Pest Control Columbus, Ohio
Below you will find descriptions on common insects that regularly find their way into and around your home. We've provided some details on how to determine what the insect that is currently plaguing you.
Ants are one of the most common pests in and around homes in the north central states. Ants have three distinctive body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. All ants have a pair of elbowed (bent) antennae on the head and a constricted area between the thorax and abdomen called the petiole.
Ants are sometimes mistaken for winged termites that are commonly called swarmers
Some species of carpenter ants are the largest ants in the north central states. They are black, or red and black; workers range in size from 3/16 to 1/2 inch.
Carpenter Ants eat other insects, both living and dead. They also feed on meats or sweets, including honeydew, syrup, honey, sugar, and jelly. Carpenter ants DO NOT eat wood; they chew wood into sawdust in the process of creating galleries and tunnels.
Carpenter Ants nest in all types of moist or rotting wood, including trees or tree stumps, indoors behind bathroom tiles; around tubs, sinks, showers, and dishwashers; under roofing, in attic beams, and under subfloor insulation; in hollow spaces such as doors, curtain rods, and wall voids; and in soft polystyrene and other forms of insulation. Carpenter ant tunnels are clean and smooth, making the wood appear that it has been sandpapered.
Pavement ants are reddish brown to black; workers are about 1/8 inch long.
They eat foods including meats, pet food, sweets, bread, nuts, and insects.
Pavement Ants nest in soil under sidewalks, driveways, stones, logs and other concealed sites. Also commonly found under homes with concrete slab construction; ants enter homes through cracks in the concrete.
Field ants can easily be confused with carpenter ants but they are not as likely to forage indoors. They are black, brown, red, or combinations of these colors. Workers range in size from about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long.
Unlike Carpenter Ants, Field Ants Build mounds in soil in exposed areas. Some species make extremely large mounds. They do not nest inside buildings.
Wasps have a slender body with a narrow waist, slender, cylindrical legs, and appear smoothed-skinned and shiny. Yellowjackets, baldfaced hornets, and paper wasps are the most common types of wasps encountered by people.
Yellowjackets, baldfaced hornets, and paper wasps make nests from a papery pulp comprised of chewed-up wood fibers mixed with saliva. Yellowjacket and baldfaced hornet nests consist of a series of rounded combs stacked in tiers.
Yellowjackets commonly build nests below ground, in trees, shrubs, under eaves, and inside attics or wall voids.
Paper wasps build nests under any horizontal surface and are commonly found on limbs, overhangs, eaves of buildings, beams and supports in attics, garages, barns, sheds, and other similar places.
The house centipede, Scutigera coleoptrata, is the only species capable of reproducing in homes and is often seen in and around homes where dampness occurs. The house centipede is active at night, moving about in search of cockroaches and other insects. Although centipedes rarely bite, are seldom dangerous and are beneficial because they destroy other insects, most people have an aversion to their presence inside their homes.
Centipedes are found in a variety of habitats, but prefer dark, moist, protected areas such as under stones, rotted logs, leaves and bark. They overwinter as adults and lay eggs in the soil during the spring and summer. Development is slow, with some species developing through as many as 10 instars, or molts. A few species give birth to living young. Centipedes are relatively long-lived; some species have been known to live up to six years.
The most common cockroach infesting homes is called the German cockroach. The fully grown adults are 1/2" to 5/8" in length, tan to brown in color and have two dark stripes just behind the back of the head. The immature cockroaches (called nymphs) go through seven stages of growth, are darker in color, and vary in size from 1/16" up to 3/8".
Cockroaches are nocturnal. They avoid light and hide from it. If you see cockroaches during the day it usually means that there are so many cockroaches that the hiding places are overcrowded and they are forced to come out into the daylight.
They eat almost anything. They are fond of starches, sweets, meats, breads, gravies, and almost any other human or pet food. Cockroaches will also eat glue and book bindings. Cockroaches can survive without food for up to thirty (30) days, but they will dehydrate if they are denied moisture for more than two weeks.
Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans and other warm blooded animals. These insects feed mostly at night when hosts are asleep, causing small, hard, swollen, white welts on the skin.
The welts soon become inflamed and itch. Some people are bothered more by the bites than others.
Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown to mahogany in color, oval shaped, and flattened.
They vary from 1/4 up to 5/8 inch long. After a blood meal their body is swollen, more elongate, and appears to be more of a dull red color.
Three for four eggs are laid per day over two months. That means with favorable conditions (temperatures of 70º F and with regular feeding on blood) each female bed bug can lay about 200 eggs. Eggs hatch in as few as 6 days or as long as 28 days, depending upon conditions. When bed bugs bite they inject a fluid into the skin that assists in obtaining blood. This saliva also causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed. It takes about three to five minutes for the bed bug to become engorged and then it crawls away to a hiding place in a crack or crevice to digest the meal. Bed bugs will seek more blood when they are hungry but they are easily capable of going two to eight weeks and in extreme cases up to a year without a blood meal. In situations where they are allowed to thrive there may be three or more generations a year.
Some common hiding spots include the crevices of upholstered furniture and mattresses created by folds, buttons, and cording; bed frames; dresser frames; cracks along and behind baseboards; behind pictures and in picture frames; loose wallpaper; drapery pleats; electrical outlets; window frames; door moldings; luggage; and just about any other narrow crack and crevice you can find in a room.
A bed bug infestation can be recognized by blood stains from crushed bugs or by rusty (sometimes dark) spots of excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls. Fecal spots, eggshells, and shed skins may be found in the vicinity of their hiding places. An offensive, sweet, musty odor from their scent glands may be detected when bed bug infestations are severe.