Acrobat ants get their common name from their ability to acrobatically raise their abdomen over their thorax and head, especially when disturbed. There are various species of this ant found throughout the United States, even at altitudes of up to 8,000 feet. They often enter houses along vines that grow up against or near the wall of the house or along utility lines and can live in woodwork, particularly door and window frames.
Crazy ants get their common name from the worker’s habit of running in an erratic, jerky manner when searching for food.
Odorous House Ants
The odorous house ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.
The odorous house ant is about 1/8" and dark brown in color. This ant is so named because when crushed, the workers give off a rotten coconut odor. These ants normally nest outdoors under items on the ground, within landscape mulch, beneath loose bark on trees, under ground cover, in potted plants and other suitable voids. They are often found invading and nesting in homes. Odorous house ants may develop huge colonies containing thousands of workers and numerous queens making this species very difficult to control.
Pavement ants get their name because they make their nests in or under cracks in pavement. They can infest structures.
Pharaoh ants get their name from the mistaken belief that they were one of the plagues of Egypt during the time of Pharaohs. This species is thought to be native to Africa, but is currently found throughout the Unites States.
Corn Field Ants
The Cornfield Ant is a small, light to dark brown ant that often lives in cornfields and lawns, and is very abundant outdoors, in general. You can find them nesting in the soil under large stones, bricks, sidewalks and the like, as well as in and around rotting logs and stumps. They feed on dead insects and sweets, including honeydew that is secreted by aphids. They may find their way into homes in search of food, but they very rarely nest in homes. It is distributed throughout nearly all of North America, except for the extreme southern and southwestern portions, and is believed by some to be the most abundant ant on our entire continent.
This ant may bite, but generally causes little more than itching or slight stinging. Its nesting can cause small "craters" in the lawn, garden, or planter boxes.
It may, sometimes enter homes in search of food – particularly sweets, however, rarely will this ant ever be found nesting within a home or other structure. Cornfield ants will build their nests in exposed ground, with the mounds sometimes reaching exceptional dimensions and heights. It is sometimes confused with the carpenter ant, but since it is much less likely to enter homes, it needn't be a concern – particularly if it is found very far from the home. If a cornfield ant is found in the home, it is likely to be indicative of a moisture problem, and the source should be found and corrected. This ant is sometimes a secondary pest, found to inhabit the galleries of carpenter ants that have been eliminated if the wood is not replaced or repaired. Their presence can then cause further deterioration of the wood.
Carpenter ants are among the largest ants in Colorado. There are several species of carpenter ants that may be found infesting homes and other buildings. Normally workers are black or red and black in color and range in size from 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Winged queen ants may be as large as one inch. However, size is not a reliable characteristic to identify carpenter ants. Carpenter ants differ from termites by having dark-colored bodies, narrow waists, elbowed (bent) antennae, and if present, hind wings shorter than front wings. Carpenter ants are very common and are frequently seen in the open.
Carpenter ants feed on sources of protein and sugar. Outdoors, carpenter ants feed on living and dead insects. They are also very attracted to honeydew, a sweet liquid produced by aphids and scale insects. Aphids and scales feed on trees, shrubs, and other plants. Indoors, carpenter ants feed on meats, as well as syrup, honey, sugar, jelly, and other sweets. Carpenter ants DO NOT eat wood. They remove wood as they create galleries and tunnels.
Most foraging is done at night between sunset and midnight during spring and summer months. Sometimes workers travel up to 100 yards from a nest in search of food.
Carpenter ants damage wood by excavating and creating galleries and tunnels. These areas are clean, i.e. they do not contain sawdust or other debris, and are smooth, with a well sanded appearance.
The damage to wood structures is variable. The longer a colony is present in a structure, the greater the damage that can be done. If structural wood is weakened, carpenter ant damage can be severe.
The presence of bats can be detected in several ways. At dusk, when bats leave roosts to feed, they may be seen exiting through eaves, vents or from behind shutters or siding. Noise from large colonies may also announce their presence. Droppings and dark brown stains may appear near eaves and beneath entrance holes and roosts. Bat droppings (guano) are easily crushed, revealing shiny bits of undigested insects. They are never white or chalky in appearance, as are the droppings of birds.
Most colonies of bats are small and often remain unnoticed for many years. Large colonies residing in an attic or wall may become a nuisance because of noise and unsightly guano accumulations. Eviction and exclusion of roosting bats are the only safe, permanent solutions to a nuisance problem.
Be careful when removing bat droppings from indoor roosts. Histoplasmosis, a fungal disease associated with the droppings of birds and bats, can result from the disturbance of dried droppings. Disturbance causes the fungal spores to become airborne, and spores entering the lungs can cause respiratory problems. However, histoplasmosis is seldom fatal; mild cases are common and often go unnoticed. Hot, dry attics rarely allow the spores to survive; thus, this disease is much more common in chicken roosts than in indoor bat roosts. Histoplasmosis is easily preventable--wearing a mask when removing accumulations of droppings prevents inhalation of the spores.
The common bed bug is an ectoparisite insect (a parasite which lives on the outside of the body of the host) of the family Cimicidae. Bed bugs feed only on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. Although they have a cryptic behavior and can conceal themselves in tight cracks and crevices, bed bugs are often found in bed parts, such as mattresses and box springs, hence the common name. They are found in virtually every place people tend to gather, including residences, hotels, schools, offices, retail stores and even public transportation.
Birds can lead to serious problems within a household. Birds can be carriers of bacterial diseases and produce an excessive amount of harmful urine and feces. If left untreated, homeowners can find themselves with an additional infestation of bird mites. These insects feed on the blood of birds, and are commonly found living and breeding in nests. When the birds are eliminated, bird mites will spread to other areas of the household looking for a new host.
Over 60 diseases are associated with birds and their droppings. Salmonella, Histoplasmosis, Encephalitis, and Newcastle Disease are just a few infectious agents associated with birds.
Damage costs millions of dollars a year to buildings, ventilation systems and machinery. Birds building nests in rain gutters and other drainage systems can cause water backup that can lead to dangerous and costly structural damage. The acidity in bird droppings and urine can eat at paints making a building look bad and ruining car finishes.
Our trained technicians are experienced at creating custom solutions for birds and bats. Every structure and bird species combination creates unique situations that need to be evaluated so the correct, most cost effective solution is installed for your bird or bat problem.
Our Pest Solutions Plus bird removal experts have helped many businesses reduce and prevent pest birds from overtaking buildings. Left unchecked, large flocks of birds can cause irreparable damage to the local landscape and ecology, equipment, aesthetics and even put human health at risk. An entire industry of bird removal services has cropped up to address the desire to mitigate the damage to warehouses, airplane hangers, trees, signs, buildings and urban centers.
The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting cockroaches.
Brown-banded cockroaches get their name from the two lighter bands they have across their dark brownish bodies. In addition to the distinctive banding, males have full wings, which reach beyond the tip of their rather pointed abdomens, but females have underdeveloped wings, much shorter than their broad, rounded abdomens. The lighter band markings are much more distinct in nymphs than in adults of either sex.
The German cockroach is by far the most important and usually 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.
The German Cockroach is about ½" in length and can be easily recognized by the two dark, longitudinal stripes on the "shield" at the front of the body under which the head is located. The German cockroach is the most prolific breeder among all cockroaches, and like all cockroaches it is omnivorous and will eat virtually anything. This pest will first locate itself in bathrooms and the kitchen, as close as possible to food and moisture sources, and then spread throughout a home or building as the population grows. During its life it will spend about 80 percent of its time resting in cracks and voids.
Orienal Cockroaches, Blatta orientalis (L.), are large very dark (almost black, but sometimes dark reddish-brown), shiny cockroaches which live in sewers and similar wet, decaying organic matter. They are sometimes called "water bugs" because they come out of drains, and "black beetle cockroaches" because of their smooth, dark bodies. Males are about 1 inch long, with wings that cover only about 3/4 of their abdomen; females are about 1 1/4 inch long, and have only short stubs of wing pads.
Fleas are small (1/16 inch), dark, reddish-brown, wingless, blood-sucking insects. Their bodies are laterally compressed (flattened side to side), permitting easy movement through the hairs on the host’s body. Their legs are long and well adapted for jumping. The flea body is hard, polished, and covered with many hairs and short spines directed backward. The mouthparts of an adult flea are adapted for sucking blood from a host. Flea control is difficult for pet owners to implement because two things may have to be done: (1) treat the pet and (2) treat the premises. Pet treatment alone is often sufficient because the animal removes and treats fleas from infested premises. Humans are often bitten by fleas when they enter infested areas. Repellents can be applied in order to keep fleas from biting.
Pets become reinfested with fleas from premises. For the most effective control, sleeping areas, bedding, kennels, and other areas frequented by the animal should be treated at the time the pet treatment is made. Treatments may or may not include the use of pesticides.
Nonpesticidal premise control includes thorough and frequent cleaning of the house. All rugs should be thoroughly cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or a steam cleaner. Infested furniture, pet baskets, and cracks should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the larvae from finding food. Dirt that is collected should be disposed of immediately to destroy fleas and flea larvae.
Many people remove pets from the home to attempt flea control. Flea infestations usually become more evident when pets are removed. Although the hungry adult fleas prefer to feed on cats and dogs, when the pet is removed the fleas overrun the home, frequently attacking humans. Dogs and cats can be used to attract fleas from the premises. Recommended pet treatments at frequent intervals can be used to kill the fleas.
The deer mouse is pale grey to reddish brown in color and has a bi-colored tail, white below and dark above. This species has several closely related cousins that are colored similarly. Unlike the house mouse, the deer mouse is not found in cities but is associated more with rural areas and buildings located in or near wooded areas. It does not commonly invade homes, but in some instances one or more deer mice may invade structures seeking food and shelter. The deer mouse is a medically important species because it carries the Hantavirus. This virus can result in a serious, often fatal, respiratory disease in humans.
The Norway rat has a stocky body measuing 10"-12" (without the tail). They are much larger that mice, and can weigh as much as one pound. It has a blunt nose and its scaly tail is shorter than the head and body combined. Rats contaminate food and cause extensive damage to buildings and equipment in houses, granaries, restaurants and other areas they inhabit. Rats are able to gnaw through wood, electrical wires, and even unfinished concrete. Rats are excellent climbers and need a hole only as big as a quarter to gain entry into a home. Rats are known to be a source of numerous diseases affecting humans.
What are roof rats? Roof rats – also called black rats or ship rats – are smaller than Norway rats, but cause similar issues. This rodent gets its name from its tendency to be found in the upper parts of buildings. The roof rat is thought to be of Southeast Asian origin, but is now found throughout the world, especially in tropical regions.
House spiders are very common and are typically brown or tan with various markings. Their size varies and can reach 3/8" in length. House spiders are those web-building spiders common in the corners and garages of most homes and buildings, and are responsible for most of the cobwebs found inside. Cobwebs are actually old webs that have collected dirt such that they become easily visible. These spiders are common in garages, crawl spaces and basements as these areas are less disturbed and tend to harbor more insects. Their bite is not dangerous, and therefore are not considered a threat to man.
Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape under their abdomen. This spider gets its name from the popular belief that the female black widow spider eats the male after mating, although this rarely happens. Black widows are poisonous when ingested during the first 17 days of their life.
Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back. These spiders often infest cedar shake roofs and spin irregular webs, which are used as a retreat.
Unlike most spiders, wolf spiders don’t hunt with webs. Instead, they chase their prey using their fast running ability. These spiders are often big and hairy which alarms some people, but they are primarily nuisance pests. Over 100 species of wolf spiders are found in the United States and Canada.
The hobo spider is a member of the funnel-web spider family Agelenidae (not to be confused with funnel web tarantulas in the family Hexathelidae commonly found in Australia). Funnel-web spiders are long-legged, swift-running spiders that build funnel or tube-shaped retreats. Hobo spiders rarely climb structures like other spiders do. The hobo spider runs at an average speed of about 0.45 meters (17 inches) per second, with a maximum speed of about 1.1 meters (40 inches) per second.
Sunspiders, also known as solpugids or windscorpions, are unusual arachnids found in many parts of the state. They are particularly common in the southeastern region.
They are very active and have prominent jaws, features which often cause people concern. Nonetheless, they are essentially harmless, although they can bite if handled.
Sunspiders are relatives of other arachnids, such as the true spiders and scorpions. However, they are in a different order (Solpugida). They have long, leg-like pedipalps on the side of the jaws, which makes it look like they have five pairs of legs.
There are approximately 15 species in the state, all in the genus Eremobates. The ones typically found in a home range from about 1/2 to 1 1/4 inches and are light brown to reddish brown.
This smooth bodied spider is perhaps best distinguished by its large fangs which it uses to feed on pillbugs (roly-polies) and other hard-bodied prey. When full grown they are about .5 inch in length. Dysdera have a generally creamy gray body with distinctly reddish legs and cephalothorax. They live in a silk retreat and hunt at night. Their bite can be painful but they are not aggressive and their venom is not known to cause medical problems.
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Fumigation service is also available for structures with larger infestations. Call today for a free inspection and estimate.
The wasp is medium sized flying insect that is found all around the world. The wasp is known for its black and yellow markings which means that some wasp and bee species are commonly confused.
The wasp is found in all the countries in the world, on every continent with the exception of the polar regions. There are around 75,000 recognized species of wasp worldwide that grow to around 2/3 inch long.
The wasp is most commonly known for its poisonous sting, that if a human is stung can often swell into a painful lump that takes a few days to soothe. Some people are allergic to wasp stings meaning the wasp sting can be fatal.
Not all wasps can sting though but those that can often die once they have used their sting has it is joined onto their rear end of often becomes dislodged. When a wasp dies it releases a smell (called a pheromone) which warns the other wasps of danger and that it needs help.
Like many other insect species, the wasp is social insect and many wasps, as many as 10,000, inhabit just one nest. The queen wasp is the only breeding female and she builds the nest from a papery substance that is made up of chewed wood and plants. Typically, the wasp only lives for 12 - 22 days.
Wasps are omnivorous animals and therefore eat a mixture of plants and other animals. As with bees, the wasp prefers the sweeter plants and primarily eats nectar, fruits and honey. Wasps also eat insects and even large caterpillars.
Despite their bright colours to deter predators, wasps are eaten by a number of different animals around the world including birds, amphibians, reptiles and various species of mammal.
The queen wasp lays her eggs inside the nest which hatch in a number of days. When the wasp larvae hatch they are cared for by the other wasps in the nest and begin to hunt for food to bring back to the nest. Wasps are known to travel nearly half a mile away from the nest in search of food.
Wasps frequently build their nests indoors, both in attics and inside houses, however it is unusual to find a nest in a part of a house that is used regularly but it does happen. Most of the time nests are built in lofts, sheds, gardens and garages etc. If you are finding wasps inside your home on a regular basis, there is a good chance that you have a nest within your home. Wasps can squeeze through the smallest of gaps and can even get through the gap in down lights (flush fitting lights in the ceiling).
Common wasps and hornets will nest in the ground in old vole or mouse holes, rabbit burrows etc, they will also use any other suitable underground space to build their nests. Cavities in walls and voids behind wooden sleepers are also favorite places.
Honey bees differ from wasps, and although they are not a protected species at the moment, where ever possible every effort must be made to save them. Most pest controllers will not have the means or motivation to extract honey bees from awkward to reach places. Increasingly beekeepers are arming themselves with new methods of getting bees out of cavity walls and lofts etc. If you find yourself with a honey bee swarm or colony, find your local bee collector and speak to them about the problem before taking the decision to kill them. If for some reason the colony cannot be removed and has to be destroyed, there are some regulations about treatment. After a colony has been treated and killed, all entrances must be blocked as soon as possible to prevent other foraging bees coming into contact with any insecticide. Preferably all honey combs should be removed (but sometimes this is not possible or financially viable).
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