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Learn more about the most common household pests that can threaten your home
– and easy ways to control them.

Select a link below to learn more!

                              Mosquitos
 
Mosquitos are small, midge-like flies that constitute the family Culicidae. Females of most species are ectoparasites, whose tube-like mouthparts (called a proboscis) pierce the hosts' skin to consume blood. The word "mosquito" (formed by mosca and diminutive -ito) is Spanish for "little fly". Thousands of species feed on the blood of various kinds of hosts, mainly vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptile, samphibians, and even some kinds of fish. Some mosquitoes also attack invertebrates, mainly other arthropods. Though the loss of blood is seldom of any importance to the victim, the saliva of the mosquito often causes an irritating rash that is a serious nuisance. Much more serious though, are the roles of many species of mosquitoes as vectors of diseases. In passing from host to host, some transmit extremely harmful infections such as malaria, yellow fever,Chikungunya, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses, rendering it the deadliest animal family in the world.
 
     
                              Ticks
 

Ticks are small arachnids, part of the order Parasitiformes. Along with mites, they constitute the subclass Acari. Ticks are ectoparasites (external parasites), living by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Ticks had evolved by the Cretaceous period, the most common form of fossilisation being immersed in amber. Ticks are widely distributed around the world, especially in warm, humid climates.

Almost all ticks belong to one of two major families, the Ixodidae or hard ticks, which are difficult to crush, and the Argasidae or soft ticks. Adults have ovoid or pear-shaped bodies which become engorged with blood when they feed, and eight legs. As well as having a hard shield on their dorsal surfaces, hard ticks have a beak-like structure at the front containing the mouthparts whereas soft ticks have their mouthparts on the underside of the body. Both families locate a potential host by odour or from changes in the environment.

Ticks have four stages to their lifecycle, namely egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Ixodid ticks have three hosts, taking at least a year to complete their lifecycle. Argasid ticks have up to seven nymphal stages instars, each one requiring a blood meal. Because of their habit of ingesting blood, ticks are vectors of at least twelve diseases that affect humans and other animals.

 
     
 
                              Termites
 

Termites are often called the “quiet menance” because they may be hiding and thriving in your cellar or yard without any signs of damage. While each species thrives in different dwellings and eats different types of food, all termites require four things to survive — food, moisture, shelter and optimal temperature. Unfortunately, all homes, regardless of their construction type, can provide these ideal conditions for termite infestation.

Termites feed on dead plants and trees as well as dead parts of living trees, including wood and wood in the soil. A termite’s mouth is capable of tearing large pieces of food. This ability is what causes concern in human dwellings: while termites only measure approximately one centimeter in length, their feeding habits are capable of causing costly damage to property.

Subterranean termite homes are usually formed in soil. Within these mounds, termites build elaborate tunnel systems and mud tunnels through which they access aboveground food sources. Drywood termites live within the wood they consume and oftentimes infest walls and furniture.

Winged, swarming termites can be seen around windows and doors. Winged termites are highly attracted to light and are most active in early spring. After mating, these termites locate a new breeding site and create another colony, spreading infestations throughout multiple locations.

Since termites are a constant threat to your home, here are some things you can do during the year to help. Small steps make a big difference in termite prevention and sustaining an effective treatment plan. Start by eliminating moist conditions and food around your home. These simple steps make your home a less attractive target, helping deter termites.

 

Repair leaking faucets, water pipes, and a/c units

Re-direct water from foundation

Keep gutters and down-spouts clean

Remove excessive plant cover and wood mulch

Get rid of standing water on roof

Keep all vents clear and open

Keep firewood, lumber, or paper away from foundation or crawl space

Get rid of stumps and debris near house

Place screens on outside vents

Check decks and wooden fences for damage

Wood on your home shouldn’t contact the soil

A temporary swarm of winged insects in your home

Any cracked or bubbling paint

Wood that sounds hollow when tapped

Mud tubes on exterior walls, wooden beams, or in crawl spaces

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Discarded wings from swarmers

   
                              Cockroaches

 
Cockroaches invade human dwellings and are considered pests. Cockroaches can be carriers of various diseases because they are commonly found near waste deposits or food. Some o estabishments also experience cockroach infestations.

Cockroaches can measure over one inch in length and have six legs, two antennae and wings. Allthough, a number of winged cockroaches are not particularly adept at flying.

Cockroaches emit unpleasant odors and may some also produce noise. The Madagascar hissing cockroach is the most famous of these vocal cockroaches, although more common species may produce quieter clicking or chirping noises.

Cockroaches can wreak havoc on your home. To win the war in cockroach control, here’s what you should know:
 
Cockroaches can enter your home in many different ways, from the outside through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer and drain pipes.
Your home is an ideal breeding ground most species of cockroaches. With plenty of food, warmth, water they remain active all year round.
Cockroaches reproduce quickly. For every one you see there can be many, many more hiding and multiplying behind your walls.
Because cockroaches are nocturnal, if you’ve seen one, you probably haven’t seen them all.
The dust created by cast-off cockroach skins, dead bodies and droppings can aggravate allergies, especially in children and sensitive individuals.
Cockroaches are better at hiding than you are at finding them, and their eggs are naturally protected from insecticides.

     
                              Rodents

Rodents’ instincts make them difficult to control, and they present a serious menace to your home. Here’s what you should know about these pests:

Rats are instinctively wary of rat control measures such as traps and bait, and colonize in attics, burrows, under concrete and 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, lice and ticks into your home.

Mice invade your home seeking food, water and shelter. Without mouse control intervention, one pair of mice may produce 200 offspring in three to four months. Mice can contaminate much more food than they eat.

Rodents are warm-blooded mammals that, like humans, can be found throughout the world. They have oversized front teeth for gnawing and check teeth, which are adapted for chewing. Rodents chew on anything available to them and cause great damage in and around homes.

Rodents tend to be rapid breeders. Some species breed year-round. Although certain mice are known for short life spans due to predation, populations are maintained through constant reproduction. Because most rodents possess soft cartilage, they are capable of squeezing through spaces that appear to be much too small for them. All such holes should be stuffed with steel wool and sealed with spackle or cement to prevent entry and re-entry of rodents.

   
                              Ants (Carpenter)
 

Ants are the number one pest problem in the United States. Controling ants can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big problems for you and your home:
 
Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks, seeking water and sweet or greasy food substances in the kitchen pantry or storeroom areas.
Ants leave an invisible chemical trail which contains pheromones for others to follow once they locate the food source.
They can nest about anywhere in and around your house; in lawns, walls, stumps, even under foundations.
Can number up to 300,000 to 500,000 and whole colonies can uproot and relocate quickly when threatened.
A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years and the queen may live as long as 15 years.
     
                              Bed Bugs & Fleas

Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects about 3/16-inch long or the size of an apple seed. Swollen and reddish after a blood meal. They survive in cracks and crevices including mattress seams, sheets, furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames. Often found in hotels, where they can travel from room to room and in visitors’ luggage.

Fleas are mall, wingless, about 1/12- to 1/6-inch long, covered in spines with piercing mouthparts. They are a parasite that attaches to a host.
     
                              Bees & Wasps

Bees are found worldwide. There are more than 20,000 recorded bee species. .Bees can be black or brown with red, yellow or lustrous blue stripes. Some bees are notable for their ability to collect substantial amounts of honey. All bees are hairy, a trait which is crucial to the collection of pollen. Flowers and flourishing vegetation usually indicate the presence of bees: there is no insect as important as the bee when it comes to pollination. Pollen is sustenance for both adult and larval bees, as it contains protein and other nutrients necessary to their survival. Bees possess an organ that converts nectar into honey, which is collected depending on the species inside the hive, or bee colony.

Yellow Jackets get their name from their yellow and black bodies. They measure between 1/2-inch and one inch in length. In contrast to the bee, the yellow jacket’s waist is thin and defined. Their elongated wings are as long as the body and fold laterally when at rest. Yellow jackets are wasps that can be identified by their alternating black and yellow body segments, small size and distinctive side-to-side flying pattern. They are often mistaken for bees, although their bodies lack the hair and rounded abdomen of the bee. These social wasps live in colonies that may contain a thousand insects at a time.

Yellow jackets are known to be aggressive defenders of their colonies, yellow jackets are otherwise not quick to sting. The sting of a yellow jacket is painful and each insect is capable of delivering multiple stings. Because they are equipped with lance-like stingers without barbs, yellow jackets are capable of stinging repeatedly and may induce severe allergic reactions in certain individuals.

Yellow jackets are pollinators and may also be considered beneficial because they eat beetle grubs, flies and other harmful pests. However, they are also known scavengers who eat meat, fish and sugary substances, making them a nuisance near trash receptacles and picnics.

Wasp species are categorized as social or solitary. As their name implies, social wasps live in colonies, which may number in the thousands. Within these colonies, female workers, perform all other duties within the nest. Solitary wasps live alone and rarely build nests. They do lay eggs, but their eggs are left alone to hatch. Some wasps are predatory, while others are parasitic. Predatory wasps serve an important role in pollination. Parasitic wasps typically assist in the management of other pests. Some wasps are aggressive species, which sting when threatened, and, unlike bees, wasps are capable of stinging multiple times.



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