Paper wasps get their common name from the paperlike material of which they construct their nests; The nests are an umbrella-shape that consists of single-layered brood chambers of paper. Nests remain relatively small, with colonies generally numbering less than 200 workers. Paper wasps have elongate bodies with distinct body segments, long metathoracic legs that are held outstretched in flight, and strong, relatively narrow, wings. Only the female have a stinger, but Paper wasps are relatively docile, rarely attaching humans unless provoked. Paper wasps are considered beneficial insects because they prey upon many pests that feed on agricultural crops. However, in urban areas, paper wasps hang their comb nest in a variety of protected sites near humans, including under the eaves and porch ceilings of houses and outlying buildings, in attic rafters bushes, trees, under bark, and sometimes under stones. The threat of a paper wasp's sting, and the homeowner's perception
These beetles were first reported in North Carolina in 1992. Multicolored Asian lady beetles are about 1/4 inch long. Females are slightly larger than males and specimens from higher elevations are larger than those from the Piedmont and Coastal Plains. These lady beetles vary greatly in appearance. Some have yellowish or orange forewings. Some have beige forewings and some are bright reddish orange. During the spring and summer, these lady beetles feed on aphids in field crops, gardens, meadows and trees. Multicolored Asian lady beetles are effective predators of aphids and some scale insects and are extremely beneficial for both agricultural and horticultural crops. As temperatures start to cool in the fall , the adult lady beetles begin their search for protected places in which they can pass the winter. The beetles use visual or physical cues to find suitable overwintering sites. These locations tend to be the sunnier or warmer sides of buildings, or on exposed, light-colored
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.
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.
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. - See more at: http://www.thebiggreenk.com/blog/default.aspx?page
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 traveled, and damaged goods. All rat species and mice species have very good senses - with the exception of sight.
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.