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Pest-A-Pedia

 

Argentina Ant

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argentine_ant

The Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile), a small brown ant about 2-3mm long, is one of the world’s most damaging insects. This pernicious ant is spreading to warmer regions around the world from its natal habitat along South America’s Paraná River. Linepithema humile can drive native arthropods to extinction, instigating changes that ripple through ecosystems.

 

Bedbugs / Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedbug

Bedbugs or bed bugs are small parasitic insects of the family Cimicidae (most commonly Cimex lectularius).The term usually refers to species that prefer to feed on human blood. All insects in this family live by feeding exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals.

A number of health effects may occur due to bed bugs including skin rashes, psychological effects and allergic symptoms. Diagnosis involves both finding bed bugs and the occurrence of compatible symptoms. Treatment is otherwise symptomatic.

 

Fleas

Fleas Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleas

Flea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera which are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals (including bats and humans) and birds.

 

 Fire Ants

Fire Ant Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_ant

A typical fire ant colony produces large mounds in open areas, and feeds mostly on young plants, seeds, and sometimes crickets. Fire ants often attack small animals and can kill them. Unlike many other ants, which bite and then spray acid on the wound, fire ants bite only to get a grip and then sting (from the abdomen) and inject a toxic alkaloid venom called solenopsin, a compound from the class of piperidines. For humans, this is a painful sting, a sensation similar to what one feels when burned by fire—hence the name fire ant—and the after effects of the sting can be deadly to sensitive individuals. The venom is both insecticidal and antibiotic. Researchers have proposed that ant nurse workers will spray their brood to protect them from microorganisms.

 

Kudzu Beetle -Stink Bug

Kudzu bug (Photo: Phillip Roberts, Univ. of GA)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megacopta_cribraria

The Kudzu Bug (Megacopta cribraria), is native to Asia, this pest undoubtedly found it's way to the States along all the Kudzu we brought many years ago. Also known as the bean beetle and the Kudzu Bug, globular stink bugs like to feed on Kudzu during the spring and summer. In the fall, they'll start seeking a safe place to stay for the upcoming winter. During this time they can become an invasive insect.

 

Mice

Mouse Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse

A mouse (plural: mice) is a small mammal belonging to the order of rodents. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (Mus musculus). It is also a popular pet. In some places, certain kinds of field mice are also common. This rodent is eaten by large birds such as hawks and eagles. They are known to invade homes for food and occasionally shelter.

 

 Rats
   
Wild Rat
       
Roof Rat
       
Norway Rat

Wild Rat

Rat Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat

Wild rats can carry many different zoonotic pathogens, such as e.g. Leptospira, Toxoplasma gondii and Campylobacter, and may transfer these across species, for example to humans[2]. The Black Death is traditionally believed to have been caused by the micro-organism Yersinia pestis, carried by the Tropical Rat Flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) which preyed on Black Rat living in European cities during the epidemic outbreaks of the Middle Ages; these rats were used as transport hosts. Today, this cycle still exists in many countries of the world and plague outbreaks still occur every year. Beside transmitting zoonotic pathogens, rats are also linked to the spread of contagious animal pathogens that may result in livestock diseases such as Classical swine fever and Foot-and-mouth disease.

The normal lifespan of rats ranges from two to five years, and is typically three years.

Roof Rat

Roof Rat Image

The roof rat is also known as the black rat, the rodent was called the black rat mostly in the Middle Ages. The rat’s name is also a reminder of the plague or Black Death, which the species was the initial carrier of the plague. Still to this day the roof rat still carries just as harmful diseases on its body. Also the roof rat can carry fleas, lice, bacteria, and parasites. The health implications are serious, and unlike spiders or scorpions they do not have to physically bite a person to infect them. Roof rat’s droppings that are often left behind, sometimes in gross high amounts, can cause a person to become ill. Not only are the rats carriers of diseases, what they leave behind can still have the potential to get a person sick. See how to handle this situation if it occurs by reading our blog on the diseases roof rats carry.

If you see droppings, how are you to know they are from a roof rat or a common house mouse? The droppings of a roof rat are actually long and cylindrical; the droppings are the most useful tool to determine if they have infiltrated your home. These rodents are nocturnal, so catching them out and about in your home in the day does not usually happen. It is what the rat leaves behind that will help you decide how to handle them. Although there is a chance you could find them sleeping in your attic. In order to tell if the rat is an actual roof rat look for these characteristics they can be as long as 18 inches, sometimes their tails are shorter than their bodies, have large ears and have a brown to black colored fur.

Norway Rat

Norway Rat Image

http://nematode.unl.edu/norwayrat.htm

The Norway Rat came to North America aboard ships around 1775.

Dark brown to black, 12-18 inches in length including the bald tail, stocky body, small hairy ears, small eyes and a blunt snout, adaptable to a wide range of conditions.  
Nocturnal and cautious, they do not travel far from their nest.  Norway rats can enter a structure through an opening as small as ½ inch. They nest in lower levels of buildings and basements and burrow outdoors in soil, under sidewalks, near streams and rivers and near garbage.  Norway rats have poor agility and sight but their other senses are excellent.  They are good swimmers.  Foods of choice are meat, fish, and cereals. Rats will chew through almost anything to get to food or water.

Adults usually live between 6 to 12 months, generally producing 3 - 6 litters, with an average of  7 - 8 young per litter. 

Norway rats consume and contaminate foodstuffs and animal feed, cause structural damages to buildings and their foundations, road ways, railroad tracks and irrigation canals. Norway rats may also transmit the following diseases to humans or livestock:  murine typhus, leptospirosis, trichinosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning), and ratbite fever.

 

 Roaches

Roach Image

www.ces.ncsu.edu/gaston/Pests/roaches.html


Cockroaches
have been present on the earth for more than 400 million years. Cockroaches are considered to be one of the worst household pests because they contaminate food with their excrement, prduce allergens and secrete an unpleasant odor which can permeate the indoor environment. Many people develop allergies to cockroaches. Allergens present in roach feces can become airborne along with normal house dust. The allergens can then be inhaled from the air or ingested when in contact with food.

Cockroaches prefer moist, warm, dark places typical of many homes. Roaches will eat almost anything they find, including pet food, crumbs, spoiled food, paints, wallpaper pastes, and book bindings. They can carry germs from the sink or bathroom onto dishes and other food surfaces, thus spreading bacteria that cause food poisoning.

 

Scorpions

Scorpion Image

http://www.thaibugs.com/Articles/scorpion_facts.htm

Despite having six to twelve eyes - an obvious pair at the centre of the carapace and two to five smaller eyes on each side - scorpions do not have good eyesight. However, they can readily distinguish light from dark and appear to have excellent low light sensitivity, which helps them to both avoid harsh sunlight and to navigate by starlight or moonlight. They sense their way around using sensory hairs and slit organs on the legs, pedipalps and body that pick up vibrations and scents (mechanoreceptors and chemoreceptors). They also have special organs on the underside of the body called pectines, which pick up ground textures and scents.

 

Silverfish

Silverfish Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverfish

Silverfish consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives. These include glue, book bindings, paper, photos, sugar, coffee, hair, carpet, clothing and dandruff. Silverfish can also cause damage to tapestries. Other substances that may be eaten include cotton, linen, silk, synthetic fibres and dead insects or even its own exuvia (moulted exoskeleton). During famine, a silverfish may even attack leatherware and synthetic fabrics. Silverfish can live for a year or more without eating.

Silverfish are considered a household pest, due to their consumption and destruction of property. Although they are responsible for the contamination of food and other types of damage, they do not transmit disease.

 

Spiders

Spider Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider

Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and chelicerae with fangs that inject venom. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat with the exception of air and sea colonization. As of 2008, approximately 40,000 spider species, and 109 families have been recorded by taxonomists; however, there has been confusion within the scientific community as to how all these families should be classified, as evidenced by the over 20 different classifications that have been proposed since 1900.

 

Termites

Eastern Subterranean Termites can withstand a wider range of temperatures and are able to survive in every state except Alaska.  http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/444/444-502/444-502.html

Subterranean termites are the single greatest economic pest in the United States. These termites cause billions of dollars in damage each year to homes, historical structures, and commercial buildings. In addition to buildings, termites also consume valuable books, documents and photographs. Subterranean termites have existed for over 55 million years and are extremely good at what they do. A great deal of their success can be attributed to their cooperative behavior. Subterranean termites are social insects. This means that they live in family groups called colonies. Social insects are different from other insects (grasshoppers, cockroaches, or beetles) because each termite in the colony performs a specific job that benefits the colony as a whole. Most other insects work only for themselves. For example, each individual grasshopper will feed and reproduce itself independently of its siblings. In the termite colony, an entire group or caste of termites is responsible for feeding their parents and siblings, while another caste is responsible for reproduction. Because of this division of labor, the colony of individuals functions as a single animal. The following is a description of how a subterranean termite colony becomes established and how the different castes interact and communicate as the colony grows.

Ticks

Tick Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick

Tick is the common name for the small arachnids in superfamily Ixodoidea that, along with other mites, constitute the Acarina. Ticks are ectoparasites (external parasites), living by hematophagy on the blood of mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are vectors of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease, Q fever (rare; more commonly transmitted by infected excreta), Colorado tick fever, tularemia, tick-borne relapsing fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and tick-borne meningoencephalitis, as well as anaplasmosis in cattle and canine jaundice.

 

Wasps

Wasp Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp

The term wasp is typically defined as any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant. Almost every pest insect species has at least one wasp species that preys upon it or parasitizes it, making wasps critically important in natural control of their numbers, or natural biocontrol. Parasitic wasps are increasingly used in agricultural pest control as they prey mostly on pest insects and have little impact on crops.

 

Yellowjackets

Yellowjacket Image

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket is the common name in North America for predatory wasps of the genera Vespula and Dolichovespula. Members of these genera are known simply as "wasps" in other English-speaking countries. Most of these are black and yellow; some are black and white (such as the bald-faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata), while others may have the abdomen background color red instead of black. They can be identified by their distinctive markings, small size (similar to a honey bee), their occurrence only in colonies, and a characteristic, rapid, side to side flight pattern prior to landing. All females are capable of stinging which can cause pain to the person who has been stung.

 

 

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