Identifying your problem
Damage: Ants are pests when they forage in/around homes for food or water. They can also be a nuisance when excavating nests because they displace soil. Several species of ant can pose health risks, such as the stinging bites of the fire ant or the disease carried by the Argentine ant.
Habitat: Ants are highly social insects and they exist in colonies with a social order. Nests can be found in the soil under an object, in cavities within tree or buildings, in mulch or even indoors in potted plants.
Feeding and Breeding: The majority of an ant's life is spent looking for food. Depending on the species, ants will eat meats, sweets, fats or oils. The colony has one queen that lays all eggs. When the queen is killed, the colony will die.
Treatment: Ants are one of the most common and difficult pests to manage. Our preventative maintenance will protect your home and property from ant infestations.
Bees and Wasps
Damage: Most species of the bee family have some ability to sting. For some people, the sting can be allergenic and even fatal. It is important to keep bee nests away from buildings.
Habitat: Bees and wasps will build nests in many places. Usually, the area must be protected, such as a tree hollow, under an eave, underground or in the walls of a building, sheds, attics, etc.
Feeding and Breeding: Some insects from the bee family forage for nectar and others for protein (such as insects). Bees and wasps are a very important part of the ecological food chain, pollination of plants and controlling insect populations. Breeding occurs during the spring months, the queen lays eggs and her "daughters" feed the larvae. Later in the season, some of the larvae will develop into males and some into queen bees.
Treatment: Because of the potential danger, leave bee treatments to a professional. The preventative maintenance program guarantees control of bees and wasps.
Box Elder Bug
Damage: These black and red insects are a half-inch long and can be a real nuisance when they enter your home. Their populations can number into the thousands in one area. The box elder bug becomes a pest in many houses each year in fall and spring. They do no damage by feeding, but their excrement spots on draperies are difficult to remove. The bugs cause little damage to trees.
Habitat: Box elder bugs normally feed on the leaves, flowers and seed pods of the box elder tree or silver maple. Large numbers of these pests are usually on the female, or pod-bearing, tree. These insects feed on male box elder trees and other trees and plants, but they usually do not build up to such large numbers. The adults search for a place to stay during winter, which brings them into houses where they hide in small cracks and crevices in walls, door and window casings, attics and around the foundation.
Breeding: The adult bugs lay eggs in the spring and the nymphs emerge in a few days. The nymphs are small and show more red than adults. These nymphs develop into adults during the summer, then mate and lay eggs which hatch into the nymphs of the second generation. Activity of nearly fully-grown nymphs is noticed in August and September when they gather in large numbers on the trunks of box elder trees. The migration of the adults begins at this time.
Treatment: Since the presence of these bugs is associated with box elder trees, replacement with other tree species is one method of eliminating the nuisance pest. If box elder is grown, it may be best to keep only the male or staminate trees which would help to reduce its numbers. If they are indoors, vacuum up the bugs and then discard the contents of the vacuum bag when finished (if bugs are left inside the vacuum they may crawl out in the storage place). Our preventative maintenance plan will protect your home from these insects.
Brown Recluse Spider
Damage: This is one of the most poisonous spiders in North America. The brown recluse’s bite can leave a painful scar and even death.
Habitat: They seek out dark, warm, dry environments such as attics, closets, porches, barns, basements, woodpiles and old tires. Its small, haphazard web, found mostly in corners and crevices, is not used to capture prey. Most brown recluse spiders are found living in great numbers.
Feeding and Breeding: Like other spiders, the brown recluse feeds mainly on insects. Females produce one to five loosely spun egg sacs each containing about 50 eggs. Egg sacs are incorporated into the large, irregular, sticky webs. Eggs incubate from six to 39 days, hatching sooner if temperatures are warm.
Treatment: These spiders are usually hidden in dark places, so a proper inspection has to take place in order to locate them. They are easy to eliminate once located and the preventative maintenance treatments will kill these spiders.
Damage: The carpet beetle is destructive to animal-based fabrics (i.e. wool, leather, suede, fur, silk etc.). Damage is caused by the larval stage of dermestidae beetles.
Habitat: Larvae feed in dark, undisturbed locations on a variety of dead animals and animal products, such as wool, silk, leather, fur, hair brushes with natural bristles, pet hair and feathers. Occasionally they feed on stored products such as certain spices and grains. They do not feed on synthetic fibers.
Breeding: Adults lay eggs on the larval food source, such as furs and woolen fabric or carpets. Eggs hatch in about two weeks and the larvae feed for varying periods, depending upon species and environmental conditions. They prefer dark, secluded places. When ready to pupate, the larvae may burrow further into the food or wander and burrow elsewhere. They may also pupate within the last larval skin if no other shelter is available. Larvae do not make webs as clothes moths do, but their shed skins and fecal pellets, which are about the size of a grain of salt, make it obvious where they have been feeding.
Treatment: These pests are difficult to control. There are three keys to reducing or preventing a carpet beetle infestation. First, eliminate their food source (properly clean and store all susceptible materials). Our preventative maintenance program will protect your home from carpet beetles.
Damage: Although some centipedes have venomous front legs, they are not usually harmful to humans (unless allergic). Because of its speed, the house centipede is sometimes alarming to homeowners.
Habitat: They live indoors in dark, cool, moist areas. They can also be found in caves, cliff crevices and similar habitats.
Breeding: There are three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The females lay eggs in soil or other protected habitats. Upon hatching, nymphs have four pairs of legs and increase the number of legs with each molt, until reaching adulthood in two to three years with 15 pairs of legs.
Treatment: Eliminate dark, damp nesting areas inside the home. Our preventative maintenance program will protect your home from centipedes.
Damage: Clover mites are harmless. They are an annoyance and nuisance because of their presence and tremendous numbers. When they are smashed, they leave a reddish-brown stain. Clover mites will usually be found around sinks and windowsills.
Habitat: Clover mites feed on grasses and weeds and can sometimes be found invading structures from the outside through windows and doorways.
Breeding: Clover mites can produce two to six generations in one year.
Treatment: Homeowners can caulk and seal all crevices that lead into the home. It is also a good idea to keep weeds and grasses away from the home. Our maintenance program is effective on clover mite control.
The American cockroach, also called a "water bug" or the "palmetto bug,” is believed to have originated from Mexico or South America and has worldwide distribution.
Damage: There is rarely any clear evidence of the number of cockroaches inhabiting a room. If a few individuals are observed during the day, this is a strong indication of a large infestation. Large infestations of American cockroaches often give a room a distinctive oily odor. The debris they leave behind, feces, bits of cuticle and hairs can cause allergies and in rare cases lead to asthma.
Breeding: The cockroach eggs are held in a hard, brown rectangular case. Females produce egg cases and carry them protruding from the tip of the abdomen for about two days, then they glue the egg cases to surfaces behind cupboards or baseboards in damp areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in six to eight weeks and require six to 12 months to mature. Adult cockroaches can live up to one year, during which time females produce an average of 150 young.
The German cockroach is by far the most important and usually the most common of the cockroaches. In addition to being a nuisance, it can lead to outbreaks of illness, the transmission of a variety of pathogenic organisms including at least one parasite protozoan, and allergic reactions in many people. This species has worldwide distribution.
Damage: German cockroaches adulterate food or food products with their feces and defensive secretions, physically transport and often harbor pathogenic organisms, may cause severe allergic responses, and in extremely heavy infestations have been reported to bite humans and feed on food residues on the faces of sleeping humans. In addition, some scientists suggest that German cockroach infestations may cause human psychological stress and that the stigma associated with infestations alters human behavior. For example, people with infested houses do less entertaining and avoid the kitchen at night for fear of encountering a cockroach.
Breeding: The German cockroach has three life stages typical of insects with incomplete metamorphosis: the egg, nymph and adult. German cockroaches breed continuously with many overlapping generations present at any one time. Under ideal conditions, population growth has been shown to be exponential. Actively growing field populations are comprised of 80 percent nymphs and 20 percent adults.
Treatment: Homeowners should keep human and pet food securely sealed. Serious cockroach infestations should be treated by a pest management professional. Our preventative maintenance will keep your home free of cockroaches. If you have a preexisting roach problem, we will continue to treat your home until the pests are eliminated.
Breeding: An earwig tends her young for several weeks. She raises one or two broods per year.
Treatment: Homeowners can reduce earwig populations by eliminating areas of damp, decomposing organic materials. Earwigs are easy to eliminate and our preventative maintenance covers these pests.
Damage: Fire ants earned their name because their venom, injected by a stinger, creates a burning sensation. They are also active and aggressive, swarming over anyone or anything that disturbs their nest, be it wild animals, domestic animals, pets or people. An encounter with a fire ant nest can leave a lasting memory of burning pain, followed by tiny, itching pustules. Fire ant mounds interfere with farming and mowing operations and turn recreational fields into disfigured moonscapes. Fire ants have caused sections of roads to collapse by removing soil from under the asphalt.
Habitat: These pests prefer open, sunny areas such as pastures, parks, lawns, meadows and crop fields. They also build mounds in rotting logs, around stumps and trees, and in or under buildings. Red fire ants build mounds in almost any type of soil.
Breeding: This takes place during the nuptial flight of ants, when winged males and female ants couple and mate. After sperm is transferred to the female, the male soon dies. Females land, locate suitable nesting sites, lose their wings and begin laying eggs. The first brood of larvae is fed and cared for by the queen, and they develop into sterile female worker ants. Thereafter, her sole role is to lay eggs. Worker ants care for the queen and brood (eggs, larvae and pupae), construct and maintain the nest, defend the colony and forage for food.
Treatment: Because of their painful sting, it is best to leave treatment up to professionals. Our preventative maintenance program will protect your home and family from fire ant infestations.
Damage: House mice contaminate food sources with their saliva and feces, damage many structural materials, including wood, fiberglass, insulation, etc., and may pose a fire hazard if chewing on electrical wiring.
Habitat: House mice live in and around homes, farms, commercial establishments, as well as in open fields and agricultural lands. The onset of cold weather each fall in temperate regions is said to cause mice to move into structures in search of shelter and food. The nest of a mouse is usually ball-shaped and consists of shredded fibrous material such as paper, burlap, and stems, leaves, twigs, etc. It may be lined with hairs, feathers and shredded cloth.
Breeding: Mice usually bear a litter of five to six young, following a 21 to 23-day gestation period. White-footed mice may have more than one litter per year, and house mice living indoors can have up to 10 litters per year. Young mice are weaned at about 21 days, and females can mate at about 35 to 49 days. Life span is usually short, ranging from four to 20 months. Mice do not hibernate, but white-footed mice may become completely inactive for a few days when winter weather is severe.
Damage: Millipedes will swarm into a home during the warm summer months. People who handle millipedes will notice a lingering odor on their hands and the fluid can be dangerous to the eyes. Do not handle millipedes with your bare hands.
Habitat: This includes damp, protected areas around structures that include piles of grass clippings, a wooded lot, excessive mulch around the house and similar locations.
Breeding: In the spring, millipedes lay 20-300 eggs in the soil. The eggs hatch in several weeks and the young millipedes have only the first three pair of legs and not more than seven segments. With each molt, they add additional segments and legs until they reach maturity. Sexual maturity is reached in two to five years, depending on the species.
Treatment: Homeowners can eliminate damp, dark hiding places by reducing mulch use around the home and moving wood piles. Our preventative maintenance program will easily take care of any millipede problem.
Damage: There are numerous pests you may bring home from the super market. In addition to roaches, there are beetles, weevils and moths. Many items contain the eggs of these insects. Cereal, pasta, pet food, birdseed, dried beans, granola, cookies, crackers, rat and mouse baits, chocolate, spices, cake mix and even dried flower arrangements or decorative corn are just a few. If the foodstuff is kept for some time, the eggs may hatch and go through their cycle before you know a problem exists.
Treatment: Homeowners should be sure to check packages brought home for potential infestations. Proper storage of foodstuffs in sealed containers will help prevent pests from infesting clean goods. Your pest control professional will help you solve any pantry pest problems.
Damage: Like mice, rats can contaminate human food sources and cause damage to structural materials. Noises, droppings, rub marks, tracks, gnaw marks, fur and burrows may all be signs of rat activity.
Habitat: The rat most commonly found around homes in North Carolina is the Norway rat. Norway rats are good diggers and build their nests in holes made around the foundations of buildings, in stream banks and under piles of wood or trash.
Breeding: If not controlled by man or natural enemies, the Norway rat can easily have a population explosion. A female can mate with a male just hours after giving birth and mating goes on between males and females all year round. Litter mates are well enough developed to leave the nest at three to four weeks of age. Females can breed at three months of age. They can have two to 22 young, but seven to 11 is much more usual. Few Norway rats live out their full three years. A female can have up to 12 litters a year if conditions are very good, but usually has five.
Treatment: Eliminating tempting food sources and caulking and sealing all holes larger than half an inch are good preventative measures for rats. If you have an infestation, your pest control professional will work to eliminate the problem. Our preventative maintenance program will protect your home from future rat populations.
Damage: These are nuisance pests, which leave surface damage in paper, especially glazed paper, wallpaper, books.
Habitat: They live anywhere in houses and commercial buildings. Silverfish can breed in a variety of places, such as wall voids, floors and attics. They thrive at room temperature and in high humidity.
Breeding: Silverfish lay their eggs in cracks. Nymphs molt a number of times. Silverfish breed in a variety of places, in almost any room of the house, as well as in commercial structures. Some species can digest cellulose.
Treatment: Our preventative maintenance program will protect your home from silverfish infestation.