The German Cockroach is the most common cockroach found worldwide. Most often found in restaurants, food processing facilities, hotels, nursing homes and residents. Typically, they are 1.1-1.6 cm long and they vary in color from tan to almost black with 2 dark parallel streaks on the pronotum running from behind the head to the base of the wings.
The Oriental Cockroach also known as a water bug or black beetle. The male is around 1”, female 1 3/8”. It is a dark brown or black in color with a glossy shine on the body. They prefer dark moist areas and prefer decaying organic matter, sewer drains, damp basements and under damp vegetation.
The American Cockroach is one of the largest of the cockroaches averaging in size from 1 ½ -2” in length. Generally reddish brown with yellowish edges and markings on pronotum. Yellowish stripe along front margin of each fore wing. Slender antennae are longer than body. They prefer warm temperatures and can generally be found in basements, crawl spaces, cracks, and crevices in foundations. They are opportunistic feeders that eat book bindings, hair, dried skin, dead animals, and fermenting or rotten foods.
The Smoky-Brown Cockroach is readily distinguishable by its uniformly dark brown–mahogany coloration. It looks a lot like the American cockroach however it lacks the yellow accents of the American. They are normally around 1 ½ inches in length. They are an outdoor species living in woodpiles, planter boxes, among fallen leaves and dead vegetation. You may also find them in meter boxes, garages, sheds, or rain gutters. If spotted indoors it is usually near a water source.
The Brown-Banded Cockroach, is a small species of cockroach, measuring about 10 to 14 mm long. It is tan to light brown and has two light-colored bands across the wings and abdomen, they may sometimes appear to be broken or irregular but are quite noticeable. The bands may be partly obscured by the wings. This cockroach prefers a dry environment. They tend to also like areas high up such closet shelves. They are opportunistic feeders and will feed on anything from leftover food, paper, draperies, wallpaper, and glue.
A mouse, plural mice, is a small rodent having a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a long slender scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. The best-known mouse species is the common house mouse). They are known to invade homes for food and shelter. Mice, in certain contexts, can be considered vermin which are a major source of crop damage, causing structural damage and spreading diseases through their parasites and feces. In North America, breathing dust that has come in contact with mouse excrement has been linked to hantavirus, which may lead to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). Primarily nocturnal animals, mice compensate for their poor eyesight with a keen sense of hearing and rely especially on their sense of smell to locate food and avoid predators.
The brown rat, also known as the sewer rat or wharf rat, is one of the best known and most common rats. It is a brown or grey rodent with a head and body length of up to 11 inches long, and a tail slightly shorter than that. It weighs between 4.9 and 17.6 oz. It is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America. With rare exceptions, the brown rat lives wherever humans live, particularly in urban areas. They mostly feed on seeds or plants. They gnaw on wood to sharpen their incisors. Rats carry several diseases such as bubonic plague, typhus, and Hanta Fever.
The black rat, also known as ship rat, roof rat, or house rat. The black rat is black to light brown in color with a lighter underside. The adult Roof Rat measures between 6-8” in length and weigh between 5-9 ounces. It is a generalist omnivore and a serious pest to farmers because it feeds on a wide range of agriculture crops. Once inside the Roof Rat does major damage as it gnaws through anything in its way. It is also a major contaminate to stored food and serves as a host of dangerous disease like it is counterpart the Brown Rat.
Large black ants anywhere between 1/4 – 1/2” in size. You can recognize the Carpenter Ant as they have what looks like three segments: the head, the neck, and the body. Generally black in color or red and black. They build their nest preferably inside of dead or damp wood. Unlike termites, they do not consume the wood but rather leave discarded material that resembles sawdust. As the colony grows the wood becomes weaker and eventually breaks down.
Little Black Ant
The Little Black Ants like the name suggests are small, dark-colored ants ranging in size from 1/16-1/8 of an inch in size. They feed mainly on improperly stored foods. They will make their way into your home in search of food, moisture, and warmth. They are quite common from June to August as they search for food. Outdoors they will nest in yards, rocks, rotting logs, and under woodpiles. Indoors, nests are located in woodwork, wall voids, damp, or decaying wood.
The Fire Ant can be easily distinguished from other ants by its coppery red color. They are generally between 1/16 – 1/4” in size. The mature fire ant has three sections the, head, thorax, and abdomen, with three pairs of legs and a pair of antennae. They feed mainly on young plants and seeds. Fire ants often attach smaller animals and can kill them with their venom. For humans this is a painful stinging sensation and can be extremely sensitive or even deadly. A typical fire ant colony produces a large mound in open sunny areas. If undisturbed the colony rapidly multiplies, and new mounds will appear nearby.
Odorous House Ant
A small ant that goes by the common names odorous house ant, sugar ant, stink ant, and coconut ant. Their colonies consist of multiple nests contain multiple reproducing queens. Like many social insects, the Odorous House Ant employs complex foraging strategies, allocates food depending on environmental conditions, and engages in competition with other insects. The Odorous House Ant can be found in a huge diversity of habitats, including houses. They are common household pests and are attracted to sources of water and sweets. Kitchen pantries and cupboards are common areas to find these pests as they prefer to build their nests in warm areas near food and water.
Alleghany Mound Ant
The Allegheny Mound Ant is a species of ant native to the Atlantic area of North America. Its range extends as far north as Nova Scotia to the southern reaches of Georgia. Like other field ants, the Allegheny mound ant builds large mounds. Aside from the mounds, these ants also act as pests by killing vegetation within 40 to 50 feet of their mounds. The ants inject formic acid into surrounding plants, killing small trees and shrubs. The Allegheny mound ant’s appearance is very striking: both its head and thorax are red orange; its abdomen is black brown. The ant’s colonies are complex there may be several different mounds interconnected. The tunnels may extend 3 feet into the ground and 4 feet upwards in the mound. The mound serves as a solar incubator for the eggs and larvae. Unlike most other ants, Allegheny mound ants have multiple queens. Maturation from egg to adult takes 2.5–3 months. They hunt a wide assortment of arthropods as a protein source and collect aphid honeydew as a source of sugars. These ants are extremely aggressive and will bite if a mound is disturbed, However, their bite is not quite as distressful as that of the Fire Ant.
Acrobat ants get their common name from their ability to acrobatically raise their abdomen over their thorax and head, especially when disturbed. They are also called the Saint Valentine Ant due to the heart shaped gaster. They are small ranging around 1/8’ in length. They are light brown to black in color. They are typically next outdoors in dead or decaying wood. However, they may invade your home through cracks or crevices around wiring or pipes. Once inside they make their way to nest in insulation and woodwork. They will search for food in pantries and cabinets.
Silverfish have somewhat flattened bodies, 3/8 – 1/2” long, covered with minute, silvery scales. They have 3 pronounced tails and long threadlike antennae. These insects are usually found in dark, warm places at night, under sinks, stoves, and floors, and around water pipes in homes. They can become pests because they feed on starchy substances, such as clothing, book bindings, and dry foods.
The silverfish’s ugly cousin. Mottled gray and tan or brown in color with threadlike antennae, longer than body, usually swept back parallel to sides. They prefer hot and humid areas. They feed on a variety of items from wood, wallpaper, silk, to your everyday pantry items.
Earwigs are known for the pair of forceps or pinchers on their abdomen. Generally, a light brown to rusty color. They are mostly nocturnal and often hide in small, moist crevices during the day, and are active at night, feeding on a wide variety of insects and plants. Damage to foliage, flowers, and various crops is commonly blamed on earwigs.
Centipedes are elongated worm like creatures with one pair of legs per body segment. Despite the name, centipedes can have a varying number of legs, ranging from 30 to 354. They are normally drab in color with shades of brown and rec. Centipedes like a moist habitat. They are generally found in soil and leaf litter, under damp, decaying or dead wood. Most centipedes are generally venomous and can inflict a painful bite, injecting their venom through pincer-like appendage known as forcipules. Like spiders and scorpions, centipedes are predominantly carnivorous.
Millipedes are a group of arthropods that are characterized by having two pairs of jointed legs on most body segments; Each double-legged segment is a result of two single segments fused together. Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical or flattened bodies with more than 20 segments, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a ball. Although the name “millipede” derives from the Latin for “thousand feet”, no known species has 1,000. Most millipedes are slow-moving. They eat decaying leaves and other dead plant matter. Some eat fungi or suck plant fluids, and a small minority are predatory. Millipedes are generally harmless to humans, although some can become household or garden pests. Millipedes can be unwanted especially in greenhouses where they can cause severe damage to emergent seedlings.
Camel crickets get their common name from their humpbacked appearance, which is like that of a camel. Also commonly known as cave crickets or spider crickets, this species can be found in caves, as well as damp, cool areas underneath damp leaves, stones, and rotting logs. They are widespread in the United States and have a lifespan of about one to two years. Camel crickets do not possess sound producing organs, and therefore do not chirp. Additionally, the adults do not have wings, unlike other cricket species. Using their long limbs, camel crickets leap when they are frightened since it is the only defense mechanism, they hold.
Male and female black widows look different. In all cases, “the females are the most distinctive, with shiny black bodies and a red hourglass-shaped marking on the underside of their round abdomen. The hourglass marking can, on occasion, also be orange yellow. The males are about half the size of females. Males are lighter in color, with red or pink spots on their backs. The females have unusually large venom glands and their bite can be extremely harmful to humans. They prefer to nest near the ground in dark and undisturbed areas, in or around construction openings or wood piles, under outdoor furniture or in basements. Their prey consists mainly of small insects, beetles, and caterpillars.
The brown recluse spider is well-known for its appearance and poisonous bite. It is the most common and widespread of the brown spiders, but it is found only in the south and central United States. The Brown Recluse has violin-shaped markings on the top of their head and thorax. They are informally referred to as fiddleback or violin spiders. They frequently built their nest in woodpiles, sheds, cellars, and other places that are dry and generally undisturbed. When inside they prefer cardboard because it mimics the rotting tree bark. The bite of the Brown recluse may initially not be felt, but it can be serious. The venom has been known to create a severe dermonecrotic lesions or necrosis of the skin.
American house spiders build their tangled webs in or near human dwellings, barns or similar areas and are often in secluded areas such as between loose walls and behind open doors and attic windows. Statistically, they are the most often encountered spider by humans in North America, and least likely to adopt defensive behavior in their vicinity.
Commonly referred to as Granddaddy Long Legs. The length of its legs are about 5 or 6 times the length of its body. They tend to be found outside around porches, ceilings, in garages, cellars and other overhead areas. This spider is considered beneficial in parts of the world because it kills and eats other spiders, including dangerous species.
Bed & Bat Bugs
Bed bugs are small oval brownish insects that feed on human blood usually at night. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. Once they feed their bodies swell, they are a reddish color. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of thousands of eggs over their lifetime. Bedbugs do not have nests like ants or bees. Their initial hiding places are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames and headboards. They are most likely found in hotels and motels.
Bat bugs are closely related to bed bugs and are so similar in appearance that they are often mistaken for bed bugs. Bat bugs are blood sucking insects that feed primarily on the blood of bats. They cannot reproduce without their bat hosts so they will be found in the places bats like to roost, such as attics or chimneys. However, if the bats are eradicated the bat bugs will move to other areas in the home in search of a food source.
Bees & Wasps
They can be identified by their distinctive markings of black with yellow markings. They are a member of the Wasp family. Yellow jackets build nests in trees, shrubs, tree stumps and in holes in the ground. You will find the bright yellow and black insects in the yard at picnics and outdoor activities. They are drawn to sweets such as soda and juice. They are extremely aggressive and can both sting and bite. Yellow Jacket stings can be deadly for people who are allergic to bees.
Bald-faced hornets are distinguished from the yellow jacket by their white and black coloring. They also have three white stripes at the end of their bodies. They build a characteristic large hanging paper nest up to 23 inches in length. Adult hornets are carnivorous and will prey upon other insects. They will also drink flower nectar which they feed to their larvae. Workers aggressively defend their nest by repeatedly stinging invaders.
The wasp’s common name is due to the reddish-brown color of its head and body. It prefers to nest in protected areas such as hollow trees or under eaves of buildings where there is limited activity. Red paper wasps are known to construct some of the largest nests of any wasp species. They feed mainly on caterpillars and nectar fluids. They can also be seen feeding on discarded food. They generally will not attack unless provoked. Unlike bees, wasps do not lose their stingers and therefore they are able to sting repeatedly.
Yellow Paper Wasp
This social wasp is commonly referred to as the yellow paper wasp due to the distinct yellow bands found on its thorax and abdomen. Often confused with the yellow jacket they are longer and slimer. Their antennae are orange tipped whereas the yellow jackets antennae are black. The nest of a Paper wasp looks like an upside-down honeycomb. They usually nest on manmade structures, under the eaves of houses and under lawn furniture.
European hornets prefer to build their nest in dark places, usually in how tree trunks. They are largely carnivorous and hunt large insects such as beetles, wasps, large moths, dragonflies, and mantises. They also feed on fallen fruit and other sources of sugary food. This species stings in response to being stepped on or grabbed, but generally avoids conflict. It is also defensive of its nest and can be aggressive around food sources.
Often mistaken for the Bumblebee the Carpenter bee has a shiny hairless abdomen. The common name “carpenter bee” derives from their nesting behavior; nearly all species burrow into hard plant material such as damp, decaying, or dead wood. They prefer softer varieties of wood such as cedar, cypress, and pine. Common sites are eaves, rafters, siding, decks, and wooden furniture.