Ants can live almost anywhere. There are about 10,000 species of ants and within each species, there are multiple types. Ants are social insects that live in colonies, which include one or more queen, workers, eggs, larvae, and pupae. The worker ants maintain their developed structures known as nests. Nests protect the ants against their enemies, offer some protection against weather, and are often placed close to water and food sources. Some species nest in the ground, often under concrete or slabs. Others are found in wood, such as fence posts, dead logs, hollow trees, or within buildings. Ants cannot eat wood like termites can because they can’t digest cellulose. Unlike other insects, ants have a waist, making them easier to identify. Their exoskeleton protects it from the weather, injury, water loss and allows them to carry objects many times their weight. Ants carry bacteria on their bodies, which spreads when they crawl, so finding any type of ant inside the home is an unpleasant experience that creates nuisances.
There are varieties of chinch bugs that prefer different types of grass; however, simply having a lawn will attract these turf pests. With their distinct colors in spotted combinations of black white or red, they thrive in open areas that offer lots of sunlight, leafy debris, heavy thatch and piles of cut grass. When the feed, they will cause the lawn to turn yellow and die. This discoloration can be mistaken for a drought issue, but do not be fooled, as these pests thrive in sunny locations and can be the culprit. The most destructive is the Blissus, which can damage corn, oats, wheat and a variety of turf grasses. While feeding, they inject a toxin that interrupts with the plants ability to get moisture and nutrients from the soil, resulting in damage to the plant’s tissues that are crucial for the survival and growth.
Roaches are very adaptable insects, surviving where other insects would be extinct. Because of their adaptable natures, they are one of the more pests to control. They are a health hazard, carrying bacteria on their bodies that are transmitted to humans. The main diseases transmitted are different forms of gastroenteritis including food poisoning, dysentery, and diarrhea. Exposure to cockroach feces and the body parts of dead roaches over time can even trigger allergies and asthma. There are several species of cockroaches located all over the United States.
Fleas are small, agile, and usually dark in color. They are wingless insects whose mouthparts are adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Their legs are long and the hind pair is well adapted for jumping and can jump around 200 times their own body length. Their bodies are hard, polished, and covered with many hairs and short spines directed backward. Its tough body is able to withstand great pressure, even hard squeezing between the fingers is normally insufficient to kill a flea. Adult fleas must feed on blood before they can reproduce. Eggs are laid in batches of up to 20 a take around two days to two weeks to hatch. Some people and animals suffer allergic reactions to flea saliva resulting in rashes. Flea bites generally result in the formation of a slightly- raised, swollen itching spot with a single puncture point at the center. The bites often appear in clusters or lines of two bites and can remain itchy/inflamed for up to several weeks afterwards. Fleas can also lead to hair loss as a result of frequent scratching/biting and can cause anemia in extreme cases.
Grubs are the larvae of beetles, including the Japanese beetle, chafers, Oriental beetle, and billbug. They are white, C-shaped creatures with soft, off-white bodies, brownish heads and six well-developed legs, that feast on the roots of grass and plants as well as other organic matter in the soil. If you have problems with beetles in the early summer and dead patches of grass appear in your lawn in late summer, you could have grubs. Before the dead patches appear in late summer, your lawn will feel spongy when it’s stepped on, almost like freshly laid sod. Because grubs eat the roots holding the grass in place, the dead patches in your lawn will pull back like pieces of loose carpet. You may notice skunks, raccoons, and birds digging up your yard, as they enjoy eating large, mature grubs and will create ruts in your lawn while searching for them. Preventative grub control products should be applied in spring through early summer before or just as the grubs hatch.
Rats are instinctively wary of things new to their environment, including rat control measures such as traps and bait. They colonize in attics, burrows, under concrete/porches, in wall voids and other hard-to-reach places. Rats can harbor and transmit a number of serious diseases. They can also introduce disease-carrying parasites such as fleas and ticks into your home. Rats gnawing holes have rough edges and are about two inches or more in diameter. They prefer to gnaw on wood but can damage electrical wiring. They thrive off foods with high protein or carbohydrate content but will essentially eat almost anything. They need much more water to survive than mice do and will obtain this from toilets, sinks, rain puddle, or condensation from utility pipes. As rat families grow, more burrows are built, resulting in a network of underground tunnels.
Silverfish are wingless, having fish-like appearance with a flat body, which is tapered at both ends and covered by overlapping silver scales. They prefer damp, moderate temperature places such as kitchens, sinks, bathtubs, behind baseboards or wallpapers, window or doorframes, and wall voids. They are considered a nuisance pest that can feed on wallpaper pastes, natural textiles, books, and papers. They require a large supply of starchy foods or molds and feed on fungi. Silverfish are fast moving and are active at night or in dark places throughout a structure. You may see them trapped in sinks or bathtubs due to seeking moisture and are unable to climb a slick vertical surface to escape.
There are more than 30,000 kinds of spiders. They are not considered insects, but instead classified as arachnids. These include daddy long legs, scorpions, mites and ticks. These pests may move indoors while searching for food, mates, warmth, or moisture. While most spiders pose little or no danger to people, some species can deliver venomous bites that may cause medical issues. In the U.S., the two most common venomous spiders are the brown recluse, distinguished by the violin-shaped marking on the top of its cephalothorax; the body part consisting the spider’s fused together head and thorax. The other important venomous spider is the black widow, notable for the red hourglass shape on the underside of its jet-black abdomen.
There are four types of termites; however, the specific ones we treat are called Subterranean. A termite infestation and damage can be devastating to your home or property. Termites are often called the “silent destroyer” because they may be secretly hiding and thriving in your home or yard without any immediate signs of damage. All termites consume cellulose-based plant materials. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide cellulose food for termite infestation. Although, they are not known to carry diseases, homeowners can suffer from allergic reactions and asthma.
Ticks are blood-feeding parasites that are often found in tall grass and shrubs where they will wait to attach to a passing host. They will not jump or fly, but will latch on to skin, fur or fabric. Ticks are more active outdoors in warm weather, and especially abundant near water, but can attack a host at any time. Lyme disease is the most commonly known diseases spread by ticks. In most cases, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics if treated early. However, if left untreated, symptoms may involve the joints, heart and central nervous system.
These social insects are made up of Hornets, Mud Daubers, Paper Wasps and Yellow Jackets. Wasps have smooth bodies with a short, narrow attachment between the thorax and abdomen, which is spindle shaped and tipped with a long stinger. They have colors of yellow, red and brown on a black background and live off other insects, primarily spiders. The nests should be treated at night when all the workers and queen are present. While Hornets and Yellow jackets are extremely aggressive when provoked, Mud Daubers and Paper Wasps are not aggressive and will not sting unless pressured or handled. They all have their own versions of nest building in areas like trees/bushes, house siding and underground.