Odorous Ants This ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long. Odorous house ants are attracted to moisture. They can nest in the wall voids of homes year-round without the need for moisture. Sightings usually occur near water source areas where ants are foraging.
Carpenter Ants Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter ants range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen. They need a constant water source to survive. They will travel up to 300 feet from their main nest and develop
satellite nests in homes near natural water source areas or where wood has been
damaged by moisture.
Asian Lady Beetles
Asian Lady Beetles They congregate on the sides of buildings and sometimes indoors during the fall after their food supply of aphids on Soy beans have been harvested. Sealing gaps and cracks around windows, doors, eaves, roofs, siding and other points of access before the beetles appear can help prevent unwanted entry. Applying product to the outside of
the house with a power sprayer starting the last week of September through
October is recommended to keep them from harboraging all winter in wall voids.
Bat Exclusion Work
Bats Bat exclusion work is usually done when it is dry outside and there is no longer a threat of snow. Bats usually mate in January, so movement and activity can be heard at this time as they are trying to get out of any area they have lodged themselves in over the winter. They will have their babies usually in June. No sealing up is beneficial after May as they will want to get out and migrate in August and September. At that time their babies are large enough to go with the parents. Once bats are detected, netting is applied that allows the bats to get out but not back in. After all bat activity is silent, the access points are permanently sealed up.
BEES & WASPS
Bees Bumble bees nests can be prevented through inspection for potential nesting areas and removal of potential harborage materials. Because bumble bees will sting when threatened, homeowners are advised not to address the infestation themselves.
Cicada Killer Wasps Cicada killer wasps or digger wasps may be up to 2 inches long. They are black with yellow markings and have rusty colored wings. They put paralyzed insects or spiders inside their nests as food for their offspring. Female cicada killer wasps capture cicadas in July and August and place them in cells located at the ends of tunnels they have dug in the ground. She deposits a single egg in each cell, seals it and flies away, never to return. The wasp grubs feed on the cicadas and develop into wasps that emerge the following summer. Although they can sting, they won’t unless threatened. Cicada Killer Wasps tend to swarm..
Paper Wasps Paper Wasps build comb nests which can be found hanging in trees or shrubs or on houses under soffits, eaves, attic rafters, railings or tops of windows and doorframes. In the fall, the females seek winter shelter and may find their way indoors. They are not aggressive by nature but will sting if disturbed or threatened.
Bed Bugs Bed bugs get their name because they like to live and feed in beds. Bed Bugs like to hide in small cracks and crevices close to a human environment. They can be found behind baseboards, wallpaper, upholstery, and in furniture crevices.
Pigeons Homeowners need to make roosting and nesting areas inhospitable. Filling in access to voids, sloping resting areas, and preventing landing by using devices will help. Scare balloons, plastic birds, or plastic snakes rarely work.
Boxelder Bugs Adult boxelder bugs are about 1/2-inch long, black with orange or red markings. They are considered a nuisance since they are not harmful nor do they reproduce indoors. During late summer through fall they congregate on the warm sides of buildings and may find harborage in voids spaces and attics. Sealing gaps and cracks around windows, doors, eaves, roofs, siding and other points of access before the beetles appear can help prevent unwanted entry. Applying product to the outside of the house with a power sprayer starting the last week of September through October is recommended.
Centipedes Centipedes have long, flattened, segmented bodies with one pair of legs per segment. The house centipede is up to 1 1/2 inches long and has 15 pairs of very long, almost thread-like, slender legs. Centipedes are found both indoors and outdoors. They prefer to live in damp portions of basements, closets, bathrooms, under the house and beneath the bark of firewood stored indoors.
Crickets Crickets range in size from 1/4 to 3/4 inch, but the best known is the black field cricket, a large, shiny black insect. Although the cricket is usually found outside, occasionally they can get inside. Crickets feed on just about anything. They will eat plants, dead insects, seeds, leather, paper and old cloth.
Earwigs Earwigs got their name from the MYTH that they crawl into sleeping people's ears and tunnel into their brains. The long cerci, or clippers, on their backsides easily identify an earwig. Remove harborage sites such as leaf piles, mulch piles or other vegetation. Seal cracks and crevices well to prevent structural entry.
Fleas Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. The most common species is the cat flea, which often feasts on cats, dogs and humans. Clean and vacuum frequently to help remove flea populations and prevent the laying of eggs.
Fruit Flies Fruit flies are small pests that are commonly found in homes, restaurants and other facilities where food is processed. They are found on moist, decaying matter that has been stationary for several days.
House Flies House flies get their name from being the most common fly found around homes. Adult house flies can grow to one-quarter of an inch long and usually live between 15 and 25 days. Remove trash regularly and use well-sealing garbage receptacles. Clean up pet waste immediately. Use fine mesh screens on doors, windows and outside air vents to prevent fly entry.
Mice To keep mice and other rodents out, make sure all holes of larger diameter than a pencil are sealed. Mice can squeeze through spaces as small as a nickel. Seal any cracks and voids. The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in most parts of the world. It can breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions. Micro droplets of mouse urine can cause allergies in children. Mice can also bring fleas, mites, ticks and lice into your home.
Millipedes Millipedes are usually found in the garage, basement or lowest level of a house although they may wander. They are most active at night and usually hide during the day in cracks and other moist locations. All millipedes found inside wandered in by mistake. Cracks and gaps around windows and doors and in foundation walls should be sealed. Moist, dead leaves should be removed from against the house and damp conditions around the house foundation should be corrected.
Moles Moles have cylindrical bodies covered in fur with small eyes, their ears are not visible. Their diet mainly consists of earthworms. They can destroy lawns by their tunnels in yards and landscape.
Pill bugs This pest is the only crustacean that has become completely adapted to spending its life on land. Pill bugs have oval bodies and seven pairs of legs. They are easily recognized by their back, which is made up of seven hard individual plates. Pill bugs are sometimes referred to as roly-polies. Pill bugs live in moist locations.
Racoons/ Wildlife Trappings
Racoons/ Wildlife Trappings Havaheart traps which have two large doors for safe catches are used and once an animal is captured it is transported to a remote location and released.
Rats Roof rats get their name from their tendency to be found in the upper parts of buildings. Ranging in size from 6 to 8 inches in length, not including their tails, they have very poor vision and are color blind. They do have extremely strong senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste. To prevent rats from entering a home, seal up any holes or cracks larger than a quarter. Remove sources of moisture and harborage.
Oriental Cockroaches Are large dark (almost black, but sometimes dark reddish-brown), shiny cockroaches which live in sewers or in wet, decaying organic matter. They are sometimes called “water bugs” because they come out of drains or “black beetle cockroaches” because of their smooth, dark bodies. Males are about 1 inch long, with wings that cover only about 3/4 of their abdomen; females are about 1-1/4 inch long, and have only short stubs of wing pads. They find indoor harborage in basements and crawl spaces. Good sanitation and habitat reduction, along with vacuuming, surveillance, a baiting program, and some sealing of cracks can usually quickly reduce or eliminate a cockroach population.
German Cockroach Adults are about one-half inch long and light brown to yellowish (amber) brown. Each egg case can contain 35 – 48 eggs. A good baiting program is the best way to eliminate these pests in conjunction with thorough cleaning. Clean around appliances, rinse empty beverage containers and other recyclables, removing them on a regular basis.
Silverfish Silverfish are wingless, flat insects with two long, slender antennae on the front and three long, slender "bristles" at the rear of a tapered, carrot-shaped body. They are 1/2 inch long when fully grown.Silverfish usually reside in insulation or the attic. They appear silver because of their shiny scales and run swiftly using a wiggling motion that looks like a swimming fish. You often find them in sinks or bathtubs because they fall in and cannot crawl out.
Snakes The Garter snake is 14 to 48 inches long and harmless to humans. They usually like moist areas. They are attracted to insects. If their food source is eliminated they will want to get outside.
American House Spider Most commonly seen in our region of the country, this spider is frequently seen in outbuildings and houses spinning webs in corners of rooms and angles of windows. Adults are present year-round. They are primarily a nuisance due to their unsightly cobwebs.
Garden Spiders Garden spiders are one of the most common spiders found in and outside. They are quite big but are a temporary invader and would much rather be outside. They are inside searching for a food source usually insects and once that food source is eliminated, they will need to seek alternative food outside. Keeping conditions clean and clutter free and vacuuming webs and destroying egg sacs helps to keep them under control, or you may need ongoing consistent crack and crevice pest management.
Brown Recluse Spider Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back. Brown recluse spiders often live outdoors in debris and wood piles. They can be found indoors in storage areas and dark recesses. Normally not aggressive, they do produce a venom that can be serious if one is bitten. An open ulcer develops at the site of a recluse spider bite and medical attention is recommended.
Termites Subterranean termites live underground and build tunnels, referred to as mud tubes, to reach food sources. Like other termite species, they feed on products containing cellulose. Cream-colored worker subterranean termites are 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch in length. Soldier subterranean termites are of a similar body length, but are distinguished by their powerful mandibles. Solider termites have cream-colored bodies and brown heads. Reproductive subterranean termites are approximately one inch long. A common misconception is that termites are not present in Iowa.