23. January 2011 09:46
Cigarette beetles are quite small, measuring about 2 to 3 mm (about 1/8 of an inch), and are reddish brown. They have a rounded, oval shape and the head is often concealed by the pronotum when the beetle is viewed from above.
The elytra (wing covers) are covered with fine hairs. When disturbed they often pull in their legs, tuck their head and lay motionless. They prefer to reside in dark or dimly lit cracks, nooks and crevices but become active and fly readily in bright, open areas, probably in an attempt to find refuge.
They are most active at dusk and will continue activity through the night. Adults do not feed but will drink liquids.
Cigarette beetles look almost identical to drugstore beetles but can be distinguished by two easily identifiable characters: the antennae of the cigarette beetle are serrated (like the teeth on a saw) while the antennae of the drugstore beetle are not and end in a 3-segmented club.
The other difference is that drugstore beetle elytra have rows of p... [More]
19. January 2011 20:12
Ticks have long been pests of humans and animals in North Carolina. From the larval to the adult stages, ticks attach to a living host and feed on the host’s blood. In doing so, they may transmit germs that cause Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease, both of which can have serious consequences for humans.
Ticks are related to mites and spiders. They have four stages of development — the egg, larval, nymph, and adult stages. After hatching from the egg, the tick must take a blood meal to complete each stage in its life cycle. Each stage of the tick usually takes a blood meal from a different host. For most ticks, each blood meal is taken from a different type of host.
Ticks are usually active in the spring, summer, and fall. When seeking a blood meal, ticks move from leaf litter, from a crack or crevice along a building foundation or from another secluded place to grass or shrubs where they attach themselves to an animal as it passes. If a host is not found by fall... [More]
13. January 2011 09:30
The American cockroach ranges in size from 1 3/8 inches to 2 1/8 inches in size. They are found in residences, but are more common in larger commercial buildings, like restaurants, warehouses, food processing plants, in basements and steam tunnels.
In the United States this is the most common species found in city sewer systems. More than 5,000 individuals have been found in a single sewer manhole.
American Cockroaches favor microhabitats with high humidity.The American cockroach rarely flies, but if they start from a high distance (like a tree) they can glide for a good distance. They will enter residence in search of warmth, food, and shelter.
American cockroaches feed on a wide variety of materials, including cosmetics, beer, potted plants, wallpaper paste, soap, postage stamps, fermenting fruit, pet food, and human food. They contaminate human food, clothing, paper goods, and surfaces with their feces and body parts. They are a mechanical vector of numerous bacterial and viral p... [More]
7. January 2011 09:34
In the fall and winter these commensal rodents are more likely to enter a house seeking shelter when the nights get cold and the available supply of outdoor food (seeds and insects)become more scarce.
Mice require just a little more than ¼ inch to enter a structure. Rats just a little more than ½ inch is big enough to enter.
The most common of commensal rodents is the house mouse - and the signs to look for are gnaw marks, droppings (their droppings are very similar in size and shape to the sprinkles on donuts or cookies and fresh droppings are soft, moist and dark about 1/8-1/4 inch).
The most common rat is the Norway rat – and the signs of infestation gnaw marks, droppings (their droppings are about ½ inch with blunt ends), rub marks on vertical surfaces where they have travelled, and damaged goods.
All rat species and mice species have very good senses – with the exception of sight. Remember the nursery rhyme about “Three Blind Mice&rdquo... [More]
5. January 2011 09:41
Yellow Jackets have been causing issues in South and North Carolina for years. There are some beneficial factors that they provide but they also create problems and sting people. [More]
2. January 2011 20:29
Fruit flies are common in homes, restaurants, supermarkets and wherever else food is allowed to rot and ferment.
Adults are about 1/8 inch long and usually have red eyes. The front portion of the body is tan and the rear portion is black. Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. Upon emerging, the tiny larvae continue to feed near the surface of the fermenting mass. This surface-feeding characteristic of the larvae is significant in that damaged or over-ripened portions of fruits and vegetables can be cut away without having to discard the remainder for fear of retaining any developing larvae. The reproductive potential of fruit flies is enormous; given the opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs. The entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week.
The presence of red to reddish orange eyes is an important character for identification as these tiny flies are often confused with humpback flies (Phoridae) ... [More]
30. December 2010 09:50
You will more likely to find deer mice in Asheville – much less likely in Raleigh
The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) has big eyes and big ears. Its head and body are about 2 - 3 inches long, and the tail another 2 - 3 inches in length. Its upper body ranges from gray to reddish brown, depending on its age. The underbelly is white and the tail has sharply defined white sides.
The white footed mouse looks very similar to the deer mouse. The white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) is hard to distinguish from the deer mouse. The head and body together are about four inches long. The tail is normally shorter than its body (about 2 - 4 inches long). Topside, its fur ranges from pale brown to reddish brown, while its underside and feet are white.
Usually, the deer mouse likes woodlands, but also turns up in desert areas. White footed mice prefer wooded and brushy areas, although sometimes it will live in more open ground.
Both the deer mouse and white footed mouse will frequen... [More]
22. December 2010 09:45
Fleas are important group of insect pests because they cause discomfort by biting and they can transmit several diseases like the plague and murine typhus. They are about 1/8 inch – laterally flattened, wingless, brownish black to black, but reddish after a blood meal. The mouthparts are piercing-sucking - and mature larvae are twice as long as adults (1/4 inch) Fleas can jump about 6 inches and they can hitchhike into a building by jumping on a shoe or sock and hitching a ride indoors.
Females lay 3-4 eggs after a bloodmeal and they can lay over 500 in their lifetime –The life cycle is as follows:Eggs – 2 days to hatch; Larvae – about 2 weeks; Pupae stage – anywhere from 14 days to a year under harsh conditions; Adults – about a year.
To control – any wild animals or rodents in or around the structure must be removed or destroyed – Pet owner’s must have pet treated – indoors a flea treatment to all the resting sites of pets... [More]
19. December 2010 09:15
The old house borer is one of the most injurious wood-boring insects . The name is somewhat misleading since a large number of infestations are noticed in homes just four to seven years after construction. The larva bores through wood and also feeds on it. Tunnels made by the larva weaken structural timbers. The borers feed only in pine, spruce, and other coniferous woods.
The old house borer is native to North Africa and is believed to have arrived in North America around 1875. The beetles currently range from Maine to Florida and west to Michigan and Texas.
The adult beetles emerge mainly during July and August. They mate, then the female deposits her eggs in the natural cracks and crevices of the bark of felled logs and in wood stored in lumberyards. Subsequently, infested timber may be used in newly constructed buildings. In wood, the larval stage may last from three to fifteen years. The average time for the borers to reach maturity (in structures heated year long) appears to be... [More]
12. December 2010 09:36
Adults are 1/2 to 5/8 inches long, light brown to tan, with two dark stripes on the shield (pronotum) behind the head.Females are often seen carrying a yellowish-brown egg capsule (ootheca) protruding from the end of the abdomen. Nymphs are generally darker with two prominent dark stripes surrounding a lighter tan spot or stripe on body midsection (thorax).
German cockroaches are our most prolific cockroach species producing 3-6 generations per year. Besides its importance as a sign of poor sanitation used by health departments, the German cockroach has been implicated in the transmission of several pathogenic organisms and as a cause of allergic reactions for children and adults.
German cockroaches do not enter structures from outdoors, they are spread entirely by humans and live only indoors. The German cockroach is the major cockroach pest of residences, restaurants, warehouses and food-processing plants in the United States. German cockroaches spend most of their lives in cracks ... [More]