You’ll discover why pests are attracted to certain rooms, get expert advice on household bug identification, and find pest-proofing tips to keep pests … It might surprise you to learn that carpenter ants don’t eat wood. While not all gnats bite, some species such as the black gnat have females that feed on blood. “It’s not an insect, but millipedes, the friendly, docile relative of the centipedes, can hurt … These related insects feed on either organic fibers like wool, or stored grain like flour. Males are smaller than females, and the females are often more aggressive. To help keep flies from taking over your home, follow these steps: Despite their name, fruit flies aren’t just attracted to ripe, rotting, or decayed fruit and produce. With colors ranging from brown to black, Odorous House Ants grow between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch. Gnats are known to live, breed, and even attack in swarms. I've been finding a few teeny tiny baby roaches in the house lately, so I KNOW there are more somewhere. These custom-spit homes are often attached to awnings, walls, poles, fences, and other surfaces. Bugs in South Florida are a part of life. Carry a flashlight with you for quick, visual inspections of nooks and crannies bed bugs may hide in during the day. While some house spiders can live outside, most only thrive indoors and will die if released ‘back’ into the wild. Generally, wasps (including the Hornets above) have two pairs of wings. To keep gnats under control, reduce potential food sources, water sources, and breeding areas. They eat anything from other insects (living or dead) to sweet fruits and seeds. Hunts at night and flees upon detecting danger. The third is the Chilean Recluse. They can be any color between white and light brown, with the workers paler and swarmers darker. Black Widows are web hunters; they will purposefully hang upside-down on their webs to display the hourglass as a warning to predators. Researching potential strategies is always wise, and you can often find likeminded homeowners on social media sites who have both successfully and unsuccessfully dealt with pest situations similar to yours. Perhaps the most common of household pests, the small yet mighty ant has been deemed the #1 nuisance pest in America by the National Pest Management Association. Even the best house plant owner will come across pests. Six skinny legs are connected to the midsection, and two frail-looking antennae jut out from the head. The bites themselves are itchy red bumps, often in a line. Ticks can carry several diseases at once, but exposure is neither instantaneous nor guaranteed if you are bitten. Houseflies. Of the order Coleoptera, over 350,000 species of beetles exist in the world (12,000 of these are in the US). Bees come in many varieties, but they are often marked with the stereotypical black and yellow(ish) coloring. House mice breed rapidly and can adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Even those birds, reptiles, and insects that consume them do not do so in significant amounts. They are typically pale with soft bodies. Mosquitoes are pale brown, though they have some white-like stripes across their abdomens. Only the swarmers and reproductive have wings, two pairs. If you have ever crushed an ant only to be greeted by a strong, rotten stench like a bad coconut, then you have had the misfortune of stepping on an Odorous House Ant. In my experience, the only good way to control brown recluse spiders is with sticky traps. Adult gnats can be collected with a vacuum. By Emily Shiffer. Scorpions prowl on floors and countertops, and they'll always run away rather than confront you. You want to seal cracks around your house with a silicon-based caulk. Mickey Mouse was the first cartoon depiction of a mouse, first airing in 1928; since then, many characters have been popular across household televisions including Speedy Gonzales, Jerry and Nibbles from Tom and Jerry, and Stuart Little. I still don't like earwigs. Gnats are small like fruit flies, but their exact length and the appearance of their wings tend to vary since gnats break down into still more species. Yellow Jackets and Hornets are often confused with each other; Yellow Jacket’s faces are primarily yellow with dark eyes, and they are similar in size to bees. Wash it down the drain if you will, but it will almost certainly survive. They blend well into their surroundings. They're either big brown bugs or little black bugs, scampering out of sight behind the washer in the basement. Yellow Jackets and Hornets make their nests from wood fiber and saliva, chewing the fibers into a paste. Eliminate food sources: sweep floors, wipe down surfaces, seal up food, secure garbage bins, etc. They consume all of the dead insects and other organic debris that drifts down to your basement or the lowest levels of your house. Average body length is a quarter inch, with long spindly legs and a round, almost spherical abdomen. Their colors range from yellow to brown, with eyes that can be red or dark. Ants. Thanks to the humid weather, South Florida residents often share their living space with many common household pests. “Infestation” is apt when it comes to fleas. They will eat meats, eggs, oils, fats, and more. Termites are a little like ants, with one major (and bad) exception—termites eat wood. Black Widows generally keep their webs at ground level and in dark areas. Our guide looks at common pests on indoor plants, and helps to identify Aphids, Mealybug, Red Spider Mites, Scale Insects, Sciarid flies, … You might want to spend a few minutes getting to know the bugs in your house that you see scampering across your kitchen floor. If you own a home, odds are this isn’t the first you’re hearing about termites. Keep jeans tucked into boots and sleeves tucked into gloves; the less skin you have exposed, the fewer places to attract a tick. Like the arachnids discussed above, these spiders have two body segments— a cephalothorax and an abdomen— and eight legs. If you're looking at a big black spider with a round body and a red hourglass on the underside, then it's a black widow. You can use shades to block them and ensure that doorways and windows are properly sealed. They have an open circulatory system, breathing through little holes on their body segments. But actually, unlike pincers on some beetles and other biting insects, the earwig's biters are on the rear end and lack the muscles needed to actually bite anything with any force. Pest mice may look cute, but these varmints can spread disease and contaminate your food; additionally, they leave waste everywhere and have destructive chewing habits. Flea prevention also protects your furry family member from diseases that fleas can spread from sucking blood. Millipedes are rounder, have two pairs of legs per segment, are slow, and are detritivores; Centipedes are flat, have one pair of legs per segment, are quick, and are carnivores. Known as the silent destroyer, termites can rip through walls, floors, any wood, and even wallpaper virtually undetected. He has been featured in Inman, Readers Digest, Fox News, American Express, Fit Small Business, Policy Genius, Lending Tree, GoDaddy, Manta as well as other major websites. Out of 20,000 species throughout the world, five are the predominate pests in the US: Subterranean, Formosan, Dampwood, Drywood, and Conehead Termites. The most common wasps are Paper Wasps, colloquially known as Mud Daubers. Unlike most other ant species, the queen Argentine Ant will help with foraging efforts. The American House Spider specifically is generally dull brown with shaded patterns creating a spotted look. They boast six legs and two antennae. Pavement Ants are omnivorous to the extreme, going so far as to add grease to their pallet. Flies are insects, so you can count on six legs and a pair of antennae to match. There are many ways to control clothes moths including very effective moth balls. While these pests can invade your home, you are more likely to find them slipping in and out of cracks in the pavement. They come in many shapes and sizes, from the tiniest fruit fly or mosquito to the largest mouse. These cool-looking, but annoying little insects love dirty drains and unsanitary conditions. Like other flies, fruit flies have six legs, two wings, and two antennae. The Slightly Strange Silverfish. However, Black Widows and Brown Recluses are easy to recognize due to their shape and markings. Remember that mention of “shield bugs”? They typically migrate inside if the outside becomes too hot or dry or if they were hiding in or under boxes and got carried in by mistake. Also avoid wearing vibrant colors and floral patterns, as these can attract their attention. Let’s Take a Look at Twenty-Two of the Worst Offenders…. ), you can arm yourself with what you’ve learned here to mount a solid plan. Some mites are nuisances, others are a danger, and still more are harmless. Two researchers at Tohoku University in Japan, Makoto Mizunami and Hidehiro Watanabe, discovered that cockroaches could be trained and conditioned much like dogs and rats. Moth flies indicate an unhealthy situation in your drains. Their discarded husks can trigger allergic and asthmatic reactions, especially in children. Don’t be afraid to try natural remedies, taking gradual steps in your fight against invaders. Cockroaches are common in all manner of buildings, from warehouses to homes, and feed on all sorts of food— though they seem to favor fermenting materials like decaying leaves and fungi. Both camouflage well amid certain plants. They are one of the smallest variety of flies; they average 1/8 of an inch long. And that’s just outside. In 30 years of fruit flies equals information equivalent to 200 years of studying mice. The house centipede is essentially harmless—it can deliver a very mild bite if you, say, pick it up and squeeze it in your fist. The brown recluse is a venomous arachnid that lives in dark corners of basements and garages (and in nature under rocks and in stumps). Check all weather sealing strips on doors and windows. Yellow also wraps around their abdomen in bands. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of the top pests, including easily identifiable traits and some fun (and not-so-fun) trivia. Keep fruit and produce off of your counters, storing them in air-tight containers or in your fridge. How do you catch a mite? You often need magnification to see them, though you can occasionally catch movement with your bare eyes. This prehistoric-looking animal lives in your pipes and walls. Despite their often large size, cockroaches are deceptively fast and elusive. Female mosquitoes must feed on blood to help with their egg development. Keep floors, kitchens, and bathrooms as clean as possible. Don't let your fruit spoil, keep your garbage … It is a bonafide pest, but the moth itself never eats anything. Their main identifying mark is a violin-like shape on their cephalothorax, starting at the front with the handle stretching towards their abdomen. They are usually brown or black with yellow spots. They love crumbs, but it isn’t leftovers that bring ants to your table -- it’s the weather. Some mites infest insects like honeybees; depending on the species, mites may eat plants, may pray on other mites, or may eat decaying materials. Once a pest is identified (see pictures below), you will be better able to determine the factors which limit its reproduction and survival potential. Like Black Widows, they are one of three spiders with medically significant venom. If you … Desktop computer users will see this information when they click an image … These ants are attracted to wet environments with nearby food sources. Their tiny size and immense jumping capabilities make them especially difficult to target. A dead, smashed spider will not be easy to identify, so it needs to be alive if possible. Crazy Ants are extremely adaptable in their habitat, colonizing in plants, trash piles, rotten wood, and soil. Moth flies live in your bathtub and sink drains. Cockroaches can hold their breath for 40 minutes and can survive being fully submerged in water for 30. They send out their Alates (also known as explorers or swarmers) to prospect for new locations. Ensure all doors are properly sealed or screened. You can use a tissue dipped in rubbing alcohol or a piece of tape. Appear at night to drink your blood. Their pinchers are ineffective for biting. If you ever see one at all, it is probably in your sink where it has become trapped during its midnight ramblings. Color is as widely varied as type. Do not leave fruit exposed to open air; store in containers or keep them in the fridge. Mice do not like the smell of peppermint; you can plant peppermint in flower gardens or in pots around your home to help repel them. Fruit flies have one of the most advanced compound eyes among insects. Do not waste time if you find insects in your home that resemble small, pale ants. Humans and fruit flies are genetically similar, so fruit flies can model human diseases for research. Ticks will climb to the edge of long grass, twigs, anything, and stretch their forelegs up into the air. House centipedes prefer damp and dark areas. Due diligence is key when researching tactics to keep pests out but keep our families and pets safe. Keep trash bins sealed and take out the trash as soon as it’s full. Not the worst, but it ranks pretty high up the list. American House Spiders leave cobwebs and funnel-shaped web through your home. Their sting is painful, similar to a wasp sting, but they mainly use it to kill the bugs that prowl around your house. Ants range in blacks, browns, and occasionally vibrant reds. Ticks can be found in debris piles, long grasses, foliage that borders meadows, trees, and more. Pests can use twigs and other plant structures to access your home. Like other flies and the fruit fly, gnats are more than an apparent nuisance. As such, all pets should be treated with proper preventatives as recommended by a veterinarian. They do not try to invade your ears. They have small nails on their paws. Female Bed Bugs can lay 1-5 eggs a day, which equals up to 500 during their lifetime. Female gnats who bite do so for reproductive purposes, not to feed. Green Stink Bugs are a vibrant green color, while the Brown is a patterned bug of various shades. They can range from 1/16-1/4” and are a deep brown or black with a shiny carapace. Your pest control technician is better equipped to deal with any Yellow Jackets; we would rather you stay safe than risk yourself while identifying. They … Seal off entry points, especially doors and windows, Replace and repair any damaged screens or torn weather stripping, Reduce sites of moisture and standing water. Millipedes are beneficial because they are nature’s recyclers. While ticks are more prominent in rural and wilderness areas, city dwellers are not immune to their presence. Popular theories maintain that cleanliness is the key to being cockroach-less. Gnats use fermenting and decaying materials for breeding grounds and food. At night, scorpions come out to prowl the floors and counter tops of your home looking for roaches, crickets, and other small insects. Simply pour some bleach into the drain, and you'll kill both the adults and the larvae (and yes, since these are flies, their larvae are called maggots.). Others are actually beneficial, eating dead trees, pollinating flowers, and helping get rid of garbage. One of the few pests powerful enough that mortgage companies make you pay for protection to qualify for buying a home. ... Insects provide a vastly overlooked - and often times misunderstood - window into our fragile ecosystem that involves the perfect balance of millions of individual components. Keeping fruit flies out of your home is not a one-time task. They are more of a nuisance pest than an actual threat. Detritivores, they eat dead plants and animals. If an infestation occurs, seek pest control quickly before your kitchen and home are overwhelmed. If you have think you have bed bugs, there are products you can buy online before you make the expensive and toxic call to the exterminator. Some homeowners like to provide bees with man-made hives in order to harvest honey. (Do not place these outside, as they can trap beneficial insects as well.). Pest control companies are committed to keeping their communities safe and healthy, so you can always turn to the professionals for help. Cockroaches average 2 inches in length, though some can be longer and others shorter. They have two pairs of legs for every individual body segment, and their exoskeleton is generally a shiny black or brown. You need only see a dozen or so June Bugs flipped on their back during a Midwestern summer to get the idea. Ants leave pheromone trails when foraging to keep track of where they have been and how to get home. Originally from the Caribbean, Crazy Ants earned their moniker due to their erratic, jerky running when searching for food. Many bugs or insects can come and go in the home, but the most commonly seen bug is probably the carpet beetle. Also known as “shield bugs” because of their shape, stink bugs earned their more common name from the foul stench they release as a defense mechanism or when crushed. Repair screens on any crawl space vents and secure other possible entry points. Most treatments, natural or commercial, need application; yards need upkeep. Ants, spiders, fleas, ticks, roaches, and many other common insects … Females lay around 500 eggs that can hatch after a mere 24-30 hours. These kits cost a lot less than treatment from an exterminator, and don't involve any poisons or invasive treatments. You can tell the difference between male and female earwigs through their pincers: are they curved (males) or straight (females)? Protect pillows and mattresses with allergen covers. While earwigs earned their name through the eggs-in-your-brain superstition, they prefer to avoid human ears because they lack food and moisture.