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Insects and Spiders
AntsOdorous house ants range from 2 1/2 to 3 1/4 mm long and from brown to black in color and is a common home invader. The colonies contain numerous queens and can range in size from 100 to 10,000 ants. They are very likely to enter homes in the rainy season when their natural food source, honeydew is washed from the vegetation. Most interior infestations of odorous house ants come from invasions of workers from the exterior of the home. Once a scout ant finds food it will lay down a chemical scent trail so the other ants in the colony can locate the new food source.
SpidersThe House Centipede is usually an inch or more in length and grayish-yellow in color. There are 15 pairs of long legs which have alternating dark and white bands. The back pair of legs are are more than twice as long as the others and are used to hold their prey. They are commonly found in moist basements, damp closets, and in bathrooms where they feed on spiders and other insects.
TermitesTermites are a destructive and relentless insect that cause 5 billion in damages annually. Termites attack 5 million homes annually and St Louis has moderate to high termite pressures. Termites infest all types of homes and businesses. Slabs, basements, and crawl spaces are all vulnerable to attack. Brick homes and concrete structures are no exception.
Bed bugsThe universally detested bed bug has once again risen to a prominent position as a major pest in homes and hotels. Bed bugs are mostly active at night and at first, the signs are not very noticeable and sightings are rare. In the beginning they will likely be found only on the beds, in tufts, folds, and seams of the mattress. As the population increases, bites and sightings become more common. They will spread to cracks and crevices of the bed stands and if allowed to continue will spread to baseboards, window and door frames, picture frames, curtains, furniture, behind wallpaper, electronics, and on and on. Hiding places are evident by the presence of black or brown stains caused by the excrement of the bed bugs. Should you begin to notice any of the afore-mentioned symptoms, its time for a through and proper bed bug eradication project.
FleasFleas are small, wingless insects flattened from side to side. An adult female lays 25 to 40 eggs per day and can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. Eggs of the flea can become adult fleas in as little as three weeks in ideal conditions. Newly emerged fleas will often bite humans before they find their preferred host. Many homeowners become aware of a household flea infestation when their pets have been boarded at a kennel and they return home from vacation and numerous newly emerged fleas are ready to feed. At this point, a through flea treatment is absolutely necessary. Fleas are most active in mid summer to early fall.
CockroachesThe German cockroach is the most common roach. It is about 5/8 of an inch long and is light brown to brown in color. It has two distinguishing dark streaks on its head. The German roach is commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms but can spread throughout a structure if sanitation is poor or control measures are not taken. Female roaches carry an egg case or capsule which contains anywhere from 30-40 eggs. It takes only 2 months for these newborns to mature to the point where they can start having babies.
BeesHoney bees are the only social bees or wasps that have a true perennial colony capable of surviving multiple years. Honey bees are an important beneficial pest in agriculture due to its role in pollination. It is estimated that 80% of foods consumed by Americans and more than 100 different crops are pollinated by honey bees.
WaspsWasp nests consists of a single comb, without a paper envelope surrounding it. Nests are commonly found under eaves of windows, soffits, under decks, behind shutters, gable vents, and exterior lamps. Nest will range from several to several dozen wasps and occasionally get bigger. Should you notice swarms of wasps growing near these areas, its vital that you look into wasp extermination services as soon as possible.
TicksWondering how to get rid of ticks in your home? Treatment and preparation is similar to that of fleas, with an Antimite specialist coming in and treating the furniture and carpeted areas of the home.
CricketsCamel Crickets get their name due to a humpbacked thorax which resembles the hump of a camel. Camel Crickets range from 1/2 an inch to 1 1/2 inches and vary from light tan to dark brown in color. These crickets are typically found in crawl spaces and damp basements but can also be found in living areas, garages, and storage areas. Camel Crickets do not chirp like other species so these crickets won’t be keeping you up at night.
MosquitoesTicks are blood sucking ectoparasites of mammals and are second only to mosquitoes in the number of diseases they transmit to man and his domestic pets. While there are numerous types of different ticks, most do not infest homes. The Lone Star tick, Black Legged tick, and the American dog tick are wood ticks and are not typically considered household pests. However, they do carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever and can be carried into a home on clothing and pets. The Brown dog tick is found wherever there are dogs and are not just a pest to dogs. The Brown dog tick is also a nuisance in homes. An engorged female will lay a few hundred to more than 5000 eggs in cracks and crevices, carpeting, beneath baseboards, and other areas of the home.
CentipedesCentipedes live in cracks and voids similar to cockroaches. Treatment and control involves application of a micro-encapsulated liquid in cracks and crevices and a residual dust in voids under baseboards and along pipe chases. Treatment in moist basements and crawl spaces is also recommended.
MillipedesMillipedes or “thousand leggers” normally live outside where they feed on damp and decaying organic matter like wood, leaves, and other vegetation. Millipedes frequently infest homes in the fall when they migrate indoors to seek an area to hibernate. Heavy or continuous rains that raise the water level outside can also force the millipedes out of their natural shelter causing them to seek refuge indoors.
BeetlesGround Beetles range from 1/16 to more than 1 inch in length. Most species of ground beetles are black, elongated and slightly flat. They are normally found under wood, logs, rocks and other debris on the ground. They are attracted to buildings with bright lights and will enter the buildings through cracks, doorways, and under garage doors.
HornetsA member of the wasp family which is easily identified by its large football shaped paper nests built in trees. Also identifiable by white makings on the front of its face and on the rear abdomen. Bald faced hornets are large and exhibit aggressive behavior especially when protecting their nest and are capable of stinging multiple times.
Yellow JacketsYellow jackets are extremely protective and leave painful stings to anyone who may accidentally disturb them, which makes prompt yellow jacket removal extremely important. They are most noticeable in late summer to early fall when their numbers are at the greatest and can reach into the hundreds or even thousands. Nests are commonly found underground, under siding, and behind brick walls to provide shelter for the colony.
SpringtailsSpringtails are very small insects measuring 1-2 millimeters in length. They are typically found in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Sprintail infestations in buildings are usually associated with dampness, organic matter, and mold. Springtails are not harmful but are troublesome to homeowners since they usually occur in large numbers. Springtails have a tail-like appendage called a furcula which propels the insect away from danger.
RodentsAdult house mice range in size from 5 to 8 inches from nose to tail. The body is only about 2.5 to 4 inches long. They can vary from light brown to almost black in color. Most field strains of the mouse are gray in color. Mice are capable of breeding throughout the year and produce anywhere from 2-13 mice per litter. A female mouse can produce up to 60 offspring in a year. These rodents typically enter homes in early fall as the weather turns cold. Garages are common entry points as well as improperly sealed openings for pipes and electrical conduit. Signs of mice include droppings and gnawing on food products. Mice will consume nearly all types of foods from seeds, grains, and insects outside to anything found in your pantry. Should you notice any of these signs, calling a mouse control expert is vital
RatsThe Norway rat is the most important urban rat for most parts of the world. It is also known as sewer rat, brown rat, wharf rat, barn rat, water rat, and gray rat. The average size is about a 16 inches long and weighs about 12 ounces. Litter sizes range from 6-12 pups and a female rat can have up from 3-6 litters per year. Rats are nocturnal but are able to adapt and change their habits based on human activity. Norway rats are know for digging ground burrows for shelter so exclusion has little effect in reducing their numbers. Rats also need a daily water source but can also get some of the daily requirements from moisture laden foods like fruits, vegetables, and insects. Rats will typically range about 25-100 feet and do not wander but repeatedly cover the same area.
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