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Mosquitoes vary their sizes according to their species, but they are usually smaller than 15mm. They have long legs, slender body, and a pair of scaled wings and halteres. Mosquitoes use their palpus and proboscis (tube-like mouthparts) to pierce and suck blood to animals and humans. These small insects carry and spread diseases such as malaria, dengue, elephantiasis, etc., that causes severe illness or death to many people. They usually live, grow, and survive in hot and humid environment and lay eggs in a stagnant water.
There are several types of termite, the Dampwood, Drywood, Formosan, Subterranean and the Conehead termite. Termites are small insects ranging from 3-20mm in size. Their color, size, and shape also varies, but they usually have straight waist, mandibulate (chewing) mouthparts, and antennae (same length as the head). Winged termites have no apparent waist and its wings are equal in size. These “silent destroyer” primarily feed on dead plants and woods, papers, books, insulations, etc. Even though they are small in size, termites are capable of tearing woody materials and can cause serious and costly damage especially in home or building.
Some ants are thin that measures 1-2mm, the largest measures 30mm, and the most common ant measures 5-15mm long. They are skinny insects and commonly divided into head, thorax and abdomen. They usually have a thin connection between their abdomen and thorax that is called pedicel and gaster. Ant species are social insects and eats almost anything, including sugary food, fat, and oil. Some also feed on dead insects and meat. Ants live in large colonies and it consists of a queen, female workers, and males. Some colony builds nests at the top of the tree using leaves, build an anthill or even build their nest underground. They could also live inside or outside of a residential or commercial property which could result in small or even extensive damage.
Bed bugs usually have an oval and flattened body. They do not have wings but they can move swiftly on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. Bed bugs have small dark protruding eyes, 6 legs and 2 antennas (not longer than the body), and an accordion-like folds at the back of the body. The young bed bug’s size is about 1mm with a translucent tan color. Adult bed bugs are brownish in color and measures 5-7mm. It has short golden hair and its glands produce a stale odor. Its eggs are pearl-white in color and as tiny as a pinhead that could be difficult to see. Bed bugs can be found anywhere and they are great at hiding that’s why people can have it through baggage, personal stuff, and clothing. They can live and can be found in beds, chairs, on sofas or in places where people usually gather, sleep, or stay.
There are number of mice species that can be found in and outside one’s property and can cause serious damage and carry diseases that might be a risk to human health. Meadow mouse, field mouse, deer mouse, and the most common of all, the house mouse can live within homes. House mice can be distinguished by their dusty gray color, small feet and head, large eye and rounded ears. Their size (including the tail) varies from 70-95mm and weighs 0.5-1 ounce. They use their oversized front teeth for gnawing and chewing things that’s available to them, either food or things to create their nests. House mouse preferred to eat grainy food like cereals but could eat whatever food that is possible for them to eat. They can be found in messy areas and inside an empty base of appliances.
This small pest usually found in pet’s fur and can also be found on some other pests like rats, moles, etc. They are wingless insects, but they have six legs that they could use to jump from one host to another. They have a thin and flat body and covered with microscopic hair. Adult flea measures 2-2.5mm, have a brown to reddish color, and have mouthparts to extract blood from the host. Flea’s eggs can be found on pet’s bedding, floors, or in furniture. Once hatched the larvae lives in the nest of the host and feeds on adult flea’s feces, food particles, dead insects, dead skin, and feathers. Although there is insignificant evidence that fleas carry and spread diseases, their bites can cause severe irritation, inflammation, and secondary skin infections in pets and humans (depending on host’s skin sensitivity).
Also called the “Asian Lady Beetle” is commonly seen by its pale yellow-orange to dark orange-red color with varying black markings. They are 7mm long that appears in an oval and convex shape. Lady bugs are very helpful to environment, especially to gardeners because they eat garden pests. They do not harm, sting, or carry diseases, however; they can become pests because of their presence in residential and commercial areas during winter. Lady bugs gather in large numbers during the fall season and cluster to light-colored homes and buildings to spend time and hibernate during winter, causing mess and inconvenience.
These nocturnal and slender insect appear in dark-reddish-brown color and light brown legs. Adult ear wigs measure from 5-25mm and have two wings, but they seldom fly. They have pincers at the end of their tail and they use it as a defense and sparing to rival earwigs or to gather food. Earwigs do not harm human nor get into someone’s ears while they are asleep. They eat plants and dead insects and usually live under mulch and logs and in small burrows underground during winter. And because they prefer dark and damp areas, they seek shelter in homes when the weather outside is too hot or dry and too cold. They are annoying in large numbers and their presence is a bit scary. Earwigs can damage crops and garden plants because they also prefer to eat seedlings and soft fruits.
Moles grow for about 176mm long and they have a pointed and narrow snout, two large rounded front feet with bulky claws, and a bleak short tail. Their eyes and ears are small, covered with their grayish-velvety fur and are poorly-developed. Because of these poor senses, this insect-eating mammal finds food using their strong sense of touch and vibration. Moles feed on ants, earthworms, and other invertebrates. They create linking tunnels underground just below the surface to gather food and create shelter. This burrowing activity creates mounds and surface runways that can cause damage to properties as well as dislocating plant roots.
Cockroaches are flat, broad and oval-shaped insect with two long antennae, and has a shield –like pronotum to cover their small heads. They have six long spiky legs that enable them to run fast and crawl to walls and ceiling. Cockroaches mostly appear in a dark-brown, reddish-brown to black color. Male cockroaches have wings and can fly while females are not proficient at flying. Their size varies according to species but the most common is the American cockroaches which measures 35-40mm and the German cockroaches which measures 13-16mm. Cockroaches can be found almost everywhere and become a pest in homes, restaurants, hospitals, schools, offices and to places where food is available. Because they crawl to different places, they carry bacteria-causing diseases and contaminate food and eating utensils. They also leave stains and unpleasant odors as well as destroying papers and fabric products.
These eight-legged arachnids have two body sections. The first section is called “Cephalothorax” which consists of eyes, mouth fangs, brain, stomach, and the poison –producing glands (to capture its prey). Legs are also connected into this part. They also have the pedipalps beside the fangs that hold their prey. They also have 2-4 pairs of eyes but some species have poor eyesight. The second section is called “Abdomen” which has the spinnerets, the glands that produce silk to create a web, egg sac, and to capture prey. Their sizes, web orders, and habitat vary by species. These predators feed mostly on insects and they are beneficial to our environment, however, some people have a fear of spiders. Sometimes they get into homes looking for food, even though they are not dangerous, spiders can be a great nuisance because of their webbings.
These insects have coiled proboscis that they use to suck nectar and large compound eyes. They have two pairs of earth-toned coloured wings and have a hairy body. Moth’s size and shape vary according to species. However, fabric infesting moths are smaller that measures 2.5-5cm. They avoid light and live in dark areas and can be found in fabrics. Even though they are harmless to human, moths are considered as a nuisance pest. They also have the ability to destroy natural fibres including, carpets, fur, feathers, and even leathers. Clothes moth’s larvae are the ones that cause damage to wool, cotton, silk, textile and, etc. by eating the protein found in these natural materials.
Ticks are smaller pest and relatively flat that measure 3-5mm but female tick measures over 1cm when it is fully engorged. They are divided into two categories: the soft tick which do not have shield on the back of its body and the hard tick which has a partial shield on their back. An adult tick has four pairs of legs and three pairs during the larvae stage (which develops into four pairs after molting). Their body has three segments: the head, the thorax and the abdomen. Their color varies according to species but they are commonly seen in reddish-brown and grey color. Ticks live within the habitat of preferred host and they can be found inside or outside human homes. They feed on the blood of both animals and human and carry diseases that can cause serious damage to health.
Stink bugs are insects that are vegetable and fruit feeder. They have many species; however the brown marmorated stink bug is the kind of specie that is mostly an agricultural industry pest. It can be identified by its distinct triangular or shield-shape body. It has six legs, straight antennae, and mouthparts for piercing food. Stink bugs can be 12-17mm long and their color depends on their growth and development. Adult stink bugs can be seen in mottled grayish-brown color and the nymph can be seen in yellowish-red color with deep red eyes. As the nymphs grow, the yellowish –red color turns to off-white. They are called “Stink bugs” because they release an unpleasant and foul odor that is produced by scent gland found on the dorsal exterior of the abdomen and the underside of the thorax. Stink bugs are harmless to human health, however, aside from being a pest in crops; they are also a big nuisance to homes. They seek shelter in late fall to spend during winter. They usually live and hide inside the walls, crawl space, or in the attic. And when the spring comes, they become active and re-emerge in living space.
These small insects are called “Spring tails” because of the spring-loaded structure located underneath their abdomen called “furcula”. Because they are wingless, they use their furcula to jump and get away when in danger. They measure from 0.25 to 6mm and they are elongated slender insects with antennae. Most of them are dark-grey and brown in color, but some appear in black or white. They feed on decaying plants, molds, fungi, or algae. Although they are not harmful to human, they become a nuisance because they reproduce in great number. They live in damp soil and commonly found under decaying logs, flower beds, pavements, and woodpiles. Springtails migrate to damp and humid places, inside homes or buildings when the water in their body loses. They tend to live under the sink, vent pipes, open doors, basements, and crawl spaces.
Box elder bug is a flat insect that measures 11-14mm. They have a pair of wings and appear in brownish-black color with red or orange markings on the thorax and on the side of the wings. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts to extract juices from fruits and tree host. They usually live and breed in female box elder trees, and also live in ash and maple tree. They feed on fruits, leaves, flowers, and extract juices causing minimal damage to these trees. They are pest only by their presence, especially when they invade homes and buildings in large number during winter.
These bees are categorized in two: the large carpenter bees which measures 12-25mm and the small carpenter bees that measures 8mm long. They have six legs, antennae, and a stinger (for female bees). Its appearance can be resembled to bumblebees however, their abdomen is shiny black and its thorax is covered with bright yellow, orange, or white hairs. Gender of carpenter bees can be identified based on the markings on their head. The large carpenter bees are known to create damage to properties. Although they are harmless, female carpenter bees can sting when harmed while the male will only mock-attack to annoy or scare humans and other potential threats. Carpenter bees feed on plant’s pollen and nectar, but their nesting habits are a nuisance. They usually excavate, live and lay eggs in bare, unpainted, and weathered softwood causing cosmetic damage to properties.
There are two common destructive species of powder post beetles, the Lyctid powderpost beetles and the Anobiid powderpost beetles. Lyctid powderpost beetles are reddish-brown to black in color. They are flat and elongated that measure 1/32 to 1/8 inches long and have a two-segmented antennal club. These insects live and infest in cabinets, hardwood floorings and ornamental woods. They only feed in less than five years old hardwoods. Anobiid powderpost beetles are reddish brown to brownish black in color. Its body is slender and cylindrical in shape that measures 1/16 to 1/8 inches and they have 11 antennal segments. They can be found in floor joists and wall studs feeding primarily in softwoods. Powder post beetles damage variety of unfinished, untreated in moist, poorly ventilated wood by chewing small, circular exit holes in its surface. These activities can cause structural damage to homes and buildings.
This teardrop-shaped nocturnal insect measures 12-19mm long with greyish-silver color. They are long and slender with a broad head and two long antennae. They also have three tail-like appendages on the rear. Silverfish dwell in dark and damp environment such as attics, laundry rooms, under the sinks, and bathtubs. They feed on molds, carbohydrates, starchy and high in protein foods like cereals, wheat flour, sugar, starch in book bindings and areas with glue and paste. Their feeding habits can damage clothing, wallpapers, books and papers and this is often recognised by their faces and irregular feeding marks.
Wasps are large insects which measures 10-15mm long, with a pinched waist, a stinger and two pairs of wings. Their size and color vary from species, but most are yellow and black striped. Unlike bees, wasps feed on other insects and newly hatched birds, but some also feed on nectars and sweet food. Wasps usually build their nest in trees and bushes, however, some also build under a roof, garden shed, decks, and even in attics. Although wasp can be beneficial by eating other pest, they can be a nuisance if they appear in large number in your home or garden. Their stings are very painful and this can cause a serious allergic reaction to other people.
These long-legged insects are very small with long and clear thin wings. They usually appear in dark color and often resembled to mosquitoes. Gnats’ size is no longer than 33mm. They are weak fliers and are very delicate. The most common pest of gnats’ specie is the fungus gnats. Their larvae prefer to live in damp and rich soils and feed on fungi, root hairs and organic materials. Adult gnats emerge in potted plants. Gnats are harmless insects however, they are annoying, especially when they emerge and hover around in large numbers. They also cause damage to plant beds and flowers causing them to have a poor growth, sudden wilting and yellowing.