February 25th, 2009 by BugGuy
Have you ever had a large swarm of small moths coming out of your kitchen cabinets or flying around your home?
Generally these are going to be the Indian Meal Moth.
The adults of this moth have a wing spread of about ¾”. The front wings are tan on the front third and reddish/brown with a coppery luster on the back two-thirds of the wings. Their larva is about ½” long, and usually a dirty white color, sometimes with a yellowish, greenish or even pinkish hue.
This moth is most often found in products in the home. The Indian Meal Moth larva (pdf) feeds on all types of grains and grain based products. They also love seeds, pet foods and treats, crackers, powdered milk, bread crumbs, nuts and almost any other dried foods. Having these moths in your home isn’t usually a cleanliness issue because they are normally packaged in the food when it was purchased. It only becomes a cleanliness issue if you don’t take measures to get rid of the insects.
Eradicating the infested food source is 75% of the battle, followed by a crack and crevice treatment to eliminate the stragglers. It’s important to note that there are other moths that look similar but may have different habits, and this is why a professional technician should be called out to properly identify the problem.
Posted in Pest Control Orange County, Pest ID, Profiles of Common Pests | No Comments »
February 19th, 2009 by BugGuy
Centipedes are common house pests that are often misidentified by a homeowner. The most common homeowner description of a centipede is a big spider with lots of legs.
The body of a house centipede is usually about 1″ to 1- ½” long and has 15 pairs of very long legs, which is why it’s often confused with a spider. The body of a house centipede is grayish yellow with three dark stripes extending along the full length of the back; which also makes the insect look larger than it really is.
One major difference between the house centipede and other species of centipedes is that the house centipede generally lives its entire life inside a building, where most other species will live primarily outside.
In homes and other buildings, the house centipede prefers damp areas such as closets, cellars, bathrooms and unexcavated areas under the house. House centipedes will lay their eggs behind baseboards and the bark of firewood stored inside the building.
Aside from their creepy appearance, house centipedes are considered to be a beneficial insect since the bug hunts at night for spiders, smaller insects and their larvae. House centipedes typically leave humans alone but on occasion, a house centipede will bite which could cause swelling and redness.
Treatments by a professional pest control company are all a homeowner needs to keep house centipedes at bay.
Posted in Pest Control Orange County, Pest ID, Profiles of Common Pests | 5 Comments »
February 4th, 2009 by BugGuy
The pest in the picture to the left is a glassy-winged sharpshooter. The name is not made up but the insect is considered both exotic and invasive to the state of California, this pest has is even been seen in Orange County.
A pest that is exotic and invasive is a pest that is not a native species (insect, plant, etc…) and has rapidly spread throughout the region. Exotic and invasive pests can be intentionally or accidentally introduced. But many times it is very difficult to eradicate the species and can often cause environmental problems within its new home.
According to invasivespeciesinfo.gov, almost half of endangered and threaten species in the United States are impacted by invasive species. The same site mentions that one study estimates that invasive species cost more than $100 billion for the United States every year.
It’s interesting to note that species that are staples in our country such as rice, corn and cattle were once introduced and could be considered invasive and exotic. So it’s possible to say that there are pros and cons. But more often than not, the introduction of invasive and exotic pests should be avoided.
Here are a few easy steps to prevent a non-native species from becoming invasive:
- Avoid dumping anything from an aquarium into local ponds, streams, etc… This include plants, fish and invertebrate
- Burn firewood where you buy it…transporting firewood can move insects and other pests from one region to another
- When possible, use native plants in your landscaping
- Think twice when buying exotic pests such as pythons, parrots, etc… these animals can cause numerous problems including threats to safety and human health
Here’s a great resource for invasive and exotic pests. This site includes information and pictures for exotic insects, plants, weeds and other species. Invasive.org is also a great place to find related links and publications dedicated to invasive and exotic pests.
Posted in Exotic and Invasive Pests, Pest Control FAQ, Pest Control Orange County | No Comments »