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Patriot Pest Management Services Pest Library

Pest Control and Extermination

The identification of insects and other pests by phone or email it is very hard. Need to know what kind of bug or rodents are in your house? Below are some tips to keep in mind when trying to identify a pest. Simply click on any of the pest images below to discover more information.
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Ant Extermination Service

Our industry standard pest control service is guaranteed to get rid of your ant problems.

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Bed Bug Removal Service

Our industry standard pest control service is guaranteed to get rid of your bed bug problems.

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Bird Abatement Service

Our industry standard bird abatement service is guaranteed to get rid of your bed bug problems.

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Carpenter Bee Removal Service

Our industry standard pest control service is guaranteed to get rid of your carpenter bee problems.

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Centipede Extermination Service

Our industry standard pest control service is guaranteed to get rid of your centipede problems.

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Cockroach Extermination Service

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Cricket Removal Service

Our industry standard pest control service is guaranteed to get rid of your cricket problems.

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Earwig Extermination Service

Our industry standard pest control service is guaranteed to get rid of your earwig problems.

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Fabric Pest Extermination Service

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Flea Extermination Service

Our industry standard pest control service is guaranteed to get rid of your flea problems.

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Fly Extermination Service

Our industry standard pest control service is guaranteed to get rid of your fly problems.

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Ladybug Removal Service

Our industry standard pest control service is guaranteed to get rid of your ladybug problems.

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Mouse Extermination Service

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Millipede Control Service

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Mosquito Extermination Service

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Rat Extermination Service

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Spider Removal Service

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Stinging Insect Extermination Service

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Stink Bug Removal Service

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Stored Product Pest Service

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Ants

Color: Light brown to black, sometimes multicolored Shape: Long, segmented; heart-shaped abdomen Size: 1/16-1/8 inch long Region: All Habits Acrobat ants typically feed on honeydew, a sugary waste excreted by aphids and mealybugs, but they also eat live and dead insects including termite swarmers. When disturbed, these ants commonly raise their abdomen above their thorax and head, like an acrobat. Threats Acrobat ants may bite when threatened. In some species, workers may emit an unpleasant odor when disturbed. These ants can also pose a risk to properties. Occasionally, acrobat ants will strip the insulation from electrical or telephone wires, which can cause short circuits. Prevention To prevent acrobat ants, make sure that your property and home are void of things that may attract them to it, and that your home is being properly maintained. Seal cracks to prevent ants from entering your home. Store food properly in airtight containers, and don’t leave food on counters. Eliminate sources of standing water outside and keep tree branches and shrubbery well-trimmed and away from the house.

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Color: Light to dark brown and shiny Shape: Segmented; oval Size: 1/16 – 1/4 inch long Region: Found mostly in the southern U.S., California, and Hawaii Habits Usually found in wet environments near a food source, Argentine ants prefer eating sweets such as honeydew but will eat almost anything including meats, eggs, oils and fats. When seeking shelter indoors they are often found near water pipes, sinks or potted plants. These colonies can grow to huge sizes, growing to cover several miles. Threats These ants pose no health threat, but they should be avoided as they can contaminate food. Prevention Seal any cracks or openings around the exterior of your house. Eliminate any standing water on your property. Do not store firewood and building materials next to you home. Argentine ants like to build nests in moist wood. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.

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Color: Black, red, or a combination
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/4 – 3/4 inch long
Region: Found throughout the U.S., especially in the North
Habits
Needing a constant water source to survive, carpenter ants typically attack wood that is or has been wet. They typically enter buildings through cracks around doors and windows, holes in a structure meant for wires, or through wet, damaged wood. Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood.
Threats
Carpenter ants damage wood though their nest building which, over time, can cause serious structural damage to a property.
Prevention
Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water on your property. Fill any gaps or cracks on the outside of your home with silicone caulk. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to you home. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home.
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Color: Dark brown to black with a gray sheen Shape: Segmented; extremely long legs and antennae Size: 1/16 – 1/8 inch long Region: Found throughout the U.S. Habits Crazy ants feed primarily on live and dead insects, seeds, fruits, and honeydew. They enter homes in the autumn of after rainfall because both conditions reduce their supply of honeydew. Inside, these ants nest underneath floors or carpeting, in potted plants and in wall voids. Outdoors, their shallow nests are commonly found in soil under objects or next to foundations. Crazy ants can nest in both dry and moist habitats. Crazy ants get their common name from the workers’ habit of running in an erratic, jerky manner when searching for food. Threats These ants pose no health threat, but they should be avoided as they can contaminate food. Prevention Trim vegetation away from you home. This will help prevent their pathways inside. Clean up spills and crumbs on counter tops and kitchen floors. Seal any cracks or openings around the exterior of your house. Eliminate any standing water on your property. Do not store firewood and building materials next to your home.

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Color: Brown to black Shape: Segmented; oval Size: 1/16 – 1/8 inch long Region: Found throughout the U.S. Habits Odorous house ants like to eat sweets, especially honeydew. When inside your home, they are likely to nest near moisture sources, such as in wall voids near hot water pipes, beneath leaky fixtures in bathrooms, under kitchen or bathroom sinks and also in wood damaged by termites. Outside, they are often found in exposed soil or under stacks of firewood, lumber or bricks. The odorous house ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. Threats These ants pose no health threat, but they should be avoided as they can contaminate food. Prevention Clean up spills and crumbs on counter tops and kitchen floors. Seal any cracks or openings around the exterior of your house. Eliminate any standing water on your property. Do not store firewood and building materials next to you home. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.

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Color: Dark brown to blackish Shape: Segmented; oval Size: 1/16 – 1/8 inch long Region: Found throughout the eastern half of the U.S., California, and Washington Habits Pavement ants will eat almost anything, including other insects. Indoors, they are likely to be found in ground-level masonry walls of foundations. They enter building through cracks in the slab and walls. Outside, Pavement ants typically nest under stones, pavement cracks and next to buildings. Threats These ants pose no health threat, but they should be avoided as they can contaminate food. In extreme cases, they can cause sidewalks and other like structures to sink due to soil excavation. Prevention Clean up spills and crumbs on counter tops and kitchen floors. Seal any cracks or openings around the exterior of your house. Seal cracks and opening around the outside of your house, especially where utility pipes and lines enter. Eliminate any standing water on your property. Do not store firewood and building materials next to you home. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.

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Color: Body usually pale, varying from yellowish to reddish with abdomen often darker to black
Shape: Monomorphic with segmented body
Size: 1/16 inch
Region: All
Habits
Colonies of Pharaoh ants tend to be large, with workers numbering in the thousands. If disturbed, members of the colony will migrate to new locations to establish several new colonies through a process called budding. Pharaoh ants feed on a variety of food sources including sweets, oils and proteins. They will also eat other dead insects. They nest in warm, humid areas near food and water sources. Nests are usually located in inaccessible areas such as wall voids, behind baseboards, in furniture and under floors. These ants often use electrical and telephone wires as a highway system to travel through walls and between floorboards.
Threats
Pharaoh ants have been implicated in the spread of more than a dozen disease pathogens including salmonella and Streptococcus pyogenes. They are notorious for being a major nuisance in hospitals where they can enter wounds, enter IV bottles and can sometimes even seek moisture from the mouths of sleeping patients.
Prevention
Seal all possible points of entry to your home. Ensure that food is stored properly in airtight containers, and do not leave food on the counter. Eliminate sources of standing water outside and use a dehumidifier indoors to prevent moisture buildup. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house. These pests are known to bud off and create additional colonies if not treated correctly to begin with. Keep tree branches and shrubbery well-trimmed and away from the house.
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Color: Dark reddish-brown
Shape: Segmented; oval
Size: 1/16 – 1/4 inch long
Region: Found in the Southeastern U.S., from Virginia to Texas, as well as California and New Mexico.
Habits
Red imported fire ants typically nest in soil near structural foundations or in landscaping. These ants build large mound nests that are flattened and irregular in shape, and are between two and four square feet in size. While usually nesting outdoors, these ants can gain access to building through HVAC systems and AC units. They also are attracted to nesting in electrical junction boxes and gas and water meters. In some cases, they can short out the electrical boxes.
Threats
Fire ants will bite and sting humans who disturb a nest. The sting of these ants is painful and will often result in a raised welt that becomes a white pustule. Often, a person will be stung by many ants and those with allergies to insects will react more severely. Their stings can be fatal in large numbers.
Prevention
Try to avoid fire ants and the mound nests. Seal all internal and external cracks and crevices to prevent entry into a structure. If you are stung by fire ants, promptly seek medical attention.
Red Imported Fire Ants

Bed Bugs

Color: Mahogany to red-brown
Shape: Flat, broad oval when unfed; swollen and elongated when fed
Size: 1/4 inch long
Region: Found throughout the U.S. and the world
Habits
Being excellent hitchhikers, bed bugs hide in purses, luggage, and other personal belongings in an effort to find a human food supply. Bed bugs can also hide nearly anywhere inside a car, bus, home, etc. that you can think of and in many places you would not expect.
Threats
While not being known to transmit diseases, bed bug bites can become red, itchy welts. Those with infestations may experience sleeplessness, anxiety and social isolation.
Prevention
Inspect bedding for shed bed bug skins and change your bed linens often. Before settling in to hotel rooms, inspect the bed and furniture. Set your luggage away from walls and furniture. Examine any secondhand furniture or clothing before bringing it home. When returning home from traveling, inspect your suitcase and store any clothes in a sealed plastic bag until they can be washed.
Bed Bugs

Birds

Pigeons are not only a nuisance, they are real health hazard. Through their droppings, pigeons damage buildings and other structures like statues. In addition to causing structural decay, pigeons can carry a variety of nasty diseases like cryptococcosis, toxoplasmosis and salmonella. If the droppings are allowed to build up on the ground, it is not only unsightly, it causes a slipping hazard. Pigeons are scavengers that prefer grains and are dependent on humans who mostly involuntarily provide food through spilled trash or open containers. In addition to urban areas, pigeons also roost and nest in parks, warehouses and agricultural areas. Patriot Pest Management specializes in pigeon abatement.

Pigeons Fence Birds Pigeons On The Fence

Swallows are small, vocal birds that are highly social. They nest close together in dead trees, nesting boxes, hollow stumps or under the eaves in your home. Swallows are called “aerial foragers,” which means they feed mostly on flying insects. Swallows are migratory birds; they fly back and forth every year, but will always return to their nesting locations. Once their nest is complete, they will make it their home for their entire life. When they complete the building of their nest, usually around mid-March, Swallows are officially protected under Migratory Laws and their nests are not allowed to be touched until they migrate around mid-September. After the Swallows have left their nest, Patriot can come to your home, remove the nest, mud, hazardous fecal matter and net the area off, so the birds will be forced to find a new home next year when they come back to take residence at their old location.

Swallow_-Patriot_Pest_Management_Inc

Carpenter Bees

Color: Yellow and black Shape: Robust, oval Size: 1/2 – 1 inch long Region: Found throughout the U.S. Habits Carpenter bees do not live in nests or colonies. During the winter, the adults stay in abandoned nest tunnels. In the spring, they emerge to feed on nectar. The female carpenter bees bore circular holes into wood and then tunnel along the grain of the wood. Threats Over time carpenter bees can cause a serious property threat if left untreated. They prefer unpainted and weathered wood. The male carpenter bee can be territorial and may hover in front of one’s face, but they have no stinger and do this mainly for show. The female carpenter bee does have a potent sting, but it is rarely used. Prevention Painting and staining wood can deter carpenter bees as they prefer bare wood. Routinely inspect wood on your property for round smooth holes.

Carpenter Bee

Centipedes

Color: Yellowish to dark brown, sometimes with darker stripes or markings
Shape: Elongated, flattened, worm-like
Size: 1/8 – 6 inches
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits
Most house centipedes are nocturnal, and prey primarily on many types of insects, spiders, and sometimes plant tissue. When they invade homes, centipedes are most commonly found in damp basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, or potted plants.
Threats
Centipedes are generally considered nuisance pests, as they do not pose significant health or property threats. However, all house centipedes have poison jaws with which they inject venom into their prey. If handled roughly, some larger species can inflict a painful bite that can break human skin and causes pain and swelling, similar to a bee sting.
Prevention
The most effective way to get rid of or prevent house centipede infestations is to reduce areas of moisture in and around your home. Remove leaf piles and grass clippings. Store firewood off of the ground. Provide adequate ventilation in crawl spaces, basements, etc.
Centipede

Cockroaches

Color: Reddish-brown, with a yellowish figure 8 pattern on the back of the head
Shape: Oval
Size: 2 inches
Region: Found throughout the U.S. and the world
Habits
While American cockroaches can be found in homes and larger commercial buildings, they are known to infest food storage and food preparation areas, as well as basements, yards and alleys. They are also very common in sewers and often enter structures through drains and pipes.
Threats
It has been reported that cockroaches can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. As with other species of roaches, these cockroaches can pose a threat to individuals with allergies.
Prevention
The best advice for American cockroach control is to practice good sanitation. Seal all entrances around utility pipes and ventilate crawl spaces to prevent moisture buildup. Most cockroaches come into a building through the pipes. Keep drains clean and free of food.
American Cockroach
Color: Brown, with pronounced banding across wings
Shape: Oval
Size: 1/2 inch
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
Brownbanded cockroaches prefer dry locations and warmer areas over 80℉ but can be found throughout structures. These cockroaches prefer higher locations and can often be in upper cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. Brownbanded cockroaches glue their ootheca (egg cases) to surfaces, often in or under furniture.
Threats
It has been reported that cockroaches can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Studies show that cockroach allergens are leading trigger of allergic reactions in children and have been known to cause asthma.
Prevention
Keep a spotless kitchen and make sure to dispose of garbage regularly. Vacuuming often will help reduce harmful cockroaches allergens. Pay close attention to hanging picture frames, ceilings and wall moldings, as these areas are vulnerable to infestations. Air out basements and crawlspaces to prevent moisture buildup.
Brown Banded Cockroach
Color: Light brown to tan with two dark stripes
Shape: Oval
Size: 1/2 – 5/8 inch long
Region: Found throughout the world
Habits
Being the most common species of cockroach, German cockroaches can be found all over the world. These cockroaches prefer to live in cracks in warm, humid places close near food and moisture sources. German cockroaches will feed on almost anything, including soap, glue, and toothpaste. They are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. They are also known to hitch a ride into new structures via grocery bags, drink cartons and cardboard boxes.
Threats
It has been reported that cockroaches can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Studies show that cockroach allergens are leading trigger of allergic reactions in children and have been known to cause asthma.
Prevention
The best advice for German cockroach control is to practice good sanitation. Keep a spotless kitchen and make sure to dispose of garbage regularly. Vacuuming often will help reduce harmful cockroaches allergens. Pay close attention to appliances and sinks in the kitchen or bathroom as these are particularly vulnerable to cockroach infestations. Air out basements and crawlspaces to prevent moisture buildup.
Color: Shiny black
Shape: Oval
Size: 1 inch
Region: Found in the northern parts of the U.S.
Habits
Being able to survive well outdoors, Oriental cockroaches can be found under porches, leaves, stones, debris and wall voids. They can enter homes through sliding glass doors, along air ducts and utility pipes and through door thresholds. These cockroaches can feed on all kinds of food, particularly starchy foods and decaying organic matter. Oriental roaches are sometimes called “waterbugs” because they come out of drains.
Threats
It has been reported that cockroaches can spread at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Oriental cockroaches’ habit of feeding on filth causes them to pick up germs on the spines of their legs and bodies as they crawl through sewage or decaying matter and then carry these onto food or food surfaces.
Prevention
Keep food sealed and stored properly. Keep a spotless kitchen and make sure to dispose of garbage regularly. Seal cracks around the home, as well as entry points for utilities and pipes. Air out basements and crawlspaces to prevent moisture buildup.
Oriental Cockroach

Crickets

Color: Yellowish brown with 3 dark cross bands on head
Shape: Long, winged
Size: 3/4 – 7/8 inch
Region: All
Habits
House crickets are nocturnal or active at night and usually hide in dark warm places during the day. Outside, they feed on plants and dead or live insects, including other crickets. Indoors, house crickets can feast on fabric, eating large areas, leaving holes and are especially attracted to clothes soiled with perspiration. When cold weather approaches, they seek shelter in houses and sheds because of the moisture and warmth they provide.
Threats
Clothing and carpets can become damaged when house crickets enter homes. They typically feed on the surface, leaving the area roughened from pulling the fibers loose while eating.
Prevention
Reduce areas of moisture in and around your home. Mow the lawn, weed plant beds and move woodpiles away from the structure. Provide adequate ventilation in crawl spaces, basements, etc. In addition, change outdoor lighting to less-attractive yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lamps. It is also important to seal possible points of entry for house crickets around the house, including window and door frames.
House Cricket
Color: Light to dark brown, often mottled with dark bands on some segments
Shape: Humpbacked with long, very enlarged hind legs
Size: 1/3- 1 1/2 in
Region: All
Habits

Jerusalem crickets are nocturnal, or active at night, and hide during the day. They often overwinter as young nymphs or adults. Females lay their eggs in early spring and they hatch during April. Jerusalem crickets do not chirp. Jerusalem crickets leap when they are frightened since it’s the only defense mechanism they have to scare off predators.

Threats

Jerusalem crickets do not pose any health threats to humans, but they can become a nuisance if they gain entry to the home. Some species have been known to damage clothing and other fabrics like curtains.

Prevention

Reduce areas of moisture in and around the home. A dehumidifier is recommended to prevent moisture build up indoors. Additionally, homeowners should seal all possible points of entry around the house, keep crawl spaces, basements and attics well ventilated, and store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.

Camel Cricket

Earwigs

Color: Dark brown
Shape: Long, narrow
Size: 1 inch
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits
Earwigs hide during the day and feeds on leaves, flowers, fruits, mold and insects at night. These insects live together in large numbers outdoors. Earwigs can be found under piles of lawn debris, mulch or in tree holes. They gain entry to a structure through exterior cracks.
Threats
Contrary to folklore, earwigs do not crawl into ears and eat people’s brains at night. They do not spread diseases, but their menacing appearance can be alarming to a homeowner.
Prevention
Remove harborage sites such as leaf piles, mulch piles or other vegetation. Seal cracks and crevices well to prevent structural entry for optimal earwig control.
Earwig

Fabric Pests

Color: Variable-Black to reddish brown to multiple colors
Shape: Oval
Size: 2.8 to 5 mm
Region: northeastern United States
Habits
Adult carpet beetles feed on pollen and nectar outdoors. The larvae may eat seeds, animal food and other milled products in the pantry or kitchen. Although adult carpet beetles can thrive inside or outside, females prefer to lay eggs where larval food sources are abundant.
Threats
The carpet beetle is considered a general feeder but economic damage primarily occurs on fabrics in the household. It is the larval stage that causes damage. They are known to eat large, irregular holes through any acceptable food material. They prefer to feed on the surface of wool products or at the base of furs leaving, bare spots on the hide. Textiles, carpets, and fabrics will be peppered with irregular holes, while museum specimens will be eaten away, often leaving a fine dust around or beneath the specimen. Additionally, carpet beetles may be a pest of stored products when it invades containers of cereals, nuts, and stored grain. Furthermore, those in close association with carpet beetles may suffer allergic reactions as a result of exposure to beetle fragments, cast skins, or dust.
Prevention
The key to controlling carpet beetles is to find the primary source(s) of infestation and eliminate it/them. Besides carpeting, drapes, clothing, furs, fabric-covered furniture, and stored products, it may be necessary to check any furs. As with moths, to avoid varied carpet beetle infestations, store clothing in plastic containers. Dry clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time.
Black Carpet Beetle
Color: Body and wings are buff to golden with a brownish tinge, except for 3 dark spots on each front wing
Shape: Both wings long and narrow
Size: Up to 3/8 inch
Region: Found throughout the U.S. but more common in the southern states
Habits
The webbing clothes moth is probably the most commonly encountered clothes moth in the United States.They primarily attack materials of animal origin and secondarily attack those of plant origin. Animal-origin materials include feathers, wools, rugs, furs, mummified carcasses, taxidermy mounts, and piano felts. Plant-origin materials include tobacco, various herbs and seasonings, hemp, various plant-based drugs, linseed, almonds, and saffron. It is particularly a pest of feathers/down and hair/fur.
Threats
Damage generally appears in hidden locations such as beneath collars or cuffs of clothing, in crevices of upholstered furniture, and in carpeted areas beneath furniture. Fabrics with food, perspiration, or urine stains are more subject to damage.
Prevention
Periodically cleaning areas in your home that can harbor clothes moths can prevent or control infestations. These areas include seldom-cleaned spots such as beneath heavy pieces of furniture; along baseboards and in cracks where hair and debris accumulate; in closets, especially those in which woolens and furs are kept; and inside and behind heaters and inside vents. The vacuum cleaner is the best tool for most of this cleaning. After using it in infested areas, dispose of the bag’s contents promptly, since it can include eggs, larvae, or adult moths.
Casemaking Clothes Moth
Color: Silver to brown
Shape: Oval; elongated
Size: 3/4 inch
Region: Found throughout the U.S. and the world
Habits
During the day, silverfish hide in tight cracks or crevices, typically in humid, moist areas. Yet, they can be found in almost anywhere in the home. Silverfish consume paper, particularly wallpaper, envelopes and book bindings.
Threats
Silverfish pose no health threat but can cause damage to your home. Over time, they will cause small holes, yellow stains, notches or etchings along the edges of infested materials.
Prevention
Do not keep old magazines or books in basements, attics, or garages. Keep food items such as sugar and flour in tightly sealed containers. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home. Eliminate or repair any wet or moldy wood and repair leaky drains and pipes.
Silverfish
Color: Wings and body uniformly buff/golden color except for tuft of reddish hairs on top of head
Shape: Both wings long and narrow
Size: 1/2 inch
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
The webbing clothes moth is probably the most commonly encountered clothes moth in the United States. Webbing clothes moths do not attack materials of vegetable origin. They attack synthetic fibers only when they are interwoven with natural animal fiber materials or are soiled. They feed on keratin-containing materials such as wool, hair, fur, etc. They have been found infesting beef meal, fish meal, and milk products, in addition to furs, woolens, etc.
Threats
Damage generally appears in hidden locations such as beneath collars or cuffs of clothing, in crevices of upholstered furniture, and in carpeted areas beneath furniture. Fabrics with food, perspiration, or urine stains are more subject to damage.
Prevention
Periodically cleaning areas in your home that can harbor clothes moths can prevent or control infestations. These areas include seldom-cleaned spots such as beneath heavy pieces of furniture; along baseboards and in cracks where hair and debris accumulate; in closets, especially those in which woolens and furs are kept; and inside and behind heaters and inside vents. The vacuum cleaner is the best tool for most of this cleaning. After using it in infested areas, dispose of the bag’s contents promptly, since it can include eggs, larvae, or adult moths.
Webmaking Clothes Moth

Fleas

Color: Dark reddish-brown
Shape: Flattened side to side
Size: 1/12 – 1/6 inch long
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
Fleas transport themselves on mammals and rodents and do not leave. They are known to infest household pets and wild animals. They can also be found on blankets, shoes or pant legs which can transfer the fleas to new locations.
Threats
Fleas are the most common transmitter of the bubonic plague. They can also transfer murine typhus to humans through infected rats. Fleas can cause anemia in pets and can transfer tapeworms. Their bites commonly cause itchy, painful red bumps. Their saliva can cause serious flea allergy dermatitis in pets and their debris has been reported to cause similar allergic reactions in humans.
Prevention
Frequently vacuum and clean to prevent fleas from laying eggs and increasing their population. Keep a groomed lawn to avoid rodent habitats. Use flea treatment on pets, according to directions and regularly bathe and groom them. Prevent wildlife from entering yard. Even if you do not have pets, your home can get fleas from roaming wildlife.
Flea in Amber

Flies

Color: Head and thorax are dull gray and the abdomen is bright metallic blue or green with black markings
Shape: Small oval
Size: 1/5- 1/3 inch, slightly larger than a housefly
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
Most species develop in meat or animal carcasses, but if these are not available they will use animal excrement, decaying vegetation, and/or garbage.
Threats
These flies have been known to carry numerous disease-causing germs and their ability to cause myiasis in humans and animals.
Prevention
Remove trash regularly and use well-sealing garbage receptacles. Clean up pet waste immediately. Use fine mesh screens on doors and windows to prevent fly entry. Remove any decaying animal carcasses.
Bottle Fly
Color: Light gray or tan body and lighter-colored wings
Shape: Small oval
Size: About 1/8-inch
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
In homes, adults are found on bathroom, kitchen or basement walls. More active at night, drain flies do not bite and, surprisingly, do not transmit human diseases. Drain flies feed on organic matter and sewage.
Threats
The greatest threat that drain flies pose to humans is the risk of being inhaled. Unlike other flies that are large enough to be avoided, the drain fly is smaller in comparison. Most people are not affected by the inhalation, but asthmatics may be prone to issues. The drain flies can carry diseases, and once inhaled into already sensitive lungs, they can cause even more problems.
Prevention
The best way to control drain flies is to control adult populations and to keep the drains clean using periodic cleaning. A pest management professional can use an enzyme to break down the film that is hospitable to drain flies.
Drain Fly
Color: Tan/ light abdomen
Shape: Small oval
Size: 1/8 of an inch
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits
Fruit flies feed on decaying matter, especially fruits and vegetables. They are found on moist, decaying matter that has been sitting for several days. Other fermenting items can harbor fruit flies as well.
Threats
Fruit flies are found in unsanitary conditions, so they are a potential health concern, especially when present in health facilities.
Prevention
Fruit flies are best prevented through vigilant sanitation practices. To exercise proper fruit fly management, remove kitchen trash daily, and keep counter surfaces clean.
Fruit Fly
Color: Dark gray
Shape: Small oval
Size: 1/4 of an inch
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits
House flies 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.
Threats
These insects have been known to carry over 100 different kinds of disease-causing germs, which makes them very bad house guests
Prevention
House fly control requires a commitment to vigilant sanitation. Remove trash regularly and use well-sealing garbage receptacles to get rid of house flies around waste bins. Clean up pet waste immediately. Use fine mesh screens on doors and windows to prevent fly entry.
House Fly
Color: Black, brown, or yellowish
Shape: Hump-shaped thorax
Size: About 1/8 inch
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits
Adults can often be found at flowers or on larval food materials which consist of moist decaying organic matter. Because they frequent such unsanitary places, they may transport various disease-causing organisms to food materials. Adults have a peculiar habit of rapidly running across windows, TV screens, tables, walls and plant foliage.
Threats
Phorid flies can occur in large numbers and become a significant nuisance. They can potentially transmit disease organisms because they visit rotting foods and generally unclean areas. They can be particularly troublesome in hospital setting.
Prevention
The best way to control phorid flies is to control adults and to keep the drains clean using periodic cleaning. A pest management professional can use an enzyme to break down the film that is hospitable to phorid flies.
Phorid Fly

Ladybugs

Color: Red, orange, yellow, brown or shiny black in color usually with various markings including dark spots
Shape: Broadly oval to nearly round
Size: 1/31 – 3/8 inch
Region: All
Habits
Many ladybug species are considered important beneficial insects because they voraciously consume plant-eating insects, such as aphids, mealybugs, mites, and scale insects, which harm crops and plants in gardens. However, a few ladybugs are destructive and feed on plants, such as the Mexican bean beetle and the squash beetle.
Threats
Most ladybug species do not pose a health threat to humans. However, the multi-colored Asian lady beetle is known to aggravate asthma and cause allergic reactions in some people, a strong reason for ladybug pest control. In addition, they exude a viscous yellow, foul-smelling defensive fluid that may stain whatever it contacts.
Prevention
The most effective way to get rid of ladybugs or prevent them from entering homes and buildings is to seal cracks around windows, doors, siding, and utility pipes, behind chimneys, and underneath the wood fascia and other openings. If ladybugs have already entered a home or building, a vacuum cleaner can aid in their removal. If an infestation has developed inside a home or building, a licensed ladybug pest control operator should be called to evaluate and assess the problem.
Ladybug

Mice

Color: Brown with light feet and underbelly
Shape: Round
Size: 2 3/4 – 4 inches long
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
Deer mice are most often found in old fence posts, log piles, tree hollows, abandoned bird nests and beneath decks. During the winter months, they may invade homes, sheds, garages, or rarely used vehicles. When inside, they are known to make their nests in stuffed furniture, wall voids, storage boxes and tight areas in basements or attics. Deer mice prefer eating insects, nuts seeds, small fruits and berries.
Threats
Deer mice are a common carrier of Hantavirus which is primarily transmitted by inhaling dust particles contaminated with the urine, feces or saliva of infected deer mice.
Prevention
Mice are known to hide in clutter, so store boxes off the floor and keep areas clear. Pay close attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home home and be sure to seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home. Keep food in sealed, rodent-proof containers. Make sure to keep tree branches and shrubs cut back from the house. Regularly inspect rarely used cars/RV’s, basements and attics.
Deer Mouse
Color: Dusty gray with a cream belly
Shape: Round
Size: 2 1/2 – 3 3/4 inches long
Region: Found throughout the U.S. and the world
Habits
House mice typically live in structures but can survive outdoors, too. They prefer nesting in dark, secluded areas and often build nest out of packing materials, wall insulation, paper products, cotton and other fabrics. House mice are excellent climbers and are able to jump up to a foot high.
Threats
Not only are house mice a nuisance but they can also cause serious property damage by chewing on materials. These mice have been know to spark electrical fires by gnawing on wires both inside homes and behind walls. Known to eat and contaminate food, house mice can transfer Salmonella, tapeworms, and the plague (via fleas).
Prevention
Mice are known to hide in clutter, so store boxes off the floor and keep areas clear. Pay close attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home and be sure to seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home that are ¼ inch in diameter or larger. Keep food in sealed, rodent-proof containers.
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Millipedes

Color: Blackish or brownish, some red, orange or with mottled patterns
Shape: Long, cylindrical and wormlike
Size: 1/16 – 4 1/2 inches
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits
Most millipedes are nocturnal and are primarily scavengers, feeding on decaying plants and occasionally dead insects. In the autumn, millipedes are known to migrate in great numbers.
Threats
Some millipede species give off an ill-smelling fluid through openings along the sides of the body. Underscoring the importance of millipede control, this fluid can be toxic to small animals and pets, and can cause small blisters on humans.
Prevention
The most effective way to prevent and get rid of millipede infestations is to reduce areas of moisture in and around your home. Consider running a dehumidifier if you have a damp basement. Keep lawns mowed so that grass does not retain moisture, and water lawns in the early morning to allow grass to dry during the day. Remove leaf piles and grass clippings. Store firewood off of the ground.
Millipede

Mosquitos

Habits
Mosquitoes can breed in any form of stagnant water, including ponds, flood waters, marshes, drainage ditches, woodland pools and artificial containers. They regularly feed on nectar, but females require at least one blood meal before they are able to lay fertile eggs. Mosquitoes bite most often at dawn and dusk, but there are some that bite people during the daytime as well.
Threats
Mosquitoes can transfer numerous diseases including the Zika virus, West Nile virus, yellow fever, malaria, encephalitis and dengue fever. The bites can create raised itchy bumps on people, causing them to be scratched. If they are scratched enough, the skin can be broken further and become infected.
Prevention
Eliminate areas of standing water around your property. Mosquitoes only need a half inch of water to breed. Screen all windows and doors, repairing even the smallest hole or tear. Minimize activity outside during dusk and dawn, as that is when mosquitoes are most active.
Mosquito_ Patriot_Pest_Management_Inc

Rats

Color: Brown with scattered black hairs; gray to white underside
Shape: Long, heavily-bodied, blunt muzzle, small ears and eyes
Size: 7 – 9 1/2 inches long
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
Norway rats are typically nocturnal. Outdoors, they burrow in soil near riverbanks/ streams, under concrete slabs and piles of garbage. Indoors, they will often nest in basements, undisturbed materials or piles of debris. To obtain food or water they will gnaw through almost anything, including plastic or lead pipes.
Threats
Through their gnawing and eating, Norway rats can cause damage to structures and personal property. They can also spread diseases including rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, plague, trichinosis, and salmonellosis. These rats can also introduce mites and fleas into a home.
Prevention
Norway Rats are known to hide in clutter, so store boxes off the floor and keep areas clear. Pay close attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home and be sure to seal cracks and holes at least ½ inch in diameter on the outside of your home. Keep food in sealed, rodent-proof containers. Keep kitchen floors and counters clean. Inspect your home for rodent droppings, damaged goods and gnaw marks.
Norway Rat
Color: Brown with black intermixed; gray, white or black underside
Shape: Long and thin with scaly tail; large ears and eyes
Size: 6 – 8 inches not including tail
Region: Coastal states and the southern third of the U.S.
Habits
Roof rats are primarily nocturnal. These rats live in colonies and prefer foraging for food in groups of up to ten and frequent the same food source time after time. They will also follow the same path to their food from their nest. Their runways may have dark rubs from where the fur makes contact and are typically free of debris.
Threats
Roof rats and their fleas have been historically associated with the bubonic plague. They can also spread jaundice, rat-bite fever, typhus, trichinosis and salmonellosis.
Prevention
Roof rats are known to hide in upper areas, so to prevent roof rats for entering a home, seal up any holes or cracks larger than a quarter inch in diameter. Pay close attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the home home and be sure to seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home. Keep food in sealed, rodent-proof containers. Make sure to keep tree branches and shrubs cut back from the house. Regularly inspect rarely used cars/RV’s basements and attics.
Roof Rat

Spiders

Color: Black abdomen with a red hourglass marking on back
Shape: Spherical
Size: 1 1/2 – 1 3/8 inches long
Region: Various species found throughout the U.S.
Habits
Indoors, black widows prefer cluttered and undisturbed areas such as crawl spaces, basements and garages. Outside, these spiders commonly live in protected areas such as firewood piles, tree stumps, and under stones or decks. They are also commonly found in outhouses, sheds, barns, and barrels.
Threats
The biggest threat posed by black widows is their bite. Young children, elderly, and those that have their immune system compromised are at the highest risk. Males lack potent venom and rarely bite which makes them less of a concern but female black widow spiders are known for their aggression after laying and guarding their eggs. When bit by a black widow, pain is almost immediate and can be followed by fever, sweating, increased blood pressure and nausea. Black widow bites are not always felt, in which case the only reliable evidence is slight swelling around two tiny fang marks.
Prevention
Wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been store for a long period of time. Before wearing shoes, make sure to inspect them as they are a frequent spider hiding spot. Store firewood five inches off the ground and at least twenty feet from the house. If you are bitten by a black widow spider, seek prompt medical attention.
Black Widow Spider
Color: Tan to dark brown
Shape: Round, usually with darker violin shaped marking on dorsum
Size: 1/4 – 1/2 inches long
Region: Found in the Central Midwest from Ohio to Nebraska and south through Texas and Georgia, as far east as Tennessee
Habits
Brown recluse feed on small prey such as insects. Indoors, they are typically found in any undisturbed area, such as seldom-used clothing and shoes, under furniture, inside boxes, among papers or in crevices such as baseboards and window moldings. Crawl spaces, attics, closets and basements are the most common hiding areas. Outside, these spiders are usually found around utility boxes woodpiles and around rocks.
Threats
Both the male and the female brown recluse spider can bite and inject venom. While usually not felt, the bite results in a stinging sensation followed by intense pain as long as six to eight hours later. A small blister can develop around the bite which can then turn into an open ulcer. Symptoms of this bite can include fever, restlessness and difficulty sleeping.
Prevention
Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers and make sure to shake out clothing that has been on the floor or in storage before using. Pay close attention to boots, gloves, baseball mitts and skates that are used less often. Seal all internal and external cracks and crevices to prevent entry. If you are bitten by a brown recluse spider, seek prompt medical attention.
Brown Recluse Spider
Color: Usually dark brown, often with paler (or sometimes yellow) stripes or markings
Shape: Stout-robust body with long, spiny legs
Size: 3/8 – 1 3/8 in (female) 1/4 – 3/4 in (male)
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits
Wolf spiders actively hunt during the night and usually rest in sheltered places during the day. They are fast on their feet and pursue prey. Because of these habits, wolf spiders are commonly seen by people.
Threats
Because wolf spiders feed on a variety of insects, including crop pests, they can be beneficial. Wolf spiders can bite, but it’s extremely rare to experience a wolf spider bite unprovoked. They will only bite if they are handled. The presence of wolf spiders in homes is usually accidental.
Prevention
Seal cracks on the outside of the home and use screens on doors and windows.
Wolf Spider

Stinging Insects

Color: Black with white pattern on face
Shape: Long, wasp-like
Size: 1/2 – 5/8 inches long; queen 3/4 inches long
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
Although not true hornets, Bald-faced hornets are social insects. Their colonies may contain 100—400 members at their peak. Populations are largest during the late summer. Bald-faced hornets usually build their paper nests in shrubs, trees, on overhangs, houses, sheds, utility poles, or other structures three or more feet off the ground.
Threats
Bald-faced hornets will attack anything that invades their space. They are able to sting over and over again due to their smooth stingers. Their stings carry venoms that the stings hurt, swell or itch for around 24 hours. Humans are at equal risk of allergic reaction from their stings as with other insect stings.
Prevention
Bald-faced hornets are beneficial insects because they help control many pest species. Control is warranted; however, if a nest is close to the ground or near an occupied structure. Routinely inspect the outside of your property for stinging insect nests.
Bald Faced Hornet
Color: Predominantly golden-yellow with brown bands
Shape: Oval; bee shape
Size: 1/2 in
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits
Honeybees are active pollinators, and produce honey which feeds their young in colder months. The honeybee is the only social insect whose colony can survive many years.
Threats
Honeybees do sting, but they only sting once due to their barbed stinger. The sting can be extremely painful if the stinger is not immediately removed from the sting. Persons allergic to insect stings will have a more severe reaction.
Prevention
Honey bee management should be addressed by a professional. Treatment or removal of a honeybee nest and the honey product can be very messy. Because honeybee colonies are so large, only a honey bee pest control professional or experienced beekeeper can safely remove a honeybee nest.
Honey Bees
Color: Abdomen usually black and yellow patterned similar to band
Shape: Wasp-like
Size: 3/8 – 5/8 inch long
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
Yellowjackets live in nest or colonies. Their nest are usually found in the ground or in cavernous areas such as crawlspaces. Feeding on proteins and sweets they can usually be found around trash and recycling bins. The colony is at its peak in late summer and early autumn.
Threats
Yellowjackets are territorial and will sting if they feel that there nest is threatened. They can sting repeatedly and can cause allergic reactions. They are extremely aggressive.
Prevention
Wear shoes in grassy areas. Keep trashcans covered and remove garbage frequently. Do not swat at yellowjackets, it will just increase the likelihood an aggressive reaction. Avoid wearing any sweet-smelling perfumes. Make sure your door and window screen are in good condition.
Yellow Jacket

Stinkbugs

Color: Mottled grayish-brown
Shape: Triangular or shield
Size: 3/4 inch
Region: Found in the eastern of half of the U.S., as well as California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas
Habits
In the late fall, adult stink bugs enter homes and other structures seeking shelter from the winter weather. Like other overwintering insects, they are often found in groupings on the sides of buildings. In the spring, they emerge again.
Threats
While not posing serious threats, their tendency to invade homes in large number can be a nuisance to homeowners. Stink bugs have the potential to spread throughout the country, which could be harmful to the agricultural industry. Their droppings can stain items.
Prevention
Repair damaged window screens and seal cracks around the property. Use a vacuum to eliminate stinkbugs indoors and make sure to seal the contents of the vacuum in a plastic bag and dispose of it immediately. Replace outdooring lighting with yellow bulbs as stink bugs are less attracted to them. Seal up all openings into a home to prevent stink bugs from invading.
Stinkbug

Stored Product Pests

Color: Buff to pale yellowish brown
Shape: Long and narrow
Size: 1/2-5/8 inch
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
Adults cause no damage. The larva requires a whole kernel or caked material for development. The pest is active at low temperatures and can cause considerable damage during the winter.
Threats
Infested grain has a sickening smell and taste, which make it unpalatable.
Prevention
Inspect all grains upon purchase. Freeze grains for at least 1 week (or store permanently in the freezer) to kill any eggs. Buy grains in small quantities and eat within a reasonable period of time. Store grains in tightly sealed glass, metal, or sturdy plastic containers (not bags). Regularly clean pantry cracks, crevices, and shelves.
Angoumois Grain Moth
Color: Brown
Shape: Oval
Size: 1/16-1/8 inch
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
The cigarette beetle attacks a host of items such as paprika, dry dog food, beans, biscuits, chickpeas, cigars, cigarettes, cocoa beans, coffee beans, cottonseed, dates, dried banana, dried cabbage, dried carrot, dried fruits, drugs, flour, dried flowers, ginger, grains, herbs, peanuts, pepper, raisins, rice, yeast, seeds, spices, furniture stuffing, bookbinder’s paste and books, and even insecticides containing pyrethrum. It also attacks animal material such as dried fish, fish meal, meat meal, leather, silk, and even dried insects. Dry dog food and paprika are the most commonly attacked in the home.
Threats
Larval feeding causes direct damage to foodstuffs and non-food items. These products are contaminated by the presence of beetles, larvae, pupae, cocoons, frass (fecal material), and insect parts.
Prevention
Controlling cigarette beetles in homes begins with a thorough inspection. Since these beetles can feed on such a variety of products, it is important to find all infested items. Discard any food that is infested. Since these beetles can infest so many types of products, inspect thoroughly.
Cigarette Beetle
Color: Reddish brown
Shape: Oval
Size: 1/16-1/8 inch
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
The drugstore beetle attacks a host of items that include any household food and spice, as well as such things as drugs, hair, horn, leather, and museum specimens. Most commonly attacked are bread, flour, meal, breakfast foods, and condiments such as red pepper. It is also a pest of books and manuscripts.
Threats
Feeding causes direct damage and contamination to foodstuffs and non-food items.
Prevention
Controlling drugstore beetles begins with a thorough inspection. It is important to find everything that the beetles have infested. In the kitchen, throw away any infested food. Clean pantry and cabinet shelves with a vacuum. It is advisable to call a pest control professional to do treatment.
Drugstore Beetle
Color: Reddish brown
Shape: Oval
Size: 1/8 – 1/4 inch
Region: Usually found from North Carolina upward
Habits
Because its wings are vestigial, the granary weevil is confined to stored grain and is primarily transported by man.
Threats
Granary weevils can contaminate grain stores.
Prevention
Inspect all grains upon purchase. Freeze grains for at least 1 week (or store permanently in the freezer) to kill any eggs. Buy grains in small quantities and eat within a reasonable period of time. Store grains in tightly sealed glass, metal, or sturdy plastic containers (not bags). Regularly clean pantry cracks, crevices, and shelves.
Granary Weevil
Color: Copper reddish coloring on outer part of wings
Shape: Elongated oval
Size: 5/8 inch
Region: Found throughout U.S.
Habits
Indian meal moths like to feed on dried fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, chocolate, candies, bird seed, dog food, powdered milk, dried red peppers and candy.
Threats
Indian meal moths infest foods and can contaminate food products.
Prevention
Dried food products should be inspected thoroughly for signs of Indian meal moth infestations. Discard infested foods in outdoor trash bins. Clean infested cupboards thoroughly with a vacuum and soap and water. Store food in sealed containers.
Indian Meal Moth
Color: Brown
Shape: Flat oval
Size: 1/8 inch
Region: Found throughout the U.S.
Habits
The sawtoothed grain beetle does considerable damage to grains but it cannot attack sound kernels. It’s flat body form permits access through very small cracks and into imperfectly sealed packages.
Threats
Sawtoothed grain beetles can infest stored food products and can contaminate food.
Prevention
Seal all cracks and crevices that may offer entry to your house. Check areas where pet food and birdseed are stored. Empty cabinets and pantries and check every package. Throw away infested food. Vacuum the empty shelves to remove any insects and food particles. Store new food products in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers.
Sawtoothed Grain Beetle