bristles in brushes, wool felts in pianos, and fish meal in fish food. Synthetics or fabrics such as cotton are fed on if they are blended with wool.
The webbing clothes moth is the most common fabric pest and is notorious for the damage it can do to woolen fabrics and other fabrics of animal hair origin. In addition, the larva will feed on fungus, skins, dead insects, and any other protein associated with animals. They have been known to feed on cotton fabrics if necessary, and may cause damage to synthetic fabrics, which they cannot digest. This moth actually avoids light and feeds primarily in dark, hidden areas. The larvae are best identified by the damage being done to fabrics and the presence of silk and fecal material over the damaged area.
Females lay 40 to 50 eggs over a period of 2 to 3 weeks and die afterwards. Males live on and continue to mate throughout their lives. Eggs are attached to threads of fabric with an adhesive secretion, and hatch in 4 to 10 days. Larvae spin webbing as they feed and may partially enclose themselves in a webbing cover or feeding tube, depending on species.
Webbing clothes moths have a distinctive flight pattern; fluttering erratically rather than flying in a direct, steady manner like food-infesting moths.
Yellow jackets can grow to an inch long.
Yellow jackets are yellow and black, and specific identification of each species is done with differences in the patterns of the black patches. Yellow jackets have two pair of wings that are of different shape and size.
Adults feed on sweet liquids such as honeydew, nectar, fruit juices, or human foods such as soda.
Yellow jackets are social wasps that live together in colonies. A queen initiates the colony and female workers build the nest, care for the young, forage for food, and defend the colony. Colonies typically begin each spring and die off each fall, but may survive over the winter in warmer climates. The population of the colony easily grows to many thousands of workers. At the end of the summer, males are produced, mating takes place, and fertilized queens over-winter in protected locations. Nests are placed in aerial locations such as trees, shrubs, wall voids, or attics, as well as in the ground, where workers enlarge holes they find to accommodate the growing colony. Colonies near a home are dangerous and should be eliminated.
Queens emerge during the spring and select a nest site. They then build a small paper nest in which to lay their eggs. After eggs hatch, the queen feeds the young for about 20 days. By mid-summer, the adult workers emerge and begin nest expansion, foraging for food, care of the queen and larvae, and colony defense.
Yellow jackets are some of the most aggressive wasps and will sting repeatedly to defend their colony from perceived intruders. Many people think yellow jackets are bees, however, they are wasps.
Carpet beetles are very small, round insects that can reach 1/16 inch in length.
Carpet beetles in general are patterned in mottled, checkerboard, or wavy lines with black, white, gray, brown, or orange colors.
Adults feed on pollen and nectar and, in summer months, can be found on outdoor plants.
These small beetles feed on a wide range of animal and plant products, being severe pest problems in stored foods as well as on wool, hides, furs, feathers, or other materials with animal hair origins. They also feed on dead insects. Outdoors they are often found in birds nests and animal dens where they feed on animal hair and feathers. Indoors, they are often found living under carpets and rugs and in voids where hair and dead insects accumulate. Carpet beetle larvae often wander from room to room in an infested house which can widely spread the infestation.
Female carpet beetles can lay 30 to 100 eggs in lint, behind and under baseboards, in cracks or other dark locations. Eggs typically hatch in three weeks. The length of time from egg to adult varies, averaging around 275 days, but extending to almost two years in some circumstances. Larvae shed their skin up to 12 times.
Carpet beetles have the ability to digest animal hairs and feed on anything made of natural fibers including wool and cashmere. They can cause severe damage to carpet and other personal items.
Centipedes are very long and narrow, and flattened from top to bottom. There may be a great many pairs of legs, but they will have a single pair on each segment of the body, separating them from millipedes. They have a pair of very long antennae and the last pair of legs projects backward and are much longer than the ones before it. Most centipedes measure about two inches however, a couple species can grow to six inches or longer.
Color is usually dark reddish brown, although some may have a blue-green tint on a tan background.
Centipedes are nocturnal and come out at night to eat spiders, insects, earthworms and snails.
Centipedes are generally nocturnal and hide outdoors under boards, rocks, or vegetation during the day. Indoors, they are usually found on baseboards and around doorways and windows, wandering on walls in crawl spaces, basements or garages.
Females lay their eggs one at a time, burying them under a shallow layer of soil to protect them from being eaten by other insects and male centipedes. Some species live up to six years.
Centipedes can inject venom through a pair of appendages directly behind the head.
Clover mites are about 1/30 of an inch in size - smaller than a pinhead.
The clover mite has a very round, red body, and extremely long front legs that are held directly out in front. These legs are often mistaken for antennae.
The clover mite feeds on plant fluids from grass, trees, shrubs, bedding plants and turf, but does not bite humans.
The clover mite becomes a problem when it invades structures in large numbers, especially during warm periods of the year. Mites can be found infesting homes from November through June and also during autumn months. They are sensitive to changes in temperature and move upward as the sun warms the surface above them. They may also enter homes during the summer if host plants become dried up.
Clover mites develop from unfertilized eggs and reproduce very rapidly, with hundreds of thousands of mites being produced in a very short time. Females lay about 70 eggs and deposit them on almost any surface including trees, in cracks and faults in concrete foundations, in mortar crevices, between building walls, under loose bark of trees, and other protected places. Eggs lay dormant during the summer and hatch in early autumn when temperatures fall. Once hatched, they go through two nymphal or resting stages and become adults. Mites live one to seven months depending on climatic conditions.
Clover mites hide under shingles and siding and behind window and door casings. When crushed, they leave a noticeable reddish stain on linens, curtains, walls and woodwork.
Adult confused flour beetles reach about 1/8 inch long.
These beetles have an elongated body with parallel sides. They are reddish in color and flattened top to bottom. Larvae are elongate, shiny, and wormlike in appearance.
The confused flour beetle is a scavenger that feeds on a variety of food products including grain, beans, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, and other foods. They are unable to feed on whole, undamaged grains. They are often found along with weevils because weevils bore into grains and the confused flour beetle can then feed on the opened grain. When these beetles are present in great numbers they cause flour products to turn gray and quickly develop mold. Flour and meal products are especially prone to infestation.
The confused flour beetle cannot fly despite its fully developed wings. These beetles commonly infest flour mills, warehouses, and grocery stores and are the most abundant and injurious insect pest of flour mills in the United States.
Females lay an average of about 450 small, clear white eggs, which are loosely laid on fine materials and broken kernels. The eggs are covered with a sticky secretion, which the fine material adheres to. The mature larva is brownish-white and has six legs. The life cycle takes about one to four months.
The adult beetles are very active and move about rapidly when disturbed. The beetles do cause damage by feeding but cause more problems by contaminating grain. Large numbers of dead bodies, cast skins, and fecal pellets, as well as liquids can produce extremely pungent odors which can result in poor feed consumption by livestock and rejection by grain buyers.
Earwigs range from 1/2 to 1 inch in length.
They are brownish to black in color and have a pair of defensive forceps at the tail. Forceps are used to defend the nest, capture prey, probe narrow crevices and fold or unfold wings.
Earwigs eat a wide variety of plant and animal matter, as well as other insects. Indoors they eat sweet, oily or greasy foods and plants.
Earwigs are typically found in areas where they remain sheltered and can easily find food. They usually live together in large numbers and can be found in tree holes, under landscape mulch and other objects on the ground as well as in exterior building cracks. When indoors, they move rapidly around baseboards at the ground level, and can emit a foul-smelling, yellowish-brown liquid from their scent glands. They are most active at night.
Females lay 20 to 50 smooth, oval, white eggs in a below-ground chamber in the soil. Eggs go through four or five stages before becoming adults. The female moves, cleans, and protects the eggs until the young leave the nest to fend for themselves. Earwigs have a simple life cycle, requiring three to five months to go from egg to adult, depending on temperatures. Adults generally live only about one year.
Earwigs rarely fly and are unable to crawl long distances. They often hitch a ride in laundry baskets, luggage, newspapers, lumber and baskets of fruits and vegetables. They prefer moisture and may migrate indoors to find water. Earwigs are often found in damp crawl spaces, mulch, compost piles, trash, under boards and in wood piles. They are attracted to lights.
Granary weevils are tiny insects that reach only about 1/8 inch long.
They are dark brownish black in color and have a long snout that extends from the front of the head. This snout has a pair of chewing mandibles at the tip. The antennae are distinctly bent and arise from in front of the eyes.
The granary weevil uses its chewing mandibles to feed on all kinds of grain including corn, wheat and rice.
Granary weevils are usually found in grain storage facilities or processing plants where they infest wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice, and corn. They are sometimes found in homes and can infest table beans, acorns, chestnuts, birdseed, sunflower seeds, and ornamental corn.
The female granary weevil lays around 200 eggs and places them one at a time into a small hole she bores into each grain kernel. She covers each hole with a film of gelatinous secretion to seal a single egg inside each kernel. It is difficult to detect infestations at this time because they cannot be seen. Larval development lasts about one month and adult granary weevils bore a ragged hole in the grain and emerge to live about eight months. There may be as many as four generations each year if conditions are favorable.
When disturbed, the granary weevil will feign death by drawing its legs close to the body, falling, and remaining silent.
The species range in size from about 1 inch long to almost 3 inches long.
Grasshoppers range in color from green to brown to black. Adults have fully developed wings that are held, at rest, roof-like over the abdomen. The front wings are narrow and long, while the hind wings are very wide and often colorful, with blue, red, orange, or yellow bands on them.
Grasshoppers are herbivorous and feed on plants.
Grasshoppers can walk, hop and fly. Female grasshoppers ?sing? by rubbing their legs against their wings, or by making an audible snapping sound with their wings while flying. They like to hide in areas with tall grasses, small vacant lots and gardens. Most grasshoppers are very destructive to plants. They sometimes undergo enormous population outbreaks, making mass migrations in search of food. Grasshoppers rarely enter structures, but can become very damaging to urban landscaped areas when populations explode.
Females deposit egg pods a few inches into the soil using their ovipositor. One egg pod contains several dozens tightly packed eggs that look like rice grains. The eggs stay in place through the winter, and hatch when the weather has warmed up. The first nymph to hatch tunnels up through the ground and the rest follow.
Grasshoppers are around in spring and summer, but are most abundant in the fall. In the summer and fall, grasshoppers often flutter and fly into porch lights. In Africa, very large species are prone to population surges, and are referred to as Locust Swarms.
The house centipede can grow to almost 2 inches long.
The house centipede can be shades of brown, orange or yellow in color with very long antennae and three dark stripes running down the top of the body. It has 15 pairs of legs, one per body segment, that extend well out to the sides and are typically as long as the body. The last pair of legs is extremely elongated.
House centipedes are predators who feed on flies, roaches and spiders as well as insect larvae.
The house centipede is often seen darting across floors at high speed then stopping and becoming motionless before taking off again. It is a fast moving animal that almost looks like a feather moving across the floor or wall. The house centipede is nocturnal and outdoors can be found hiding underneath mulch or other landscape material. They are often found indoors where they gravitate toward damp areas such as closets, bathtubs, sinks, basements and crawl spaces.
House centipede eggs are laid in spring and early summer. A Female will produce anywhere from 60 to 150 eggs. When the larvae hatch, they have four pairs of legs and go through several transformations before they are mature and have all 15 sets of legs.
The house centipede captures its prey by half pouncing and half lassoing it with its legs. It can capture several prey items at one time and feeds on one specimen while holding the others with its numerous appendages. The house centipede does have venom, but its stinging apparatus behind the jaws is too weak to be able to penetrate most human skin.
Millipedes can grow anywhere from 1/2 inch to more than 4 inches in length.
Millipedes are brown or black and have two pair of legs on each body segment unlike centipedes, which have one pair per segment.
Millipedes are vegetarians and feed on decaying organic matter and live plants.
Millipedes are slow crawling, round bodied pests that are harmless to humans. They do exude an unpleasant smelling secretion, which is made up of a combination of irritating chemicals that can cause skin rashes and may be toxic to small animals. Millipedes lose body fluids as they die, causing staining on indoor surfaces. Some millipedes live as long as eight years. Millipedes can live indoors in crawl spaces and basements or wherever moisture is present.
Millipedes lay their eggs in spring in the soil in batches of 20 to 300 eggs. Their populations can become quite large, reaching into the thousands when they have adequate food and plenty of moisture.
Millipedes protect themselves by rolling into a tight coil when disturbed, protecting their vulnerable ventral parts. When their living conditions deteriorate, they migrate to new areas, sometimes in large numbers.
Pillbugs reach up to 1/2 inch long.
Pillbugs range from white to dark gray in color and have seven pairs of legs.
Food is usually decaying organic and vegetable materials, although they also may attack living plant tissues and turf, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Pillbugs are closely related to crustaceans, such as crabs and crayfish. Like these other crustaceans, they breathe with gills and therefore require high moisture for survival. Their gills are located on the underside of their body and must be kept moist so they often live in damp basements and cellars or anywhere in a house where water leaks. Pillbugs can live up to two years, and they continue to molt throughout their lifetime.
Females have leaf-like growths at the base of some legs, which are brood pouches for holding developing eggs and embryos. Females produce a batch of around 25 eggs that hatch within a pouch on her ventral side. Females may have several broods each year.
Pillbugs are the only crustaceans totally adapted for living on land. They roll up into a ball when disturbed and are very fast walkers.
Rice weevils are tiny insects that reach only about 1/8 inch long.
Rice weevils are dark brownish black in color and have four large reddish or orange patches - two on each side. Very often their flight wings will be visible. This sets them apart from the granary weevil, which cannot fly. Rice weevils are also distinguished by a long snout coming from the front of the head that have a pair of chewing mandibles at the tip. Their antennae arise from in front of the eyes and are distinctly bent half out.
The granary weevil uses its chewing mandibles to feed on all kinds of grain including corn, wheat and rice.
When rice weevils are larvae they are only able to feed from within whole, unbroken grains of wheat, rice, corn, or other seeds. They are usually found in grain storage facilities or processing plants, infesting wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice, and corn. Sometimes they enter homes and infest table beans, acorns, chestnuts, birdseed, sunflower seeds, hard processed products such as pet food nuggets or dry pasta and ornamental corn.
The female rice weevil lays around 400 eggs during her five months of life. She places them one at a time into a small hole she bores into each grain kernel. She covers each hole with a film of gelatinous secretion to seal a single egg inside each kernel. It is difficult to detect infestations at this time because they cannot be seen. Larval development lasts about one month and adult rice weevils bore a ragged hole in the grain to emerge.
When disturbed, the rice weevil, like the granary weevil, will feign death by drawing its legs close to the body, falling, and remaining silent.
Silverfish are inch to 1 inch long while Firebrats only reach inch.
Silverfish (and firebrats, a type of silverfish) range from silvery gray to dark gray and have dark lines running front to back on top, which is why they are often referred to as four-lined silverfish. They are both elongate insects with very long, thin antennae and three long appendages at their rear end ? a pair of long, thin cerci that project out sideways and a central, longer filament.
Both silverfish and firebrats feed on a wide variety of materials, including human foods, paper products, fabrics, and the glue in books and wallpaper.
Silverfish prefer to live in damp, cool places such as basements and laundry rooms. They are often found in bathtubs, sinks or washbasins because they climb in and are unable to climb out. Firebrats, on the other hand, prefer to live in hot, humid places such as near furnaces, fireplaces and heat pipes in winter and in attics in summer. Attics often have an abundance of firebrat feces lying on insulation and rafters as they leave this black, pepper-like material everywhere they go. Both silverfish and firebrats are also commonly found outdoors in woodpiles or fences. Evidence of their damage will be holes made by their rasping mouthparts.
Females deposit groups of very small eggs into cracks and crevices and they lay fewer than 100 eggs during their lifespan. Eggs hatch within one month. Full development to the adult stage can be anywhere from a few months to as long as three years, depending on the living conditions and they generally live for several years.
Silverfish and firebrats are covered with scales, flattened top to bottom, and have the ability to squeeze into tiny cracks to hide or to gain entry. They have very quick movements and usually dart for cover when lights are turned on.
Sowbugs reach up to 1/2 inch long.
Sowbugs are dark gray in color, have seven pair of legs and are made up of about ten lateral plates that overlap one another. They are related to pillbugs, but cannot curl up into a tight, round ball when disturbed.
Sowbugs eat decaying organic and vegetable materials, although they also may attack living plant tissues and turf, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Sowbugs, like pillbugs, are closely related to other crustaceans such as crabs, shrimp and crayfish. Like their oceanic relatives, they require areas of high moisture for survival. Sowbugs may live for up to two years, and they molt consistently throughout their lifetime. They are commonly found outdoors under mulch, compost, boards and stones. They often enter crawl spaces, damp basements and first floors of houses and usually enter through door thresholds, expansion joints, and voids of concrete block walls. Frequent sightings of these pests indoors means there are large numbers breeding close to the foundation.
Females have leaf-like growths at the base of some legs, which are brood pouches for holding developing eggs and embryos. Females produce a batch of around 25 eggs that hatch within a pouch on her ventral side. Females may have several broods each year.
Sowbugs and pillbugs are the only crustaceans totally adapted for living on land.
Springtails are usually less than 1/8 inch long.
Springtails range from black to silvery gray, depending on the species. The distinctive character is the furcula or tail-like mechanism attached to the tip of the abdomen.
Springtails feed on algae, fungi, and decaying plant materials.
Springtails are so-named because of their sharp projection at the tail end called a furcula. They snap this appendage down on a surface to suddenly spring themselves into the air. Springtails are tiny insects that thrive in damp locations. They live in the soil, in leaf mold, under bark, in decaying logs and on the surface of freshwater pools. When found in structures, their presence may indicate excessive moisture conditions in walls or crawl spaces, under sinks, or around indoor plants. Springtails are harmless to humans, although allergies and dermatitis have been reported in some people sensitive to their presence.
Springtails become active in early spring and may be seen on snow cover, which is why they have often been called snow fleas. They are drawn to water, and commonly appear in vast numbers on the surface of swimming pools, seemingly overnight.
The American cockroach is reddish brown in color and often has yellow markings around the prothorax, which is the shield on the front it its body.
American cockroaches feed on a wide variety of materials including human hair, fingernails and toenails. They also feed on things like cosmetics, beer, potted plant shoots, wallpaper paste, soap, postage stamps, and fermenting fruit.
American cockroaches usually live outdoors, but often live in human structures and are frequently found in restaurants and grocery stores or anywhere food is prepared and stored. In residential and commercial buildings, American cockroaches infest basements, bathrooms, crawlspaces and landscaping areas. They prefer warm, moist environments but can live in dry areas if water is accessible. Although adults have fully developed wings, and are capable of some flight, they are awkward fliers and prefer to run away very quickly when disturbed. Infestations often overtake storm drains and cockroaches use manhole covers to escape under cover of darkness to search for food in nearby buildings.
Females produce an egg case three to seven days after mating which protrudes from the tip of their abdomen. The egg case is soon deposited in a hidden location and glued to a surface with the female's saliva. Each female produces ten egg capsules containing an average of 15 eggs per capsule. In warm conditions, these egg capsules take approximately 45 days to hatch. It then takes six to twelve months for them to mature and become reproductive. An adult female will produce six to fourteen egg cases during her lifetime.
American cockroaches contaminate just about anything they touch with their feces and body parts. They also emit a strong and very unpleasant odor, which can be transferred to items, they crawl across while looking for their next meal. Some members of this species carry bacteria on and in their bodies, which can contaminate food and other items. American cockroaches also produce allergens in their fecal material, which may contribute to allergic dermatitis and childhood asthma.
Adults grow to 1/2 inch in length.
The brown banded cockroach is named for two wide stripes running side to side on its thorax and abdomen. Males are usually yellowish brown in color and females are darker brown.
Brown banded cockroaches prefer starchy materials but will eat anything that possesses organic matter including book and cabinet glues.
This roach species is found primarily indoors, where it may be as common in dry areas of the structure as it is in the kitchen or bathrooms. It has a low moisture requirement, allowing it to survive in many locations. It often hides in cracks and voids. It comes out under cover of night to search for food and water.
Females stick their light brown egg capsules to a hidden surface such as closet corners, behind drawers, within corrugated cardboard, or behind objects on the wall. Each egg capsule contains an average of 15 eggs, and development from egg to mature adult takes about six months. Because of the manner of hiding the egg capsules on materials, this species is easily relocated to new habitats.
Males have wings that completely cover the abdomen, while the females wings are shorter, exposing the last few segments of the abdomen. Both sexes can fly. Brown banded cockroaches are often found in apartments, motels, and long-term care facilities. Because brown banded cockroaches can survive in both moist and dry environments, they are difficult to control.
German cockroaches reach about 1/2 inch in length.
The German cockroach is tan to brownish in color with two dark, longitudinal stripes. Wings reach the end of the abdomen in females and extend just beyond the tip of the abdomen in males. Neither males nor females are capable of flight.
German cockroaches are not picky eaters and will consume just about anything including human hair, fingernails and toenails.
The German cockroach is a nocturnal animal that avoids light and is almost always found indoors. Indoor infestations are typically started when roaches enter the home inside of packages. This cockroach has a higher moisture requirement than many other species, and is therefore most likely to be living in kitchens or bathrooms.
The German cockroach reproduces faster than any other cockroach. Females produce an average of five egg capsules in their lifetime, each holding an average of 30-40 eggs. It takes an egg three months to mature to adulthood, which means there can be up to four generations of cockroaches each year.
German cockroaches spend most of their time hiding in cracks, voids and crevices. They can pollute food, damage wallpaper and books, consume the glue from furniture, and often produce an unpleasant odor. Some adults and children are allergic to roaches.
The Oriental cockroach is a large roach reaching about 1 inch in length.
They are very dark brown to black. Females are oval shaped and have short stubby wings. Males have wings that do not reach the end of the abdomen.
These insects feed on garbage and decaying organic matter and are often considered the filthiest of the house-infesting roaches.
Oriental roaches are commonly known as ?water bugs? and can be found living outdoors in damp locations such as underground water and sewage systems. Their travel through such unsanitary habitats increases their potential as disease vectors. They often enter structures by crawling under doors or through other exterior openings and often take up residence in damp basements, cellars, crawl spaces, near drains, leaky water pipes and beneath refrigerators, sinks and washing machines, under floors, and inside walls. Oriental cockroaches are nocturnal, avoid light, and, although the male has well developed wings, neither sex can fly.
Females carry their egg capsules for about one day, and then deposit the capsule in a secluded place. Each capsule has an average of 15 eggs. Eggs hatch in about 60 days and nymphs develop in about one year. Adult females live one to six months.
Oriental cockroaches can live without food for up to a month if water is present, but will die in two weeks without food and water.
This is one of the larger roach species with adults growing up to 1? inches in length.
The smoky brown cockroach is solid dark brown and has fully developed wings that extend past the tip of the abdomen.
These cockroaches prefer to eat plants and are therefore often a pest in greenhouses, nurseries and gardens.
The smoky brown cockroach is a nocturnal insect that typically lives outdoors; hiding under vegetation and yard debris, heavy mulch layers and thick leaf litter. These cockroaches are extremely common in Texas and Louisiana where they have also become an indoor problem.
The smoky brown cockroach's egg capsule is large and brown and the female glues it into cracks and crevices where it will be hidden from view. The capsule contains about 24 eggs which hatch in 45 days. Once hatched, the nymphs take six to twelve months to develop.
Smoky brown cockroaches lose moisture through their cuticle, and therefore prefer damp, dark and poorly ventilated environments.
Ground squirrels range in size depending on species. Generally the tail length is shorter than the body length.
Color ranges from light grayish brown to darker brown with lighter bellies. The tail is usually covered with long hairs but is not bushy as it is in tree squirrels.
Ground squirrels feed primarily on seeds, fruits, acorns, mushrooms and insects. They have been known to ransack gardens, destroying many of the fruits and vegetables.
Ground squirrels are rodents that are active during the day and spend much of their time digging extensive and shallow ground burrows. Their burrows are often found in and around rock piles or on hillsides and can be occupied by a single squirrel or groups of squirrels in a colonial system. In extreme cases these communal burrow systems may have almost 750 linear feet of burrow, over 30 openings and reach almost 30 feet deep. Ground squirrel burrows are also found in river and canal banks and can weaken levees; creating the potential for flooding.
Ground squirrels breed in early spring and produce one brood per year. Each brood contains an average of six young. If left unchecked, they can quickly populate to overwhelming levels, which can lead to mass destruction in very little time. Ground squirrels will even invade homes if given the chance.
Ground squirrels live an average of three to four years in the wild and up to ten years in captivity. Ground squirrels are carriers of fleas, disease and bacteria and have spread bubonic plague in the west.
Adults remain small, less than 7 inches long from tip of nose to tip of tail.
House mice are gray or brown and have hairless, scaly tails and ears that are relatively bald.
The house mouse often consumes food meant for humans or pets and favors grains, dried fruits, nuts and sweet materials.
The house mouse is curious and tends to investigate new objects placed in its environment. House mice and their droppings are known carriers of disease including rickettsial pox (mites), typhus (fleas), salmonella, tapeworm, roundworm and others parasites. The house mouse is considered to be one of the most troublesome and economically important pests in the United States. Their relentless gnawing causes damage to both structures and property.
A prolific breeder, the house mouse is sexually mature at two months old, has a gestation period of only three weeks, and averages five to eight young per litter. Each female may give birth to eight litters. The house mouse can live from two to three years.
House mice are active wherever droppings, fresh gnawing and tracks are noticed. Their nests are made from shredded paper or other material and are often found in sheltered locations. House mice have an unpleasant, musky odor that identifies their presence. They are excellent climbers and can scale any rough vertical surface. They will also run horizontally along wire cables or ropes and can jump up 13 inches from the floor onto a flat surface. House mice can slip through a crack as small as ? inch wide.
Adult Norway rats are large and robust, reaching up to 16 inches from nose to tip of tail.
Norway rats are stocky and their tail length is less than their body length. Their tails are scaly and almost hairless. They range in color from white to brown to mottled, or blackish gray, reddish brown, and other variations. They have a blunt nose, small eyes, and small ears.
Norway Rats are omnivores and opportunistic feeders, feeding on any natural or human foods available.
The Norway rat is primarily a ground dweller and prefers to live in burrows. It swims very well and often lives in sewers and other underground water systems. It can be found anywhere humans live. In suburban areas they live in and around residences, in cellars, warehouses, stores, slaughterhouses and docks. Although they can climb, Norway rats tend to inhabit the lower floors of multi-story buildings. This rat is primarily a nocturnal animal, and will usually only travel 20 to 30 feet from its home to find food and water. A normal life expectancy for this rat is one year or less.
Norway rat litters average eight to nine pups, and a female may have several litters in her one year of life.
The Norway rat is neophobic; avoiding new objects placed in its environment for some time. Damage from gnawing can be extensive, as they chew on plastic or metal pipes, wires, wood, furnishings and walls, and they often bite humans. While not the primary reservoir of bubonic plague, Norway rats have the potential to spread this disease and several others.
Pocket gophers are the size of a small rat and can reach 10 inches in length.
They have dark brown fur, very short tails, and very large, broad front feet with enlarged claws.
They are vegetarians, feeding primarily on plant roots and tubers. Pocket gophers often invade yards and gardens, and feed on many garden crops, ornamental plants, vines, shrubs, and trees. A single gopher moving down a garden row can inflict considerable damage in a very short time.
Pocket gophers are so named because they use two exterior, fur-lined cheek pouches to carry food materials. They have large heads, powerful necks and short tails. Pocket gophers are subterranean, burrowing rodents who live a digging and tunneling lifestyle. Their burrows can cover an area from 200 to 2,000 square feet. They dig with their teeth and front legs and push mounds of soil to the surface from below. These mounds have a horseshoe shape with a plug of fresher looking soil in the arc. The gopher pushes dirt out of the burrow onto the expanding horseshoe, plugging the hole with fresh soil each time it goes back underground.
Pocket gophers reach sexual maturity at about one year of age and can live up to three years. Females produce one to three litters per year. In non-irrigated areas, breeding usually occurs in late winter and early spring, resulting in one litter per year, whereas in irrigated areas, up to three litters per year may be produced. Litters usually average five to six young.
Pocket gophers only spend time above ground when young leave their mother's burrow system or when males seek females for mating. Except for these two situations, pocket gophers are intensely solitary animals. Gophers gnaw and damage plastic water lines and lawn sprinkler systems. Their tunnels can divert and carry off irrigation water and lead to soil erosion.
Adult roof rats reach 12 inches in length from nose to tip of tail.
The roof rat can range in color from light brown to dark gray to black with a lighter grey belly. Its tail is noticeably longer than its body length. It has a pointed nose, large eyes, and large ears.
Roof rats feed heavily on the fruits, nuts, vegetables, or garden snails found in suburban landscaped areas.
The roof rat is smaller and slimmer than the Norway rat, and cannot compete with the Norway when space is limited. Roof rats are nocturnal and secretive, staying out of view by hiding in the foliage from landscaped environments. A normal life expectancy for them is one year or less. Roof rat fleas can transmit disease such as the plague. Roof rats enter structures in search of food and are extremely destructive to stored food products, crops, pipes, and electrical wires. They are excellent climbers and often gain entry into homes through holes around cabling vents. Their climbing skills allow them to easily climb onto homes to wander from rooftop to rooftop.
A female roof rat will have three to four litters in her year one year of life with an average of eight to nine pups per litter.
Roof rats are much more aerial than Norway rats in their habitat selection and often live in trees or on vine covered fences. Roof rats can enter through any opening wider than ? inch, they are excellent swimmers, can climb any rough surface, and can jump vertically about three feet.
The smaller flying squirrels are only 10 inches from nose to tip of tail, while gray squirrels reach up to 22 inches long.
Tree squirrels vary in color from species to species. Gray squirrels are the namesakes gray, fox squirrels are dark reddish brown, and flying squirrels are a silky brown with a white belly.
Tree squirrels eat primarily nuts, seeds, berries, fruit, and flowers and flower buds. They may also feed on tender bark, and occasionally on insects, bird eggs or young birds, mice or other small animals.
Tree squirrels may be distinguished from ground squirrels and from chipmunks by their long, bushy tails, lack of dorsal stripes, spotting or flecking, and lack of internal cheek pouches. When disturbed, they flee for the security of a tree, rather than to a ground burrow. Tree squirrels nest above ground, in tree trunk cavities or in aerial nests. Tree squirrels are active in the daytime. They can be destructive to wires or other utilities that enter a structure, and commonly find their way into attics where they cause great damage.
Tree squirrels have one to two litters of young per year, usually in very early spring or late winter, with three to six young per litter. Tree squirrels can live as long as 12 years, but typically live between four and seven years.
Tree squirrels communicate through a series of chirps. The frequency and duration of the notes communicate everything from laughter to alarm.
True scorpions range in size from about 1 inch to well over 7 inches in length.
True scorpions range in color from light yellowish tan to very dark brown. They are easily identified by their large front claws and their long, narrow tail, tipped by a pointed stinger. One of the most dangerous varieties is slender and yellow with two dark stripes on its back.
All true scorpions are predators that feed mainly on other insects; using their stinger to subdue the prey.
True scorpions are arachnids, and have four pairs of legs in addition to a pair of modified claws. Although they can inflict a very painful sting, the venom of most species is considered of little health consequence to humans except for the very young and the elderly. Scorpions can live five years or more. True scorpions prefer the outdoors but will wander inside through cracks in a building. Once inside, they often make their way into shoes, piles of clothing and beds which, increases the chance of a human being stung.
Female scorpions do not lay eggs, but instead give birth to live young which climb onto the females back and remain there until their first molt, around one or two weeks later. Up to 100 young are possible from a single female. After mating the male scorpion is often eaten by the female.
True scorpions hide during the day and become active at night, which helps them manage temperature and water balance, important functions for survival in dry habitats. Many species dig burrows in the soil and they have a well-developed sense of hearing. Scorpions hide under stones, bark, wood or other objects on the ground where they wait or search for prey.
Whiptail scorpions can grow up to 3 inches long.
They range in color from light brown to black. Instead of a tail, they have a long hair like whiptail. They also have a very large pair of palps or grasping devices.
Whiptail scorpions are predators that feed primarily on insects, working at night and hiding during daylight hours. They use their giant pincers to catch their prey.
Whiptail scorpions are so-named due to their long, thin tail, which extends from the tip of the abdomen. They are also known as "vinegarroons" because of their tendency to spray a defensive mist of acetic acid, or vinegar, from their tail end. They are not venomous and not true scorpions. The long, whip-like tail is used as a sensory organ and does not have a stinger.
After mating, the pregnant female digs a special burrow with a large area at the end. When the eggs hatch, the young are white and look nothing like their mother. They attach themselves to their mother by special suckers. Eventually they molt and look like miniature whiptail scorpions.
Whip scorpions are nocturnal, and spend their daylight hours hidden under debris or woodpiles on the soil, or within clutter in storage areas of structures.
These venomous spiders are usually a 1/2 inch in length, with a shiny black body, long thin legs and large oval abdomen. Females typically exhibit a red "hourglass" pattern on the underside of the abdomen, but this is not always the case.
Usually shiny black but may also be various shades of brown or mottled brown and white.
Both males and females construct webs to capture their prey, which includes flies, moths and crickets and may also consist of reptiles and other small animals. Their fangs inject venom as well as digestive juices into the prey. This method not only kills the prey, but also liquefies its flesh so the spider can eat it more easily.
The black widow spider weaves a very strong but formless and erratic web close to the ground and can often be found in drain pipes, under outhouse toilet seats and beneath logs and rocks. The tips of the spider's legs are oily to prevent it from becoming stuck in its own web. It can usually be found hiding belly up in its web waiting to catch prey.
A female black widow can produce up to nine egg sacs with an average of 300 to 400 eggs in each sac. The sacs are about 1/2 inch in diameter and have a smooth surface. The newly hatched spiderlings emerge from the sac and remain close to it for a day or two. Although they are not poisonous, they are cannibalistic and will often eat one another. After a few days the spiderlings climb to high points, release a strand of webbing and propel themselves to other locations in a process known as ballooning.
The black widow spider is the most dangerous North American spider because they inject a neurotoxin when they bite, the effect of which can be serious and even fatal. A bite results in extreme pain and cramping that can take several days to diminish. Many people are bitten when they pick up a log or other item the spider is hiding under.
Cellar spiders are easily identified by their extraordinarily long and thin legs which can be up to two inches long. The legs are attached to an elongate and thin body.
They are usually yellowish brown in color.
Like all spiders, cellar spiders are predators and carnivores. They will eat just about any kind of insect or bug including moths, mosquitoes, flies, beetles, and other spiders like the black widow and brown recluse. When an insect walks into its web, the cellar spider wraps it up in spider silk and sucks it dry. When the cellar spider is finished, it cuts the insect loose, letting it fall to the ground creating a pile of dead, dry, bug bodies underneath its web.
Cellar spiders like dark, damp areas, such as crawl spaces, basements, and sheds but can also be found around doorways and in garages. Cellar spiders are often referred to as Daddy Long-Legs due to their very long, thin legs. The true Daddy Long-Legs, however, is another animal entirely, called the Harvestman. They create messy webs, which gather dust and floating debris, as well as the remains of the insects the spiders have fed on. Cellar spiders hang upside down on their webs, and when disturbed, they will shake and bounce the web noticeably, or drop off the web and run to hide.
Cellars spiders prefer to live in secret places and like to live close to their mate. In fact, male and female cellar spiders will often live next door to each other. The female creates an egg mass of about a dozen eggs, and holds it in her jaws until the eggs hatch. The babies hatch after several weeks.
Once a cellar spider's web gets too old, the spider spins a new web that is attached to the old web. Over time, this creates significant amounts of cobwebs.
Adults vary in size, depending on species, with a body length up to about 1/2 inch and a leg span up to 2 inches.
They are dark brown with one body section and long, thin legs.
Harvestmen are hunters and feed on insects, aphids, caterpillars, leafhoppers, beetles, flies, mites, slugs, worms, spiders and other harvestmen.
Harvestmen are known as daddy long legs, and are not true spiders, but they are close relatives. They are active at night and are often found in large numbers around structures and inside buildings. Moisture is a main attraction, as they require water on a regular basis. Harvestmen do not bite or sting, do not possess venom, and do not create silk.
Females lay eggs in moist soil, often under rocks or logs. They have a small needle-like appendage, called an ovipositor, to inject eggs into the soil. The eggs survive through winter to hatch in the warmth of spring. Females lay one batch of eggs each year.
Harvestmen release a foul-smelling odor as a defense against predators. They sometimes gather in large numbers on tree trunks and interlace their legs together. Harvestmen live for one year and die from the cold in winter.
Hobo spiders grow to about 1/2 inch long with a leg span of up to 1 1/2 inch.
They are grayish brown with dark stripes and zigzag lines. They have long, hairy legs.
Hobo spiders are hunters and eat any small invertebrate that touches their web.
The hobo spider is also known as the aggressive house spider and is notorious for biting humans with little or no provocation. Like many spiders, it injects toxic venom when it bites that leads to tissue death and a lingering open wound. If the bite is delivered in fatty tissue, the lesion can be very deep and extensive, sometimes not healing for years. The hobo spider is very common in the Pacific Northwest, and is the most likely cause of serious spider bites there. The hobo spider creates a non-sticky funnel shaped web close to the ground often near a home?s foundation, under the siding or on plants and weeds. The hobo web has strings that trip the prey, which the hobo spider then attacks before it can escape.
The female hobo spider stays stationary in her web so the male must approach her for mating. The male bobs and taps at the funnel web?s entrance in a precise pattern. If his signals are not clear, the female may attack and kill him. If the female is responsive, the male slowly adds silk to her web and gradually approaches her. After mating, he leaves in search of other females. The female produces one to four egg cases, each one holding 50-100 eggs. The female attaches the egg cases underneath outdoor objects, although occasionally in crawlspaces. Hobo spiderlings hatch in June.
The hobo spider's web is unusual, because the funnel opening is oval and not circular. The spider has very poor eyesight which explains why it is much more aggressive toward humans then other spiders. They have to attack to eat otherwise they would die of starvation.
Jumping spiders can grow to 1/2 inch in length.
Jumping spiders in general are stout, hairy spiders with short, strong legs. The top of the abdomen often has colorful hairs of red, orange, yellow, or white, and some males may have brilliant iridescent green or blue jaws. It is the enlarged middle front pair of eyes that distinguishes these interesting spiders.
They are predatory and hunt for other arthropods and insects. Jumping spiders stalk their prey to within a few body lengths, then crouch, crawl slowly forward, lift the front legs and pounce.
Jumping spiders have the ability to leap up to 20 times their body length to escape a threat. They are able to do this by means of muscular contractions that force body fluids into the legs, causing them to extend rapidly. These spiders can often be found indoors wandering over walls or floors as they hunt for food. They have four sets of eyes, excellent eyesight and can see prey up to 18 inches away. They are active during the day, as they need light to see their prey.
Jumping spiders have separate sexes, and the eggs have to be fertilized. The genital openings of both male and female are located on the abdomen. The male spins a little web and deposits sperm in it, then moves the sperm to the palpal organ. After sperm are transferred to the female, they can be stored in her body for an extended period.
The jumping spider can be found on trees, grass and rocks when the sun is shining. At night or during rainfall the spiders hide in a dry spot under a small web. Jumping spiders use their silk to line their abode, cover their eggs, and to create a ?drag line? behind them as they walk about.
Though they can vary in size, violin spiders are typically about the size of a US quarter.
Violin spiders, also known as brown recluse spiders, are light to dark brown spiders with very long legs and short hairs covering the legs and body segments. On the top of the body there is usually a pattern that resembles a violin.
The violin spider is a hunter and comes out at night to search for insects.
The violin spider uses its silk only for lining its retreat and for covering its eggs. It does not use the web to catch its prey. It spins a loose, irregular web of very sticky, off-white to grayish threads. The violin spider is very capable of biting humans, and its cyto-toxic venom causes tissue death at the bite site, which can lead to a large, infected, and lingering wound. The violin spider commonly lives inside structures, hiding within clothing, behind furnishings, and in attics and wall voids. They prefer to remain in areas of low activity and are not aggressive, biting only when provoked and threatened.
Females lay about 50 eggs that are encased in a silken sac. Each female may produce several egg sacs over a period of several months. Spiderlings emerge from the egg sac within a month. It takes an average of one year to reach the adult stage. They live about one to two years.
Violin spiders can survive up to six months without food or water. The lesion from its bite is a dry, blue-gray or blue-white, irregular sinking patch with ragged edges and surrounding redness - termed the "red, white, and blue sign."
Wolf spiders vary in size from small species with only 1/2 inch leg spans to large ones whose legs may stretch out 5 inches.
Wolf spiders are long legged and covered with short hairs, gray to brown to dark brown in color, and have several darker stripes.
Wolf spiders are hunters and hunt for insect prey under cover of night.
Wolf spiders are large, hairy spiders not associated with a web. In fact, they only use silk for lining their nest and covering their eggs. They are very mobile, very fast, and very aggressive when threatened. Smaller species have been knows to run across the water of a swimming pool, suspended on the surface tension of the water. Retreats for the spiders are holes in the soil, under debris on the ground or within woodpiles. They commonly enter structures and can be found running across floors or walls as they search for food.
The female constructs an egg sac of white papery silk, which she carries around attached with strong silk to her spinnerets. When the spiderlings hatch, they are carried around on the females back until they are ready to disperse by ballooning to the ground.
Wolf spiders are often confused with the brown recluse, but they lack the violin-shaped marking behind the head. The wolf spider is shy and runs away when disturbed.Schedule Pest Control Service