Pest Library

Silverfish

    

Silverfish are always wingless and are silvery to brown in color because their bodies are covered with fine scales. They are generally soft bodied. Adults are up to 3/4 inch long, flattened from top to bottom, elongated and oval in shape, have three long tail projections and two long antennae. They are medically harmless.

Females lay eggs continuously after reaching the adult stage and may lay over 100 eggs during her life. Eggs are deposited singly or in small groups in cracks and crevices and hatch in 3 to weeks. Silverfish develop from egg to young to adult within 4 to 6 weeks and continue to molt throughout their life. They are long-lived, surviving from two to eight years.

Silverfish are chewing insects and general feeders but prefer carbohydrates and protein, including flour, dried meat, rolled oats, paper and even glue. They and can survive long periods, sometimes over a year, without food but are sensitive to moisture and require a high humidity (75% to 90%) to survive. They also have a temperature preference between 70 and 80 degrees F. They are fast running and mostly active at night and generally prefer lower levels in homes, but may be found in attics. Many of their habits are similar to cockroaches.

Pest Library

Mosquitos

All mosquitoes have four stages of development-egg, larva, pupa, and adult-and spend their larval and pupal stages in water. The females of some species deposit their eggs directly on the surface of still water. This water is often stagnant and close to the home in discarded tires, ornamental pools, unused wading and swimming pools, tin cans, bird baths, plant saucers, and even gutters and flat roofs. The eggs deposited on such waters soon hatch into larvae. In the hot summer months, larvae grow rapidly, become pupae, and emerge one week later as flying adult mosquitoes.

Only the Female Can Bite. When adult mosquitoes emerge from the aquatic stages, they mate, and the female seeks a blood meal to obtain the protein necessary for the development of her eggs. The females of a few species may produce a first batch of eggs without this first blood meal. After a blood meal is digested and the eggs are laid, the female mosquito again seeks a blood meal to produce a second batch of eggs. Depending on her stamina and the weather, she may repeat this process many times without mating again. The male mosquito does not take a blood meal, but may feed on plant nectar. He lives for only a short time after mating. Female can carry diseases, such as malaria, Encephalitis and yellow fever.

Pest Library

    

Centipede

The house centipede is grayish-yellow with 3 dark, long stripes down the back with the legs encircled with alternating dark and white bands. The actual body length is an inch or slightly longer (wormlike), surrounded with 15 pairs of very long legs making the creature appear much larger. The last pair of legs is more than twice the body length of the female. A pair of very long slender antennae extends forward from the head. They mate and breed in dark cracks and crevices. Eggs hatch into larvae which have 4 pairs of legs. There may be 5 or more larval stages with the number of legs increasing with each molt. Following larval growth are 4 adolescent stages, each with 15 pairs of legs. Centipedes prey on insects, spiders and other small animals, being considered beneficial to humans.

The house centipede, unlike most other centipedes that normally live outdoors, can live indoors especially in damp, moist basements, cellars, bathrooms, crawlspaces or unexcavated areas under the house. They are sometimes seen running rapidly across the floor with great speed, stopping suddenly to remain motionless and then resuming fast movements. They are considered harmless to humans.

Pest Library

Rodents

    
ROOF RAT (Rattus Rattus)

Also called the black rat. The black rat is a common long-tailed rodent. It is again largely confined to warm areas. Despite its name it comes in several color forms. Compared to the Brown Rat, it is a poor swimmer, but more agile and a better climber, tending even to flee upwards. It is usually black to light brown in color with a lighter underside. A typical rat will be 20 cm long with a further 20 cm of tail. It is nocturnal and omnivorous, with a preference for grains. In a suitable environment it will breed throughout the year, with a female producing three to six litters of up to twenty young. Females may regulate their production of offspring during times when food is scarce, throwing as few as only one litter a year. Roof rat lives for about 2-3 years. Social groups of up to sixty can be formed.

NORWAY RAT (Rattus Norvegicus)

Also called the brown rat, house rat.The Norway rat is found generally at lower elevations but may be found wherever humans live. The tail is scaly, semi-naked and shorter than the head and body combined.They burrow to make nests under buildings, beneath concrete slabs, in garbage dumps, and at other locations where suitable food, water, and shelter are present.

These Rats have poor eyesight, are colorblind and very sensitive to motion.

Female Norway rats may come into heat every 4 or 5 days.

Litters of 6 to 12 young are born 21 to 23 days after conception and they grow rapidly. They can eat solid food at 2 1/2 to 3 weeks. They become completely independent at about 3 to 4 weeks and reach reproductive maturity at 3 months of age, sometimes as early as 8 weeks.

HOUSE MOUSE (Mus Musculus)

The house mouse is a small, slender nocturnal rodent that has a slightly pointed nose; small, black, somewhat protruding eyes; large, scantily haired ears, and a nearly hairless tail with obvious scale rings. They are colorblind. They are generally grayish-brown with a gray or buff belly. The house mouse often lives in close association with humans. They are not hesitant to sample new foods and are considered "nibblers," sampling many kinds of items that may exist in their environment. Foods high in fat, protein, or sugar may be preferred some ex. are bacon, chocolate candies, butter and nutmeats. They can get by with little or no water. They obtain their water needs from the food they eat.

Litters of 5 or 6 young are born 19 to 21 days after mating, although females that conceive while still nursing may have a slightly longer gestation period. Newborn mice grow rapidly. They begin to make short excursions from the nest and eat solid food at 3 weeks. Weaning soon follows, and mice are sexually mature as early as 6 to 10 weeks old.

Pest Library

Termites

    

Each year, many households become infested by a variety of wood destroying insects, the most notable being termites. If left unchecked they can cause serious structural damage to a home. In fact, in the United States, termites do more damage to homes annually than all reported fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and windstorms combined.

Termites, like ants and bees, are social insects and live in colonies. The termite colony is comprised of several castes including a queen, soldiers, winged reproductives (swarmers) and workers. The winged reproductives, or swarmers, are the form most commonly seen by homeowners. Ant colonies also release winged reproductives (flying ants). Many times termite infestations go unchecked when a homeowner mistakes termite swarmers for flying ants.

While termite swarmers are a nuisance, they do not cause damage. Their sole function is to find a mate and begin a new colony.Termites are different from almost all other insects in that they can convert the cellulose in wood products back into sugar and utilize it as a food source. They receive nourishment from the sugars and starch which the tree stored during its growth. Still other insects, such as carpenter ants and carpenter bees, get no food whatever from the wood but simply excavates holes and cavities in the wood to provide protective shelter.