Learn More About The Pests
When you discover a pest infestation, it can be unnerving. You need to know what type of pest you’re dealing with, how it got inside, if it’s dangerous, and how to get rid of it. Our pest library is the place to start! It provides all the relevant information you need about the pests most common in New Jersey, New York, and Florida.
Ants are a type of insect and, along with bees and wasps, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants are common intruders of our yards, homes, and businesses, and are easy to identify. Adult ants have three body regions, six legs, and two antennae, as well as chewing mouthparts; reproductive members of the ant colony have wings.
Bats are unique in the fact that they are the only mammal that can truly fly. Unlike other mammals that have arms or front legs, bats have wings. The bone structure of the wing is similar to a human hand with leathery skin covering the area between the “fingers.” Their wings usually also have a claw-like structure that, on a person, would act as a thumb. Bats are very light in weight, which aids in their ability to fly.
Bed bugs have existed for thousands of years and their population has been on the rise in the United States since the 1980s. While a definite cause for the increase hasn’t been positively identified, it is often attributed to increased international travel and trade, as well as the banning of strong pesticides like DDT. Despite this increase, there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the parasite and how to deal with an infestation.
With over 12,000 species of beetles living in the United States, there's a good chance you will have a run-in with one species or another at some point. They have two unique pairs of wings. The first pair is hard and thick and serves as a protective shield for the second pair. The second pair of wings are much more delicate and are what they use for flying.
Box Elder Bugs
Box elder bugs are common outdoor pests that often choose our homes as a place to spend the winter months. For most people, the box elder bug is one of the easiest to identify species of insects. They have a striking color pattern and are often referred to as “Halloween bugs”. Box elder bugs have a black body, but their wings and thorax are outlined in a contrasting orange-red color. You can identify the nymphs, or young box elder bugs, by their striking bright red color.
Carpenter ants are large, destructive ants that invade our yards and homes in search of both food and shelter. They do vary in color, but most are black. Winged carpenter ants are often seen both inside and outside of a home. Reproductive carpenter ants swarm from their colony to find a mate and start a new colony. Ant swarms usually occur in the spring and are a sure sign that a carpenter ant nest is nearby.
The carpenter bee is a large species of stinging insect, growing to between 1/2 and 1-1/2 inch in length and, as their name suggests, they build their nests in pieces of wood. Carpenter bees have round, robust bodies that are mostly black; males may have a white or yellow face. These pests have an abdomen that is void of hair, which helps to tell them apart from a bumblebee. Female carpenter bees are docile and have a stinger, while the aggressive males have no stinger.
Cockroaches are aggravating and difficult-to-control pests that plague home and business owners worldwide. These creatures are adaptable, and those species that live near people have become very good at gaining much of their food and shelter from us.
As their appearance will likely tell you, crickets are related to grasshoppers and katydids. Crickets are medium to large-sized insects and are common invaders of our yards, gardens, and homes. They are identified by their rounded heads, long thin antennae, and wings that are bent down at an angle and rest on the sides of their body.
Fleas are tiny insects with narrow bodies, which enables them to move through their host's hair or fur with ease. The flea's large hind legs help them to jump great heights, allowing them to easily find their way onto the body of a host.
Ticks are not insects, but rather a type of arachnid. They have wingless, oval-shaped bodies, and adults have eight legs. They are not capable of jumping; instead, they wait to climb on a host that brushes past them.
House flies are a filth fly and not pests that you want living in or around your home or business in large numbers. House flies have a gray oval-shaped body and four black stripes on their thorax. House fly larvae (maggots) are quite unpleasant to look at and startling to discover in large numbers. They have a rice-shaped, greasy off-white body and are legless. Their head is a bit darker in color than the rest of the body.
As their name tells us, house spiders are one of the most common spiders to invade our homes. House spiders have an elongated abdomen and are usually a yellowish-brown color. Many will have darker stripes on their body and legs that meet at an angle. House spiders are arachnids which means they share the following characteristics with all other arachnids - they have two body sections.
Mice can adapt and live quite successfully in both natural and man-made habitats. Wherever there is food or shelter, these rodents can make a home. Mice have a round or oval body covered in a light brown or gray fur. Their belly is usually lighter in color. You can also identify house mice by the droppings they leave behind, which look similar to black or brown pieces of rice.
Mosquitoes are unwanted pests that live and breed outside. They are known for biting and feeding on the blood of people and animals. These fly-like insects have oval-shaped bodies, long legs, and a proboscis used for feeding. Mosquitoes also have one pair of wings covered in fine hairs. Both males and females use their proboscis to feed on plant nectar, which is their primary source of food; only females feed on blood to get the protein they need to create viable eggs.
Moths are insects that are closely related to butterflies. They have scales covering their wings and antennae that are threadlike or feathery. Their antennae are what often differentiates moths from butterflies; butterflies have straight, club-tipped antennae. Moths also have a more stout body compared to the butterfly.
A semi-aquatic rodent, muskrats, are unique creatures that live around waterways. These mammals were named because of their naked rat-like tail and they strong “musky” odor that is released from their urine. They are about the size of a large rat and are covered in a waterproof brown fur that is pepper with longer, coarser guard hairs. The muskrat’s tail is flattened vertically and is long.
Norway rats are a large rat species and one of the most common to invade homes, businesses, and other structures. They have a scaly tail that is about the same length or shorter than their head and body combined. The body of a Norway rat has brown fur with darker hairs sprinkled throughout; their underbelly is lighter in color. Because Norway rats are rodents, you can identify them by their large front incisors that never stop growing.
Rodents are very common and damaging pests that live throughout North America and on every continent, except for Antarctica. Mice and rats are examples of some of the most common rodents that home and business owners deal with regularly. Their name is derived from the Latin word "Rodere", which means "to gnaw".
Roof rats are a species of rodent that has come to depend on people and our property to provide them with some of their food and shelter needs. They have a smaller and slimmer build than other rats, and their body has dark, smooth fur. Their scaly, hairless tails are longer than their body, head, and pointed nose combined. Their small size sometimes causes young roof rats to be confused with adult mice. As their name suggests, roof rats are skilled climbers and often find their way into buildings at the roof level.
The size of an ordinary house cat, skunks, are not ordinary creatures. They are unique mammals best known for the foul odor they emit as a means of defense. After being sprayed, the scent lingers for days and is extremely unpleasant. The best way to identify these mammals is by the white and black color pattern and their fluffy tail.
Spiders make up the largest groups of arachnids. They all have eight legs and two body segments, and they lack wings and antennae. You can find spiders almost worldwide, living in a variety of environments. They are predators, and feed on nuisance insects, flies, moths, and other spiders. Spiders are very eco-important, as they help to control nuisance and dangerous insect populations. Some species create burrows to hide in and hunt from, chasing down their prey, while others spin webs they use to rest in or to catch their prey.
Stinging insects are those insects that have a venom-filled stinger extending from their abdomens. Common examples of stinging insects living in our area are hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets. They are all predators and help to not only provide some pollination but to reducing nuisance insect populations by hunting and feeding on them.
Termites are wood-destroying insects that live and work together in large groups. The most common termite species that live in the United States nest in the soil below the ground. Termites feed on pieces of wood and other items made out of cellulose and are one of the few organisms able to do so.
Non-domesticated animals are known as wildlife. Wild animals do not need the assistance of people to survive. Over time, our habitats have overlapped, allowing wildlife to take advantage of the food, water, and shelter that our residential and commercial properties offer. Though they don't need our help, wildlife won't hesitate to use our properties to acquire their basic needs.
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