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Pest Library


Please regard to the image gallery above if you do not know what bug you are looking for.

Here is a list of information regarding different pests that might be invading your home. If you are having a problem with one of the below pests, get a free quote and get rid of your pests quickly.

 

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Bed Bugs


Bed Bugs are temperature sensitive, wingless blood-feeding insects that are found all over the world, including the United States. Bed bugs are very small parasitic insects that are rising in number, making a strong comeback after nearly 50 years of limited activity in the United States. Adult bed bugs have a distinct reddish-brown color and have flat, oval-shaped bodies about 1/4 inch in length. In a protected area, an adult female will lay up to five eggs in one day.

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Carpenter Ants


Carpenter ants are social insects that are among the largest species of ant found throughout the United States. These ants have strong mandibles, which are used to excavate wood for the purpose of nesting. Carpenter ants can damage wood use in the construction of buildings. They can leave behind a sawdust-like material called frass that provides clues to their nesting location.
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Carpet Beetles

 

Carpet beetles are often found inside homes, warehouses, museums and other buildings in Maryland, Virginia and DC, where they may cause serious damage to stored fabric items. The varied carpet beetle adult is black with an irregular pattern of brown, white and dark yellow scales on its elytra (wing covers) and is visible to the human eye at 1/8-3/16 inch in length.
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Cockroaches

Human habitation is associated with 30 of the 4000 species of cockroaches in the world, but only four species are considered pests in the United States. They are the American cockroachGerman cockroachOriental cockroach and the Asian cockroach.  General preventive measures against household pests include keeping all food stored away in sealed containers, using garbage cans with tight lids, frequent cleaning in the kitchen, and regular vacuuming.
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Crickets


There are thought to be around 900 species of true crickets belonging to the “Gryllidae” family. These crickets tend to be nocturnal and are generally characterized by long antennae that are slightly flattened looking and light brown. Throughout the region you may refer to them more commonly as the “field cricket”. Like all insects, their bodies are protected by an exoskeleton, which is a tough outer casing or shell. Possibly the most memorable characteristic of the cricket is its long hind legs which, as well as being used to jump, are used for communication.
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Earwigs

Earwigs are an insect easily recognized by their long, smooth bodies and pair of appendages in their abdomen called “cerci”. Pincer-like in appearance, the cerci on the males are fairly curved, while the females are more straight.  The common earwig is about 5/8 of an inch long, although they have been known to grow larger.  They are dark brown to reddish-brown in color and occur as winged and wingless insects. Their name comes from the old myth that these insects would enter human ears, burrow into the brain and lay their eggs.
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Rodents

Rodents are mammals that are characterized by having two incisors, which must be kept short by gnawing as they grow continuously. Among the most common rodents are: mice, rats, chipmunks, and squirrels. Of those, the most common rodents to find in a property are mice and rats and both species are considered to be commensal rodents, meaning that they have an unusual relationship with humans which leads them to share the table. 
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Spiders

The American House Spider, House Spider, or Domestic Spider is found throughout the world, and is common throughout the United States and Canada. The adult male spider is smaller, with an elongated abdomen. House Spiders are predatory insects that will move indoors, especially during the cooler months of the year, to find secure areas to build their webs. They primarily live outside in protected areas around windows and doors, or under eaves where light will attract prey.
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Black Widows

Black widows are notorious spiders identified by the colored, hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens. Several species answer to the name, and they are found in temperate regions around the world.

 

This spider's bite is much feared because its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake's. In humans, bites produce muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult. Bites rarely cause serious damage, but can be fatal. Fortunately, fatalities are fairly rare; the spiders are nonaggressive and bite only in self-defense, such as when someone accidentally sits on them.

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Nuisance Wildlife

There are many different species of animals that can come and terrorize your home. They become a problem and can be tough to deal with. Some of these species include squirrels, opossums, raccoons, bats, deer, mice, or various species of birds. These pests invade your home, munch on your garden, and can terrorize your pets. One method for getting rid of wildlife is exclusion - using things such as netting and fencing to prevent entry. Exclusion is usually the most effective method, but it can sometimes become very expensive. Traps, repellants, and "scaring" devices can be used as well, but they are generally more harmful than exclusion.

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Bees & Wasps

Wasps and bees are beneficial insects, although they are generally considered to be pests because of their ability to sting. Wasps, in particular, can become a problem in autumn when they may disrupt many outdoor activities. People often mistakenly call all stinging insects “bees.” While both social wasps and bees live in colonies ruled by queens and maintained by workers, they look and behave differently. It is important to distinguish between these insects because different methods may be necessary to control them if they become a nuisance.

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Bald Face Hornet

The Bald-Faced Hornet belongs to a genus of yellowjackets in North America, but unlike many congeners it lacks yellow coloring. Instead, it is called a hornet in the American sense of a wasp that builds paper nests. It is large compared to other yellowjackets, with adults averaging 3/4 inch long. It is sometimes confused with the similar-sized European hornet, the only true hornet in America, but is distinguished by its mostly white "baldfaced" head and three white stripes on the end of its abdomen.

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Carpenter Bees

In several species of Carpenter Bees, the females live alongside their own daughters or sisters, creating a small social group. They use wood bits to form partitions between the cells in the nest. A few species bore holes in wood dwellings. Since the tunnels are near the surface, structural damage is generally minor or nonexistent.

 

Carpenter bees can be important pollinators on open-faced flowers, even obligate pollinators on some, such as the Maypop (Passiflora incarnata), though many species are also known to "rob" nectar by slitting the sides of flowers with deep corollas.

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Centipedes & Millipedes

Centipedes have pair of poison claws behind the head and use the poison to paralyze their prey, usually small insects. However, the jaws of centipedes are weak and can rarely penetrate human skin. The rare individuals who are bitten may experience localized swelling and pain no worse than a bee sting. 

 

Millipedes are similar to centipedes, but have two pairs of legs per body segment. Some people mistakenly refer to them as "wireworms." Millipedes are usually brown to blackish in color. The elongated body is rounded, not flattened, and they have no poison claws or legs. They usually coil up when disturbed, similar to the behavior exhibited by sowbugs or pillbugs.

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Fleas

Fleas are wingless insects that are agile, usually dark colored with tube-like mouth-parts adapted to feeding on the blood of their hosts. Their legs are long, the hind pair well adapted for jumping. Their bodies are laterally compressed, permitting easy movement through the hairs or feathers on the host's body. The flea body is hard, polished, and covered with many hairs and short spines directed backward, which also assist its movements on the host. The tough body is able to withstand great pressure, likely an adaptation to survive attempts to eliminate them by mashing or scratching. Fleas also can be drowned in soapy water.

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Flies

More than 100 pathogens are associated with the house fly, including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, E. coli and Shigella. These pathogens can cause disease in humans and animals, including typhoid fever, cholera, bacillary dysentery and hepatitis. Sanitation is critical to controlling these pests, but accurate identification is essential for successful fly control. Here are some other things you should know about flies and fly control:

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German Roaches

The German Cockroach is very successful at establishing an ecological niche in buildings, and is hardy and resilient against attempts at pest control. Some sources of this resiliency are the lack of natural predators in a human habitat, the large number of nymphs produced from the mother, the short period between birth and sexual maturity, and the roaches' ability to hide. German cockroaches prefer small, closed spaces which makes them adept at hiding, thereby evading humans and eradication efforts. Cracks and crevices near harborages are thus an effective placement for baits. Gel products are very effective against cockroaches. However, pest control methods must kill 95% of the overall population to be effective in a property due to the species' fast reproductive cycle.

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Indian Meal Moth

The adult Indian Meal Moth and the young caterpillar can both be found in your home. The adult is a small moth about 3/8 of an inch in length and has a wing span of 5/8 of an inch. They are grey in color except for the tips of their wings which are a rusty brown. The caterpillars are usually cream colored and have a dark brown head and can be up to 2/3 of an inch in length.

 

Indian meal moths are considered a pantry pest. They are usually brought into your home from items that you buy from the grocery store. They can be found in dry goods such flour, grains, cereal, bird seed and dog food.

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Mosquitoes

The mosquitoes are a family of small, midge-like flies. Although a few species are harmless or even useful to humanity, most are a nuisance because they consume blood from living vertebrates, including humans. The females of many species of mosquitoes are blood-eating pests. In feeding on blood, some of them transmit extremely harmful human and livestock diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever and filariasis. Some authorities argue accordingly that mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals on Earth.

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Moths

Adults moths usually have feathery, thickened, or threadlike antennae, and most species are active at night. At rest, many species hold their wings out horizontally, or hugged over/around the abdomen. Rarely, the wings are held together vertically above the body, as butterflies do.

 

Larvae have a hardened head capsule and a fleshy body composed of a thorax bearing three pairs of legs, and an elongated cylindrical abdomen bearing from zero to five pairs of legs. The body may be either uniformly colored or patterned with stripes, bands, or spots; the surface may be smooth, or may be sparsely or densely covered with short or long hairs, tufts of hair, spines, knobs, or other features.

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Pillbugs

Pillbugs are scavengers and feed mainly on decaying organic matter. They occasionally feed on young plants but the damage inflicted is seldom significant. Pillbugs thrive only in areas of high moisture, and tend to remain hidden under objects during the day. Around buildings they are common under mulch, compost, boards, stones, flower pots, and other items resting on damp ground. Another frequent hiding place is behind the grass edge adjoining sidewalks and foundations.

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Silverfish & Firebrats

Silverfish and firebrats are nocturnal and hide during the day. If the object they are hiding beneath is moved, they will dart toward another secluded place. They come out at night to seek food and water. Both insects prefer dry food such as cereals, flour, pasta, and pet food; paper with glue or paste; wallpaper; book bindings; and starch in clothing. Household dust and debris, dead insects, and certain fungi also are important sources of food. However, they can live for several months without nourishment.

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Stink Bugs

Adult stink bugs are approximately 1.7 centimetres (0.67 in) long and about as wide, forming the "shield" shape characteristic of other stink bugs. They are various shades of brown on both the top and undersides, with gray, off-white, black, copper, and bluish markings. Markings unique to this species include alternating light bands on the antennae and alternating dark bands on the thin outer edge of the abdomen. The legs are brown with faint white mottling or banding. The stink glands are located on the underside of the thorax, between the first and second pair of legs, and on the dorsal surface of the abdomen.

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Termites

Termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year. They primarily feed on wood, but also damage paper, books, insulation, and even swimming pool liners and filtration systems. Termites can injure living trees and shrubs, but more often are a secondary invader of woody plants already in decline. While buildings may become infested at any time, termites are of particular importance when buying or selling a home since a termite inspection/infestation report is normally a condition of sale. Besides the monetary impact, thousands of winged termites emerging inside one's home are an emotionally trying experience — not to mention the thought of termites silently feasting on one's largest investment.

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Ticks

Few pests evoke as many questions from people as ticks. Besides their repulsive appearance, ticks are vectors of potentially debilitating and life-threatening diseases. Lyme disease, in particular, has attracted national attention and is now the number one arthropod-borne disease in the United States. Ticks prefer to live in woods, tall grass, weeds and brush. They climb onto low vegetation and attach to suitable hosts which pass by, including pets and people. Ticks are seldom a problem in well-maintained lawns although edges of property supporting tall weeds and brush can be a source of infestation.

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Yellow Jacket

Yellow Jacket is the common name in North America for predatory wasps of the genera Vespula and Dolichovespula. Members of these genera are known simply as "wasps" in other English-speaking countries. Most of these are black and yellow; some are black and white like the bald-faced hornet. Others may have the abdomen background color red instead of black. They can be identified by their distinctive markings, their occurrence only in colonies, and a characteristic, rapid, side to side flight pattern prior to landing. All females are capable of stinging. Despite having drawn the loathing of humans, yellow jackets are in fact important predators of pest insects.

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