If you have any questions about these or any other bugs, give us a call at 800-654-8870 and we'll be happy to listen and share what knowledge we have with you.
The American cockroach is a pest in residences and large commercial buildings where food is prepared or stored such as restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, breweries, pet shops, food processing plants, etc. This cockroach occurs both outdoors and indoors; it commonly breeds in sewer systems and underground utility networks, from which it then may invade structures. It is the most common cockroach species in city sewer systems. It favors microhabitats with high humidity. The American cockroach sometimes is commonly called a "waterbug" or "palmettobug."
Adult American cockroaches are approximately 1.3 to 2.1 inches long; they are among the largest of the cockroach pests in homes. These cockroaches have a somewhat flattened oval shape, spiny legs, and filamentous antennae that are uniformly brown and as long as or longer than the body. Adults have fully developed wings, but they seldom fly when disturbed. The forewings are glossy reddish brown to dark brown, sometimes paler towards the sides and tip. The pronotum ("shield" behind the head) is reddish brown with a yellowish brown border. Read More . . .
Ants can be one of the most annoying pests encountered in homes and buildings. Fortunately, most of Ohio ant species are not known for their bites or stings like the fire ants that inhabit southern states. However, their constant searching for food and water around areas occupied by humans is not well tolerated. Ant control is not as easy as spraying a residual insecticide around base boards! Ants are usually able to quickly detect treated surfaces and simply avoid them until the pesticide residues have dissipated. Currently, professionals try to treat ant nests or colonies or use baits that are especially liked by particular ants.
There are several kinds of ants that may occur in and around the home ranging in size from about 1/32 to 3/4 inch long and colored yellowish, light brown, reddish-brown, brownish-black, or jet black. Ants, as all insects, have three body regions—head, thorax, and abdomen. Most are wingless, but the homeowner sometimes may confuse swarming, winged ants with swarming, winged termites, causing alarm. Ants can be easily distinguished from termites by several characteristics:
Bed bugs are parasites that preferentially feed on humans. If people aren't available, they instead will feed on other warm-blooded animals, including birds, rodents, bats, and pets.
Bed bugs have been documented as pests since the 17th century. They were introduced into our country by the early colonists. Bed bugs were common in the United States prior to World War II, after which time widespread use of synthetic insecticides such as DDT greatly reduced their numbers. Improvements in household and personal cleanliness as well as increased regulation of the used furniture market also likely contributed to their reduced pest status.
In the past decade, bed bugs have begun making a comeback across the United States, although they are not considered to be a major pest. The widespread use of baits rather than insecticide sprays for ant and cockroach control is a factor that has been implicated in their return. Bed bugs are blood feeders that do not feed on ant and cockroach baits. International travel and commerce are thought to facilitate the spread of these insect hitchhikers, because eggs, young, and adult bed bugs are readily transported in luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture. Bed bugs can infest airplanes, ships, trains, and buses. Bed bugs are most frequently found in dwellings with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, motels, hostels, dormitories, shelters, apartment complexes, tenements, and prisons. Such infestations usually are not a reflection of poor hygiene or bad housekeeping.
Boxelder bugs (family: Rhopalidae) and leaf- footed bugs (family: Coreidae) are larger species of true bugs that may invade buildings, especially during the warm days of autumn, to seek sheltered sites for overwintering. Large populations are often correlated with long, hot, dry summers. During the fall, they are attracted to buildings and occasionally to night-lights. They may fly through open doors and windows, but they most commonly enter homes and buildings through cracks and crevices around doors, windows, and roof soffits. Indoors, these bugs are a nuisance because of their presence, foul odor when crushed or disturbed, and fecal stains on curtains or walls. Although they do not cause damage to buildings, clothing, food, or humans, their presence is annoying. Outdoors, boxelder bugs have the habit of clustering in large numbers on the sides of trees, buildings, and other structures. During warm winter and spring days, boxelder bugs and leaf-footed bugs may become active, moving from their hiding places into living spaces. While both insects have piercing-sucking mouthparts, neither is known to bite humans or animals. See more . . .
The brownbanded cockroach is more gregarious and more likely to be found in homes, hotels or apartments rather than commercial stores, restaurants or kitchens. These insects feed on starch materials (book sizing and wallpaper paste) and even nonfood materials such as nylon stockings. They prefer to hide in warm, elevated areas near the ceiling, behind wall decorations, pictures, loose wallpaper, in shower stalls, underneath chairs and tables, in closets, beneath or inside upholstered furniture, and in electrical appliances such as TV sets, stereos, radios and toasters. They develop and live throughout the building (especially bedrooms), making control difficult. Roaches can foul food, damage wallpaper and books, eat glue from furniture and produce an unpleasant odor. Some homeowners are allergic to roaches, and the pests can contaminate food with certain bacterial diseases that result in food poisoning, dysentery or diarrhea. Cockroaches can cause childhood asthma.
Most cockroaches have a flattened oval shape, spiny legs, and grow long, filamentous antennae. Adult brownbanded cockroaches are light brown to glossy dark brown, are about 5/8-inch long and have wings. Males are capable of flight. Nymphs and females are broad when viewed from above, while the male is slender. The male's wings cover the abdomen, whereas the female's wings are short, exposing the abdomen. These roaches have two light yellow or cream transverse bands across the base of the wings and abdomen (twice banded). These bands may appear irregular or broken, but are usually quite apparent on the nymphs and females. Immature stages are smaller, have undeveloped wings and resemble adults. Egg capsules are about 3/16-inch long, crescent or purse-shaped, and yellowish or reddish-brown. More info from University of Florida
Carpenter bees are so named because they excavate galleries in wood to create nest sites. They do not consume wood. Rather, they feed on pollen and nectar. Carpenter bees are important pollinators of flowers and trees. Carpenter bees typically are just nuisance pests that cause cosmetic rather than structural damage to wood. Nonetheless, considerable wood damage can result from many generations of carpenter bees enlarging existing galleries in wood.
Large carpenter bees belong to the genus Xylocopa. Two native species, Xylocopa virginica and Xylocopa micans, occur in the eastern United States. There also are a number of native carpenter bees in the western United States. This fact sheet primarily pertains to X. virginica, which has the common name of carpenter bee.
Carpenter bees are large and robust. X. virginica is three-fourths to one-inch long, black, with a metallic sheen. The thorax is covered with bright yellow, orange, or white hairs, and the upper side of the abdomen is black, glossy, and bare (Figure 1). The female has a black head, and the male has white markings on the head. Carpenter bees have a dense brush of hairs on the hind legs.
Carpenter bees somewhat resemble bumble bees, except bumble bees have dense yellow hairs on the abdomen and large pollen baskets on the hind legs. Various species of bumble bees and carpenter bees are similar in size. Bumble bees typically nest in the ground whereas carpenter bees nest in wood. See more . . .
The house centipede, unlike most other centipedes that normally live outdoors, can live indoors especially in damp, moist basements, cellars, bathrooms, crawlspaces or unexcavated areas under the house. They are sometimes seen running rapidly across the floor with great speed, stopping suddenly to remain motionless and then resuming fast movements, occasionally directly toward the homeowner in an attempt to conceal themselves in their clothing. They have a "fearful" appearance but cause no damage to the structure, household possessions or foods. Some can bite when handled carelessly, resulting in a slight swelling or pain no worse than a mild bee sting. See more from Ohio State University . . .
Certain crickets occasionally invade homes and become a pest by their presence. Homeowners complain of their monotonous chirping, which can be annoying especially at night when trying to get some sleep. Indoors, some crickets can feed on a wide variety of fabrics, foods and paper products. Cotton, linen, wool, rayon, nylon, silk and furs are susceptible, along with soiled fabrics, sizing from wallpaper, glue from bookbindings, fruit, vegetables, meat and even other crickets. An occasional cricket or two in the home usually presents no serious problem. However, large populations may congregate around lights at night, making places unattractive.
Crickets get their name from the high-pitched sound or "chirp" produced when the male rubs his front wings together to attract a female. Different kinds of crickets can be identified by listening to their song.
The "True Crickets" (House, Field, Ground, Tree) resemble longhorned grasshoppers in having long tapering antennae, striculating (singing) organs on the front wings of the male and auditory (hearing) organs on the front tibiae (4th leg segment).
Adults are about 3/4 to 7/8 inch long, light yellowish-brown (straw-colored), with three dark bands on the head and have long, slender antennae much longer than the body. Wings lay flat on the back but are bent down abruptly on the sides. Females have a long, slender, tubelike structure (ovipositor) projecting from their abdomen (spearhead at the tip) for egg-laying. Both males and females have two antenna-like (cerci) attached to the sides at the end of the abdomen.
Earwigs are a relatively small group of insect that belong to the Order Dermaptera. Earwigs often upset people when discovered indoors. Their forcep-like tail appendages make them look dangerous, but they are quite harmless. Earwigs run rapidly around baseboards, and they may emit a foul-smelling, yellowish-brown liquid from their scent glands when disturbed or crushed. Earwigs are mainly active at night, usually hiding during the daytime. They’re often found in clusters hiding in dark crevices like door or window frames. Earwigs normally live outdoors and do not establish themselves indoors, though the ringlegged earwig is a common resident in greenhouses. Earwigs are harmless to humans and animals, though if picked up and restrained, adult earwigs can give a slight pinch with the forceps. While mainly predaceous on other insects, earwigs often feed on flower petals, soft vegetables and fruits, or seedling plants when hot and dry conditions persist. See more . . .
The German cockroach is the most common cockroach found in homes, apartments, restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals and other buildings where food is stored, prepared or served. They eat food of all kinds and may hitchhike into the home on egg cartons, soft drink cartons, sacks of potatoes or onions, used furniture, beer cases, etc. These cockroaches will move from building to building during the warm summer months. They can develop into large populations and live throughout the home, especially in kitchens and bathrooms. Cockroaches can foul food and produce an unpleasant odor. A significant number of people are allergic to cockroaches, and may exhibit chronic symptoms without realizing the cause of their watery eyes or runny noses. Cockroaches can also contaminate food with bacteria that can cause food poisoning, dysentery, or diarrhea.
Most cockroaches have a flattened, oval shape, spiny legs, and long filamentous antennae. Immature stages are smaller, have undeveloped wings and resemble the adults. Adult German cockroaches are light tan to medium brown except for the shield behind the head marked with two dark stripes (separated by a lighter stripe), which run lengthwise on the body.
Adults are about 1/2 to 5/8 inch long, have wings, but rarely fly. Wings cover the entire abdomen of females and all except the abdominal tip in males. The male is light brown and rather boat-shaped, whereas the female is slightly darker with a broader behind. Young cockroaches (nymphs) are wingless and nearly black with a single light stripe, separating two black bands, running down about halfway of the middle of the back. Egg capsules (ootheca) are light tan and about 1/4 inch long. Read more . . . (Illinois College of Aces)
Paper wasps and hornets may become a nuisance when nesting around homes and other structures where people live, work or play. Although considered beneficial to agriculture, (since northern or paper wasps feed abundantly on corn earworms, armyworms, tobacco hornworms, etc. and hornets on house flies, blow flies, harmful caterpillars, etc.), it is their painful stinging ability that causes alarm and fear. Nevertheless, unless the threat of stings and nest location present a hazard, it is often best to wait for Mother Nature to kill these annual colonies with freezing temperatures in late November and December. Stinging workers do not survive the winter, and the same nest usually is not reused the following year, except by the yellow and black dominulus paper wasp, on occasion.
Personal note: Wasp stings hurt but Bald Faced Hornet stings feel like being shot by a gun! One sting sent me to the hospital with anaphylactic shock. Give them a wide berth or just call Arab Pest.
The northern or paper wasp is about 3/4 to 1-inch long, slender, narrow waisted with long legs and reddish-orange to dark brown or black in color. There are yellowish markings on the abdomen (rear body part). Paper-like nests, shaped like tiny umbrellas, are suspended by a short stem attached to eaves, window frames, porch ceilings, attic rafters, etc. Each nest consists of a horizontal layer or "tier" of circular comb of hexagonal (six-sided) cells not enclosed by a paper-like envelope. The ends of the cells are open with the heads of the larvae exposed to view.
New to Ohio in 1991, the dominulus paper wasp is somewhat smaller than our native northern paper wasp. It is black with bright, yellow stripes and spots resembling yellowjacket wasps in color.
Baldfaced hornets are up to 3/4-inch long with black and ivory white markings on the face, thorax (middle body part) and tip of the abdomen. Paper-like nests are grayish-brown, inverted, pear-shaped up to three feet tall with the nest entrance at the bottom. Each nest consists of a number of horizontal layers, stories or "tiers" of circular combs, one below the other completely enclosed by a paper-like envelope as a covering. Also, the cells are not exposed to view.
Millipedes normally live outdoors but may become nuisance pests indoors by their presence. At certain times of the year (usually late summer and autumn) due to excessive rainfall or even drought, a few or hundreds or more leave the soil and crawl into houses, basements, first floor rooms, up foundation walls, into living rooms, up side walls, and drop from the ceilings. Some homeowners as early as late June have reported annoying populations accumulating in swimming pools. Fall migrations during rainy and cool weather may result as a natural urge to seek hibernation quarters. Heavy continuous rainfall in newly developed wooded areas with virgin soil (decaying organic matter habitats) are often troublesome sites. Millipedes do not bite humans nor damage structures, household possessions, or foods. They can give off a disagreeable odor and if crushed, leave an unsightly mess.
Millipedes, or “thousand-legged worms,” are brownish-black or mottled with shades of orange, red, or brown, and are cylindrical (wormlike) or slightly flattened, elongated animals, most of which have two pairs of legs per body segment, except for the first three segments which have only one pair of legs. Antennae are short, usually seven-segmented, and the head is rounded with no poison jaws. Their short legs ripple in waves as they glide over a surface. They often curl up into a tight “C” shape, like a watch spring, and remain motionless when touched. They range from ½ to 1¼ inches long depending on the species. They crawl slowly and protect themselves by means of glands that secrete an unpleasant odor. Read more from OSU . . .
The oriental cockroach, sometimes commonly called a “waterbug,” is more closely associated with damp areas than the other common cockroaches.
Adult oriental cockroaches are shiny black to dark reddish brown. The males are approximately 1 inch long, whereas the females are slightly larger, about 1.25 inches long. The male’s wings extend 3/4 the length of the abdomen. The female’s wings are very reduced (somewhat resembling wing stubs), pointed, and do not meet in the center. Males and females do not fly. These cockroaches have a somewhat flattened oval shape, spiny legs, and long filamentous antennae. Nymphs (immature stages) resemble the adults, but they are smaller and lack wings. Nymphal early instars (the stage between molts) are shiny reddish brown. Older nymphs are dark reddish brown to black. The egg case (ootheca) is reddish brown when deposited, then changing to black. It is approximately 3/8 inch long. There typically are 16 eggs in each egg case.Common NameScientific Nameoriental cockroachBlatta orientalisAdult oriental cockroach: male (bottom), female (top). Read more . . . University of Florida
Many people are afraid of spiders. This fear is partly due to myths and to the notoriety of harmful species such as the brown recluse spider and the black widow spider. Several species of sac spiders (clubionids) are suspected of being responsible for most spider bites, especially ones occurring indoors. Sac spider venom is cytotoxic, causing tissues at the bite site to die. However, the vast majority of spiders are harmless to humans.
Although spiders are often unpopular, the venom of most species is not very toxic to humans, usually resulting in no more than a slight swelling, inflammation, or itching sensation. Most spiders fangs are too small or weak to puncture human skin. Spiders usually will not attempt to bite unless accidentally trapped against the skin or grasped, although some species actively guard their egg sacs or young.
Spiders are beneficial predators that reduce pest populations (flies, crickets, mites, etc.) in and around homes, yards, gardens, and crops. Wholesale destruction of spiders should be avoided.
Spiders have eight legs (four pairs). They have two body regions: a cephalothorax (fused head and thorax) and an abdomen, which are joined together by a narrow waist. Most spiders have six or eight simple eyes in various arrangements. All have a pair of jaw-like structures, the chelicerae, each of which ends in a hollow fang through which venom can be ejected. The tip of the abdomen has a group of small fingerlike spinnerets that produce silk. Young spiders (spiderlings) resemble adults except for their smaller size and coloration.
Spiders lay eggs within a silken egg sac that is often ball-shaped and either hidden in a web, affixed to a surface, or carried by the female. Spiders may produce several egg sacs, each containing up to several hundred eggs. A spider grows by shedding its skin (molting), usually four to twelve times before maturity. In many species, the mature male often wanders about in search of a mate. Some species of spiders may live for years, but most spiders only survive for one season.
All spiders produce silk, which is secreted as a liquid through the spinnerets and hardens on air contact. Spiders use silk for a variety of purposes, such as making egg sacs, capturing prey, holding prey, making shelters or retreats, and transferring sperm during mating. Also, spiderlings extrude silk threads that enable them to be transported by air currents, a process called "ballooning."
Spiders are predators that typically feed on living prey. They produce venom that is poisonous to their normal prey of insects, mites, and other small arthropods. Venom is injected through the hollow fangs to immobilize the prey and begin the digestion process. Spiders can only ingest liquids, so they either inject or regurgitate digestive fluids into the prey. They then suck in the digested liquid food.
Spiders use a variety of tactics to capture prey. Some species are web builders that use webbing to ensnare their prey. Others are active hunters that actively search for their prey. Passive hunters are spiders that lay in wait for their prey rather than searching for it.
Subterranean termites are the most common and economically important wood-destroying organisms in the United States. Termites feed on materials that contain cellulose, primarily dead wood and wood by-products. Subterranean termites are closely associated with the soil habitat where they excavate a network of tunnels through the soil to reach water and food. These termites need moisture to survive.
Subterranean termites are social insects that live in colonies that may contain hundreds of thousands of individuals. Termite colony members are dispersed throughout the soil and can extend underground tunnels tens to hundreds of feet to reach feeding sites.
Each termite colony contains three forms or castes, which are the workers, soldiers, and reproductives. These castes are physically distinct and perform different tasks in the termite society.
Workers are about 1/8 inch long and are blind, wingless, soft-bodied, creamy white to grayish-white with a round head. Workers are the most numerous individuals in a termite colony, and they are the termite caste that actually eats the wood. These sterile individuals forage for food and water, construct and repair shelter tubes, feed and groom other termites, care for eggs and young, and participate in colony defense.
Soldiers are also wingless and resemble workers except that they have a large, rectangular, yellowish-brown head with large mandibles (jaws). The soldiers’ primary function is colony defense.
Male and female reproductives can be winged (primary) or wingless (neotenic). Each can produce new offspring. Winged primary reproductives are called alates or swarmers. However, they shed their wings soon after flight. Their body color varies by species from black to yellow-brown. The eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, is the most common termite in Ohio and its alates are black and about 0.4 inch long, with pale or grayish, translucent wings. A pair of primary reproductives that heads a colony is called the king and queen. Neotenic reproductives often serve as replacements if something happens to the king and queen. Neotenic reproductives are generally yellow or mottled black and the female’s abdomen may be distended due to developing eggs. Read more . . . (North Carolina State Extension)