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.
Argentine ant colonies can grow to monumental size. Their colony borders sometimes cover entire habitats. Argentine ant queens also assist with foraging for food. The ant gives off a musty odor when crushed. Worker argentine ants are about one sixteenth of an inch long. Queen argentine ants are one eighth of an inch to one quarter of an inch long.
The argentine ant is light to dark brown measuring 1/10". This ant is readily adaptable and can nest in a great variety of situations. Colonies are massive, and may contain hundreds of queens. Their nests are usually located in moist soil, along sidewalks, or beneath boards. They often invade residential and commercial buildings in search of food and/or shelter. They travel in trails and forage day and night. The argentine ant can eat almost anything but prefers sweets.
Crazy ants get their common name from the worker’s habit of running in an erratic, jerky manner when searching for food.
Leafcutting ants get their name from their habit of cutting leaves into small pieces. There are only two species in the United States, which are found in Arizona, Texas, western Louisiana and southern California. Mature nests of leafcutting ants may contain in excess of one million individuals, but only one queen who is long-lived. Some very old colonies may occupy the same area for 60-70 years.
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.
Red Imported Fire Ants
Red imported fire ants (RIFAs, for short) get their common name from their ability to inflict painful bites and stings. These dark reddish-brown ants are an invasive species found throughout the southern part of the United States. Red imported fire ants nest in soil and build mound nests. They can infest garages.
The term “sugar ant” is not a proper ant species, however, the name is frequently used to describe many different ant species.
“Sugar ants” are associated with small ants that don’t sting. In fact, the general public often refers to Pharaoh ants, odorous house ants and acrobat ants as “sugar ants” due to their strong attraction to sugar-based foods.
These actual species vary based on habits and biology, so it’s important to contact us a licensed pest professional if an infestation is suspected in the home. We can properly identify the ant species and recommend a course of treatment to fit the kinds of pests you have in your home.
Thief ants get their name from their habit of nesting very near other ants, which they then rob of food and brood (larvae and pupae). Colonies tend to be smaller than those of other species, but can contain many queens and several thousand workers. Thief ants are also known as grease ants and are often confused with pharaoh ants, although they differ in characteristics.
Adult chinch bugs are almost 3/16-inch long, have black bodies and fully developed wings that appear frosty-white except for distinctive triangular black patch-like markings at the middles of the outer margins. Adults appear as either long-winged or short-winged forms. Newly hatched nymphs appear orange red with a pale whitish band across their abdomens. As they molt through five growth stages (instars), nymphs gradually change color from red to orange to black and develop wing pads as they develop.
Life Cycle:Adults overwinter in protected places like weeds and grasses, becoming active in the spring. During mild winters and probably in Florida, all developmental stages may survive. Mated females lay eggs singly behind leaf sheaths or in the soil around host plants. Wingless nymphs hatch from eggs in about two weeks and develop through five stages for about 30 days before becoming adults. The entire life cycle can occur in about 6 weeks or longer, depending on temperature. Two to five or more generations can occur annually.
The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius Linnaeus 1758) 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.
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.
Grubs feed on the roots of grasses, so lawns will show wilting and browning of irregular shaped areas. Certainly there could be many reasons for lawns browning, especially in late summer when most grub damage occurs. Always check the root zone of affected areas for the c-shaped grubs. Carefully pull back the sod in suspect areas, in particular the marginal areas where brown grass meets green grass, and look for the grubs. Usually a population of about 10 or more grubs per square foot will lead to browning of the lawn.
Adult - This black, hard-shelled beetle is dome-shaped and faintly ribbed, has strong legs with coarse spines, and is about 13 mm long. Color plate.
Egg - When first deposited, the smooth, white egg is oval and about the size of a pinhead. Before it hatches, it gradually enlarges until it is spherical and about twice its original size.
Larva - Ranging from 4.8 to 31.8 mm in length, the dirty white grub has a brick red head, pale brown legs, and a dark abdomen.
Pupa - The pupa is about 19 mm long and changes from white to pale brown as it matures.
Sugarcane Grubs has been a problem on turf in all southern states.
Mosquitoes are two-winged flies that belong to the family Culicidae in the order Diptera. There are approximately 3,500 species of mosquitoes. The family Culicidae is divided into three subfamilies: Toxorhynchitinae, Anophelinae, and Culicinae. Worldwide, there are 37 genera of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes live in humid tropics and subtropics, warm moist climates, temperate and cool zones - everywhere except areas that are permanently frozen.
All mosquitoes require standing water or moist soil to breed, but the type of water they prefer depends on the species. Some prefer containers, such as tires, tree holes, buckets, and water troughs. Others prefer water with lots of organic material (leaves, grass) that is very stagnant. Still others breed primarily in swamps and marshes, some fresh water, and some salt water. Which species are most important in disease transmission depends on the location, virus, and other animals (amplification hosts) involved. Control of these different types of mosquitoes obviously requires different approaches. Some can be affected by measures taken at individual stables, such as reducing or cleaning water holding containers. Other species require more extensive management, such as impoundments, truck or aerial sprays, and treatment of ditches or other large bodies of water.
Female mosquitoes bite animals, using the blood as a protein source to develop eggs. The eggs are laid in or near water, hatch (some require flooding, others hatch immediately), and begin larval development. Development from egg to adult can be completed in as little as 6-7 days in the summer. Some species will bite almost any type of animal, while others are very specific. Different species vary in their preferred time to feed, but many feed during dawn or dusk. Mosquitoes tend to bite anywhere on the horse, unlike some other flies which concentrate on the midline, face or legs.
Outdoor residential misting systems (sometimes called "mosquito misters") such as our enviromist system is designed to spray pesticides in a fine mist to kill mosquitoes and other insects outdoors. Misting systems include spray nozzles that are mounted around the perimeter of a home in the lawn or landscaping, or on parts of the house or fence. The spray nozzles are connected by tubing to a supply of insecticide. Some misting systems may be turned on at preset intervals using a timer. Others may be turned on using a remote controller, while others may be activated using a switch.
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 measuring 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.
Jumping - Hobo
About 300 species of jumping spiders are found in the United States and Canada. Unlike most spiders, jumping spiders are active during the daytime and seem to like sunshine.
Banana Spider - Sun
Golden Silk (Banana) spiders are the largest non tarantula spiders in North America. Here in Florida, I have many with bodies the size of my little finger, and leg spans of over 5 inches. They are gentle and tremendously beneficial because of all the insect pests that they eat. They often share their webs with male yellow silk spiders.
Crab Spider - Wood Louse
Rationalisation for the name crab spider is generally subjective. It is commonly said to refer to a fancied resemblance to crabs, or to the way such spiders hold their two front pairs of legs, or their ability to scuttle sideways or backwards. Some spiders so called have bodies that are flattened and angular. At all events, the Thomisidae are the family most generally referred to as "crab spiders". However, some members of the Sparassidae are called giant crab spiders, Selenopidae are called wall crab spiders, and various members of the Sicariidae are sometimes called six-eyed crab spiders. Some unrelated Orb-weaver spider species such as Gasteracantha cancriformis also are commonly called "crab spiders."
Give your termites the old One-Two punch.
Our Subterranean termite service features a dual layer protection plan featuring Termidor and the Whitmire Advanced baiting system.
Layer 1: Termidor is applied to the active infestation & around the foundation of the structure to protect your investment from day one.
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Our featured No Tent Drywood Termite Service eliminates the need for you to fumigate your home. This non-invasive treatment is performed with our wall foaming technology designed to eliminate the drywood termites where they live in your walls and attic.
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).
Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects that are frequently abundant in vegetable and ornamental plantings. They excrete sticky honeydew and cause yellowing or death of leaves. Outbreaks often occur when the natural biological control is disrupted. Management is difficult.
IDENTIFICATION AND LIFE CYCLE
Whiteflies usually occur in groups on the undersides of leaves. They derive their name from the mealy white wax covering the adult’s wings and body. Adults are tiny insects with yellowish bodies and whitish wings. Although adults of some species have distinctive wing markings, many species are most readily distinguished in the last nymphal (immature) stage, which is wingless.
Whiteflies develop rapidly in warm weather, and populations can build up quickly in situations where natural enemies are destroyed and weather is favorable. Most whiteflies, especially the most common pest species—greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) and silverleaf or sweetpotato whiteflies (Bemisia species)—have a wide host range that includes many weeds and crops. In many parts of the country, they breed all year, moving from one host to another as plants are harvested or dry up.
Whiteflies normally lay their tiny, oblong eggs on the undersides of leaves. The eggs hatch, and the young whiteflies gradually increase in size through four nymphal stages called instars. The first nymphal stage (crawler) is barely visible even with a hand lens. The crawlers move around for several hours, then settle and remain immobile. Later nymphal stages are oval and flattened like small scale insects. The legs and antennae are greatly reduced, and older nymphs do not move. The winged adult emerges from the last nymphal stage (for convenience sometimes incorrectly called a pupa). All stages feed by sucking plant juices from leaves and excreting excess liquid as drops of honeydew as they feed.
Whiteflies suck phloem sap. Large populations can cause leaves to turn yellow, appear dry, or fall off plants. Like aphids, whiteflies excrete honeydew, so leaves may be sticky or covered with black sooty mold. The honeydew attracts ants, which interfere with the activities of natural enemies that may control whiteflies and other pests.
Feeding by the immature silverleaf whitefly, Bemisia argentifolii, can cause plant distortion, discoloration, or silvering of leaves and may cause serious losses in some vegetable crops. Some whiteflies transmit viruses to certain vegetable crops. With the notable exception of the citrus whitefly, whiteflies are not normally a problem in fruit trees, but several whiteflies can be problems on ornamental trees (see Table 1). Low levels of whiteflies are not usually damaging. Adults by themselves will not cause significant damage unless they are transmitting a plant pathogen. Generally, plant losses do not occur unless there is a significant population of whitefly nymphs.
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