Ants are one of the most successful groups of insects. They are social insects that live in colonies which are usually located in the ground, but they may enter buildings for shelter and/or food. Ants feed on practically every kind of food, but those entering homes are looking for sweets and/or protein-containing substances.
The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) has long been a pest – feeding on blood, causing itchy bites and generally irritating their human hosts. However, unlike most public health pests, bed bugs are not known to transmit or spread disease.
Beetles do not bite, sting, carry diseases or feed on clothing. They do not reproduce indoors. Although they occasionally deposit yellow string-like droppings on indoor surfaces, cause a yellow stain if crushed, and have a slightly undesirable odor, they remain beneficial insects.
Cockroaches are among the most important pests of households and commercial establishments. Not only is their mere presence a nuisance, but they are known to be capable of carrying many common disease pathogens as well as causing allergic reactions in many people. Of the approximately 4,000 living species of cockroaches in the world, about 70 occur in the United States.
Non-biting flies are one of the most important pest groups because they are not only nuisance pests, but many are also important in disease transmission. Flies feed on a variety of food materials but most of those of structural importance develop in either fermenting or decaying organic matter, although a few are parasitic on other animals.
One of the best known summer pests, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water or soft soil and can develop from egg to adult in 10 to 14 days. Only adult female mosquitoes feed on blood, which they use to produce their eggs. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in or on water or near the edges of natural or artificial sites which usually hold water for 7 to 10 days.
To keep mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes of larger diameter than a pencil are sealed. Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a nickel. Seal any cracks and voids. Don’t overlook proper drainage at the foundation and always install gutters or diverts which will channel water away from the building. Use heavy gloves and protective breathing gear when working in an area populated by deer mice.
There are over 35,000 described species of spiders worldwide, with about 3,000 occurring in North America. Many species of spiders are household pests. Wherever their food is available, spiders are likely to be found. All spiders are predators, feeding mainly on insects and other small arthropods.
Blood feeding arthropods are of great concern to the public not only because of their annoying and often painful bites, but more importantly because many are vectors of pathogens which cause diseases affecting humans and domestic animals. There are More than 2,400 species exist worldwide.
Termites have been around for over 120 million years. They are social insects and live in colonies which are usually located in the ground or in wood. Most termites feed on cellulose from wood and wood by-products such as paper. They are worldwide in distribution, with about 3,000 described species, and about 50 species are found in the United States.