Name: American cockroaches

American cockroach (Blattaria: Blattidae, Periplaneta americana) adults are 1 and 1/2 inches long and are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. When disturbed, may run rapidly and adults may fly. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except that they are wingless.

American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 84 degrees Fahrenheit and do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. They feed on a wide variety of plant and animal material.

Females produce egg cases and carry them protruding from the tip of the abdomen for about two days. Egg cases are then generally placed on a surface in a hidden location. Egg cases are 3/8 inch long, brown, and purse shaped. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6 to 8 weeks and require 6 to 12 months to mature. Adult cockroaches can live up to one year.

Photo © Pioneer Pest Managment 4119 Brick Schoolhouse Road Hamlin, NY

Name: Argentine Ants

Photo © Geek On The Run Technology Services Long Island, NY

This light to dark brown ant, about one-tenth inch long; antenna has 12 segments. The Argentine ant is readily adaptable and can nest in a great variety of situations. Colonies are massive, and may contain hundreds of queens, nests are usually located in moist soil, next to or under buildings, along sidewalks, or beneath boards.They travel in trails, forage day and night. This ant can eat almost anything but prefers sweets.It has no important natural enemy in the United States.

Name: Asian lady beetle

Photo by Scott Bauer.

Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis
The Asian lady beetle is a common and widespread wintertime household pest across most of the United States. Large numbers of these insects invade homes during the fall and remain active over the winter, especially in late winter when temperatures warm and days get longer. Ladybugs do not feed and cannot reproduce indoors; they have not multiplied indoors although it must seem that way to homeowners who have been inundated with them.

When lady beetles stranded indoors for the winter are emerging from inside house walls, there is no control option more practical or effective than repeated vacuuming. Spraying insecticides has little or no effect. However, one alternative for homeowners unable/unwilling to pursue wintertime ladybug control via vacuuming is the use of lady beetle traps as indoor collecting devices.
Occasional invaders

Name: Atlantic City Termite Job

A description of a termite job done on a home in Atlantic City, New Jersey, a home with very deep foundations and a recurring termite problem.

[ The Atlantic City Job ]

Name: Australian cockroaches

Photo © Allpet Roaches
Australian cockroach (Periplaneta australasiea (fabricius)
The Australian cockroach closely resembles the American cockroach , but can be separated from it by its slightly smaller size , about 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 inches long and the wings of both sexes cover the abdomen. The Australian cockroach life cycle requires about one year from egg to adult. This world-wide species has become established in the southern U.S. and in many greenhouses. In the United States, it is most abundant in Florida and the coastal southern states, and in California it ranges as far north as San Francisco. It lives outdoors around the perimeter of houses and is the most prevalent cockroach outdoors in south Florida. Australian cockroaches are prevalent in leaf litter, in and around shrubs, flowers and trees, tree holes, wood piles, garages, crawl spaces, attics, and greenhouses. It is a pest when it enters homes where it may eat holes in clothing and feed upon book covers. It is apparently more vegetarian than the other cockroaches.

Name: Baldfaced Hornets

The Bald faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) are black and white, 5/8 to 3/4 of an inch long and are actually a yellowjacket.

Its nest is a gray "paper" envelope with several layers of combs inside. A mature nest is bigger than a basketball, but pear-shaped, with the larger end at the top and an entrance hole near the bottom.
A single, over-wintering queen begins building the nest in the spring. She lays eggs and tends the first batch of larvae that develop into workers. These workers tend new larvae and expand the nest throughout the summer. A mature colony can have several hundred workers by the end of the summer. In fall, workers die and next year's queens find over-wintering sites.
Baldfaced hornets are beneficial, capturing insects (often including other yellowjackets) to feed to their larvae. Though larger than other yellowjackets, Baldfaced hornets are generally more docile. But they can become aggressive and will sting when their nest is disturbed or threatened.
A Baldfaced nest is usually constructed high in a tree. In these cases the nest is best left alone. In fact, Baldfaced hornet nests are often first noticed in fall when leaves drop, exposing the nest. By this time the hornets are dead or dying, and the nest will not be reused.
Occasionally you will find a Baldfaced nest built on the side of a building, in low shrubbery, or even in an attic or shed. Nests in these sites will probably need to be eliminated.
Stinging/Biting Pest

Name: Bed Bugs

The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius Linnaeus) probably received its name from its close association with human bedding. Bed bugs often seek refuge in bedding during the day and feed on the bed's occupants at night. These insects are known by several names: wall louse, house bug, mahogany flat, red coat, and crimson ramblers, to name a few.

While bed bugs feed primarily on humans, they also feed on other mammals, poultry, and other birds. Their host range is confused by the fact that the insect family Cimicidae, of which the common bed bug is a member, has several closely related species with similar habits and appearance. Among those reported in New Mexico are the western bat bug (Cimex pilosellus Horvath) and the swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarius Horvath). While these insects prefer other hosts, they can, when stressed, feed on humans.

It has never been proven that bed bugs are disease carriers in the United States. They are spread mainly by clothing and baggage of travelers and visitors, secondhand beds, bedding materials, furniture, and laundry.

The mature bed bug is a brown- to mahogany-colored, wingless insect. Its size depends on how recently it has eaten a blood meal. An unfed bed bug is between 1/4 and 3/8 inches long. The upper surface of its body has a papery, crinkly, flimsy appearance. When engorged with blood, its body becomes elongated and swollen, and its color changes from brown to dull red. The color, size, and shape change from an unfed to a full bug is remarkable.

Bed bug eggs are white and about 1/3-inch long. Under favorable conditions the female bed bug lays about 200 eggs at the rate of 3 or 4 per day. Eggs have a sticky coating and stick to objects where they are laid. It usually takes the eggs 6 to 17 days to hatch, and the newly emerged nymphs will feed immediately. A bed bug goes through five molts (shedding of its skin) before it reaches maturity. Depending on environmental factors and the availability of food, there can be considerable variation in developmental rate. Bed bugs may live for several weeks to several months without feeding, depending on temperature.

A bed bug generally feeds at night, but if it is hungry and the area has a dim light, it may feed during the day. A bed bug generally pierces the skin of humans as they sleep. It injects a fluid into the human skin to aid in obtaining blood. Often this fluid causes a welt on the skin that becomes irritated, inflamed, and itchy. If left undisturbed, a full-grown bed bug becomes engorged with blood in 3 to 5 minutes. It then crawls into hiding, remaining there for several days to digest its meal. When hunger returns, the bug emerges from hiding and seeks another blood meal.

Heavily used hiding places are evident by black or brown spots of dried blood excrement on the surfaces where the bugs rest. Eggs, egg shells, and cast skins may be found near these places. Usually there is an offensive odor where bed bugs are numerous. In early infestations the bed bugs are found only about the tufts, seams, and folds of mattresses and daybed covers; later they spread to cracks and crevices in the bedsteads. If allowed to multiply, they establish themselves behind baseboards, window and door casings, pictures, and moldings, and in furniture, loosened wallpaper, and cracks in plaster and partitions.

L.M. English, Extension Entomologist College of Agriculture and Home Economics New Mexico State University
Stinging/Biting Pest

Name: Black Widow Spiders

Photographer: Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service
Black Widow Spiders Latrodectus mactans (Fabricius)
Northern Widow Spider Latrodectus variolus (Walckenaer)
Spring and summer is when you find an over abundance of spiders around the house. In many instances, at least one of these spiders can be identified as the black widow . The black widow spider is present in every state in the union and is found in Canada and South America. The males and females are distinctly different in appearance. The female is shiny black with a bright red hourglass shaped marking on the underside of the abdomen. A mature female, with legs extended, is up to two inches long with the abdomen ranging from 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. The male is much smaller with its overall length less than one inch. It is usually lighter than the female in overall color and has light streaks on his abdomen. The web on this species is also distinctive. The strands of silk run in many directions so the web appears as a concentration of irregularly arranged threads. The silk strand of the web is considerably heavier and stronger than those of other species that form similarly shaped webs. The female hangs upside down in the web such that the red hourglass faces up. The egg sacs, which contain up to several hundred eggs, are most frequently encountered from May to October. The female typically stays with and guards the sac until the eggs hatch. The young spiderlings remain inside the sac for several days subsequent to hatching. Within a few days after emergence, the spiderlings release strands of silk out into the breeze and are carried off into a new territory. Most of these flights occur during the early fall months. Development from egg to adult may take from two to four months or more. A female may live a year or more after maturity. Males are sometimes killed by the female soon after mating, thus the name "widow" is attached to the spider

Name: Booklice

Booklice belong to a group of insects collectively called psocids. The psocids are small, soft-bodied insects, most of which are less than one-eighth of an inch long. They are both winged and wingless. Psocids have chewing mouthparts.

The majority of psocids are outdoor species with well developed wings. They are most commonly found on bark or foliage of trees and shrubs. These psocids are frequently called "barklice." Most of the species found in buildings are wingless. Because they are often found among books or papers, they are called booklice. The term "lice" in the names is somewhat misleading because none of these insects are parasites and few of them have a louselike appearance. Psocids feed on molds, fungi, cereals, pollen, fragments of dead insects, or other similar materials. They cause little loss by actually eating foodstuffs since they do feed chiefly on mold. At times they may become extremely abundant and spread through an entire building. In such situations they may contaminate foods and materials to the point the goods must be discarded. Damage to books may be more direct. They eat the starch sizing in the bindings of books and along the edges of pages.

The eggs of psocids are laid singly or in clusters and are often covered with silken webs or debris. Most species pass through six nymphal stages. The entire life span from egg to adult is between thirty and sixty days.

Reduction of moisture to eliminate formation of mold is a very effective method for controlling booklice. Infested furniture, bedding, or other movable furnishings should be thoroughly cleaned and aired.

Source: ©University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Occasional invaders

Name: Bottle Flies

Include a number of species including the common bluebottle fly, Calliphora vomitoria (Linnaeus) the green bottlefly, Phaenicia sericata (Meigen) and others. Adult flies are metallic blue, green, copper or black colored flies that otherwise resemble house flies in appearance.
Other Calliphoridae include the black blow fly, Phormia regina (Meigen), and the cluster fly, Pollenia rudis (Fabricius). Larvae of cluster flies parasitize earth worms. Adult flies hibernate in homes. Species of the family, Sarcophagidae, are also found in association with carrion and excrement, although some feed on decaying vegetation or are parasitic.

One example of this family is the flesh fly, Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis Fallen (Diptera: Sarcophagidae). Adults are similar to blow flies but are patterned a checkerboard (tessellated) of gray and black on the abdomen. The hair on the last antennal segment (arista) is bear or less feathery than those of Calliphoridae.
Female flies lay eggs on or near suitable habitats. Tiny maggots hatch from eggs in 6 to 48 hours.

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

Name: Boxelder bugs

The boxelder bug, Boisea trivittatis, formerly Leptocorouos trivittatis, is a true bug, of the order Hemiptera, which means half-winged. Most Hemiptera are "good bugs" that is, predators such as Aquatic Bugs, Damsel Bugs, Ambush Bugs, Assassin Bugs, etc. The boxelder bugs are sort of in the middle. They do very little damage to the trees they attack, but at certain times of the year they can become a nuisance. Boxelder bugs develop by gradual metamorphosis, from egg, to nymph, then to adult.
Occasional invaders

Name: Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa)
Soft-bodied, yellowish-tan to dark brown, the brown recluse is about ¼ to ½-inch long and have long, delicate gray to dark brown legs covered with short, dark hairs. They have 3 pairs of eyes arranged in a semicircle on the front of the head. The recluse also has a violin-shaped marking behind the eyes. The neck of the violin points away from the head toward the abdomen.

Brown recluse spiders are most active at night and prefer dark, undisturbed areas. Like the black widow, the brown recluse is not aggressive but will bite if disturbed. Bites are rarely fatal but do require immediate attention by a physician

Name: Brown bat

Photo © United Exterminating Company

Brown bats, gentle and intelligent animals, ordinarily have but one pup per year. Bats suckle their young, just like other mammals. They are successful, helpful animals, usually very unobtrusive. Most people don't realize it, but the air is alive with bats every evening, even in the winter. The echo location skills of insect-eating bats are legend. They can fly and avoid obstacles that you and I can't even see. They can overtake, capture and eat insects on the wing. The brown bat scoops them up in a pocket of his wings and pops them into his mouth without missing a wingbeat. The brown bat is not “blind” either - they can actually see quite well. It's just that since they hunt insects at night, they use their own sonar for the chore.

Name: Brown cockroach

Photo © University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Brown cockroach (Periplaneta brunnea burmeister)
The Brown cockroach is often mistaken for an American cockroach . The adult is reddish-brown, but is somewhat darker in color. It is 1¼-1½ inch long. The Brown cockroach was first reported in the United States in 1907 in Illinois, but is well established in numerous states throughout the Southeast. While its distribution has grown, it is still confined to the southeastern states. The Brown cockroach occurs mainly outdoors, under the bark of trees and in sewers.

Name: Brown dog tick

Adult Male (left) and Female (right)
Photo ©University of California Department of Entomology

The Brown dog tick Is associated with domestic dogs, their kennels, runs, and houses. When ticks are not on a dog, they hide in cracks and crevices, often in great numbers. In the United States, brown dog ticks rarely bite people. However, houses with brown dog tick infestations may become overrun with them. It is most numerous in the southern and southwestern states and in California. The brown dog tick is a hard tick that spends all its life cycle in and near the living quarters of its host. Engorged females drop off and crawl into cracks and crevices to lay eggs. Larvae and nymphs also hide in such places and come out only when ready to feed. Dog kennels, runs,and houses may shelter hundreds of hiding ticks.

Adult males are reddish-brown, 1/12 to 1/8 inch long. Adult unengorged females resemble males. Engorged adult females may be 1/4 to 3/8 inch long. Females have gray-blue to olive bodies. The nymphs resemble adult females, but are smaller. The larvae resemble small nymphs, but have six legs. The eggs, laid in groups of thousands, show a whitish spot just before hatching, but are smooth, shiny dark brown, otherwise. After laying eggs, the shriveled female dies.

Under ideal conditions the life cycle may be completed in about two months, however, under normal conditions, with a host present, there are usually 3 to 4 generations per year. Because larval and nymphal stages can live two months without feeding, and adults can live at least eight months with no host, infestations can persist long after dogs leave the premises.

Name: Brown widow spiders

Click here for photo ©F.J. Santana
Brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus)
Distribution Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina.
Because they vary from light tan to dark brown or almost black, with variable markings of black, white, yellow, orange, or brown on the back of their abdomens, brown widows are not as easy to recognize. The underside of the abdomen, if you can see it, contains the characteristic hourglass marking. Unlike the black widow, the hourglass is orange to yellow orange in color.
Its egg sac is very different from those of the other widow spiders. Instead of the smooth white to tan surface, the outside of the egg sac is covered with pointed projections giving it the appearance of a globe with many pointed protuberances on its surface. It has also been described as tufted or fluffy looking.
Source:Philip G. Koehler Sarasota County Cooperative Extension Service.

Name: Brown-banded cockroaches

Photo © Geek On The Run Technology Services Long Island, NY

The adults are rather small cockroaches about 5/8 inch long. The adult male is slender in appearance with its wings extending beyond the tip of the abdomen. Adult females have shorter wings that expose a considerable portion of their broad abdomens. They have two light yellow or cream-colored bands across their backs. These bands tend to be hidden by the wings in the adults. The life cycle of the brown-banded cockroach takes from 95-276 days, with an average of 161 days. It prefers temperatures over 80°F; temperatures below 75°F retard its development. The egg capsule is yellowish or reddish/brown in color and is 3/16 inches in length. The female carries the egg capsule for 24 to 36 hours and then attaches it to some object. Egg capsules may be glued to desks, tables and other furniture, and even in bedding. This habit of hiding capsules in furniture probably accounts for its spread. Brown-banded cockroaches are abundant in the southern, midwest, and northeastern states. They are mainly a temperate pest thriving in heated buildings despite cold winters. Brown-banded cockroaches are found in homes, apartments, hotels, and hospitals. They are less frequently found in stores restaurants and kitchens. They are frequently transported in furniture and will spread rapidly through an entire building. Brown-banded cockroaches are generally found on ceilings, high on walls, behind picture frames, and near motors of refrigerators and other appliances. They are also found in light switches, closets and furniture. These cockroaches dislike light and are not normally seen during the day.

Name: Bumble Bee

Large black bees with hairy abdomens

Bumble bees are very similar in appearance to carpenter bees however, they are more closely related to honey bees in their habits. Each bumble bee nest has one queen. The queen is about the same size as the average carpenter bee, about 3/4 inch long, while the brood are smaller, about 3/8 to 1/2 inch long. Their nests are much smaller than most honey bee nests, with an average of 200 bumble bees to a nest. Bumble bee nests are built in hollow voids in the ground or hollow trees. Occasionally they will nest in wall voids or crawl spaces in houses. Many times their nests will be found under sheds and in agricultural buildings. Each nest is started by the queen in the Spring and is only used for one season. Like other bees the females are the only ones with stingers. They rarely attack or sting unless they are prevoked or they sense their nest is in danger. They are a very beneficial insect in that they pollinate many flowers and other plants. They should not be killed unless their nests are situated where they pose a human threat.

Name: Camel Crickets

Photo © University of Arkansas
There are several species of crickets which go by the name "camel cricket" because of their slightly humpbacked appearance. Their long legs sometimes give them a spider-like appearance. Most species of camel crickets are of no consequence, but one species, Tachycines asynamorous, frequently becomes a nuisance indoors. This species is also known as the "greenhouse stone cricket" because it is frequently found in greenhouses. Unlike most cricket species, camel crickets do not "chirp". If you are hearing chirping sounds, then you likely have field crickets, which can be controlled in the same manner, as outlined below. Outdoors, camel crickets are most commonly found in the soil, under stones and logs, or in stacks of firewood. Areas overgrown with vegetation, such as ivy and other ground covers, provide excellent hiding places (harborages). Camel crickets pass the winter as immatures (nymphs) or adults. In early spring, the females begin to lay eggs in the soil. A few weeks later, the nymphs hatch from these eggs. Nymphs looks almost identical to the adult, except that they are smaller.

Camel crickets become a problem when we have extremes in weather conditions, i.e, excessive rainfall or extended periods of hot, dry weather. Like many insect pests, camel crickets are attracted to harborage sites, i.e., cool, moist areas in and around the home. The crickets often invade storage buildings, crawlspaces, basements, garages and indoor areas where moisture may be a problem (e.g., bathrooms, laundry rooms, etc.). Although they are mostly a nuisance pest, they can damage stored items, such as garments and linens packed in boxes in a garage or basement if the problem goes unchecked for some time and the crickets cannot find suitable food.

North Carolina Extension Service

Name: Carpenter Ants

Photo © Geek On The Run Technology Services Long Island, NY

Click here for photo Carpenter Ants ©Herman Moxey Fidelity Exterminating

Click here for photo Carpenter Ant Queen ©Robert G. Bellinger, Clemson University Carpenter Ant (Camponotus)
These ants are large. They are a nuisance by their presence when found in parts of the home such as the kitchen, bathroom, living room, and other quarters. They do not eat wood, but remove quantities of it to expand their nest size, sometimes causing structural damage. Winged males are smaller than winged queens. Wingless queens measure 5/8 inch, winged queens 3/4 inch, large major workers 1/2 inch, and small minor workers 1/4 inch. Workers have some brown on them, while queens are black. Workers have large heads and a small thorax, while adult swarmers have a smaller head and large thorax. The petiole has one node and the profile of the thorax has an evenly rounded upper surface (workers only).

Carpenter ants normally build their nests in hollow trees, logs, posts, landscaping timbers and wood used in homes and other structures. Unlike termites, they do not feed on wood but merely use it as a place in which to build a nest. They prefer moist or partially decayed wood, frequently entering existing cavities or void areas through cracks and crevices.

The ants usually cut galleries with the grain of the wood, following the softer parts. They leave the harder wood as walls separating the tunnels. They cut openings in these walls to interconnect the galleries. Access to the outside may be through natural openings, or the ants may cut openings where none exist naturally.

Occupied galleries are kept immaculate. Shredded wood fragments from the excavations are carried from the nest and deposited outside. Cone-shaped piles of these fragments sometimes build up beneath the “windows” or other nest openings. The piles may also contain inedible parts of insects from their diet, bits of sand or soil, dead ant bodies from the colony, and gener-al debris. This “sawdust” or “frass” is not always visible, because ants may dispose of it in hollow parts of trees, void areas in structures, or unused galleries in the nest.

Carpenter ants become pests when they nest in one of the voids or damp areas in human construction, or when they forage for food in our houses. Usually, an infestation occurs when all or part of an existing colony moves into a house from outside. Ants can enter when tree branches or utility lines contact a structure; through cracks and crevices around windows and in foundation walls; through ventilation openings in the attic; and through foundation heating or air conditioning ducts.

They usually nest in wood that is very moist or previously damaged by water or termites. A colony develops best in wood with moisture content above 12 to 15 percent. This requires the wood to be wet by rain, leaks, condensation or high continuous relative humidity.
Carpenter ants can an do travel up to 100 yards from there nest site.

Visit Art of Extermination in Tacoma WA. Carpenter Ant page.
Lot’s of great information and help.

Wood destroying

Name: Carpenter bees

Large, black bees with yellow markings

Photo © United Exterminating Company

In the late-spring and early summer, homeowners often notice large, black bees hovering around the outside of their homes. These are probably [ carpenter bees ] searching for mates and favorable sites to construct their nests.
Male Valley carpenter bee, varipuncla Patton
Male carpenter bees are quite aggressive, often hovering in front of people who are around the nests. The males are quite harmless, however, since they lack stingers. Female carpenter bees can inflict a painful sting but seldom will unless they are handled or molested. Carpenter bees resemble bumble bees, but the upper surface of their abdomen is bare and shiny black; [ bumble bees ] however, have a hairy abdomen with at least some yellow markings.
Source: University of Kentucky Entomology
Pictures © United Exterminating.
Wood destroying

Name: Case-Bearing Moth

Click here for photo Larval Case Photo ©Elland, W. Yorks
So named because the larvae carry their pupal cases about as they feed and travel, case-bearing moths are much less likely to be found in your home than the Common Clothes moth.
Look for the faint, dark smudges on the wings of the adult. The wings have a very slight, darker, dusky appearance, compared with the clothes moth, giving it a slightly dull appearance. The eggs are visible only under a low-power microscope. The larva of the Case-Bearing moth is much more easily identified because of their cases, open on one end, and dragged about, wherever they go. The larvae only expose the first few segments, staying within their case for protection.
The larvae never leave their cases, and when ready to pupate, will seal off both ends of the case, and when the adult finally emerges, they cut through the end of the thin silken case. The Case-bearing moth is usually found around carpets and heavy woolen draperies. Case-bearing clothes moths are not that economically important, certainly not as much as the common clothes moth.
Fabric and carpet

Name: Centipede

Photo ©University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County

Centipedes have pair of poison claws behind the head and use the poison to paralyze their prey, usually small insects. However, the jaws of centipedes are weak and can rarely penetrate human skin. The rare individuals who are bitten may experience localized swelling and pain no worse than a bee sting. The house centipede is found throughout the United States. This centipede can be found outside under stones, boards, or sticks or beneath moist leaf litter and other organic matter. When disturbed, centipedes move swiftly toward darkened hiding places. When they are found in homes, they are often found in moist basements, damp closets and in bathrooms. Centipedes require moist habitats. If they are plentiful, there may be an underlying moisture problem that should be corrected. Usually, the best thing is an exterminator.

Name: Cicada killer wasp

Photographer: Ronald F. Billings, Texas Forest Service
Common Name: Cicada killer
Scientific Name: Sphecius speciosus (Drury)
Order: Hymenoptera

Description: These wasps reach up to 1-½ inch in length. Except for a rusty red head and thorax, they are overall black or rusty in color, with yellow band markings on the abdominal segments. They have russet colored wings.
Other sphecid wasps include digger wasps, sand wasps (Bembix sp.) and mud daubers. The tarantula hawk, Pepsis sp., (Hymenoptera: Pompilidae) is about 1-1/2 inches long, black with long legs and yellow-orange wings edged in black. Spider wasps (Pompilidae) provision their nests with spiders as food for their immatures. Pepsis sp. utilizes tarantulas as food for their immatures. They sting the tarantulas and drag them into burrows in the ground.

Life Cycle: Winter is spent in the larval or pupal stage. Adults emerge in the summer, feed, mate and produce new nesting burrows. The female provisions each cell in the burrow with one or more paralyzed cicadas on which an egg is deposited, and then seals it. The larva hatches from the egg develops through several molts (instars) before pupating inside a woven, spindle-shaped brown case measuring up to 1 1/4 inch long. One generation occurs per year.

Habitat, Food Source(s):
Mouthparts are for chewing. Cicada killers nest in sandy areas, digging burrows about 6 inches deep before turning and extending another 6 or more inches. Tunnels may be branched and end in one or more globular cells. Females are solitary, each provisioning their own nests even though they appear to be nesting in a common area. Cicada killers are active during July and August, coinciding with the appearance of cicadas which they attack, sting and paralyze. They then fly, glide or drag the cicadas back to their nests, provisioning the cells in their burrows. Larvae feed only on cicadas, and the adult will feed on flower nectar.

Pest Status:
One of the largest wasps encountered; although females are capable of stinging, they are rarely aggressive towards man or animals; males are incapable of stinging, but can be more aggressive; large numbers of females nesting in localized areas such as sandy embankments can be a nuisance and cause concern because of their large size, low flight and nesting activities; nest entrances are often accompanied by a pile of soil excavated from the burrow that may disturb turfgrass.

Source: Texas Cooperative Extension Service

Name: Cicadas

Photo © 1st Choice Pest Services

Cicadas, often erroneously called locusts, usually emerge from the ground during the night, leaving finger-size holes under trees and shrubs First visual evidence is their exoskeletons that they've left clinging to the trunks and lower limbs of trees and shrubs, as well as the foundations and walls of buildings. Later, adult males screech their shrill love songs and the females prick open saw-tooth cuts in the tender bark of twigs, into which they lay their eggs.

Upon hatching, the young drop to the ground where they burrow in to spend the next couple years feeding on roots. Leaf drop, and sometimes bleeding of sap and twig die-back, occurs if egg laying wounds are severe.

Control attempts of either adult cicadas or their root feeding nymphs have not been effective nor practical, in most cases. However, net covering to protect young succulent-bark trees from egg laying injury is advisable.

Name: Citronella Ants

Photo ©Donny Oswalt Budget Pest Control (Alabama)
Citronella Ants

Size: Up to 3/8-inch long. Color: Citronella Ants are golden yellow in color. The winged female swarmers are also golden yellow but the winged males are black.

The citronella ant is sometimes called the "large yellow ant," but its real name derives from the strong citronella odor emitted from its body. These ants are subterranean in nature. They feed on the honeydew produced by aphids and bugs, which feed on the roots of trees and other plants. The winged reproductives, called swarmers, enter buildings in early- to mid-spring. These males and females enter the home from cracks in the foundation or through subslab heating ducts. The swarmers also have the strong, characteristic citronella odor.

Citronella ants construct their colonies within the soil under items such as logs, stones, and timbers. They also can be found in the soil under mulch next to building foundations, or underneath slab floors and in crawl spaces.

Photo © Pioneer Pest Managment 4119 Brick Schoolhouse Road Hamlin, NY

Name: Clover Mites

©Photo credit: Mark Ascerno

Clover Mites are reddish brown to almost black mites are about 1/16 of an inch long, and sometimes appear to be much smaller. They move very slowly.

Clover mites live in turfgrass and feed on plant fluids. They do not bite people or animals. Sometimes in the spring their populations increase rapidly and mites leave the turfgrass and climb on houses, and enter through windows. Large numbers of mites are a nuisance and leave red stains when crushed.

Once clover mites are found in your home the simplest way to get rid of them is to remove them with a vacuum or to wipe them up carefully with a damp cloth.
Occasional invaders

Name: Cluster Flies

Cluster Fly Pollenia rudis
is a medium-sized flies from 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch in length and black in color.

Often confused with the common House Fly, Cluster Flies are roughly the same size. Some characteristics that differentiate the Cluster Fly: they fly somewhat more slowly than the House Fly, they almost always fly toward windows on the warm side of a structure, their wings overlap almost completely when at rest.

Cluster Flies breed in the ground outside of buildings during the warm weather (late Spring into early Summer) using earthworms as a food source for the immature larva (maggots). The flies later pupate (go into the cocoon stage) and then later hatch as adult flies. In temperate areas, often in late August, these flies begins to migrate indoors finding any small cracks or crevices that permit entry into structures. These may include areas around window frames, door frames or eaves. Entry tends to be on the same, warm, sunny side (often the southern or western exposure) of the structure as the flies later emerge from.

During the Fall, Winter or Spring months, these flies may emerge - particularly on warm, sunny days. The flies appear at windows buzzing and "clustering" around those areas. This fly can become a problem in virtually any structure.

Managing the Cluster Fly Cornell Cooperative Extension
Occasional invaders

Name: Common Clothes Moth

Click here for photo Photo ©University of Minnesota Extension Service
First of all, the adult stage (the moth) does no damage to fabrics or any other materials. In fact, during it's adult stage, it eats or consumes no food, living on what it consumes during the larval stage. It is this larval stage that this insect causes any damage by feeding on natural materials, wrapping itself in an open and chaotic web-mat of silk. Larvae are not
normally visible or obvious in their day to day activities. The silk is produced by a gland just under the head from a special spinneret. Larvae may reach a size of almost a half inch and incorporate their rather large fecal pellets into their web-like mass. The fecal pellets are often mistaken for "eggs."
Adult females lay their eggs, all within a couple of days, fertilized or not, on substances that will support the larval stages. Unfertilized eggs, of course, do not hatch, but fertilized eggs will hatch, in a matter of days, depending on the temperature, and the larva will then crawl away and hide. Larvae molt some four times before they construct a cocoon to pupate. Cast-off pupal skins can often be seen protruding from cocoons.
The Common Clothes moth, in the larval stage, is the most important pest of Man's natural materials, far more than the Case-bearing moth, which looks quite like the Clothes moth. And yes, these pests can go from life cycle to life cycle, right in your house, in your closet or attic.
To minimize the chance of either of these pests, have your natural material (wool, linens, etc.) dry cleaned after each use. DON'T put them away "dirty." Clothes moths prefer to dine on materials with traces of body oils, perspiration and urine, so if your items are absolutely clean, you'll worry less. Our bodies constantly exude minute amounts of these attractive chemical tags, and just ONE wearing is enough to attract these pests. The larvae can leave large holes in natural materials.
Fabric and carpet

Name: Confused flour beetle

Stored Product Pest

Click here for photo Photo ©H. A. Turney Texas A&M University
Flour beetles, most notably the Confused flour beetle and the Red flour beetle look very much alike. A ten power glass is needed to tell the difference. Slender, beetle-looking things, they are reddish-brown and about an eighth of an inch long - about the size of a grain of rice. Both are major pests of flour and flour products. They cannot penetrate nor feed on whole grains, but can be found in virtually any other processed food product. This includes anything manufactured with flour products, dried fruit, spices, chocolate products and even tobacco products. This is the pest you find most often in those too-old cake mix boxes.
Adult females will deposit as many as three or four of their sticky white eggs, per day, in the product itself, or in the cracks and crevices of packaging materials. They can produce as many as 400 to 500 eggs in their rather long lifetime. Eggs hatch in about two weeks and the tan colored larvae go through as many as 12 molts, reaching adult stage in about a month. Ideal conditions produce as many as six or seven generations in a year.
Any product infested with these pests acquires a rather distinct odor (and flavor) as a result of secretions from their very active scent glands. These two flour beetles are quite common.
Stored food / pantry / product pest

Name: Cottonwood borer

Photo © 1st Choice Pest Services

The cottonwood borer ranges throughout the eastern Unites States, but highest populations and greatest damage occur in the South. It attacks cottonwood and willow. Trees weakened by severe infestations may be broken off by wind. Damage is sometime serious in cottonwood nurseries, natural stands, and plantations, particularly those planted offsite. Adult beetles are 1 to 1 1/5 inches (25 to 38 mm) long and about 1/2 inch (12 mm) wide. They are black with lines of cream-colored hair forming irregular black patches. The larvae are seldom seen. Adults appear in midsummer. After feeding briefly, they descend to the bases of host trees where the female deposits her eggs in small pits gnawed in the bark. Eggs hatch in 16 to 18 days. The larvae bore downward in the inner bark, entering a large root by autumn. Pupation occurs in the gallery from April to June and lasts about 3 weeks. The new adults chew exit holes through the sides of the pupal chambers and emerge through the soil. Some larvae complete development in 1 year, while others require 2 years.

Larvae feeding in rootstock
Photographer: James Solomon, USDA Forest Service

Ornamental pests

Name: Crazy Ants

Crazy Ant(Paratrechina longicornis)
These ants will feed on sweets and kitchen scraps, but prefer to feed on animal matter and insects such as fly larvae and adults. Ants present the appearance of running aimlessly about a room, and thus, named "crazy." Workers are about 1/10 inch long, with slender long legs, dark brown to black in color, one node petiole, the profile of the thorax not evenly rounded and the abdomen tip has a circular fringe of hairs.

Name: Dampwood Termites

Dampwood termites are found in Pacific and adjacent states, the desert or semi-arid southwest, and southern Florida

They invade damp, sometimes decaying, wood, such as logs, stumps, and dead trees that are still standing. One species is found in the dead limbs of living trees. Dampwood termites move into buildings where wood is in contact with the ground, or where there is a leaky pipe or other source of continual moisture.

Dampwood termite nymphs are up to 3/4 in long, swarmers up to 1 in (25mm) long.
Most of these species are larger than the eastern/western/subterranean termites

Pellets are about 1/32 in (1 mm) long, the color of the wood being eaten. They have a long oval shape, like those of drywood termites but with the six sides flattened. However, they may be round or sphere shaped if the wood is very moist.
Wood destroying

Name: Dave's Roach Farm

American roaches

Visit Dave's Roach Farm and see the American roaches.

Name: Deer ticks

Photo by Scott Bauer

Deer tick, Ixodes scapularis
Deer ticks are small, dark-colored ticks sometimes called seed ticks. Deer ticks feed mostly on deer, cattle, and other large animals, but they will feed on people when they get a chance. These ticks are found along paths, trails, and roadways.

Deer ticks are in the genus Ixodes, and there are several species of Ixodes that carry the Lyme disease bacteria in their systems. Lyme disease has become a notable tick-borne disease in some eastern states. It is an affliction that occurs in the summer months. This tick-transmitted bacterial disease is most likely to be contracted during the months of June through September. It is spreading rapidly, and is now the most frequently diagnosed tick-transmitted illness in the United States. Lyme disease is also becoming a veterinary problem. Dogs and horses in areas where the disease is common have developed joint problems that veterinarians believe to be caused by Lyme bacteria.

Source: Virginia Cooperative Extension
Stinging/Biting Pest

Name: Dermestid Beetles

Pantry Pest

Source:, Plain talk about pests and pest control

Dermestid beetles are a large group of primarily carnivorous beetles that include larder beetles, carpet beetles and cabinet beetles. Unlike most other stored product pests, dermestid beetles prefer meat-based foods like pet foods, soup bases, and beef jerky. They also commonly infest non-food items such as furs, wool carpeting, and cashmere sweaters; and sometimes become a secondary pest when they feed on the feathers or fur of dead birds or other animals trapped in structures.
Stored food/pantry/product pest

Name: Drain flies

Drain flies (also called sewer or moth flies) breed in the slime that accumulates in little-used or defective drains or soil lines. If you think you have drain flies, leave an overturned water glass over the drain and see if they accumulate overnight.
Occasional invaders

Name: Drugstore Beetles

Stored Product Pest

The adults, the ones you will usually see, are small, about an eighth of an inch long, light brown or even red in color and have a "humpback" appearance. They look almost identical to the
Cigarette beetle. The wing covers of the Drugstore beetle have distinct grooves running from front to back. Cigarette beetles have smooth wing covers. Larvae of Drugstore beetles are hairless, the Cigarette beetle larvae look like they have a fuzzy coat
Drugstore beetles feed on all kinds of foods and spices, including leather and furs, hair, drugs and books. Depending on conditions, they can have as many as four generations per year. Normally, however, they have one generation per year in residential situations, so they are rather long-lived.
The females lay their eggs in singles, in the product they are infesting. The larval stage can last as long as five months, followed by a relatively short period of less than three weeks in the pupal stage.
Infested food products should be discarded, other materials, such as books and manuscripts can be fumigated.
Stored food / pantry / product pests

Name: Earwigs

Adult European Earwig - Female & Male

Earwigs (Fozficula auzicularia) are common insects which occur in or about homes, yards, and gardens. Earwigs cause concern because of their appearance but they are harmless, cannot sting, and are not able to bite or pinch hard enough to cause any injury to the skin of people.

The European earwig is dark reddish-brown with a reddish head, about 1/2 to 1 inch long and is easily recognized by the prominent forceps or pincers at the rear. The young are much like the adults. In the spring, the female lays a batch of about 30 eggs in cells beneath the soil surface. The eggs are brooded by the female. After hatching, the female stays with the nymphs, keeping the nest tightly closed to prevent their escape. After molting once, the young nymphs disperse.

Four nymphal stages occur before adult maturity is reached in 68 or more days. There is usually only one generation per year. Earwigs eat almost anything they can chew but prefer plant food and may cause damage to garden plants. Earwigs hide in large numbers in the yard under stones, boards, mats, boxes, newspapers, and in the crotches of trees. They invade homes, infest bedrooms and closets. the adults are winged and can fly, but rarely do so. They are active mainly at night.
Occasional invaders | Ornamental pests

Name: Eastern Grey Squirrels

Grey squirrels populate a large part of the United States and Europe too. They are, of course, a rodent, one that is used to people, finding many suitable areas to build a den in or on man’s structures - including your attic. Squirrels will cause damage to these structures, if left alone, so it is best to exclude them from these areas. For help and information on how to do this yourself, visit United Exterminating’s Squirrel Page.
Occasional invaders | small animals | Rodent pests

Name: Eastern subterranean termites

Click here for photo Subterranean termites ©Herman Moxey Fidelity Exterminating
Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes

Subterranean termites, in natural settings, work as beneficial insects by breaking down cellulose-containing materials, such as dead trees. They live in the soil and must maintain contact with the ground or some other moisture source to survive. Termites become a problem to humans when structures containing cellulose are built over or near their colonies in the ground. They are able to find weakened areas in the structure, or areas of direct wood-to-ground contact, and feed on the cellulose. Termites build earthen shelter tubes from the ground into the structure for protection from predators and to help maintain a moist environment. Many times these tubes are built on inside walls, porches or chimneys where they cannot be seen.

In some rare situations, if water and wood are available from a source other than the soil, subterranean termites can establish a colony with no ground contact. Isolated, above-ground infestations may occur in buildings where termites have access to water from condensation, leaking pipes, roofs or other sources.

Termites are social insects that live in highly organized colonies. Like many insects, termites have an egg, an immature and an adult stage. There are three main types of adult colony members, or castes: reproductives, workers and soldiers. The reproductives include the king and queen, and in large colonies, supplementary reproductives that produce eggs. Workers are usually the most numerous individuals in the colony. They are small, wingless and whitish and may be found in damaged wood. Workers care for all of the other termites and forage for food (wood). The soldiers protect the colony from attackers such as ants.

Soldiers fit the same description as workers, but have long, dark mouthparts protruding from their large heads. Soldiers may also be found in damaged wood. Termites are able to digest wood with the help of microorganisms which live in the termite gut.

When a colony is several years old and relatively large, it may produce another form of adult termite called a "swarmer." Swarmers have four wings, are often brown or black and range in size from approximately 3/8 to ¼ inch. Swarmers are the termite’s way of sending out new kings and queens to start colonies. In the spring, great numbers of swarmers can fly from a single colony. Male and female swarmers pair up, shed their wings and tunnel into the ground. The pair then prepare a chamber near a wood source where the female will begin to lay eggs. These eggs are cared for by the king and queen and will develop into worker termites. The workers take over care of the young from the queen and king. Once enough workers are established, soldiers and other castes will develop from eggs produced by the queen. Two or three years after the establishment of the colony, secondary reproductives are produced. These greatly increase the egg-laying activity and population of the colony. Normally at least three to four years or more will pass before any swarming of winged termites from the colony occurs.

Swarmers are the most visible form of termite. These termites can be confused with many ants that also swarm in the spring. However, swarming ants have elbowed antennae, a narrow waist and front wings that are longer than the back wings. Swarming termites have straight antennae, a thick waist and all wings the same length.

Source:Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service
Wood destroying

Name: European hornets

The European hornet, an introduced species, is the only true hornet in the United States. A large, orange colored insect, it is almost an inch long. These insects fly at night and are attracted to lights and lighted windows. They build nests in protected areas, such as wall voids, attics, tree holes and roof cavities. They have large stingers with large poison sacs, although they are not as aggressive as other wasps. They are an annual insect, all the workers die at the end of the year and the next year’s nest is started by a surviving queen. These insects can cause damage to ornamental shrubs by stripping the bark, girdling the twigs, to get the resulting sap. Control is directly to the nest entrance, at night.
Stinging/Biting Pest

Name: Field crickets

Photo ©Paul M. Choate, University of Florida

Field crickets (Acheta assimilis) are found throughout the United States and southern Canada. They live in or on the ground in bushes, and feed on plant parts or animal matter. They are mostly nocturnal, and males are heard singing on summer nights. They may invade structures when the grasses dry out or during periods of cricket abundance. Field crickets are apparently not able to adapt themselves to conditions in houses and eventually die.


Field crickets have large heads, with long threadlike antennae and spear-shaped ovipositors. They vary in length from 3/5 to 1 inch. The color is usually dark brown to gray to black, but occasionally light brown specimens are seen. This species flies and jumps well. Wings are fully developed. Hearing organs occur on both sides of the front tibia. Their "music" is made by vibrating the upper wings against each other. Only the adult male makes the chirping noise. Females and young are unable to chirp.

Life Cycle

Field crickets lay their eggs singly at shallow depths in the ground in late August and September. They may lay anywhere from 150 to 400 eggs. Most of the eggs overwinter in the ground and hatch in May and June. The newly hatched cricket can walk, run and jump immediately. It passes through from 8 to 10 stages of growth (instars) before becoming an adult in 78 to 90 days. Hibernation occurs in the egg stage and, to a lesser degree, in the nymphal stage in the 5th and 6th instars. Adults appear in July and August, mate, and usually die when the first cold weather sets in.

Field crickets can damage ornamental plants and shrubs. In homes, they damage textiles (cotton, linen, wool, and silk) as well as fur. Clothing and paper, especially if stained or soiled, are liable to injury. Even nylon, wood, plastic, leather, and thin rubber goods can be damaged.
Occasional invaders | Fabric and carpet

Name: Fire Ants

Photo by Scott Bauer.

The notorious Red Imported Fire Ants , the American South's "ant from hell," was accidentally introduced into the port of Mobile, Alabama, sometime in the 1930's. Its native range is northern Argentina and southern Brazil, and the first immigrant colonies probably made their ways north as stowaways on cargo ships. The species then spread throughout the southern United States, where today its vast populations of fiercely stinging workers make it a major pest.

Name: Firebrats

Firebrats. Thermobia domestica, belong to a primitive group of insects of characteristic appearance, being flattened and carrot-shaped, broad near the head end and tapering toward the rear. They are scaly and wingless and have long slender antennae. Three long slender appendages occur at the rear of the body and give this group the common name of "bristletails".

Firebrats are mottled grayish brown, about ½ inch long.
Firebrat females lay up to 50 eggs in cracks and crevices. Because of the warmth, the eggs hatch in 12-13 days. Nymphs are sexually mature in two to four months and full grown in a year. Adults may live up to two years.

Firebrats prefer very warm areas indoors where temperatures are above 90 F. Indoors they are usually found near heating units, fireplaces, and steam or hot water pipes if these areas are not too dry. Firebrats require some moisture. Both species feed upon starches and proteins, such as fabrics, paper, starches, glue, books and other household furnishings. They leave yellowish stains, especially on linens.
Fabric and carpet

Name: Fleas

Order of insects called Siphonaptera, which means wingless siphon.

Click here for photo Human flea, Pulex irritans. ©Stephanie Boucher
Fleas are one of the more important groups of insect pests because they not only cause discomfort by biting, but they can transmit several diseases.
Cat fleas are found throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Adults about 1/8". Wings lacking. Body laterally flattened (side to side). Color brownish black to black. Females lay 4-8 eggs after each blood meal, laying some 400-500 during their lifetime. Eggs are oval, whitish, and about 1/64" long. They usually hatch in 1-12 days. Flea larvae feed on organic debris but almost all require dried fecal blood in order to complete development; they do not bite but feed on adult flea fecal blood. Larvae require high relative humidity (45-95º:.) Adults usually begin to seek a blood meal on the second day after emergence, but can live for several months on stored body fat. Once on a host, they tend to spend all of their time on the host, feeding, mating, and laying eggs, unless dislodged. Although they have a preferred host, they will readily bite people and can survive using other species as hosts. Depending on conditions, they can survive up to a year. It is not necessary to have pets in the building in order to have fleas present.

Name: Florida Termite Job

A Termite Job completed by an IPCO Partner in Winter Park, Florida

[ The Florida Termite Job ]

Advance Tech, from Clermont, Florida, completed this termite job, a lesson in crawl spaces and patience.

Name: Flying Squirrels

Click here for photo ©Nebraska Wildlife
There are two varieties of flying squirrels, the northern and the southern. At some parts of their range, they will overlap. The southern is more aggressive and generally dominates. The southern squirrel is smaller, only about nine or ten inches long. The southern can have two litters per year, while the northern variety usually has only one.

Food consists of berries, nuts and the northern variety especially likes sugar maple sap. They will both occasionally eat young birds, but mostly feed on grains and nuts.

They will invade structures, mostly to “den” together in the winter season, and will sometimes have many individuals living together. Their range is very broad, covering most of North America, in forests, which is their preferred habitat.

Nocturnal animals, with very large eyes, suited for their nighttime activities. They “fly” by means of their gliding ability and can glide 3 feet for every foot of vertical drop. They usually glide from one tree to another, and after landing, will scurry around to the other side of the tree, a natural adaptation to escape pursuing predators. In the wild, they seldom live for more than five years or so, and are food for owls, eagles, cats and other predators.
Occasional invaders | small animals | Rodent pests

Name: Formosan subterranean termites

Photo by ©Scott Bauer

The Formosan subterranean termite is native to China. It has been introduced into Japan, Guam, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Hawaii, and the continental United States. In 1965, it was first discovered in the continental United States at a Houston, Texas, shipyard. In 1966, well established colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite were discovered in New Orleans and Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Houston and Galveston, Texas. In 1967, it was found in Charleston, South Carolina. Well-established colonies were detected in Florida in 1980, 1982, and 1984 (Oi et al. 1992).

Ships have facilitated the introduction and spread of the Formosan subterranean termite throughout the world. Once introduced, swarming is the termite's natural method of spread. Since the Formosan subterranean termite is a weak flier and does not spread rapidly by itself, the movement of infested soil or material such as lumber, wooden crates, or other wooden products is another important method by which it spreads. These termites are commonly associated with the railroad ties used for landscaping.

In the United States, the Formosan subterranean termite generally has been confined to the southeast at about 32.5oN latitude. This latitude coincides with the warmer temperatures usually associated with this termites. However, the widespread use of central heating in the United States may encourage the spread of the Formosan subterranean termite. Central heating provides a warm environment conducive to the survival of termites during winter.

Major swarms of the Formosan subterranean termite begin in May or June and last until about July or August. On humid, still evenings, usually around dusk, large numbers of swarming alates can be seen around light sources. They are attracted to light.

After a short flight, alates drop to the ground, shed their wings, and pair off. If they successfully find a small crevice containing moist wood, the pair forms a chamber and lays eggs. It usually takes 3 to 5 years to develop a mature colony. A mature colony can contain between 1 to 10 million termites, and its foraging territory may cover 38,500 square feet.

Like other termites, Formosan subterranean termites feed on cellulose. Cellulose is the major component in wood and paper products. In addition to feeding of the wood in our homes, they have attacked more than 47 species of living plants including citrus, wild cherry, cherry laurel, sweet gum, cedar, willow, wax myrtle, Chinese elm, and white oak. Formosan subterranean termites attack the bases of poles, old tree stumps, or other wood in contact with soil. They can construct galleries to the upper stories of buildings to feed on the wood.

Formosan subterranean termites have also been known to attack (but not eat) non-cellulose material such as thin sheets of soft metal (lead or copper), asphalt, plaster, mortar, creosote, rubber, and plastic in search of food and moisture. However, their highly publicized ability to chew through concrete is a fallacy. Instead of chewing through the concrete, Formosan subterranean termites are uncanny in finding small cracks in concrete that they use as foraging routes.

Formosan subterranean termite nests are made of "carton" that consists of chewed wood, saliva, and excrement. Nests can be constructed in the ground or aerially (no ground connection). Auxiliary nests are often constructed in the food source, tightly filling wall voids or chimneys. Formosan subterranean termites can produce tightly packed, massive carton nests. Native subterranean nests generally are more loosely constructed and smaller.

Faith M. Oi, Former Extension Entomologist, Assistant Professor Thomas G. Shelton, Graduate Research Assistant Auburn University
Wood destroying

Name: Fruit Flies

Fruit flies (Drosophila)are generally brought in with fruit you purchase from the grocery store. They are also attracted to any fermentation process, such as coke syrup, garbage or rotting foods. Fruit flies are also attracted vinegar and wine, a good test you can use to see if it’s fruit flies you are having a problem with. They also have red eyes, often easy to see.

Mexican fruit fly
Photo by Jack Dykinga.

Name: Fungus Gnats

Tiny, delicate dark flies that hang around potted plants are fungus gnats. These are adults of larvae that live in the soil, feeding onrganic matter. Cutting down on watering so the soil surface dries between waterings can do some good. Tilling the soil also helps discourage these flies from laying eggs.

Name: Furniture carpet beetles

Photo © James Castner University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Anthrenus flavipus (LeConte)
Furniture carpet beetle adults are about 1/8" in length with yellow, white, and black spots dorsally and white ventrally. The larva are about 3/16" long, carrot-shaped and dark red to brown in color. Their life cycle is 149 to 422 days. These beetles inhabit in woolen upholstery and padding such as feathers and hair as well as materials containing animal products and natural fibers.

The furniture carpet beetle is a cosmopolitan pest and is most destructive in warmer parts of the world. In the United States, the furniture carpet beetle is primarily a pest of the southern states but may also be associated with heated buildings in northern states.

University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Fabric and carpet

Name: German cockroaches

German cockroach (Blattella germanica)
The German cockroach is about 5/8-inch in length, brown in color, with two dark longitudinal streaks on the pronotum. The male is light brown and somewhat boat-shaped. The female is slightly darker in color with a broader and rounded posterior. Nymphs are similar in appearance to the adults but wingless with 2 dark bands running halfway down their back. Nymphs range in size from 1/8 to 1/2 inch in length.
It is the most prevalent species in and around homes, apartments, supermarkets, food processing plants, and restaurants. Ships, especially cruise ships and naval vessels, can also be heavily infested. During the day in houses, they hide in cracks and crevices such as under kitchen appliances, sinks cabinets, behind baseboards and moldings, in wall voids, pantries and similar areas of homes and restaurants. In commercial establishments such as food plants, warehouses, supermarkets, etc, they can be found in cardboard containers, wooden boxes, and under pallets.
The German cockroach breeds throughout the year indoors, but favors a humid environment and an average temperature of approximately 80° F. A life cycle can be completed in about 3 months. The German cockroach produces more eggs per capsule than other pest cockroach species, and its young complete their growth in a shorter period of time. Female German cockroaches carry their egg capsules until they are ready to hatch. The number of eggs in a capsule usually is between 30-40, with a maximum of 48. The average number of nymphs hatching is 30. The average incubation period at 76° F was 28.4 days. Capsules removed from the female do not usually hatch. Females at room temperature may produce an average of 4-5 capsules in her life time. The time for nymphs to mature to adults averages 103 (54-215) days. They progress through 6-7 nymphal instars in 60 days for males and 65 days for the females. Females may live for more than 200 days. The German cockroach is spread by commerce and transportation, as well as by its migrations. Many homes and business establishments become infested with German cockroaches when they are introduced in infested cartons, foodstuffs, and other materials. The German cockroach appears to be extending its range into nontraditional sites in buildings due to the availability of water in many areas. Plants are often located throughout the house or workplace, drinks are often carried or left anywhere, consequently German cockroaches are able to get sufficient moisture and food to survive.

Name: Grasshoppers

Rainbow Grasshopper 
Dactylotum variegatum
Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

There are more than 700 species of grasshoppers in the United States. Adult female grasshoppers lay eggs in the soil which hatch in the spring and mature through the summer.

Normally grasshoppers are not a problem in gardens and landscapes. Many birds, including quail, are dependent on them as an important food supply and tend to keep populations down most years. Occasionally, after a particularly wet spring, populations may build up and begin defoliating everything in site.

Damage is usually limited to a few weeks in early summer immediately after range weeds dry up. Capture and removal is easiest in the cool morning when they are slower. Floating row covers and other protective covers are probably the best strategy in a small garden with a serious grass hopper problem.

Name: Ground Beetles

Ground Beetles
There are many thousands of species of beetles, with vastly different habits and biology. They are the most successful order of animal on earth: One out of every five living animals in the world is a beetle. Ground beetles usually become a problem only when they infest homes.

Name: Harvester Ants

Harvester Ant (Pogonomyrmex)
If you want to locate harvester ants, look for a ring of seed husks around the nest. Harvester ants collect and store seeds. In the nest, using their powerful jaws, the largest workers remove the husks, then throw them outside the nest. They chew the kernels into a soft pulp and feed it to the growing larvae. During drought, if the adult ants are unable to find anything edible outside the nest, they will eat the seeds, too. During rainy periods, the ants will not allow the seeds to become damp, otherwise they would sprout or get moldy. When there is a dry day, the workers take the seeds outside to dry in the sun, then carry the seeds back again into storage. Sometimes these clever little ants will bite out the embryonic root of the seed to prevent sprouting.
Harvester ants can be found almost everywhere in the world. In the Southwestern United States, their huge mounds are a common sight. The nest of colonies of harvesting ants is like a village. The mound above ground may be 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) across and 6 feet (1.8 meters) or more into the ground, with 60,000 to 90,000 members.

Name: Hobo Spiders

Click here for photo ©DARWIN K. VEST
Hobo Spiders (Tegenaria agrestis) are brown and measure roughly 12 to 18 mm in length. Their legs show no distinct rings and have short hairs. Their abdomens have several chevron shaped markings. Males are distinctively different from females in that they have two large palps that look like boxing gloves. These palps are often mistaken for fangs or venom sacs, but they are in fact the male genitalia. The females also have these palps, but the ends are not 'swollen' as they are on the males. Females tend to have a larger and rounder abdomen when compared to males.
The Hobo Spider aka as the Aggressive House Spider, has been suspected of presiding in the United States as early as the 1920's and 1930's. Originally from Europe, the Hobo Spider is a species foreign to the United States. They are believed to have been transported to the United States via shipping lanes and ended up in Seattle, Washington. Since then they have slowly expanded throughout the Northwestern United States and Western Canada.

Name: Honey Bees, Africanized

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

Africanized honey bees (also known as "Africanized bees" or "killer bees") are descendants of southern African bees imported to South America in 1956. Brazilian scientists were attempting to breed a honey bee better adapted to the tropics. Unfortunately, some of the bees escaped quarantine and began breeding with local Brazilian honey bees. Since 1957, pure African bees and their hybrid offspring, the Africanized honey bee, have vigorously multiplied and extended their range throughout South, Central, and North America at rates frequently exceeding 200 miles per year.

The first land-migrating swarm of Africanized bees was detected in the US on October 15, 1990. These bees were captured in a baited trap at the border town of Hidalgo, Texas. AHBcolonies were first reported in Arizona and New Mexico in 1993 and Nevada in 1998. The first California discovery was in October of 1994; one year later over 8,000 square miles of Imperial, Riverside and northeastern San Diego counties were declared officially colonized.

To date, some 144 counties in Texas, 9 counties in New Mexico, all 15 counties in Arizona, 3 counties in Nevada, and 11 counties in California have reported Africanized honey bee finds. Many scientists believe Africanized bees will continue to spread and successfully overwinter in the US's southern tier states.

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.
Stinging/Biting Pest
Africanized bee hive in a Arizona school attic.

Name: Horntails, Wood Wasps

Click here for photo ©Stephanie Boucher
Horntails, Wood Wasps (Tremex columba)

Larvae are wood boring; most species attack conifers, but some are found in hardwood trees. These insects use their drill-like ovipositor to insert their eggs and spores of a symbiotic fungus into dead or dying trees. North American species only attack trees that have been weakened or recently cut down. The boring activities of the larvae reduces the quality of the lumber from these trees. Horntails are large, brightly coloured sawflies. Both sexes have a long abdomen with a horny spearlike plate on the last segment. Females have a long ovipositor.
Wood destroying

Name: House Centipedes

The House Centipede body is 1 to 1-1/2 inch long, but its legs make it appear to seem much larger. The body is grayish-yellow with 3 dark stripes extending along the full length of the back. The legs are long in proportion to the body size, and they have alternate light and dark bands running around them.

Unlike most other centipedes, this species generally lives its entire life inside a building. It will prefer to live in damp areas such as cellars, closets, bathrooms, attics (during the warm months) and unexcavated areas under the house. The house centipede forages at night for small insects and their larvae, and for spiders. From a control tool point of view, they can be beneficial in controlling other insects.

They develop by gradual metamorphosis, so immature have a similar appearance to adults but are smaller. Eggs are laid in the damp places that they live in, as well as behind baseboards or beneath bark on firewood. All life stages can be observed running rapidly across floors or accidentally trapped in bathtubs, sinks, and lavatories.

Although this centipede can bite, its jaws are quite weak. There usually is not more than a slight swelling if a bite occurs.

Name: House Flies

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

House Fly (Musca domestica)
One of the most familiar and widely distributed of all insects, the housefly, besides being a nuisance, is a prime carrier of disease. Its entire body swarms with millions of bacteria which are often transmitted to the food we eat. Typhus, dysentery, tuberculosis, and poliomyelitis are only a few of the illnesses for which it is a vector. Flies multiply at an enormous rate. It takes roughly two weeks from the time a female is hatched until she is able to lay eggs of her own. Favourite breeding sites are dung heaps,exposed human faeces, all sorts of droppings, rotting garbage, and carrion. In more developed countries, modern sewage systems, refuse removal, and general cleanliness have had a marked effect in controlling the insect's numbers.

Name: House Mouse,mice

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.
House Mouse The house mouse is the most successful rodent in adapting to life with people. It's found almost everywhere people are, feeding on human food, sheltering in human structures and reproducing at a rapid rate. The house mouse is the most troublesome and economically important vertebrate pest, contaminating millions of dollars worth of food, damaging property and causing electrical fires with its constant gnawing.
Mice may enter a building from the outside and spread through a structure along pipes, cables and ducts. Although large numbers can build up in food service areas or trash rooms, one or a few mice can survive practically anywhere.
Many control failures against house mice are due to a lack of understanding of mouse biology and habits. A pair of mice can produce 50 offspring in one year. Because they seek food over a range of only 10 to 30 feet, traps, glue boards and bait must be placed close to the nest to be effective. Remember that good inspections are critical for successful mouse control.
Rodent pests

Name: House crickets

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

House cricket, Acheta domesticus (Linnaeus)
The common name comes from the fact that these crickets often enter houses where they can survive indefinitely. Having been introduced from Europe, this species is found throughout the United States .

Adults about 3/4-7/8" . Color light yellowish brown with 3 dark crossbands on head. Antennae threadlike, longer than body. Wings lay flat on the back. Nymphs look like adults except smaller, and lack wings .

House crickets have a wide range of food choices and can damage fabrics typically surface feed, leaving the surface roughened from pulling or picking the fibers loose while feeding.

These crickets have some very definite preferences in habitat. They are largely nocturnal, hiding away during the day. Their resting place preference is strongly for vertical surfaces close together.

A tell-tale sign of these crickets is an incredible amount of small, black droppings resembling coffee grounds.
Occasional invaders | Fabric and carpet

Name: Indian Meal Moth

Stored Product Pest

Photo Source:, Plain talk about pests and pest control

By far the most recognizable in our food supplies, the adult moth can have a wingspread almost five eighths of an inch wide are copper-brown and grey, are folded backwards in a resting position, showing copper and grey bands of color.
Adults do not feed on stored products, but the larvae will feed on any coarse flour, processed foods, whole seeds dog food and even red peppers and spices. Adult moths lay their eggs directly on the material, usually at night, and over a two or three week period, will lay more than 400 eggs.
Indian meal moth larvae feed not only on coarse ground flour products, but also seeds and whole grain products, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, beans and most products manufactured from these ingredients. Indian meal moths are serious pests in both homes and other areas where food is prepared, stored or produced.
The larvae produce silken-type webbing throughout the material they're feeding on. Mature larvae move away from infested materials to pupate in neighboring cracks and crevices. They can easily have six generations per year. Homeowners often discover these infestations when great numbers of larvae are seen moving away from infested materials, sometimes dispersing over the entire room.
Because of their habit of moving some distance from infested products, an intensive cleaning routine is necessary to find and eliminate Indian meal moths, especially in a commercial setting. Fumigations can then be necessary.
Stored food/pantry/product pest

Name: Jerusalem cricket

Jerusalem cricket (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae)

The Jerusalem Cricket is an insect of the Stenopelmatidae family. Its scientific name is Stenopelmatus fuscus. The native Americans called this cricket Woh-tzi-Neh or "Old Bald-Headed Man." In Spanish, it is called "Nina de la Tierra" or "Child of the Earth." Southwestern Indians once feared it, and called it "child of the desert." It is also called "Potato Bug" because it has been found in potato fields feeding on the roots and tubers of the crop. This is confusing as often the Potato Beetle that only feeds on above ground parts of plants is also referred to as the Potato Bug.

Although unusual, the Jerusalem Cricket is neither unique nor rare as it was once thought to be. In fact, there may be several species in the genus and research is presently being conducted to identify how many different variations exist and where each lives. These insects are commonly found west of the Rocky Mountains with most occurring along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to Mexico. They are found throughout Nevada, although not in great numbers in any one place.

These crickets live most of their lives in the ground. When they move about on the ground it is usually at night or in the early morning and evening. Only rarely do they travel about during the day. Consequently, people usually only see them when they plow or till the soil and at dusk. They may be found under rocks in open grassy pastures during the winter, fall and spring. They become inactive during the fall and hide for protection. They can also be found and dug out of manure heaps and damp places.

The Jerusalem cricket will eat a variety of foods. Bread, grass roots, vegetables including slices of potato, and a variety of fruits may be consumed. They relish meat and small insects.

Name: Katydid

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

Katydids belong to the family Tettigoniidae
Katydid is a type of long-horned grasshopper. Its name comes from the love call of the male of a certain species in the Eastern United States. Most katydids are about 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. They have large wings that fold over their back. In some species, the threadlike antennae are longer than the body. Many katydids are shaped like leaves, and the veins in their wings look like the veins of leaves. Most katydids live in trees and bushes, and feed on leaves and young twigs. Other katydids eat decaying vegetation and dead insects. A few katydids will capture and eat other insects. Katydids lay their flat, oval, slate-gray eggs from early fall until frost appears. Many of them lay their eggs in double, overlapping rows on the edges of leave and on twigs. The eggs hatch the next spring. Young katydids are long-legged. They look like adult katydids but have no wings.

Name: Kissing Bugs

Click here for photo © Peter J. Bryant
Kissing Bug AKA Conenose Bugs, Assassin Bug, Walapai Tiger.
Kissing Bug, common name for any of several large species of true bugs that suck the blood of mammals, so called because their favorite site of attack is on the face about the lips. These bugs belong to an insect group found almost exclusively in the Americas. The so-called big bed bug, or conenose, of the southwestern United States, is a black insect, margined on the sides of the abdomen with red. This species (about 25 mm/1 in long) commonly bites humans, but also lives outdoors, feeding on the blood of rodents. The South American barbeiro, or conenose, is the principal vector of the parasite that causes Chagas' disease, which is a form of trypanosomiasis. Scientific classification: Kissing bugs belong to the family Reduviidae, of the order Hemiptera. The big bed bug, or conenose, is classified as Triatoma sanguisuga.
Stinging/Biting Pest

Name: Lacewings

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

Lacewings are pale green insects about one inch long and have shiny golden eyes. Their wings have many veins, which gives them the netlike or "lace" appearance. When in flight they may resemble delicate moths.

Lacewings lay their pale green eggs on the tips of threadlike stalks on the underside of leaves. The immature lacewings hatch within a few days. lacewing larvae are reddish cream in color and are tapered in shape like tiny 1/8 inch alligators. When the larvae mature they form a yellow silken cocoon in which to pupate.
Photo © NDSU Extension Service
In the larval stage lacewings are ferocious feeders, and consume large numbers of aphids and other insect pests, for example moth eggs.

Name: Larder Beetle

The larder beetle is a small, dark-colored beetle with white and black markings. This beetle is a member of the carpet beetle family Dermestidae; however, the larder beetle, Dermestes lardarius can feed on a great variety of materials-not just carpets. They will feed on any stored animal or plant products, such as leather, insect, bird, and mammal specimens, cured meats, cheese, tobacco, and dried fish meal.

the life cycle of this insect is regulated by the seasons; indoors it may breed continuously throughout the year. Eggs are laid in batches of 6-8, with the total per female being about 200. The larvae are dark colored and covered with dark brown hairs. The larvae pass through five or six stages during the 35 to 80 days of their lives. The larvae have a strong tendency to remain in dark places. Just before the larvae pupate they begin to migrate, and are often encountered by homeowners at this time. These older larvae often bore into materials such as wood, cork, or insulation looking for a place to pupate. The pupal period lasts about 15 days. The adults mate soon after emerging and eggs are laid near a food source.

The larder beetle will feed on any stored animal or plant products, even non-food items such as leather or museum specimens.
Fabric and carpet | Pantry pests

Name: Leaf-Footed Bugs

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

The leaf-footed bug belongs to the order Hemiptera or so called "true bugs".
This order of insects is distinguished by their front wings that are thickened at the base and membranous at the tip. The hind wings are completely membranous and shorter than the front. On most true bugs, the front wings overlap and create a triangle (called a scutellum) or "x" pattern on the back of the insect. True bugs also have sucking mouthparts: some eat plants while others are predators.
Adult leaf-footed bugs are so named because of the flattened tibia on the rear legs (the tibia is the leg section between the foot and the section that is attached to the body). The adult body can be a greenish gray to black, about ¾" inch-long, with upwardly pointed structures on what we would think of as the shoulders. They are hard bodied which makes them somewhat difficult to control. Juveniles (nymphs) are smaller and often mostly black with a red spot on their back.
The leaf-footed bug often attacks ripening fruit crops and causes discolored depressions or blemishes called cat-faces. You may have noticed these wounds on your peaches or nectarines. These scars can cause undersized fruit or premature drop. On recent attacks you may notice clear sap to oozing out of the wounded areas on the fruit. These are the locations of the puncture wounds made by their long, piercing mouthparts.
Leaf-footed bugs also attack pecan nuts causing black pit in the kernels. When fruit crops are not available, they can be found eating the flowers and fruit of crepe myrtle, privet, and roses. Detecting and diagnosing these pests can be difficult because often they are not seen on the fruit or nut tree. They may be on a neighboring plant resting during the day, then travel to feed on the fruit or nut tree at night or in the early morning. To correctly diagnose this pest, look for the crop damage, and then search for the insect on the host plant or adjacent trees and shrubs.

Name: Lesser Grain Borer

Lesser Grain Borer
The adults are about an eighth of an inch long, with cylindrical dark brown or black bodies. With a ten power glass, you can see the

tiny pits on their wing covers. They are recognizable without magnification because their heads are bent downward and cannot be seen from overhead.

Both adults and larvae are important pests of all kinds of stored grain. Both attack and feed upon whole grains. The larvae may also feed on flour products as well as whole grains. Larvae complete development inside grain kernels. Adults have very powerful jaws that can also bore into wood as well as whole grains.

The female can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime, making her quite prolific. She lays her eggs, singly or in clusters, directly in the product. Larvae will feed on grain products themselves, but can also bore directly into grain themselves. The larva bores directly inside the kernel and pupates. Adults have very powerful jaws and can bore into wood as well as grain. They are not structural pests, however.

Control in residences are controlled by clean up and the application of residual insecticides. Commercial establishments will generally need fumigants and a professional exterminator to control this problem.
Stored food / pantry / product pest

Name: List of insect orders

The Apterygota
Protura, Sucking lice
Collembola, Springtails
Thysanura, Silverfish
Diplura, Two Pronged Bristle-tails
The Exopterygota
Ephemeroptera, Mayflies
Odonata, Dragonflies
Plecoptera, Stoneflies
Grylloblatodea, ice bugs
Orthoptera, grasshoppers and crickets
Phasmida, Stick-Insects
Dermaptera, Earwigs
Embioptera, Web Spinners
Dictyoptera, Cockroaches and Mantids
Isoptera, Termites
Psocoptera, Bark and Book Lice
Mallophaga, Biting Lice
Siphunculata Sucking Lice
Anoplura, Biting and Sucking Lice
Hemiptera, True Bugs
Homoptera, Cicadas and Hoppers
Thysanoptera, Thrips
The Endopterygota
Neuroptera, Lacewings
Coleoptera, Beetles
Strepsiptera, Stylops
Mecoptera, Scorpionflies
Siphonaptera, Fleas
Diptera, True Flies
Lepidoptera, Butterflies and Moths
Trichoptera Caddis Flies
Hymenoptera, Ants Bees and Wasps

Name: Little Black Ants

Little Black Ant (Monomorium minimum)
These are the common house ants which nest in woodwork, masonry, soil, and rotted wood. They feed on sweets, meats, vegetables, honeydew and other insects. Workers are about 1/8 inch long, slender, shiny black, sometimes dark brown with two nodes in the petiole and a 12-segmented antennae with a three segmented club. Nests in the ground are detected by the very small craters of fine soil.

Name: Lyctid powderpost beetles

Wood boring beetle.

Click here for photo beetle damage ©United Exterminating
The adult Lyctid powderpost beetle is a small (1/32-1/4 inch-long), cylindrical, brown beetle that attacks hardwood. Damage caused by the powderpost beetle is usually first detected with the appearance of holes in wood, 1/32 - 1/16 inch-diameter, from which a very fine sawdust may fall. Larvae of the powderpost beetle feed on many of the various hardwoods used in furniture, baskets, hardwood trim and flooring. Infestations in homes are almost always due to infestation of the wood prior to construction.

Powderpost beetles pass through four distinct life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The larva is a creamy white, C-shaped grub with an enlarged thorax. The larval stage of the beetle is responsible for most of the actual feeding damage to the wood. The life cycle of a powderpost beetle normally requires about one year; however indoors, powderpost beetles may require two or more (possibly up to five) years to complete their development and emerge from the wood. For this reason, infestations may not be detected for several months, or even years, after completion of a new home.

The most commonly infested woods include ash, oak, hickory and walnut. Although powderpost beetles pose little threat to the structural integrity of most homes (which are framed with softwood lumber, thus not susceptible to attack), it is a reportable wood destroying beetle and can affect property resale value. It is also possible, though unlikely, that such an infestation could spread to hardwood furniture, trim, paneling, or flooring if left untreated. Powderpost beetles usually require unfinished wood (no paint or varnish) in which to lay their eggs. Female beetles emerging from infested wood search for a mate, and then lay their eggs on a suitable piece of wood. The most common site for egg-laying appears to be exit holes from which the females have emerged. In this way beetles can reinfest finished wood. Infestations can also spread to adjacent wood as larvae chew their way from one piece to another.

Source:Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University

Wood boring beetle.

Name: Maize weevils

Maize weevils are mostly pests in the southern and temperate zones, in fields, of cereal grains mostly, but given a chance, will infest finished products. The adults are accomplished fliers, but cannot normally overwinter, outside, in the temperate zone. They can survive a few hours at freezing temperatures and will survive in heated storage facilities.

The females lay their three to four hundred eggs by using their ovipositor to insert one egg into each seed or kernel. Eggs hatch in a few days, and the larvae will eat the inside of their kernel, pupating inside. The entire life cycle takes one to two months, depending on temperature.

Their life cycle takes no less than a month or so, and is quite similar to the Rice weevil. Maize weevils are larger and better fliers than the Rice weevils.

They are easily controlled by disposal of the product and a clean up campaign. In commercial storage situations, fumigation may be necessary.
Stored food / pantry / product pest

Name: Millipedes

Millipedes normally live outdoors but may become nuisance pests indoors by their presence. At certain times of the year (usually late summer and autumn) due to excessive rainfall or even drought, a few or hundreds or more leave the soil and crawl into houses, basements, first-floor rooms, up foundation walls, into living rooms, up side walls and drop from the ceilings. Some homeowners as early as late June have reported annoying populations accumulating in swimming pools. Fall migrations during rainy and cool weather may result as a natural urge to seek hibernation quarters. Heavy continuous rainfall in newly developed wooded areas with virgin soil (decaying organic matter habitats) are often troublesome sites. Millipedes do not bite humans nor damage structures, household possessions or foods. They can give off a disagreeable odor and if crushed, leave an unsightly mess.

Millipedes, or "thousand-legged worms", are brownish-black or mottled with shades of orange, red or brown, and are cylindrical (wormlike) or slightly flattened, elongated animals, most of which have two pairs of legs per body segment, except for the first three segments which have only one pair of legs. Antennae are short, usually seven-segmented, and the head is rounded with no poison jaws. Their short legs ripple in waves as they glide over a surface. They often curl up into a tight "C" shape, like a watch spring, and remain motionless when touched. They range from 1/2 to 1-1/4 inches long depending on the species. They crawl slowly and protect themselves by means of glands that secrete an unpleasant odor.

Millipedes can be long-lived, sometimes up to seven years. They overwinter as adults and lay eggs singly or in small groups in the soil. Some females lay between 20 to 300 eggs (fertilization is internal), which hatch in a few weeks with young reaching adulthood in the autumn. Some reach sexual maturity the second year, while others spend four to five years in the larval stage.

Millipedes are attracted to dark, cool, moist environments, usually going unnoticed in the summer due to their nocturnal habits (activity at night) and tendency to disperse. They feed on living and decomposing vegetation and occasionally on dead snails, earthworms and insects. Slight feeding injury can occur on soft-stemmed plants, in gardens and greenhouses. They cannot tolerate water-saturated soil, which forces them to the surface and higher ground. Likewise, dry, drought conditions can stimulate migration. In the autumn, it is believed they may migrate for better overwintering sites. If one or all of these conditions exist, sometimes hundreds or thousands (shovelsful) of millipedes are found in garages, first floor rooms and basements. Others believe that migration may occur when the food supply dwindles in October and November.

These creatures are usually abundant in compost piles and heavily mulched ornamental plantings, moving out shortly after sunset sometimes into dwellings. Over the past years, they have migrated in large numbers during a period of unusually warm weather for the time of the year (75 degrees F) and then would immediately stop when a quick drop in temperature (cold snap) occurred. Anyone handling these creatures without gloves will notice a lingering odor (hydrogen cyanide-like), and the fluid may be harmful if rubbed into the eyes. If crushed, millipedes may stain rugs and fabrics.

Kenny Road Ohio State University
Occasional invaders

Name: Mole Crickets

Click here for photo ©Bastiaan (Bart) Drees, Extension Entomology, Texas A&M University
Mole Cricket (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae)
Mole crickets have robust front legs highly modified for digging. They tunnel rapidly just below the soil surface and make trails of pushed-up soil similar to that of a mole only much smaller. Mole crickets can run very rapidly when on the soil surface. They are attracted to lights and are occasionally pests of vegetables

Name: Mosquitoes

Mosquitos, the one pictured here is the Culex, one of the main vectors of the West Nile Virus, breed in stagnant water. This can be as small as a discarded tuna fish can or as large as a lake. Their natural predators (in the larval stage) are fish and other aquatic insects. Some species of mosquito larva actually prey on other mosquito larva. Mosquitos are attracted to animals by the carbon dioxide they exhale and the heat from their bodies. Mosquitos, and the diseases they carry, kill more people than any other animal.

Stinging/Biting Pest

Name: Norway Rats

Norway Rat

Rats are found everywhere on earth where man is. They are one of the most adaptable animals that are alive today, and the most intelligent of the rodents. Rats are able to discern different human personalities and a pet white rat (which is the same species as a wild rat) easily learns the difference between it's regular handler and a stranger. The Norway rat are the predominant species around the world.

Contrary to what most people assume, rats are not overgrown mice. Although they are both rodents, the similarity stops there. Rats are infinitely more intelligent than mice, and completely different in almost every respect. Mice are just not intelligent or long-lived enough enough to learn about traps.

Rats, however, are very shy and will therefore avoid new objects in their territory - which means that trapping rats can take special skills. If a rat escapes from a trap by chewing off it's tail, or sees another rat caught in your trap, it will be difficult to catch any more. And you will never catch the alpha (king) rat in a trap.

Rats are intelligent, communal animals that live together, as opposed to mice, which are territorial and will not tolerate any other mice in their territory. Communal animals, such as rats, will learn from each other, often share food supplies, and are much more successful because of this.
Rodent pests

Name: Odorous House Ants

Odorous House Ant
These ants occasionally forage indoors for sweets and other foods. They give off an unpleasant odor when crushed, smelling like "rotten coconuts." Workers are brown to dark-brown in color, about 1/10 inch long. The petiole has one node (hidden by the abdomen) and the profile of the thorax is uneven.

Name: Old house borers

Old house borer Hylotrupes bajulus (L.)

Larvae of the old house borer feed on seasoned softwoods and prefer the sapwood portions of pine, spruce and fir. Sometimes larvae are serious pests in modern log homes as well as conventional homes. Houses less than 10 years old are primarily attacked contrary to the name of old house borer. Full grown larvae can be heard boring in the wood, making a rhythmic ticking or rasping sound much like the sound of a mouse gnawing. In log houses, this sound may be heard from a distance of five to ten feet, day and night, at infrequent intervals. If the larvae work close to the surface, homeowners may find blistering of the wood, boring dust on surfaces below infested timbers, powdery borings in sapwood, oval emergence holes about 1/4 inch wide on the wood surface, larvae in tunnels or beetles in the building.

Adult old house borers are beetles 5/8 to 1 inch long, slightly flattened, brownish-black with many gray hairs on the head and thorax, two prominent black bumps on the prothorax and long antennae. The thorax (segment behind the head) has a shiny ridge down the middle and a shiny raised knob on each side, appearing as a face with a pair of eyes. Wing covers are marked with whitish spots that form two irregular bands or spots near the middle. Larvae are up to 1-1/4 inches long and have tiny ocelli (black eye spots) on each side of the head. They are flesh-colored, wedge-shaped (wider at the head), and segmented with legs present. Pupae are flesh-colored and about the size of the beetle. Eggs are white to grayish-white

The biology of the beetle's life cycle is greatly influenced by temperature, relative humidity and protein content of the wood. In Virginia, larvae require two to ten years to become fully grown and their feeding can cause extensive damage to infested wood. The adult stage is short, lasting eight to sixteen days, the egg stage about two weeks, the larval stage several years and the pupal stage two weeks. Under ideal conditions in many southern states, adults may appear after three to five years, sometimes remaining in larval tunnels for as long as 10 months before emergence. In more northern states, where humidity is low (as in some attics), an additional two to five years may be required to complete the life cycle. Adults emerge June, July and August with females attracted to dry, seasoned wood where eggs are laid reinfesting additional softwood. (Oils and resins in the heartwood portion of wood are undesirable.)

Log houses have become quite popular in many states. Many are made from pine trees (southern yellow pine and red pine), usually cut near the manufacturing site. Logs are partly or completely debarked before being cut into lengths and notched as part of a log house kit. These logs are strapped together and dipped into a preservative with the kit completed in a few days or weeks. Logs remain outdoors at the manufacturing site until the kit is complete. Then the entire house kit may be fumigated, loaded onto trucks and delivered to the construction site where logs may sit again before the homeowner assembles the house. The flight period of adult old house borers (June, July, August) may coincide at the manufacturing site or delivery site. If a log house kit produced during the fall is delivered to the building site, but assembly not made until spring or summer, any eggs laid in the cracks and crevices of the logs will hatch in only about nine days with the first stage larvae immediately penetrating the wood. Larvae may have gone below the depth of preservative treatment before being dipped. In about two years (four to five years in conventional lumber) larvae can be heard feeding below the log surface. Adult emergence holes are discovered easily. Reinfestation of log houses seems greater than conventional houses because of more exposed wood and the shorter feeding time of larvae. Homeowners often ask when and where the logs became infested. However, it is impossible to determine precisely. One needs to know when the log house was manufactured, when it was delivered, when it was assembled, and when larvae were first heard feeding in the wood. To suspect that the infestation originated at the manufacturing site, all or part of the log house kit needed to be produced during the flight period of the female beetles. The larval feeding sounds and size of larvae removed from wood are helpful clues. Infestations may occur at the construction site when the kit remains unassembled. Infestations are known from Maine south to Florida and west to Michigan to Texas. The westward range extends approximately to the Mississippi River.

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet

Photo © Fidelity Exterminating Specialists, Inc. Aberdeen, Maryland
Wood destroying

Name: Orb-weaving spiders

Photo ©Fidelity Exterminating
Technically, this is an Argiope aurantia, otherwise known as a black and yellow garden spider. Orb-weaving spiders produce the familiar flat, ornate, circular webs usually associated with spiders. Orbweavers come in many shapes and sizes, but the brightly colored garden orbweavers, Argiope, are the largest and best-known. The yellow garden spider, Argiope aurantia, is marked with yellow, black, orange or silver. The female body is more than 1 inch long with much longer legs. It is also known as the black and yellow garden spider and sometimes the writing spider because of a thickened interwoven section in the web’s center. Male Argiope, often less than 1/4

the size of females, can sometimes be found in the same web with the female. Garden orbweavers are so named because their webs can be found in fields, on fences, around homes and in other locations.

The spinybacked orbweaver, Gasteracantha cancriformis, is another distinctive orbweaver common in wooded areas. The unusual flattened, spiny body shape makes it look like a crab. Abdomen colors include white, yellow, orange or red.

Orbweavers are generally harmless but can be a nuisance when they build large webs in places inconvenient for humans.

Name: Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroach, (Blatta orientalis)
The oriental cockroach is dark-brown to black in color. The adult is 1 inch in length. The male has fully-developed wings, but does not fly. The female has rudimentary wings which are reduced to mere lobes. The mature female may be distinguished from the large nymph by the fact the wing stubs have a definite venation. The abdomen of the female is broader than the male and appears to be dragged along the floor when the insect is in motion, while the male keeps its body clear of the ground when running. The male can be recognized by the styli between its pairs of jointed cerci.
The oriental cockroach is most common in dark, damp basements, but is known to climb water pipes to the upper floors of apartment houses. Since high-rise apartments cannot burn garbage, oriental cockroaches have a free highway to climb to upper floors via garbage chutes.
The female may carry the brown egg capsule for 30 hours. A full complement of 16 eggs can be laid in the egg capsule. The average number of nymphs to hatch per egg capsule is 14.4. The female may deposit 1-18 egg capsules with an average of eight per female. The egg capsule is carried from 12 hours to 5 days and then deposited in some warm sheltered spot where food is readily available. In this species the female cockroach gives no assistance to her newly born young. At room temperature, the incubation period was 42 to 81 days, with an average of 60 days. The developmental period for the oriental cockroach is 12 months, during which interval the insect undergoes 7 molts. The adults appear in May, June, and July, and the nymphs are more and more evident during summer months. The time it took the oriental cockroach to complete development in the laboratory varied from 311 to 800 days. Capsules were produced from December to August. No adults matured during the months of October, November, and December. The adult females may live from 34 to 181 days. The oriental cockroach is less wary and more sluggish than other cockroaches. It often travels through sewer pipes and lives on filth. It may enter the home in food packages and laundry, or merely come in under the door or through air-ducts or ventilators. This cockroach prefers to feed upon starchy foods.

Name: Paper Wasp, Polistes wasps

Polistes wasps can be aggressive and often make nests under eaves of houses where people walk. Mated queens overwinter in protected places.

Paper wasps hang their paper nests under eaves, in attics, or under tree branches or vines. Nests hang like an open umbrella from a pedicel (stalk) and has open cells that can be seen from beneath the nest. White, legless, grublike larvae sometimes can be seen from below. Paper wasp nests rarely exceed the size of an outstretched hand and populations vary between 15 to 200 individuals. Most species are relatively unaggressive, but they can be a problem when they nest over doorways or in other areas of human activity.

Photo © Geek On The Run Technology Services Long Island, NY
Stinging/Biting Pest

Name: Pavement Ants

Pavement Ant (Tetramorium caespitum)
This is one of the most common tiny house-invading ants with nests usually found outdoors under stones, in pavement cracks, along the curb edges, in crevices of masonry and woodwork. Pavement ants may forage in the home throughout the year, feeding on grease, meat, live and dead insects, honeydew, roots of plants and planted seeds. Workers are sluggish, between 1/12 to 1/4 inch long, light to dark brown or blackish. In winter, nests may be found in the home near a heat

Name: Pharaoh Ants

Photo ©American Museum of Natural History

Pharaoh Ant (Monomorium pharaonis)
This ant is a serious nuisance in hospitals, rest homes, apartment dwellings, hotels, grocery stores, food establishments, etc. They feed on jellies, honey, shortening, peanut butter, corn syrup, fruit juices, soft drinks, greases, dead insects and even shoe polish. They have been found in surgical wounds, I.V. glucose solutions and sealed packs of sterile dressing in hospitals. These ants are capable of mechanically transmitting diseases, Staphylecoccus and Psuedomonas infections in hospitals. Workers are very small about 1/16 inch long, light yellow to reddish-brown colored with the hind portion of the abdomen somewhat darker. The petiole has two nodes and the thorax is spineless. The antennae has 12 segments with the antennal club composed of three segments.

Name: Pigeons

Pigeon markings very varied in colour from blue- grey through blues, purples,whites and red.

A wide variety of habitats from cities to rural areas and using offices, factories, shops and other buildings for roosting sites.

There are over 300 species of pigeons around the world. Feral pigeons are thought to have descended from domesticated strains of the rock dove. In the wild it then bred with racing pigeons.

Pigeons can breed all year round, but the peak season runs from March to late April. The nests are made from any type of material available, normally grass and twigs but sometimes wire, cable ties and other scrap materials are used.
A normal clutch consists of two eggs, these eggs are then incubated for 18-19 days, when the eggs hatch the young are fed twice a day.

Fledging takes around 30-32 days and a new clutch can be laid when the first young are only three weeks old.

Normally pigeons have 4-5 clutches per year but it has been known for them to have up to nine.

Bird droppings can look unsightly and can cause damage to buildings through direct chemical action from their droppings.

Pigeons can also be a threat to human health as they can carry a number of diseases.

Pigeons also carry many unpleasant insects in their feathers which include fleas, mites, ticks, lice, carpet beetles and many others.

Name: Pocket gophers

Pocket gophers (Thomomys spp.) are burrowing rodents that get their name from the fur-lined external cheek pouches, or pockets, that they use for carrying food and nesting materials. They are well equipped for a digging, tunneling lifestyle with powerfully built forequarters, large-clawed front paws, fine short fur that doesn't cake in wet soils, small eyes and small external ears, and highly sensitive facial whiskers to assist movements in the dark.

Depending on the species, they may range in length from 6 to 10 inches. Although they are sometimes seen feeding at the edge of an open burrow, pushing dirt out of a burrow, or moving to a new area, gophers for the most part remain underground in the burrow system.

Mounds of fresh soil are the best sign of gopher presence. Mounds are formed as the gopher digs its tunnel and pushes the loose dirt to the surface. Typically mounds are crescent- or horseshoe-shaped when viewed from above. The hole, which is off to one side of the mound, is usually plugged. Mole mounds are sometimes mistaken for gopher mounds. Mole mounds, however, appear circular and have a plug in the middle that may not be distinct; in profile they are volcano-shaped. Unlike gophers, moles commonly burrow just beneath the surface, leaving a raised ridge to mark their path.

One gopher may create several mounds in a day. In nonirrigated areas, mound building is most pronounced during spring or fall when the soil is moist and easy to dig. In irrigated areas such as lawns, flower beds, and gardens, digging conditions are usually optimal year round and mounds can appear at any time. In snowy regions, gophers create burrows in the snow, resulting in long, earthen cores on the surface when the snow melts.

Pocket gophers live in a burrow system that can cover an area of 200 to 2,000 square feet. The burrows are about 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches in diameter; feeding burrows are usually 6 to 12 inches below ground, whereas the nest and food storage chamber may be as deep as 6 feet. Gophers seal the openings to the burrow system with earthen plugs. Short, sloping lateral tunnels connect the main burrow system to the surface and are created during construction of the main tunnel for pushing dirt to the surface. Gophers do not hibernate and are active year-round, although fresh mounding may not be seen. They also can be active at all hours of the day. Gophers usually live alone within their burrow system, except for females with young or when breeding, and may occur in densities of up to 16 to 20 per acre.

Gophers reach sexual maturity at about 1 year of age and can live up to 3 years. Females produce one to three litters per year. In nonirrigated areas, breeding usually occurs in late winter and early spring, resulting in one litter per year, whereas in irrigated sites, up to three litters per year may be produced. Litters usually average five to six young.

Pocket gophers are herbivorous, feeding on a wide variety of vegetation, but generally preferring herbaceous plants, shrubs, and trees. Gophers use their sense of smell to locate food. Most commonly they feed on roots and fleshy portions of plants they encounter while digging. However, sometimes they feed aboveground, venturing only a body length or so from their tunnel opening. Burrow openings used in this manner are called feed holes. They are identified by the absence of a dirt mound and a circular band of clipped vegetation around the hole. Gophers will also pull entire plants into their tunnel from below. In snow-covered regions gophers may feed on bark several feet up a tree by burrowing through the snow.

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. Gophers also gnaw and damage plastic water lines and lawn sprinkler systems. Their tunnels can divert and carry off irrigation water and lead to soil erosion. Mounds on lawns interfere with mowing equipment and ruin the aesthetics of well-kept turfgrass.

To successfully control gophers, the sooner you detect their presence and take control measures, the better. Most people control gophers in lawns, gardens, or small orchards by trapping and/or by using poison baits.

Rodent pests | Ornamental pests

Source: IPM Program, University of California

Name: Red flour beetles

Stored Product Pest

The red flour beetle is about 1/8 inch long and brownish red. The antennae are short and close to the head. They are often found infesting grain and flour products, but may be seen walking in kitchen cabinets

The eggs are laid in the flour or grain and the immature stages remain in the material. The adults may crawl or fly away from the site to infest other products. There are several generation per year, and they can continue to infest material.
Stored food / pantry / product pests

Name: Rice Weevils

Stored Product Pest

Click here for photo ©Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series
The adults are about an eighth of an inch long, dull reddish-brown in color, with four red or yellow spots on their wing covers and irregular round pits on their pronotum. The head is an elongated snout.
Rice weevils are primarily grain feeders, but will attack almost any kind of whole grain, as well as nuts, beans, and even some fruits. The are more common in the southern states, but they can actually be found all over the world. They are strong, accomplished fliers, and will fly from one field to another, infesting grains before the actual harvest.
The female bores a hole in the kernel and deposits an egg, and she can lay up to 400 eggs in her lifetime. She seals the egg inside the kernel with a material she excretes, sealing the egg up inside the kernel. The larva hatches within 72 hours, and then starts feeding, within the kernel, and molting four times before pupating. The white, legless larva, with a dark head, are only found within the seeds they are infesting so you usually don't see them. The entire life cycle takes only a month or so.
Stored food / pantry /product pests

Name: Roof Rats

Roof Rat Rattus Rattus AKA Black rat.
Black or brown, seven to 10 inches long, with a long tail and large ears and eyes, with a pointed nose; body is smaller and sleeker than Norway rat and fur is smooth.

Nests inside and under buildings, or in piles of rubbish or wood; excellent climber; can often be found in the upper parts of structures.

Diet omnivorous, but show a preference for grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables.

Becomes sexually mature at four months; four to six litters per year; four to eight young per litter; live up to one year.

Very agile; can squeeze through openings only 1/2 inch wide; carry many serious diseases.
Rodent pests | Rat | Rats

Name: Roundheaded Borers

Asian Longhorned Beetle
The adult roundheaded borers, also known as longhorned beetles are 1/3 to 3 inches long, and attracted to dying, freshly cut or recently-killed trees. Eggs are laid in the bark crevices of the green (unseasoned) wood with larvae tunnelling throughout the wood for a year or longer. The amount of feeding depends on the wood moisture and surrounding temperature. After larvae pupate, adults emerge with large amounts of sawdust exuded from the circular exit holes (diameter of a pencil or larger.)

Sometimes these large, multi-colored, strikingly-patterned beetles emerge in the home in January and February when firewood is stored indoors.

Except for the old house borer, none of the other roundheaded borers will infest structural or interior wood in the house. Larvae of the old house borer feeds on seasoned softwoods, preferring pine, spruce and fir.
Ornamental pests

Name: Sawtoothed Grain Beetles

Stored Product Pest

Click here for photo ©Bastiaan (Bart) Drees, Extension Entomology, Texas A&M University
The adults, (the ones you usually see) are small, thin, dark brown insects less than a quarter inch long. Sawtoothed grain beetles are major pests in factories, homes and granaries. They feed on a very wide variety of products, flour, bread and cereal products, macaroni, dried fruits, nuts, sugar and even improperly cured meats. They are named primarily because of the six sawtooth-like teeth found on the two sides of the first segment behind the head, the pronotum.
Sawtoothed Grain Beetles are very small, flat insects that easily hide in the cracks and crevices of food packages, can penetrate the packaging and infest the product inside. An adult female will lay, over her lifetime, almost 300 shiny white eggs in the food they are infesting.

Eggs hatch into tiny, yellow-white larvae, about an eighth of an inch long, and have three pairs of legs and a false pair. A larva will molt as many as four times, and depending on conditions, will complete this cycle in slightly less than a month. If conditions are not ideal, that cycle could take almost a year.
Sawtoothed Grain Beetles can develop into very large populations in stored food products, and the first sign you usually see, are the adults crawling all over your cabinets. Adults feed on the same materials as the larvae, so they can keep on going, right there in your pantry.
Stored food/pantry/product pest

Name: Scorpions

Bark Scorpion
(Centruroides sculpturatus)

Scorpions are night feeders, and they are attracted to water, swimming pools, and irrigation areas. Scorpions live both outside in wood piles, palm trees, decorative bark, and inside homes or places that are dark and cool. During the day, scorpions seek shelter under loose boards, wood piles, rocks, or the bark of trees. Scorpions also find daytimehiding places in crawl spaces, attics, and closets. They will enter occupied rooms; kitchens may draw them when they are in search of water. They also hide in man-made objects.

Openings around plumbing fixtures, loose fitting doors and windows and cracks in foundations and walls allow easy access. Exterior lighting that is less attractive to insects is recommended in areas of the valley were scorpions are prevalent.

Do not leave shoes, boots, clothing items, and, especially, wet towels, outdoors where scorpions can hide.Shake all clothing and shoes before putting them on. Wear gloves when working in the yard. Wear shoes outdoors, especially during the evening hours.

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

Stinging/Biting Pest

Name: Silverfish

Click here for photo ©Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series
Most of us see silverfish at one time or another. These are one of the insects that can damage natural materials, cloth, paper, or book bindings. If you have, say, a collection of old piano rolls, you are intimately familiar with silverfish. They'll eat your whole collection in a hurry, if you're not careful.
So called because of its shiny gray appearance, most of us see a silverfish at one time or another. These are one of the insects that can damage natural materials, cloth, paper, or book bindings.
These soft-bodied, wingless insects scurry about at night. They are nocturnal and you won't see them in the daytime unless there's a heavy population or they're disturbed. They can easily climb rough surfaces, but not slippery surfaces, such as your bathtub or sink. Torpedo-shaped, with three long bristles at the rear, they subsist quite happily in your attic, feeding mostly on starchy materials, book bindings, wall paper, cotton cloth and linens. While not a serious pest, they can dispense with some of your stored treasures.
The female can lay over a hundred eggs, and places them in many favorable places, in cracks and crevices, and leaves them alone. The nymph molts eight times, at which point they are able to reproduce. The adults also molt throughout their entire lifetimes, enabling them to regrow lost appendages. They are also quite long-lived, often living more than three years.
Fabric and carpet

Name: Smoky brown cockroaches

Smoky brown cockroach Periplaneta fuliginosa (serville)
The smoky brown cockroach is closely related to the American cockroach , but is a uniform shiny, dark-brown or mahogany color. It is about 1 1/4 to 1 3/8 inches long and the wings of both sexes cover the abdomen. The female has a broader abdomen than the male. The smoky brown cockroach has become a major pest in many parts of the U.S., especially in the moist Gulf states and southern and eastern portions of the Mississippi valley drainage pattern. The smokybrown cockroach was reported in Florida 150 years ago. Smoky brown cockroaches are prevalent in leaf litter, in and around shrubs, flowers and trees, tree holes, wood piles, garages, crawl spaces, attics, and greenhouses. It has also been found on roofs and in rain gutters feeding on bird droppings and plant materials. Smokybrown cockroaches can also survive in sewers. Adults live 2-6 months and are strong fliers attracted to lights at night.

Name: Snails & Slugs

Snails and slugs move by gliding along on a muscular foot

Decollate snail (Rumina decollata)
Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

Snails and slugs move by gliding along on a muscular "foot." This muscle constantly secretes mucus, which later dries to form the silvery "slime trail" that is a clue to the presence of these pests. Slugs reach maturity in about a year. Snails and slugs are most active at night and on cloudy or foggy days. On sunny days they seek hiding places out of the heat and sun; often the only clue to their presence is their silvery trails and plant damage. Snails and slugs feed on a variety of living plants as well as on decaying plant matter. Managing snails and slugs involves a combination of strategies, such as handpicking, habitat modification, barriers, traps, baits, and commercial molluscicides.

Name: Sowbugs and Pillbugs

Photo © Geek On The Run Technology Services Long Island, NY

Sowbugs and pillbugs are the only two crustaceans that have adapted themselves entirely to land. They actually have gills instead of a trachea (insect lungs) with which they breathe.

Sowbugs are virtually the same as pillbugs but have a wider body and cannot roll themselves into a ball. Sowbugs have two appendages that protrude from the rear of the body. They have oval bodies which have 7 overlapping plates, as well as 7 pairs of legs. Head and abdomen are small compared to rest of body and they can reach 3/4 inch in length. Pillbugs can roll up into a tight ball.

Both are scavengers which feed on decaying organic matter and can injure young plants. They like moist locations and are found under objects on the damp ground, as well as under vegetable debris of all kind. They may bury themselves several inches into the soil and are active mostly at night.

Control: Pillbugs and sowbugs are best controlled by eliminating the moist environment that initially attracts them. Piles of organic matter, dense ground cover near foundations, or ground level windows, boards, stones, flower pots, firewood, and other materials resting on the ground, serve as food sources, and harborage areas for pillbugs and sowbugs and they should be removed or modified to reduce the pillbug or sowbug population.

Entry into building should be prevented by sealing and caulking gaps around siding, windows, doors, pipes, wires, etc. Large numbers of these structure-invading pests are easily controlled by vacuuming and discarding the collected material. Unfinished basements and crawlspaces should be well-ventilated to reduce moisture which is attractive to these pests.
Occasional invaders

Name: Spider Beetles

Spider Beetle
There are several kinds of spider beetles, the one pictured is the brown spider beetle. They all look mostly alike, with the same

same oval body conformation, just different coloring. Spider beetles are very small, less than three sixteenths of an inch long, with oval bodies, long legs and bodies covered with short hairs and rows of small pits running the length of their wing covers. The head is invisible, viewed from above. They look like very small spiders.

Spider beetles can remain active during cold weather, and can be difficult to control because they also infest such a wide variety of products. The larvae develop on the foods they eat and old storage buildings can harbor infestations in collections of stored products. They can also bore into wooden and cardboard items to pupate.
Stored food / pantry / product pests

Name: Springtails

Springtails are minute insects without wings in the Order Collembola. They occur in large numbers in moist soil and are found in homes with high humidity, organic debris, or mold.
Homeowners sometimes discover these insects in large numbers in swimming pools, potted plants, or in moist soil and mulch. They feed on decaying, damp vegetation causing organic material and other nutrients to return to the soil which are later used by plants. Occasionally, springtails attack young seedling and may damage the roots and stems. 650 species in North America. Worldwide, 3600 species have been discovered.
Springtails are pests due to their large numbers. They do not bite nor transmit diseases. They can easily climb the sides of houses and are attracted to lights.
Homeowners may first encounter springtails inside the home. The insects invade buildings in search of moisture or dryness, in times of dry weather or heavy rains. They may also breed indoors with high levels of humidity that occur near leaks and cracks.
Occasional invaders

Name: Syrphid fly or Flower Flies

Click here to visit Fidelity Exterminating
Syrphid flies are sometimes called flower flies. They are normally brightly colored in yellows and blacks. Many people mistake these for bees. Larvae of syrphid flies occur in a variety of habitats. Many of them feed on aphids but some occur in sewage and others in decaying wood.

Syrphid fly larva
Photo © NDSU Extension Service

Name: Tarantulas

Tarantulas occur worldwide . Those found in North America occur in the southern and southwestern states, including the dry and warmer parts of the southern California. These are smaller and generally have a body length of less than 2 inches and a leg span of from 3 to 4 inches.

The Desert Tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes) grows 2 to 3 inches long and is colored gray to dark brown. It is common to the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California.

The most common North American tarantula is Eurypelma californicum, found in California, Texas, and Arizona. A 30-year life span has been recorded for one individual of this species. Certain South American tarantulas, which have a body length of up to almost 3 in., build large webs and eat small birds.

The majority of tarantulas are black or brown but some species exhibit striking colors. The Mexican Red-legged Tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) has bright-red leg markings and, Cobalt Blue Tarantula (Haplopelma lividum) has legs colored deep blue.

The tarantula family includes the largest spiders known. The Goliath Tarantula (Theraposa leblondi) which inhabits South America, reaches a body length of 5 inches with a leg span of up to 12 inches . Even the small tarantulas reach a relatively large body length of 1.5 inches (4 centimeters).

The tarantula is a nocturnal hunter. It does not spin a web to capture its prey, but catches food it by speed It will take virtually anything of the right size that moves within range, but feeds primarily on small insects like grasshoppers, beetles, sow bugs, other small spiders and sometimes small lizards.

The tarantula strikes with its fangs, injecting venom and grasping the prey with its palps, armlike appendages between the mouth and legs. Then the Tarantula grinds its victim into a ball, secretes digestive juices onto it, and sucks up the liquefied prey. It may also wrap the ball in silk for a later meal.

Even if through carelessness a bite should occur, the venom when injected into man causes only slight swelling, with some numbness and itching which disappears in a short time. The chances of being bitten are so slight that one has little need to worry.

Tarantulas are harmless to humans and are often trained as pets, although they can inflict painful bites if provoked.

Although both males and females are capable of inflicting a bite when threatened, they rarely do so and their venom is considered to be non-toxic to humans.

Bites are unlikely to cause problems other than pain at the site. Skin exposure to the urticating hairs will cause itching and a rash.

First Aid: Clean the bite site with soap and water and protect against infection. Skin exposures to the urticating hairs are managed by removing the hairs with tape.

For more information about Tarantulas visit Desert USA

Name: Thief Ant

Thief Ants get their name from their habit of living in colonies of larger ants and feeding on the large ants' larvae. In homes, they tend to prefer fatty or greasy foods like meat, cheese, buttery pastries, lard, and pet foods. They are so tiny -- about 1/20 of an inch -- that they often go unnoticed and may be accidentally eaten by humans along with the foods that the ants are infesting.

Name: Turkestan cockroaches

Turkestan cockroach Blatta lateralis (walker)
The common name comes from its having been collected in the Asian province of Turkestan. Its distribution is Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India, the Soviet Central Asia, Kashmir, Afghanistan, and the United States. In the United States it is established in San Joaqnin, California , El Paso, Texas, and Maricopa and Pima county, Arizona. This species was introduced into California and Texas with the household goods of military personnel when they returned from the Middle East. Little is known about this species, but its biology is reported to be similar to that of the oriental cockroach. Adult males about 1/2-7/8" long whereas, females about 3/4-1"long. Male with wings brownish yellow, female body dark brown to black. The Turkestan cockroach is a desert species which also inhabits semi-desert locations and sometimes lives under moist conditions. It is found both outdoors and inside structures. This species is common in sewer systems.

Name: Varied Carpet beetle

Adult carpet beetles are about an eighth of an inch long, and round in appearance. The backs of the insects have much the same color scheme as the larvae. The larvae have small, hairy, soft bodies about a quarter inch long, depending on the instar. The larvae feed on a wide variety of foods, including carpets, furs, woolens, skins, stuffed animals, leather, feathers, silk and many plant products. The adults feed on nothing except pollen and nectar from flowers outside.
In spring and early summer, the adult will lay up to a hundred eggs, usually cemented to the product, or on furs, woolens or any dried natural or animal material. The eggs hatch in about three weeks.
The larval stage can withstand a long period of no food, and can molt as many as 30 times. They also prefer clothes or fabrics soiled with perspiration, body oils and urine. As with Black Carpet beetles, the adults will pupate in the last larval skin and use the last skin to hide in for as long as a month.
Fabric and carpet

Name: Velvet Ants

Velvet Ant
These insects are about 3/4 inch long and are usually black and red. They have a fuzzy body and look like a large ant.

Family Mutilidae. These are actually wasps, but appear to be ants. They are parasites in the nests of ground-nesting wasps such as yellowjackets and sometimes solitary bees. They can be somewhat aggressive and can sting if handled.

They don't infest houses and are not a threat to people or pets, so there is not need for extensive control measures. Individuals can be controlled with an aerosol spray.

Name: Western conifer seed bug

Click here for Photo ©Fidelity Exterminating Aberdeen, MD.
The western conifer seed bug are commonly called leaf-footed bugs, and like many members of the Coreidae family, it has a flattened, leaf-like expansion of the hind legs. The adult is about 3/4 inch in length and is a dull brownish color.. There is a faint white zig-zag stripe across the midpoint of its upper surface. When the insect takes flight, it lifts the wings to reveal bright yellowish orange areas on its back. The leaf-footed bugs use piercing sucking mouthparts to pierce the scales of conifer seeds and suck out the seed pulp. The list of host plants includes white pine, red pine, Scots pine, Austrian pine, mugo pine, white spruce, Douglas-fir and hemlock. Often these trees are planted or growing near homes, and if that is the case, the bugs may seek the nearby buildings as an overwintering site. LIFE CYCLE In the spring these bugs move out of doors to coniferous trees nearby. The bugs then feed on the developing seeds and early flowers of different species of conifers. Females are reported to lay rows of eggs on needles of the host trees, which hatch in about ten days. Young nymphs then begin to feed on tender cone scales and sometimes the needles. The nymphs are orange and brown, becoming reddish-brown to brown as they develop. Nymphs pass through five instars and reach full adulthood by late August. The adults will feed on ripening seed until they seek overwintering quarters. MANAGEMENT If these bugs are a problem in your area, be sure to screen attic or wall vents, chimneys and fireplaces to mechanically block their points of entry. Eliminate or caulk gaps around door and window frames and soffits, and tighten up loose fitting screens, windows or doors.

Name: Western drywood termites

Swarmer of western drywood termite are about 7/16-1/2 inch long the head and pronotum are orange brown, abdomen is dark brown, wing membrane and pigmented veins are blackish. The Soldiers head is orange to reddish brown with a whitish eye spot.

The western drywood termite produces usually hard pellets, less than 1/32 inch long, long, oval shaped with rounded ends, 6 concave sides. They are found in the Southwestern U.S., Northwestern Mexico and may also be established in Florida. Western drywood termites infest wood with a moisture content of 12% or less.

Drywood termites do not live in the ground, do not build mud tubes, nor require ground contact ground. Colonies are located in the wood they eat, and are smaller than those of subterranean termites. There is no worker caste; immatures and nymphs do the work. After swarming, they find cracks or knotholes in nearby wood, gnaw a small tunnel, close it, excavate a chamber, and mate. The pair may remain dormant for nearly a year, or lay up to 5 eggs, 20 nymphs and 1 soldier. At the end of the 2nd year, the colony may have 6-40 nymphs and 1 soldier; by the 3rd year there may be 40-165 individuals; by the 4th year, 70-700 individuals, at which time the first swarmers may be realized. Swarming of drywood termites, in dozens or occasionally hundreds, typically happens in September/October, at mid-day in warm, sunny weather 80 degrees F, peaking after a sudden temperature increase. In Arizona, drywood termites swarm at night in July.

These swarmers are attracted to light. Drywood termites are distributed by human activity, like the shipping of infested furniture, picture frames, and lumber, to new areas. Swarmers drywood termites fly into structures, directly infesting the wood, first in exposed places such as door and window frames, eaves, attics, and molding, or where shingles and paper overhang timber, finding a protected joint or crevice. They often re-infest the same structure when swarming.
Wood destroying

Name: Wheeler's Termites

Wheeler's termites do not cause structural damage to homes

Both Wheeler's (Amitermes wheeleri) and the tube-building termite (Gnathamitermes perplexus) are thought to be "true" desert termites, because they attack a wide variety of desert plants and materials such as fences, dead grass, or weeds. They construct wide plaster-like earthen tubes on palm trees or wooden structures where they feed by scraping dead wood off the exterior.

The homeowner may find these tubes or plates unsightly, but Wheeler's termites do not cause structural damage to homes. Winged reproductives of both species swarm in the summer following rain showers.

Photo © General Exterminating, Inc.

Name: Windscorpions

Click here for color photo ©
Windscorpions, sometimes called sun spiders or solpugids. The body is as much as an inch and a half long, with a pair of heavy pinchers. Windscorpions get the name from their speed and general resemblance to scorpions. They subdue their prey with their pinchers, which lack poison glands.

Name: Wood Cockroaches

Photo © University of Michigan
The adults of the wood cockroach are about 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, brown, and the outer edges of the wings are pale. The adult cockroaches are capable flyers, and they frequently fly to lights at night-especially the warm nights of early spring and fall.

The wood cockroach lives outdoors in the leaf litter and debris of wooded areas. The adult cockroaches are active during the spring and fall, and are frequently found in houses at this time. In the spring these insects are probably attracted to outside lights at night. In the fall the adults are probably brought into the house with firewood.

Females deposit egg cases outdoors under bark of old logs and stumps. Females produce about 30 capsules containing up to 32 eggs each. The egg incubation period is about one month, with nymphs hatching in the summer, overwintering and maturing the following spring. In some cases the life cycle takes about two years.

Do not infest houses-they are simply casual or accidental invaders.

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Occasional invaders

Name: Yellow jacket wasps

Yellowjackets, part of the wasp family are smallish insects, and very aggressive. They are actually “beneficial” insects, preying on small insects which they will feed to their young. Yellowjackets nest in the ground, wall voids, and will even construct nests in the open. Treatment should be done at night, when they are less active and most of the colony is inside the nest. As with all wasps, the nest dies at the end of the year after producing queens for next year’s nests. These queens will overwinter in protected areas, waiting for spring.
Stinging/Biting Pest

Name: Yellow meal worms

The rather large Yellow meal worm, are shiny black beetles, a half inch long, with well-developed wings, are accomplished fliers and are attracted to light. They are named for the larva, which are more than an inch long, hard-bodied and are bright yellow.
Seldom a pest in homes, they are, however, major pests in storage facilities, in dark, undisturbed locations. They feed on these forgotten residues, overwinter in the larval stage and emerge, in the spring, to begin feeding on the food they are infesting. The adults can lay up to 300 eggs and will live about three months. The entire life cycle takes a year.
Since the larvae will often crawl away from the egg site, infestations can continue in other years. Thorough clean up is absolutely required.
Stored food / pantry / product pests