Ants: Facts, Identification & Control
Ants are the number one pest problem in the country. Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home:
Entry: Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks, seeking water and sweet or greasy food substances in the kitchen pantry or storeroom areas.
Scent trails: Ants leave an invisible chemical trail which contains pheromones for others to follow once they locate the food source.
Nest locations: They can nest about anywhere in and around your house; in lawns, walls, stumps, even under foundations.
Colony size: Can number up to 300,000 to 500,000 and whole colonies can uproot and relocate quickly when threatened.
Colony Lifetime: A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years and the queen may live as long as 15 years.
Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Most do-it-yourself ant control approaches only kill the ants you see. Some truly effective treatments can penetrate and destroy nests to help prevent these pests from returning. Also, home remedies don’t account for the fact that different kinds of ant infestations require different treatments.
Cockroaches: Facts, Identification & Control
Cockroaches can wreak havoc on your home. To win the war in cockroach control, here’s what you should know:
Entry: Cockroaches can enter your home in many different ways, from the outside through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer and drain pipes. We even bring them in on products like grocery bags, boxes, purses and on our person!
Ideal environment: Your home is an ideal breeding ground most species of cockroaches. With plenty of food, warmth, water and nesting sites, they can remain active all year round.
Reproduction: Cockroaches reproduce quickly. For every one you see there can be many, many more hiding and multiplying behind your walls.
Evasiveness: Because cockroaches are nocturnal, if you’ve seen one, you probably haven’t seen them all. The few cockroaches you see by day could mean they were likely forced out by overcrowding; a possible sign of severe infestation.
Allergies/Asthma: The dust created by cast-off cockroach skins, dead bodies and droppings can aggravate allergies, especially in children and sensitive individuals.
Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Cockroaches are better at hiding than you are at finding them, and their eggs are naturally protected from insecticides. Without special equipment, materials and know-how, cockroach control can be a losing battle.
Rodents: Facts, Identification & Control
Rodents: Facts, Identification & Control
Rodents’ instincts make them difficult to control, and they present a serious menace to your home. If you’re in need of rodent control services, here’s what you should know about these pests:
Instincts: 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.
Disease: 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.
Access: They invade your home seeking food, water and warmth. Without mouse control intervention, one pair of mice may produce 200 offspring in four months.
Contamination: Each mouse can contaminate much more food than it eats.
Spiders: Facts, Identification & Control
Eight legs, no wings or antennae.
Some spiders like moisture and are found in basements, crawl spaces and other damp parts of buildings. Others like dry, warm areas such as subfloor air vents, upper corners of rooms and attics. Hide in dark areas.
Feed on insects.
Produce an egg sac.
Types of Spiders
Brown Recluse Spiders
Black Widow Spiders
Spinybacked Orb Weaver Spiders
Scorpions: Facts, Identification & Control
Scorpions have been around for a long time – over 420 million years-and may be the most feared of all animals that Mother Nature has produced. Scorpions are arthropods of the arachnid class. They are distant relatives of spiders, mites and ticks. But what makes scorpions stand out is that they can inject potent venom through their menacing tail. Scorpions are nocturnal feeders and survive on a diet of insects, spiders, centipedes and other scorpions by using their front claws (pedipalps) and stinger. It also possesses sensory hairs that are used for detecting the vibrations of a possible snack. In attack, these scorpions will grab their prey with their claws, and sting only if the victim shows signs of resistance.
Presently, there are 1,200 known species of scorpions in the world – and all of these scorpions are dangerous to some degree. Among types of scorpions, the smaller species are often more venomous–larger scorpions compensate by appearing more formidable to potential predators. Because scorpions feed on insects and other arthropods, eliminating their food sources is a step toward controlling scorpions. For this reason, it’s ideal to identify all other pests inside houses and buildings before performing any pest control. Some experts suggest not treating scorpions directly, as their populations will die off or migrate if their prey disappears.
Although scorpions may help homeowners get rid of insects like cockroaches and houseflies, large species could produce bites that are as painful as bee stings. Some scorpions can run quickly when disturbed. When they are handled, scorpions may bite, causing severe pain, numbness, discoloration and inflammation.
For common house scorpions, setting sticky traps can be a way to accurately gauge scorpion population levels. This activity will also help to identify potential routes of access within your home. If an infestation is confirmed, homeowners should try to reduce moisture and seal entry routes to the house or dwelling. Moisture in a building’s foundation can be a problem and lead to an infestation, as can water accumulated from the roof. Keep leaves, wood, compost and other organic material away from the sides of the home or building. Consult your local pest control professional.
Centipedes: Facts, Identification & Control
Centipedes belong to the class of myriapods. Even though their name centipede means “100 legs,” centipedes may have anywhere from 15 to 191 pairs of legs. These legs always come in odd numbered pairs on a body that is elongated, with flat, segmented bodies that contain a pair of legs for all but one segment. The adult centipede is brown and measures over one inch in length.
Centipedes have a rounded or flattened head, bearing a pair of antennae at the forward margin. They have a pair of elongated mandibles, and two pairs of maxillae. The first pair of maxillae form the lower lip, and bear short palps. The first pair of limbs stretch forward from the body to cover the remainder of the mouth. These limbs, or maxillipeds, end in sharp claws and include venom glands that help the animal to kill or paralyses its prey.
Adult centipedes hide in moist, dark and secluded areas during winter. They place eggs in dampened soil during summer or spring. As centipedes become adults, they grow a complete set of legs and extra segments. However, some centipedes are born complete. Most centipedes live for up to six years, but their development requires two to three years.
Centipedes may enter houses and buildings, but they do not roam during daytime. They hide in damp areas around bathrooms, closets, basements and other sites typically infested by pests.
Diet: What Do Centipedes Eat?
Centipedes detect prey through the use of their antennae, which are covered with dense hairs. Their prey is immobilized by venom injected from the maxilliped fang and held in place by the maxillipeds. Prey is passed to the mouth via the first and second maxillae and is then broken down by the mandibles.
Most centipedes are carnivorous and prey upon soft-bodied insects, spiders, worms and other arthropods, including other centipedes. However, Geophilomorph centipedes will consume plants if they are unable to locate other sources of food and larger species of centipedes may seek out small animals.
Centipede Control Methods
Because centipedes feed on insects and other arthropods, eliminating their food sources is a step toward controlling centipedes. For this reason, it’s ideal to identify all other pests inside houses and buildings before performing any pest control. Some experts suggest not treating centipedes directly, as their populations will die off or migrate if their prey disappears.
Although centipedes may help homeowners get rid of insects like cockroaches and houseflies, large species could produce bites that are as painful as bee stings. Some centipedes can run quickly when disturbed. When they are handled, centipedes may bite, causing severe pain, numbness, discoloration and inflammation.
For common house centipedes, setting sticky traps can be a way to accurately gauge centipede population levels. This activity will also help to identify potential routes of access within your home. If an infestation is confirmed, homeowners should try to reduce moisture and seal entry routes to the house or dwelling. Moisture in a building’s foundation can be a problem and lead to an infestation, as can water accumulated from the roof. Keep leaves, wood, compost and other organic material away from the sides of the home or building.