Native to North Carolina is the Southern yellow jacket. They are named "yellow jacket" for the yellow and black color pattern. The queen of the Southern yellow jacket is different looking than her workers because she is very large (bigger than one inch) and predominately orange with black markings.Yellow jackets typically have annual colonies and inseminated queens are the only individuals to overwinter. Most pest species of yellowjackets (except baldfaced hornets) are primarily ground nesters. Ground nests can be found in yards, gardens, flower beds, pastures, and roadside embankments. Aeral nests are typically constructed in trees, under eaves, in wall voids of buildings or in storage sheds.In general, yellowjackets are beneficial insects because they kill numerous flies, caterpillars, beetle larvae, and other arthropod pests.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Smoky-brown cockroaches require high humidity for survival. They are found outside in wooded areas that provide shade and moisture. They can also be seen in protected areas around homes (tree holes and mulch) and in buildings and attics. Stacks of lumber and firewood, sewer-access openings and trash piles can contribute to infestations. Once in structures they are commonly found in attics or near fireplaces. These cockroaches can be attracted by a leaky roof.
To control Smoky-Brown Roaches you should eliminate or alter any conditions which encourage the presence and/or reproduction of the roaches. These pests thrive in dark, humid areas which have little or no air flow.
Spray exterior of structure with an appropriate labeled insecticide. Spray any crack, crevice or entry point on the outside of the structure. This includes treating around all windows, doors, vents and in weep holes of brick veneer. Also spray tree trunks, from ground to crotch of tree, but no higher than six feet
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.
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.
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.