Pest FAQ

What else may be living with you?

Ants

The common ant can be found throughout the United States. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long. They are either brown or black in color and are partial to sweets, especially melon. Typically living for several years, ants make their homes in exposed soil and wall cracks. Common ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided. Other ant species that Quality Care will assess and elliminate are Carpenter Ants and Fire Ants.

Flying ants are not a separate species but are specialized ants created for mating and establishing new colonies. They are somtimes confused with flying termites. A flying ant has three distinct body parts, including a small thorax between its head and abdomen, but a flying termite has only a head and a main body. A flying ant also has bent antennae and two sizes of wing pairs. A termite’s antennae are straight, and its wing pairs are the same size.


Spiders

The common house spider is found worldwide and is common throughout the United States and Canada. The house spider randomly selects its web sites and creates a tangled web. If a web does not yield prey it is abandoned, another site is selected, and a new web is built. Inside structures, house spiders are most likely to be found in upper corners, under furniture, in closets, angles of window frames, basements, garages, and crawl spaces. Outside they are often around windows and under eaves especially near light sources which attract prey. More dangerous spiders such as the Black Widow and Brown Recluse are part of Quality Care’s pest control program. Please call us immediately if you suspect either one of these pests has invaded your home or business.


Earwigs

Earwigs are easily recognizable by their pincers (forceps harmless to humans) at the ends of their abdomen. They are dark reddish-brown, with light brown legs, and are about 5/8 inch long. These pests are found in homes and can enter through doors, windows and by going up the foundation. They also live in areas that harbor sow bugs, (roly-poly), centipedes and millipedes. Feeding at night, they are primarily nocturnal and are scavengers, eating decomposing plant material and dead insects although they do eat live plants and can do great damage to field crops. Earwigs prefer damp, dark areas such as stones, under sidewalks, leaf litter, pine straw and other debris.


Roaches

There are several species of large roaches, some up to 1 & ½ inches long that are most often found outside of a dwelling. They breed in any type mulch or compost that is commonly found in your yard. This would include wood piles, driveway walls, pine straw, pine bark, leaves and dead trees.

German roaches are small to medium sized (1/8 to 5/8 inches), are light brown and are most commonly found inside of a dwelling. German roaches are typically the most common of the cockroaches. In addition to being a nuisance, the German cockroach has been implicated in outbreaks of illness and allergic reactions in many people. This species has worldwide distribution.


Silverfish

Silverfish are small (1/2 inch) primitive insects that are found in damp, warm, dark places throughout homes. Starchy materials such as wallpaper, book bindings, and cereals are their preference as a food source, however, in large populations they may do damage to linen and cotton fabrics. Silverfish can live up to a year without food, but require a high humidity environment such as bathrooms or attics. They move fast and are typically nocturnal.


Honey Bees/Bumble Bees

Honey bees and Bumble bees are social insects found all over the world. They are an extremely important beneficial insect because of their role in pollination. Honey bees pollinate more than 100 crops in the U.S. Honeybees are active pollinators, and produce honey which feeds their young in colder months. The honey bee is the only social insect whose colony can survive many years. Honey bees produce honey from pollen and nectar of the plants they pollinate. They store the honey in honeycombs in their nests. They often build their nests in tree crevices, but will occasionally build nests in attics or chimneys. Bumble bees often nest in the ground, but can be found above ground around patio areas or decks. They will sometimes build their ness in soffits of attics and are mre aggressive. Honey bees sting only once while bumble bees can sting more than once. Persons allergic to insect stings can have a severe reaction.


Wasps

Wasps make their nests from a paper-like material and many times shape it like an umbrella. Various species are found throughout the United States. Wasps are semi-social and live in small colonies. They eat nectar and other insects including caterpillars and flies. Wasps hang their comb nests from twigs and branches of trees and shrubs, porch ceilings, the tops of window and doorframes, soffits, eaves, attic rafters, deck floor joists and railings, etc. In the autumn, inseminated females will seek places to spend the winter, and may find their way indoors, especially if there is a cathedral ceiling present.


Hornets

Hornets are much larger than yellow jackets and unlike most stinging insects, can be active at night. They usually appear in late summer. They prey on a variety of large insects such as grasshoppers, flies, yellow jackets and honeybees. They also eat tree sap, fruit, and honeydew. Hornets are attracted to light and are known to repeatedly bang on lighted windows at night.

Hornets nest in hollow trees, barns, out buildings, hollow walls of houses, attics, and abandoned beehives. They can do a great deal of damage to trees and shrubs because they strip the bark to get to the sap. They also use the bark fiber to build their nests. They have smooth stingers, so they can sting over and over again.


Yellowjackets

There are several species of yellowjackets. These flying insects typically have a yellow and black head/face and patterned abdomen. Yellowjackets nest in the ground or in cavernous areas such as eaves or attics. They can be found anyplace humans can be found. Check near recycling bins or other areas where sugars are common but keep in mind these pests also feed on protein. Yellowjackets become more aggressive in autumn when the colony begins to die out except for the queen.

Yellowjacket stings pose significant health threats to humans. They can sting repeatedly and can cause allergic reactions.


Mud Daubers

Mud daubers are a group of wasps found throughout the United States and construct their nest of mud. They are not social and do not live in colonies. Mud daubers provision spiders for their larvae by paralyzing them with their venom and bringing them into their nests. They usually build their nests in a sheltered site, such as under eaves, porch ceilings, in garages and sheds left open, in barns and attics, etc. Nests typically exhibit round holes in them as the wasps emerge. This means the nest is probably old and inactive after springtime.


Crickets

Crickets are nocturnal or active at night and usually hide in dark warm places during the day. Outside, they feed on plants and dead or live insects, including other crickets. Indoors, house crickets can feast on fabric, eating large areas, leaving holes and are especially attracted to clothes soiled with perspiration.

During warm weather, house crickets typically live outdoors and are especially fond of garbage dumps. They are often attracted to electric lights in larger numbers, sometimes by the thousands, and rest on vertical surfaces such as light poles and house walls. However, when cold weather approaches, they seek shelter in houses and sheds because of the moisture and warmth they provide.


Fleas/Ticks

Fleas and Ticks are parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. The most common species is the cat flea, which often feasts on cats, dogs and humans. Fleas and Ticks transport themselves on rodents and other mammals. They infest both household pests and wild animals. Fleas use their powerful legs to jump as high as 8 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally. Fleas usually remain on their warm-blooded hosts at all times. They can also be found on shoes, pant legs, or blankets, which can transfer the fleas and ticks to new environments. They are often found infesting opossums, raccoons, and skunks in urban settings. They can cause severe allergic reactions in humans.


Mice

The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in most parts of the world. Itr’s light brown in color, round in shape and is about 2 inches in length. It can breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions. House mice can breed throughout the year and can share nests. Thye prefer to live indoors but can also live outdoors. Though relatively harmless, mice can bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home.


Rats

The most common rats found throughout the U.S. is the Roof rat and the Norway rat. Roof rats are known for the damage they cause by chewing on materials and eating stored foods. Roof rats can be found in the upper parts of buildings, and can also be found under, in and around structures. They only need a space of one-half inch to get into buildings.

Norway rats have smaller eyes and ears and shorter tails. Norway rats live in fields, farm lands and in structures and can often be found in woodpiles. They can get behind walls and chew up wiring causing a fire hazard.

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