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American Cockroach

Appearance
Up to 2" long; largest of the house-infesting cockroaches. Reddish brown, with a yellowish figure-8 pattern on the back of the head.
Habitat
American cockroaches are commonly found in food preparation areas and warm, damp places such as sewers and basements, particularly around pipes and drains. They are very aggressive, making roach control difficult, and are more likely to be seen in daytime and outdoors than other species. They are most active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, although they can survive lower temperatures.
Diet
Scavenger; eats almost anything.
Roach control: American cockroach
Cockroaches pose serious health risks to your family or business. Good sanitation and habitat reduction is the key to effective roach control. Also important are vacuuming and surveillance, a professional baiting program, and careful sealing of cracks to help reduce or eliminate a cockroach population. Because cockroaches are nocturnal and experts at hiding, successful roach control requires special equipment, materials and expertise.



Mosquito

Appearance
Pale brown with whitish stripes across abdomen; narrow oval shape; 1/4- to  3/8-inch. Females are easily recognized by long thin proboscis, or mouthparts, extending from the head.
Habitat
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water sources such as storm drains, old tires, children’s wading pools and birdbaths. They are one of the best known and most detested summer pests. Female mosquitoes bite humans and suck our blood, leaving behind welts and itching. While the United States is fairly free of most mosquito-borne diseases, encephalitis remains a problem, most notably the potentially fatal West Nile Virus.
Diet
Female mosquitoes suck our blood. Male mosquitoes feed on plant nectars.
Insect control: mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so avoid going outdoors during those times. Use insect repellent containing DEET on exposed skin whenever or wherever mosquitoes are likely to bite. To eliminate or reduce mosquito breeding sites, replace all standing water at least once a week. This includes bird baths, ponds and unfiltered pools. Remove unnecessary vegetation and any trash from around standing water sources that cannot be eliminated. Make sure screens are in place on all doors, windows and other openings.



Black Widow Spider

Appearance
Glossy black, often with red “hourglass” on back. May also be dark or light brown. 3/4-inch length, 3/8-inch diameter.
Habitat
Contrary to legend, female black widow spiders rarely devour males after mating. They are found in all 50 states, often living around wood piles and gaining entry to a structure when firewood is carried in. They spin their webs near ground level in protected areas, such as in cluttered garages, outhouses and stacks of firewood. The black widow is widely feared because its bite results in severe pain that may take several days to subside. Such bites are rarely fatal, but because small children and elderly persons are at risk, spider control is important if you suspect black widows.
Diet
Black widows eat any insect they can capture. They paralyze or kill their prey with venom, then inject a fluid that enables them to suck out the digestive liquid food. They can survive without food for several weeks to a few months.
Spider control: black widow spiders
Bites can be avoided by wearing heavy gloves when moving items stored for long periods outside or in garages, basements or warehouses. Shoes should be stored inside shoeboxes or shaken vigorously prior to wearing. When webs are visible, inspect carefully before putting your hand down under an object.



Termites

Appearance
While all termites have long narrow bodies, they vary greatly in appearance depending on the termite’s role in the colony. Subterranean termite workers are pale cream-colored and 1/8-inch long; soldiers have elongated heads with pincer-like mandibles; and primary reproductivrs (commonly called “swarmers” and the termites most often seen in the open) are dark brown or black and 1 inch long, with large whitish wings
Habitat
Subterranean termites live underground and build protective mud tunnels above ground to search for food. They will die if exposed to open air for prolonged periods. Attracted to moisture (downspouts, leaky hoses, etc.), they will enter a building anywhere there is direct soil to structure contact. Colonies contain up to 2 million members, organized into castes depending on tasks—workers, soldiers and reproductives. Subterranean termites swarm in the spring, when groups of reproductive termites go off to start new colonies.
Diet
Like other termite species, they feed on products containing cellulose. Unlike other wood-destroying insects, termites actually eat the wood.
Termite control: subterranean termites
Subterranean termites are by far the most destructive species. They can collapse a building entirely, causing financial ruin for the owner. To help prevent termite infestations, eliminate wood contact with soil. Make sure at least four inches of foundation can be seen all around the home. Avoid water accumulation near your home’s foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning gutters, downspouts and splash blocks. Fix all roof and plumbing leaks as soon as possible.
Options for controlling existing infestations include placing a pesticide barrier in the soil to prevent access to wood structures, above-ground bait stations, and fumigating the entire structure.



Centipede

Appearance
Mostly brownish or orange-brown; rarely longer than 2 inches. A flat, long, narrow body with many legs.
Habitat
Outdoors they live in landscape mulch and beneath items in contact with the soil. Although seldom found indoors, once inside they prefer moist places like basements, closets and bathrooms. Occasionally they can be seen on walls in crawl spaces, garages and in other rooms of a house. Their bite is seldom more painful than a bee sting.
Diet
Centipedes are nocturnal predators that hunt down spiders and insects at night.
Insect control: centipedes
Controlling centipedes requires sealing cracks and holes in your home’s exterior to prevent them from entering. Removing mulch and heavy vegetation from contact with your home’s foundation will reduce their food supply and the number of centipedes in the area. House centipedes may require professional treatment.



House fly

Appearance
Usually gray, with four black stripes on their backs; less than 1/4-inch.
Habitat
As their name implies, house flies are the most common type found in homes. They lay their eggs in almost any warm, moist material that will supply suitable food for the larvae. House flies excrete and regurgitate whenever they come to rest. This habit, combined with their many body hairs and the sticky pads on their legs, makes them well adapted for transporting disease organisms.
Diet
Wide variety of food, including human food, animal food and carcasses, garbage and excrement.
Insect control: house flies.
To minimize problems with flies, eliminate their breeding sites by throwing away trash in plastic bags. Let trash cans dry out, and keep them as far from your home as possible. Regularly pick up pet waste. For commercial establishments, professional cleaning of dumpsters and nearby areas may be necessary.
Equip all doors and windows with tight-fitting screens, and apply weather-stripping to the edges of all doors and windows; flies can squeeze through amazingly small cracks.



Mouse

Appearance
Small and slender, 3 to 4 inches long, with large ears, small eyes and pointed nose. Light brown or light gray. Droppings are rod-shaped.
Habitat
Mice live everywhere outside, and are found more often indoors than rats because they are smaller and more able to fit through small openings. Mice can fit through a crack or hole 1/4 of an inch or larger—about the width of a pencil. Their territory generally ranges 10 to 30 feet from their nest. They are curious but wary. They are also excellent climbers, making rodent control difficult. They can enter your home through holes in soffit vents, around cables entering the building, and through turbines and box vents on the roof.
Diet
Omnivorous, but prefers seeds and cereal grains.
Insect control: house mice
Effective rodent control involves sealing as many holes and cracks as possible in the outside of your home. Keep firewood stored as far from the home as possible and store it off the ground. Remove piles of debris, stones, bricks and leaves near your home’s foundation. Stuff large holes or cracks in your foundation with steel wool or wire mesh before sealing with caulk or foam—otherwise mice could chew through. And since mice can slip under many garage doors, don’t forget to tightly seal the door from the garage to the house.
To locate existing nests and eliminate mice already in your home, professional rodent control materials such as baits and traps are usually needed.



Scorpion

Appearance
Bark Scorpion
- Straw-pale yellow in color. A. Also seen is the Giant Hairy Scorpion, which is much larger/darker than the much smaller and paler "Bark Scorpion". The Bark Scorpion is very venomous, if stung, call Poison Control Center @ 626-6016, go to the nearest hospital or personal physician for antivenin treatment. Try to take scorpion with you as treatment may vary according to specie. Proper identification is very important from a medical treatment perspective.
Habitat
Nocturnal and will be in areas around moisture or outside lights where food sources are known to gather.
Diet
Beetles, cockroaches, crickets, moths, or other insects.
Insect control: scorpion
Keep wood piles away from walls, check all wood carefully before bringing into your home, remove heavy shrubbery that is growing close to the structure, remove medium to large rocks that are situated next to the structure, inspect all rocks before moving them! Seal/caulk all pipes, wiring outlets, or cracks located around the outside of the structure. Stop any water from dripping (i.e. Evaporative coolers) if at all possible as they will gather around moisture sources. Keep chimney flumes closed when not in use. Keep outside lights to a minimum. Keep doors closed after dusk and until dawn. Pay particular attention to "doggie" doors as this a very, very easy way to obtain entry. Keep sealed when animals are in the home.

Avoid walking around the home during the nighttime hours with bare feet. Check all shoes, folded towels, dresser drawers, closets on a periodic basis for scorpions. Check molding around all in door piping and repair if any holes are present. Keep all drains (tub, shower, sinks, etc) closed or sealed when not in use as scorpions have been known to come up through the drains on rare occasions.



Bedbug

Appearance
Mahogany to rusty brown; red after a blood meal. Flat and oval, 1/4-inch.
Habitat
As their name implies, bedbugs like to live and feed in beds. They can also live behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery and in furniture crevices. They like to travel and will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes. Elusive and nocturnal, they make their presence known most often through the red, itchy bites they leave behind. They do not transmit diseases.
Diet
Primarily humans, although bedbugs can dine on any warm-blooded animal.
Insect control: bed bugs
Vacuum suitcases after returning from a vacation. Check bed sheets for tell-tale blood spots. Bedbugs are elusive creatures, so calling a professional when you suspect an infestation is the wisest solution



Flea

Appearance
Tiny, about 1/6-inch in length; reddish brown and flattened.
Habitat

Fleas live on the bodies or animals and feed on their blood. Because fleas usually feed and lay their eggs while an animal is sleeping, your pet’s resting area is where the most fleas will be found. Many pets acquire fleas outside in the yard. The cat flea will attack both cats and dogs. Its flat shape allows it to pass easily between animal hairs.
Diet
Larvae feed on organic debris, particularly the feces of adult fleas, which contain undigested blood. Females need to feed on animal blood in order to produce eggs.
Insect control: fleas
Controlling a flea infestation requires treating your pets, the inside of your home, and flea activity sites outside. To treat pets, consult your veterinarian and follow the instructions of recommended flea control products. To treat inside your home, remove all items from the floors and vacuum, wash and/or mop thoroughly. Wash or replace pet bedding. In homes with active flea infestation, professional treatment is advised. Because flea pupae are not affected by treatment, it may take up to two weeks after treatment before fleas are no longer seen.



Deer Tick

Appearance
Dark brown; 1/8-inch; flat, broad oval shape.
Habitat
Deer ticks are often found near wooded and highly vegetated areas. They prefer to hide in grass and shrubs. These ticks like to feed on the blood of white-tailed deer, which is why they are called deer ticks (also known as blacklegged ticks). They are important because they can spread Lyme Disease a potentially serious illness that is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms vary.
Diet
All females and males of most species feed on blood of mammals, birds and reptiles.
Insect control: deer ticks
To help prevent Lyme Disease, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants when in an area where ticks are common. Light colored cloths make ticks easier to detect. Tuck pants into socks. Use a tick repellent. Wash clothes immediately after returning indoors if you suspect deer ticks.

Ticks are difficult to control, and the services of an experienced professional are recommended. Treatments may be necessary in areas of your yard where ticks are found.

 

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