Tar O Mar - Bugs ID

Carpenter Ants

General Info

  •     Carpenter ants gnaw into wood to make or expand their colonies, not to eat wood
  •     These ants have large and powerful jaws and will bite if disturbed
  •     Carpenter ants are found all over the U.S. but are particularly troublesome in the Pacific Northwest

 

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Where They Nest

  •     Carpenter ants commonly build indoor colonies in wall voids, attics, and water-damaged or rotting structural wood
  •     Common outdoor colonies are found in sheds, firewood, deck woods, tree trunks, gutters, and soffits
  •     Look for ants going in and out of a hole with small bits of sawdust around the opening – this is a sign that the colony is nearby


What They Want From You

When seen indoors, they are looking for:

  •     Food in the form of insects which is their main diet
  •     Moisture found in and around the sink, shower, leaky pipes, and spills - these are ideal locations for building new, indoor colonies


Carpenter ants can enter the home:

  •     Via a tree branch or utility lines that are touching part of the home
  •     Through cracks in the foundation, gaps, or openings around windows and doors
  •     On firewood brought inside to burn

 

 


Why They’re A Problem

  •     The presence of carpenter ants can be a sign of water or moisture problems in your roof, gutters, porch, deck, floors, or walls
  •     Large colonies that are left untreated can be as destructive to homes as termites


Tips & Tricks

  •     Search for leaks in and around areas where you see these ants. These leaks/moist areas will need to be repaired/corrected
  •     Remove limbs/shrubs that touch the house, particularly the roof – ants use these contact points to gain access
  •     Remove stumps and dying trees within 50 feet of the house/garage – these are perfect spots for new colonies to start
  •     Store firewood off the bare ground and away from the house
  •     Consider using inorganic mulches (stone, gravels) in areas where you have had problems with ants, or where ground moisture is a re-occurring problem
  •     Inspect older trees carefully for signs of outdoor colonies




 

 

 

Nuisance Ant

General Info

 

  •     There are many species of Nuisance ants that invade our homes – they come in all different sizes and colors
  •     Some species names are Pharaoh, Argentine, Pavement, and Odorous house ant
  •     When one ant finds food or water they will lay down a chemical trail that guides other worker ants to the source - you will see trails of ants going back and forth from the food or water

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Where They Nest

  •     Household nuisance ants build their colony both indoors (in wall voids or under flooring) and outdoors
  •     If outdoors, the colonies are often built close to the home and are hidden in the soil or under objects on the ground


What They Want From You

  •     These ants are seen indoors when they search for food to bring back to the colony
  •     They are known to eat many different types of food, and they can even change their food preferences during the year


Why They’re A Problem

  •     Nuisance ants can infest and contaminate your food


Tips & Tricks

Cleaning and tidiness is the key! Eliminate food, water, and other things that attract ants:

  •     Remove food spills and exposed food
  •     Store food in sealed containers
  •     Dry out bathtubs and sinks after use
  •     Rinse glass, metal, plastic, and paper food containers before recycling/throwing them out
  •     Clean all kitchen surfaces and vacuum spilled dried food often
  •     Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink
  •     Keep food out of bedrooms and living rooms
  •     Cover or clean up any pet food that may have spilled from your pet's dish


Seal up entryways to help keep them out:

  •     Caulk any cracks or crevices where ants can enter your home from outside or neighboring units
  •     Make sure your windows and doors fit tightly
  •     Avoid putting organic mulch next to your foundation, which provides an ideal place for outdoor ants to build their colony and then invade your home
  •     Do not store items like firewood near the home, which provides a convenient outdoor area for ants to live and make a colony


Avoid common mistakes

  •     Continue to treat problem areas even after all ants are gone (others can re-invade)
  •     When using ant baits, do not place them on areas that have been sprayed with an aerosol or liquid insecticide - ants traveling over sprayed areas will die before they have a chance to bring the bait back to the colony

 

Indoor Breeding Flies

General Info

  •     In warm weather these flies can grow from an egg to an adult incredibly fast (7-14 days)
  •     The larvae or “maggots “are very small and often not even noticeable
  •     Common names for these small flies are fruit flies, vinegar flies, moth flies, and fungus gnats

 

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Where They Breed

  •     These small flies breed in drains/garbage disposals, moist flower pots, garbage cans, ripening fruit, or around any dampness created by plumbing leaks


What They Want From You

  •     These flies are looking for decaying food as a breeding site


Why They’re A Problem

  •     Indoor breeding flies can be annoying and will multiply quickly unless promptly controlled
  •     They contaminate our food by laying their eggs on things we eat


Tips & Tricks

  •     Empty garbage cans regularly
  •     The key to solving an indoor breeding fly problem is to locate and remove the item that is attracting the adult fly – this will often solve the immediate problem
  •     Remove or refrigerate over-ripe fruits and vegetables
  •     These flies can also breed in mops that are continuously moist and not rinsed properly after use
  •     Clean out recyclables and empty bins regularly - these flies can breed in residue left in beverage cans and other recyclables
  •     Use a wire brush or drain cleaner to remove eggs/larvae from drains

 

Termites

General Info

 

  •     Subterranean termites nest in the soil for moisture and come aboveground for wood
  •     Termites are often confused with swarming ants, but termites have wings which are light in color and much longer than their body
  •     Termites also have a thick waist, whereas ants have more of a thread-like waist


 

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Where They Nest

  •     Subterranean termites nest in the soil for moisture and come aboveground for wood
  •     They will often transverse  open areas using “mud tubes” to protect themselves from dehydration
  •     Drywood termites nest in the wood they eat and can nest in house foundations, rafters, furniture, and even books without going back to the soil for moisture


What They Want From You

  •     Termites enter your home looking for wood to eat and nest in


Why They’re A Problem

  •     By feeding on the wood in your home termites can cause very expensive damage and destruction to structural and decorative wood


Tips & Tricks

  •     Keep firewood, lumber, and stumps away from the foundation of your home
  •     Routinely check sheds, decks, porches, and wooden fencing for damage – you may have termites if the wood sounds hollow when tapped
  •     A common warning sign of an active termite infestation is small mud tubes on the exterior of wooden beams, walls, and cinder blocks
  •     If you suspect you have a termite infestation call a reputable pest control expert for an inspection and quote

 

Fire Ants

General Info

  • Fire ants are usually 1/8 - 1/4 inch long and reddish-brown or black in color
  • Fire ants are limited to the Southern tier of states including the Southwest, but they are expanding

 

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Where They Nest

  •     Fire ants generally build colonies outdoors in dome-shaped mounds that are often 1-2 inches in diameter
  •     They will often kill the grass around their mounds
  •     Not all outdoor mounds are visible – some are built under rocks or wood laying on the ground
  •     When the soil is moist and cool, outdoor colonies are located within a couple of feet of the soil surface - during dry periods colonies may be down 5 or even 10 feet
  •     After a heavy rain, many people observe new colonies - these could be new but often they are just hidden colonies that are being re-opened after wet soil clogs the ant tunnels



What They Want From You

When foraging indoors, fire ants are looking for:

  • Food and moisture (found in the sink, shower, leaky pipes, spills, etc.)
  • They are especially likely to look for water when outside temperatures are hot and the weather is dry


Why They’re A Problem

  •     The presence of carpenter ants can be a sign of water or moisture problems in your roof, gutters, porch, deck, floors, or walls
  •     Large colonies that are left untreated can be as destructive to homes as termites


Tips & Tricks

  •     Search for leaks in and around areas where you see these ants. These leaks/moist areas will need to be repaired/corrected
  •     Remove limbs/shrubs that touch the house, particularly the roof – ants use these contact points to gain access
  •     Remove stumps and dying trees within 50 feet of the house/garage – these are perfect spots for new colonies to start
  •     Store firewood off the bare ground and away from the house
  •     Consider using inorganic mulches (stone, gravels) in areas where you have had problems with ants, or where ground moisture is a re-occurring problem
  •     Inspect older trees carefully for signs of outdoor colonies



Why They’re A Problem


  •     Fire Ants can bite you and your pets, but they also have a stinger on their abdomen that they use to inject venom into anything that disturbs their colony
  •     Their stings can be quite painful and multiple stings may require medical attention
  •     Occasionally, a severe and possibly fatal allergic reaction can occur in some individuals
  •     Fire ants are a persistent problem in the south because they routinely move their colonies into new locations with ample food and moisture


Tips & Tricks

  •     Fire ants build and follow trails - looks for these trails around foundations, baseboards, and other moist areas
  •     Remove debris (wood, rocks, stones) close to the foundation of your home where fire ants may build an invisible colony
  •     Caulk any points where ants enter into wall voids, cracks, and crevices including entry points from the outside


Avoid common mistakes

  •     Consider hiring a professional yard maintenance company to treat fire ants if there are too many mounds to treat yourself, or if there is a medical reason to avoid stings
  •     If you decide to treat your yard yourself, only use EPA-registered products labeled for use on fire ants and read and follow the instructions
  •     Universities commonly recommend using a combination of residual sprays, mound treatments, and baits



 

 

 

Large Roaches

General Info

  •     Also known as American roaches or Palmetto Bug, including Australian, Brown, and Smoky Brown roaches
  •     Adult roaches are up to 1 inch long and generally rest in the daytime
  •     After dark, they come out of hiding to mate and forage for food
  •     American roaches can fly but are most often seen running quickly in and out of homes, storage areas, and garages

 

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Where They Hide

In Southern homes with yards:

  •     In Southern states American roaches live outdoors
  •     They are often found around the foundation of the home, near patios and porches, or under mulches, shrubs, and other plant material
  •     Once inside, American roaches can be found hiding in dark, humid areas like laundry rooms, utility rooms, basements, garages and crawl spaces


In Northern homes and apartments:

  •     American cockroaches can be found outdoors only in semi-warm areas like sewer systems and steam tunnels
  •     Indoors you can find them in storage areas, building basements, and garbage collection areas


What They Want From You

  •     American roaches will treat your home or apartment as an all-inclusive resort; they’ll invite themselves over for food, water, and shelter, especially during very cold or hot weather
  •     American roaches are attracted to foods with sugar, starch, or grease, but will feed on nearly anything including pet food


Why They’re A Problem

  •     Some American roaches can pick-up, carry, and spread harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, to other surfaces that they walk across
  •     Many people are scared or repulsed by roaches due to their unsightly appearance and smell


Tips & Tricks

Eliminate their food and water sources and hiding places:

  •     Remove food spills and exposed food, especially near appliances
  •     Store food in sealed containers
  •     Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink
  •     Take out the garbage regularly and tie it closed tightly
  •     Toss out old boxes and newspapers that serve as good hiding places and hard places to treat
  •     Clean and vacuum regularly, especially behind ovens, microwaves, toasters, and refrigerators
  •     Keep food out of bedrooms and living rooms
  •     Keep basements and storage areas dry


Seal up entryways and point of access to keep them out of the home or apartment:

  •     Caulk cracks and crevices where roaches can enter from the outside or neighboring units
  •     Do not store items like firewood or other debris near the home, which provides areas for outdoor roaches to hide and breed
  •     Identify and repair indoor water leaks that provide moisture and high humidity that these roaches prefer to live in.


Avoid common mistakes during treatment:

  •     When using baits or gel, be sure you do not place them on areas that have been sprayed with an aerosol or liquid insecticide - roaches traveling over sprayed areas will die before they have a chance to bring the bait back to the nest
  •     Never spray the bait or gel with an aerosol or liquid insecticide – cockroaches will not eat it
  •     When using baits or gels, be sure to remove competing food and water sources so the pests are forced to eat the bait
  •     Replace baits at intervals prescribed on the label or when they are completely eaten
  •     The more baits you can place and the closer you place them to where the roaches hide during the day, the better your control will be
  •     Remember to place baits around the access points of the home (entrances, openings, soffits, under steps, the garage) to intercept the roaches as they travel to and from the home

 

Outdoor Filth Flies

General Info

  •  Also known as House Fly, Blow Fly, Green Bottle Fly, Blue Bottle Fly, Flesh Fly
  •  Filth breeding flies are scavengers attracted to moist organic matter to both lay their eggs and take a meal

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Where They Breed

  •     Fly larvae or “maggots” breed in many different outdoor areas, from composting plant material to manure, garbage, and decaying animal carcasses


What They Want From You

  •     These flies are attracted to food odors and the offer of a free meal


Why They’re A Problem

  •     As they feed, these flies can pick up germs and filth on their bodies and then redeposit them wherever they land
  •     Indoors, they are a nuisance as they hover around food, particularly in the kitchen and living room


Tips & Tricks

  •     Tightly cover garbage cans and waste receptacles and seal garbage bags
  •     Take out indoor garbage regularly
  •     Do not leave doors and windows open to keep flies from entering
  •     Inspect screens for holes and loose edges that may allow flies to enter
  •     Store food in sealed containers and keep fruit refrigerated
  •     Remove all moist organic matter where flies are breeding, particularly in areas close to the outside of the home
  •    

Small Roaches

General Info

  •     Also known as German roaches
  •     German roaches are 1/4” to 1/2” long and generally hide in the daytime
  •     After dark, roaches come out to mate and forage for food
  •     German roaches can be very tough to control because they reproduce so quickly

 

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Where They Hide

  •     German roaches always live indoors, usually invading the kitchen, pantry, and bathroom
  •     They like to hide in cracks, crevices, or other protected areas that are suitably warm and humid during the daytime hours


What They Want From You

  •     Food, water, warmth
  •     German roaches are especially attracted to foods that have sugar, starch, or grease, but will feed on almost anything


Why They’re A Problem

  •     Some German roaches can pick-up, carry and spread harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, to other surfaces that they walk across
  •     They deposit their feces in cupboards, sinks, and on countertops
  •     They are a source of allergies and asthma in children (make sure to sweep up and remove dead cockroaches and their feces to decrease this impact)


Tips & Tricks

Eliminate their food and water sources and hiding places:

  •     Remove food spills and exposed food, especially near appliances
  •     Store food in sealed containers
  •     Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink
  •     Take out the garbage regularly and tie the bag tightly
  •     Toss out old boxes and newspapers that serve as good hiding places
  •     Clean and vacuum regularly behind ovens, microwaves, toasters, and refrigerators
  •     Keep food out of bedrooms and living rooms
  •     Keep storage areas dry


Seal up points of access to keep them out:

  •     Caulk cracks and crevices where roaches can hide
  •     Seal areas where they can enter your apartment from neighboring units


Avoid common mistakes during treatment

  •     When using baits or gel, be sure you do not place them on areas that have been sprayed with an aerosol or liquid insecticide.  Roaches traveling over sprayed areas will die before they have a chance to bring the bait back to the nest.
  •     Never spray the bait or gel with an aerosol or liquid insecticide – cockroaches will not eat it
  •     When using baits or gels, be sure to remove competing food and water sources so the roaches are forced to go to the bait
  •     Replace baits at intervals prescribed on the label or when they are completely eaten
  •     The more baits you can place and the closer you place them to where the roaches hide during the day, the better your control will be

 

 

Mound-building Ants

General Info

  •     Mounds are built by worker ants who excavate soil to build the colony
  •     Most species do not sting or directly harm humans or pets

 

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Where They Nest

  • Many ants other than fire ants build their colonies under dirt mounds
  •  These mounds are located in lawns, mulch areas, and along sidewalks, patios, decks, and the foundation


What They Want From You

  •     Food, food spills, and moisture (found in the sink, shower, leaky pipes, spills, etc.)


Why They’re A Problem

  • Their mounds can be unsightly in your landscape and they often kill the surrounding grass
  • Mound-building ants that you see outside may eventually come inside in search of food and water


Tips & Tricks

  • Remove debris (wood, rocks, stones) close to the foundation of your home where ants may build a colony
  • Caulk any points where ants enter into wall voids, cracks, and crevices including entry points from the outside

 

 

 

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