30. November 2010 20:25
House flies are 3/16 to 1/4 inch long with robust bodies and two clear wings. The thorax is marked with four dark stripes.
Larvae are called maggots and are creamy-white and cone-shaped, with the hind end blunt and bearing breathing holes (spiracles) tapering to the head which bears black hook-like mouthparts.
Female flies lay numbers of eggs in suitable larval food sources such as decomposing food in garbage, animal excrement or other decomposing organic materials. Eggs hatch within a day into small maggots. Within a week, maggots grow and develop through three stages (instars) before they inflate their last larval skin into a puparium (pupa). After 4 to 6 days, adult flies emerge.
Development from egg to adult can be completed in about 8 days under optimal conditions, and 12 generations can occur each summer. Adults normally live up to 25 days but may overwinter.
Adult flies have sponging-sucking mouthparts, with which they inject mainly liquid food or food dissolved with regurgi... [More]
22. November 2010 20:01
The pinchers are called “cerci” and used as both offensive and defensive weapons. They are sometimes used to capture prey. The common name of “earwig” comes from an old European superstition that these insects enter the ears of sleeping people and bore into the brain. There about 22 species occurring in the United States. Adults can be ¼ to 1 inch long with Bogy elongate, flattened in form. The red legged earwig is a native American species which is common in the South and Southwest.
Earwigs have a distinctive disagreeable /repugnant odor that is released when they are crushed, but some species can squirt such a liquid. They are gregarious in the nature, typically occurring in groups. Red legged earwigs have been reported to cause minor skin abrasions in humans.
Earwigs are nocturnal or active at night and hide during the day in moist, shady places, such as under stones or logs, or in mulch.
Earwigs feed on live or dead plants and/or insects. At times ... [More]
11. November 2010 19:58
Boxelder bugs are a nuisance in and around homes from fall through early spring. This bug is about 1/2 inch long as an adult, black with three red lines on the thorax (the part just behind the head), a red line along each side, and a diagonal red line on each wing. The immature forms are smaller and are easily distinguished from the adults by their red abdomens and lack of wings.
These insects feed on the softer plant tissues, including leaves, flowers, and new twigs. Unless the population is exceptionally large, the damage to plants is minimal. During years when their population soars, they can damage useful shade trees.
In autumn, they can become household and hotel pests. The adult insects seek wintering hibernation locations and find their way into buildings through crevices. They remain inactive inside the walls (and behind siding) while the weather is cool.
Boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance pest, annoying residents by crawling on exteriors and inside dwellings on warm fal... [More]
5. November 2010 09:26
Psocids look like bed bugs but the head is much larger compared to the body. Psocids are very tiny (.04 - .08 inch). They are pale grey to yellowish white and superficially resemble termite workers. They are also commonly called Cereal psocids, booklice, mold-lice and dustlice.
There are about 50 species in the order Psocoptera from stored foods and indoor human habitations. Some species have membranous wings held either rooflike or flat over the body when at rest. Psocids depend on high humidities for reproduction.
Psocids can be serious pests of stored foods. In homes, psocids are generally considered nuisance pests that are more troublesome due to their presence than because of any feeding damage.
They are commonly found indoors in areas of excessive moisture. They occur in books, rugs, foods, and other items, especially if they are damp. Psocids sometimes are pests in newly constructed buildings (less than 1 year old) where they may feed on mildew growing on surfaces of damp pla... [More]