Beetles and Warehouse Beetles feed in a wide variety of food
products, such as grain products, seeds, dried fruits, animal
by-products skins, fur, hair, and pet food. They are also known
to feed on dead insects and animal carcasses.
They are elongate oval and 1/8" to 3/16" long. They may be solid
black or mottled with yellowish-brown markings. Larvae are long
and narrow, yellowish to dark brown, hair and generally grow to about
Cigarette Beetles and Drugstore
Beetles feed on a wide variety of dried plant products such as
spices, macaroni and other grain based foods, dried flowers, tobacco
products, and even paper, including books.
These beetles are about 1/8" long, oval, and brown. The head is
bent downward giving the insect a humped appearance. Both species
fly and can be found wround windows. Larvae are 1/8" long when
mature, and yellowish-white with a light brown head, have a curved body
covered with fine hair, and often not noticed.
Flour Beetles (two primary species) infest
many types of dried food products, such as flour, bran, cereal
products, dried fruits, nuts, and chocolate.
They are 3/16 inch long, reddish-brown, and elongate oval in
shape. Larvae are cylindrical, whitish, or cream-colored and up
to 1/4" long and have two small pointed spines on the tail end
Sawtoothed Grain Beetles are found in many different food
items, including dried fruit, nuts, dried meat, macaroni, and seeds.
They are only about 1/10" long, slender, flattened, and brownish-red to
almost black in color. Larvae are cream-colored, slender, and
about 1/8" long, so small they are rarely noticed.
See also Pantry Pests
bugs are commonly found both outside and inside homes during the fall
through early spring. Boxelder bugs are about 3/4" long, and black in
color with three red lines on the thorax and red lines on the wing
summer, they feed on leaves, flowers, and seedpods of boxelder trees
and silver maple trees, where they do minor damage to the trees.
completely harmless to humans, these bugs can be an unsightly nuisance
and occasionally their waste can stain.
boxelder bugs lay eggs on trees in the spring. Nymphs emerge in 11 to
14 days and begin feeding on trees. The nymphs develop into adults
during the summer, and lay eggs of a second generation of boxelder bugs
that are active in August and September. The second generation boxelder
bugs congregate on the outsides of homes on sunny days in September and
October. They, then, move indoors to find a protected place to
overwinter, then, move outside in the spring.
Centipedes - Millipedes - Sowbugs
millipeds and sowbugs are not insects, but are arthropods related to
insects. They are not harmful to food, clothes, furniture or other
household items; however, just the sight of them can creep us out.
preferred habitat is moist, decaying leaf litter or other organic
material found around building foundations. During late summer and fall
(occassionally during spring and summer) they crawl into homes,
sometimes in great numbers!
most common centipede is called the house centipede
and is more than 1" long when full grown. It has has a flattened
body, 15 pairs of long legs (one pair of legs per body segment), and a
pair of long slender feelers extending froward from the head. The body
is brownish or grayish-yellow.
move quickly and are usually noticed running across a ceiling or wall,
attempting to reach a dark area. Centipedes are predators, feeding on
other insects, spiders, and other arthropods; they use poision-filled
jaws to help subdue their prey. If ever bitten by a centipede
some swelling may be expected, but the pain should not be severe.
are dark brown, worm-like, with up to 400 very short legs; two pairs of
legs per body segment. It moves very slowly and grows up to 1 to
1½ inches long. It has a characteristic habit of curling up
tightly when touched, and when it dies. Millipedes are most
active at night and commonly hide beneath objects where it is dark and
damp, like potted plants, as it normally feeds on decaying organic
are a land crustacean related to lobsters, crabs and crayfish. It
is uniformly brownish-gray and may reach 1 3/4-inch length. It
resembles a tiny armadillo and typically has fourteen legs. It,
too, feeds on deaying organic matter, and only survives in a moist/damp
mate in late summer and lay their eggs in autumn. The eggs hatch in the
spring and have been estimated to number as high as 200 per fertile
female. Species Acheta domestica however lays eggs almost continually,
with the females capable of laying at least twice a month.
Crickets are omnivorous scavengers who feed on organic materials,
including decaying plant material, fungi, and some seedling plants.
Crickets eat their own dead when there are no other sources of food
available, and exhibit predatorial behavior upon weakened, crippled
Crickets have relatively powerful jaws, and several species have been
known to bite humans. More...
First spotted in 1982, on the Lake Michigan shorelines,
earwigs have spread fast across Wisconsin. Earwigs are the only insect
in the world that cares for (nurtures) its young. More...
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jump 7 to 8 inches vertically, and 14 to 16 inches horizontally; they
carry disease organisms and parasites host to host. The
most common soecies is the cat flea, which often
feasts on cats, dogs and humans.
can infest beds, upholstered furniture and/or carpeting and rugs.
Although fleas can bite anywhere on the human (or animal) body, they
commonly bite about the ankles.
a suspected area is dark (night time), turn on the television or
lay a lit flashlight on the infested surface, crouch down to surface
level and peer across it. If you have fleas, you will see them jumping
in the light.
flea bite photos below]
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cause more human suffering than any other organism--over one million
people worldwide die from mosquito-born diseases every year. Not
only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, they also
transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very
only, feed on blood and it is the female mosquito's saliva that causes
the red bump and itching to the bite area through an allergic reaction
to the saliva; in
some cases severe swelling.
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Indianmeal Moths are
the most common moths infesting home stored foods. They have a
wingspan of 1/2" to 5/8". The base of the front wing is pail gray
or tan and the outer two-thirds is reddish-brown with a coppery
luster. They can be found inside infested products or flying
around homes. The larvae are whitish worms with shades of yellow,
pink, green, or brown and grow to 1/2" long.
Only the larvae of the Indianmeal Moths feed in stored products; foods
infested with these insects will have silk webbing present on the
surface of the product. When mature, they will fly away from the
food source and spin a cocoon. Adult moths may be seen up to
several weeks after its food source has been removed.
Meal Moths can be found feeding on a wide
vriety of flour and grain products and seeds, especially when the
product is damp. Not real common in homes, they have a wingspan of 3/4"
to 1". Their forewings have a dark reddish brown band across the
top and bottom of the wings, with an olive or yellowish green band
outlines by wavy white lines in the center.
The larvae have a black head and whitish body with some orange at the
end of the body. They often form feeding tubes made of silk and
tiny pieces of food.
See also Pantry Pests
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infesting stored foods are one of the most common household insect
problems and, because there are many different kinds they are referred
to as "pantry pests".
pests contaminate more food than they consume. They do
not bite or sting people or pets, nor do they feed on or damage the
house structure or contents.
all dried food products are susceptible to insect infestation,
especially products that have been opened. Importantly, pantry pests
are also capable of penetraiting unopened paper, thin cardboard, and
plastic, foil, or cellophane-wrapped packages. They may chew
their way into packages or crawl in through folds and seams.
within a single infested package can begin multiplying and can spread
to other stored foods not only in the same area but in other rooms in
a home. All stages (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) may be
present. [See also Beetles, Moths and Weevils]
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Silverfish - Firebrats
full grown silverfish or firebrat
is about 1/4' to 1/2" long; thick at the front and tapering towards the
back. Firebrats and silverfish have two long antennae on their
heads and three tail-like appendages on the tips of their
abdomens. Silverfish have uniformly colored silver bodies, and
firebrats have mottled gray-brown colored bodies. Both move very
fast when disturbed.
inside, they move quickly in search of food and generally stay close to
it when they find a food source. Both can be accidentally brought
into buildings with boxes that have been stored in infested areas.
and firebrats are general feeders, especially items that are high in
protein, sugar or starch. Food choices include vegetable foods,
such as flour and cereal; fabrics, including cotton, linen, silk, and
rayon; sizing in paper; starch in clothing; and paste or glue.
They also eat wallpaper, book bindings, and paper when trying to feed
on the flue or paste underneath them. Both can go for months
at night, they lay eggs in cracks, crevices, and other narrow places.
They both run with characteristic, quick movements, stopping at short
intervals and then moving on rapidly (they cannot climb on smooth