Bed Bugs, are parasitic insects of the cimicid family that feed exclusively on blood. Cimex lectularius, the common bed bug, is the best known, as it prefers to feed on human blood.
The name “bed bug” derives from the preferred habitat of Cimex lectularius: warm houses and especially nearby or inside of beds and bedding or other sleep areas. Bed bugs are mainly active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal. They usually feed on theirhosts without being noticed.
A number of adverse health effects may result from bed bug bites, including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. They are not known to transmit any pathogens as disease vectors. Certain signs and symptoms suggest the presence of bed bugs; finding the insects confirms the diagnosis.
Bed bugs have been known as human parasites for thousands of years. At a point in the early 1940s, they were mostly eradicated in the developed world, but have increased in prevalence since 1995, likely due to pesticide resistance. Because infestation of human habitats has been on the increase, bed bug bites and related conditions have been on the rise as well.
Termites are known as “silent destroyers’ because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring and even wallpaper undetected. Each year, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage. In this area there are 12 termite colonies per acre.
Subterranean Termites live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas aboveground that can contain up to 2 million members. They build distinctive “mud tubes” to gain access to food sources and to protect themselves from open air. Termite colonies are organized into castes depending on tasks — workers, soldiers and reproductive. The characteristics of a subterranean termite are dependent on the termite’s role in the colony. Cream-colored Worker subterranean termites are 1/8 to 3/8’s of an inch in length. Soldier subterranean termites are of a similar body length, but are distinguished by their powerful mandibles. Solider termites have cream-colored bodies and brown heads. Reproductive subterranean termites are approximately one inch long.
Carpenter Bees look like typical bumblebees but often lack yellow stripes. They are solitary bees.
Unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees are solitary insects. Female carpenter bees will chew a tunnel into a piece of wood to build a nest gallery. The bits of wood she chews and deposits outside the nest are called frass. The male carpenter bee guards the outside of the nest. He does not have a stinger, but his constant buzzing causes concern for some.
Carpenter bees bore through soft woods to lay eggs and protect their larvae as they develop.
Carpenter bees do not pose a public health threat, but they can damage wood through their nest building.
The American Cockroach
The American Cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting cockroaches.
American cockroaches are found in food processing areas and food storage areas, as well as other types of buildings. They are active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, but they can survive lower temperatures with the right conditions.
American cockroaches are often found in sewers and basements, particularly around pipes and drains.
American roaches have been reported to spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. They can pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through decaying matter or sewage and then carry these into food or onto food surfaces. Germs that cockroaches eat from decaying matter or sewage are protected while in their bodies and may remain infective for several weeks longer than if they had been exposed to cleaning agents, rinse water, or just sunlight and air. Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens cause lots of allergic reactions in inner city children. American roaches were even shown to cause asthma in children. These allergens build up in deposits of droppings, secretions, cast skins, and dead bodies of roaches.
House Flies get their name from being the most common fly found around homes. Adult house flies can grow to one-quarter of an inch long and usually live between 15 and 25 days.
They are only able to feed on liquids but have the ability to turn many solid foods into a liquid for them to eat. House flies taste with their feet, which are 10 million times more sensitive to sugar than the human tongue.
House flies tend to stay within 1-2 miles of where they were born; however, they have been known to migrate up to 20 miles to find food.
These insects have been known to carry over 100 different kinds of disease-causing germs, which makes them very bad house guests.
The House Mouse
The House Mouse is the most common rodent pest in most parts of the world-probably because a female house mouse can give birth to a dozen babies every three weeks. That’s approximately 150 baby mice in a year.
House mice can breed throughout the year and can share nests.
House mice live in structures, but they can live outdoors.
Micro droplets of mouse urine can cause allergies in children. Even the smallest amount of mouse urine is capable of triggering allergies in humans. This is particularly true of children whose immune systems are still developing. Mice can also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home. One of the least recognized ways in which mice can be pests: they gnaw on wiring creating a fire hazard.
The Common House Spider
The Common House Spider is usually the spider most often encountered indoors. It is a nuisance pest, probably more because of its webs than the spider itself. This 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. Survival is low in modern homes with low humidity and few insects, higher in garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, etc. because of more prey and generally higher humidity, and highest outdoors in protected places.
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.
House spiders are nuisance pests but pose no threats to humans.
Most common during the summer, especially when homes are reoccupied after vacation. Most common hosts are cats, dogs, man and wide variety of animals. Identifying Characteristics, Fleas are extremely small, averaging 2 to 4 mm in length. The body is flattened vertically and is covered with spines which protect backward. They are wingless but have long powerful legs for jumping great distances. These are among the largest of ants and are vicious biters. Workers very greatly in size from ½ to 3/8 in length. Usually they are black, but may have some brown coloration. They’re long-legged and move swiftly.
Fleas depend on a blood meal from a host to survive, so most fleas are introduced into the home via pets or other mammal hosts. On some occasions, fleas may become an inside problem when the host they previously fed on is no longer around. Then fleas focus their feeding activity on other hosts that reside inside the home. An example of such a situation is when a mouse inside the home is trapped and removed, the fleas that previously fed on the mouse are then forced to feed on pets or people.
Among the most common insects in the home. They eat paper, fabrics and get into cereals. Identifying characteristics, bodies are long, slender and flattened, broad at the front and tapering to the rear. Antennae are long and slender. Three long, slender appendages protrude from the rear. They’re wingless and the body is about 12’ long.
Diet & Habits, capable of thriving in most climates, silverfish prefer to dwell in dark, damp areas such as basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms. They are especially attracted to paper and damp clothing. Commonly found in stored boxes in garages and sheds.
Silverfish feed on carbohydrates, particularly sugars and starches. Cellulose, shampoos, glue in books, linen, silk and dead insects may be food sources. Have been found in unopened food packages.
Silverfish undergo love dances prior to mating. Males lay spermatophores, which are taken into the ovipositor of female specimens. Females’ egg numbers and habits vary, depending on species. One species lays a few eggs a day where as another species lays clusters of 2 to 20 eggs.
The names “wood wasp” and ‘horntail” describe several kinds of wood-boring insects. Of greatest concern are the large, nonstinging wasps that normally are attracted to the complete their life cycles in newly dead or dying conifer trees. Timber salvaged from these trees can be processed into infested lumber. This can lead to adult wasps emerging in recently completed buildings or structures. Although these insects are extremely annoying , they aren’t harmful to humans or structures. They attack only trees and won’t bore into wood in buildings or furniture. Identifying characteristics, they are large insects, generally 1 inch or longer, and wasplike in appearance but have an elongated, cylindrical body without a noticeable constriction or “waist.” They often are black or metallic dark blue or combinations of black, red, and yellow. They make a noisy buzz when flying.
Spotted Lantern Flies
The Spotted Lantern fly, native to Southeast Asia, is an invasive species here in the United States where it is has become a growing problem amongst Northeastern states. This is especially true in Pennsylvania where 13 counties are under quarantine. Matured Spotted Lanternflies are recognizable by their vibrant red wing pads with black spots. In their younger forms, Spotted Lanternflies are typically black with white spots. These invasive pests can be detrimental to the health of trees, as well as other plants, particularly during heavy infestations.