Listed below you will find our 411 on pests. The most important aspect in pest management is understanding the biology and behavior of the pest that you are trying to control; for instance, there are many different ant species. Each species of ant may have different nesting, eating, and foraging behavior. If you use a product or treatment that is successful for one type, it may make a problem even worse for another. The first step is always making a positive identification of the organism and then to call us!

Annual Bluegrass Weevil (Listronotus maculicollis)

Length: 1/8 inch to 5/32 inch

Color: Young: Dark, with yellow hairs Adults: Shiny black

Location: (Northeast and Midwest states, major problem of golf courses). Thrive on the  edges of low-trimmed grass areas, which is why they are attracted to golf courses.

Description: Once weevils find a home, they infest as much of that area as possible. Activity begins in April, leading to offspring in May. They feed on grass stems that are available in their location.

Dangers: Infestations have been known to destroy entire areas of grass or fields. As the  larvae and adults feed on grass stems, crops and plants can be wasted in very short in the grass and leads to entire fields being killed if not treated in time.

 Aphids (Chrysanthemum aphid: Macrosiphoniella sanborni)

Length: 1/10 inch

Color: (Many different colors depending on the type of aphid)   Green, Brown, Reddish Black

Location: Aphids prefer a temperate zone. They can travel virtually anywhere by riding on the wind. Greenhouses are the biggest target of aphids.

Description: There are many different types of aphids, from Rose to Spirea, but they all   suck the sap and life from plants to keep themselves alive.

Dangers: Aphids feed on stems by sucking the sap out of the tender plants in their location. This leads to plant deformation, leaves shriveling and viruses, and diseases that can destroy whole populations of plants.

Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile)

Color:Shiny brown

Location: Southern parts of the U.S.

Description: Argentine ants set up residence in concrete cracks, spaces between wood, and under leafy ground areas.

Dangers: If the argentine ant invades an area, it will destroy or replace all of the other  species of insects/animals in that location. This leads to damaged ecosystems, which   hurts all of the other species in that ecosystem. Argentine ants also protect  aphids, which causes plants and trees to die because of the lack of sap.

Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda)

Length: 1.5 to 2 inches

Color: Dull yellow to gray, with stripes

Location: Most of the United States, more common in the Northern half.

Description: Three types of armyworms; true, fall, and lawn armyworms, exist  throughout the world. The most prevalent in the United States is the fall armyworm, which invade fields and wooded areas once they have exhausted their  previous location’s food.

Dangers: Since armyworms feed as a group, the amount of damage that they can deliver to your field/grass can be devastating. Armyworms will eat everything in their   location and then leave for another fresh source as soon as they have  exhausted the field. They grow extremely fast, and produce many offspring leading to faster, more efficient consumption of their prey.

 Bark Scorpion (Centruroides exilicauda)

Length: 1 to 2 inches

Color: Light to dark brown/black

Location: Southwest United States (Mainly Arizona)

Description: Bark Scorpions feed at night after spending the day in the bark of trees.  They are the only scorpion whose tail curls to the side. If their home has been destroyed they find houses and other dwellings to live in.

Dangers: This scorpion is known for being extremely lethal. It is the most venomous scorpion in all of North America. If stung by the bark scorpion, pain and   dysfunction can last for 24 to 72 hours. There is no FDA approved antivenom for the bark scorpion’s sting.

Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius)

Length: 4 to 5 mm

Color: Reddish brown

Location:

Bed bugs hide and live in the crevices of mattresses and  furniture.

Description: Bed bugs feed every 5 to 10 days for about five minutes at a time. Early  morning hours and the couple hours before the sun rises are peak feeding times    for bed bugs. When a bug bites a warm-blooded animal it pierces with two tubes:  One contains anesthetics so that its victim does not know that it is feeding, and the other tube is what the bug uses to sucks blood from its victim. They are very  small and breed quickly, allowing it to invade areas with great efficiency.

Dangers: Bed bug bites are known to cause skin rashes, irritation, disease/infection, and  even psychological damage. Even if just one bed bug is transferred to an area, in 4-6 months, there will be an infestation.

Big Headed Ant (Pheidole spp.)

Length: 1/10 to 1/7 inch

Color: Light brown to red brown

Location: Found throughout the entire U.S., but most prominent in Florida.

Description: These ants are active foragers and will take up residence anywhere that soil is likely to become damp. They also tend to form “super colonies” that can span  the length and width of a city block.

Dangers: If these ants are given enough room to form a “super colony” the ground will  become weak and give out after a period of time. They have also been known to  ruin wooden structures and entire supplies of timber.

Black Widow Spider (Latrodectus)

Length: ½ to 1 ½ inches

Color:Black (sometimes brown) with a red hourglass on the abdomen.

Location: Throughout entire U.S. Woodpiles and unbothered places.

Description: Black widow spiders prefer to live in unbothered places because they are a timid creature, but if they are provoked they will defend themselves. The male  species is considered harmless, but the females contain highly dangerous venom.

Dangers: If bitten by a black widow spider, immediate medical help is necessary. The  venom is estimated at 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake. Although fatalities are rare, bites can result in muscle soreness, aches, and difficulty breathing.

Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa)

Length: ¼ to ¾ inch

Color: Light to medium brown

Location: Southern states, mainly in Texas through Georgia

Description:One of the ways to identify a brown recluse is to look at its eyes. While  most spiders have 8 eyes, the brown recluse only has 6, arranged in pairs. This  spider does not jump and does not appear to leave silk in its trail.

Dangers: The brown recluse spider is incredibly venomous, although not overly  aggressive. If bitten by a brown recluse, extreme pain, inflammation, and necrosis   may occur. There have been houses known to contain over 2,000 brown recluse spiders. It is important to deal with these spiders before they get out of hand.

Carpenter Ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Length: ½ to 1 inch

Color: Tan to black

Location: Throughout the entire world.

Description: These ants get their name because of their attraction to wood. They build  their homes in any hollowed out trees, firewood, plywood, or fence posts that they can find. They feed on insects and the secretion of insects.

Dangers: Carpenter ants build their homes by hollowing out spaces in the types of wood  they prefer to live in. This causes structural damage and the possibility of unsafe living because of weak housing bases. Carpenter ants need to be dealt with by  professionals because of the dangers of leaving hollowed wood in the foundation of a house.

Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis)

Length: 1/16 inch

Color: Brown

Location: Throughout the entire world

Description: Cat fleas are the most abundant species of flea on Earth. Although the main host of the cat flea is feline, they can bite and transmit diseases to humans. The  female flea lays her eggs on the host, which hatch into larvae and start sucking blood from the host. Humans cannot be infested.

Dangers: Many diseases such as bartonella, murine typhus, and apedermatitis can be  transmitted to cats and humans. If swallowed, tapeworm can be transmitted from   the cat flea.

Chigger Mite (Trombicula autumnalis)

Length: 1/60 inch

Color: Chrome-orange

Location: Nearly world-wide

Description: Chigger mites live in forests and grasslands, preferring damp areas where vegetation is rank. Their life cycle consists of eggs, larvae, nymph, and adult.  These mites are different from most parasites because they feed on skin cells and  not blood.

Dangers: Although chigger mites do not feed on blood, their bites will still irritate the skin of victims and lead from a single red point which can be identified as the  chigger larvae.

Chinch Bug (Blissus leucopterus)

Length: 5/32 inch

Color: Dark-red to brown

Location: North and South America

Description: Chinch bugs gather on sunny patches of Turfgrass, which is why they are  abundant at golf courses. Chinch bugs feed on the stems of Turfgrass. These pests live a little less than one year.

Dangers: Chinch bugs are particularly harmful to humans because of the effect they have on farmers. These bugs destroy populations of crops and ruin golf courses by feeding on the grass and plants.

Clover Mite (Bryobia praetiosa)

Length: .75 to .85 mm

Color: Reddish-brown

Location: South-facing walls and next to building foundations.

Description: Clover mites are long, oval shaped, and actually part of the arachnid family.They feed on plants mainly found around homes, and become numerous when the grass is well-fertilized and plentiful.

Dangers: Clover mites do not do any damage to humans directly, but their effect on the  environment is detrimental. These mites cause harmful injury to plants and Turfgrass, which if not taken care of early, can be expensive to remedy.

Cockroach (Periplaneta americana)

Length: ½ inch to 3 inches

Color: Brown to black

Location: Southern U.S. (Moving to Northern U.S.)

Description: Most cockroaches prefer a warm environment typically found inside  buildings. Cockroaches leave a trail of feces that is used to either warn or  attract  other cockroaches.

Dangers: Cockroaches are attracted to the environment which is best for food   preparation, such as kitchens, but they also contaminate food sources and can  cause illness if they touch the food. They also leave a very offensive odor.    Cockroaches spark allergic reactions in certain people, which is why professionals  should be contacted in the case of an infestation.

Common Striped Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus)

Length: 3 inches

Color: Orange-brown with two black stripes down its back.

Location: Southern U.S.

Description: Common Striped Scorpions hide during daylight hours, finding shelter  underneath rocks, leaves, and any shade-providing spaces. These scorpions invade  homes and reside in crawl-spaces and cooler parts of homes.

Dangers: While Common Striped Scorpions are not lethal, their sting will cause pain and  discomfort, along with discoloration and inflammation.

Cornfield Ant (Lasius alienus)

Length: 1/10 inch

Color: Brown to black

Location: All of North America (Excluding the Southern and Southwestern regions)

Description: The cornfield ant gets its name because of its tendency to reside in cornfields and destroy many of the crops. It builds its colonies in cornfields and will invade homes, given the opportunity.

Dangers: This ant will destroy entire fields of corn and ruin many grass areas.

Cricket (Acheta domesticus)

Length: ½ to 1 ½ inches

Color: Yellow to brown

Location: Throughout the entire world

Description: Most crickets are attracted to warmth and light, making fires a large attraction for the species. They lay eggs in the fall, which hatch in the upcoming spring.

Dangers: One of the most noticeable harms of crickets is noise pollution. The noise from the wings of males rubbing together is enough to deprive humans and other animals of sleep. They can also disturb the operational processes of other insects and animals if left alone.

Cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon, Nephelodes minians, or Peridroma saucia)

Length: 1.4 to 2 inches

Color: Reddish brown

Location: North America

Description: Cutworms eat by cutting down a plant and then feeding on it until there is no substantial source of food left. By remaining inside the plant that they feed on, cutworms are able to avoid predators and stay safe.

Deertick (Ixodes scapularis)

Length: 2 to 8 mm

Color:Mostly black

Location: East coast of North America       

Description: Deer tick populations are increasing steadily, causing a need for eradication. These ticks must feed on blood to reproduce and survive. Stage of the tick that needs to be monitored most is the nymph stage because it is during this stage that most Lyme disease cases are caused.

Dangers: Cutworms are a main annoyance to serious or recreational gardeners. Mainly,  cutworms like to invade and destroy gardens containing grains and vegetables.   The damage done to the crops cannot be reversed and is difficult to prevent without professional help.

Dog Tick (Dermacentor Variablis)

Length: 3/16 inch to ½ inch (When fed)

Color: Reddish brown (Females have a small amount of silver behind their head)

Location: Dog Ticks are found in grassy wooded areas throughout the Midwest and the east coast of the United States. Dog ticks are most active during the months of April, May, and June.

Description: Although dogs are the most common host for this type of tick, they can also feed on larger mammals such as deer, bears, and even humans.

Dangers: Once these ticks find a host, they invade the blood of that host. Dog ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, or ehrlichiosis to humans.

European Crane Fly (Tipula paludosa)

Length: 3 to 4 inches

Color: Grey to brown

Location: West coast of North America (Heavily in British Columbia and Washington)

Description: European Crane Flies, usually called “leatherjackets”, are often found in areas with poor drainage and areas where thatch is more common. The crane fly  looks like an enlarged mosquito.

Dangers: European Crane Flies have been known to destroy entire fields/lawns in a  matter of days. These flies can be devastating to areas with major plant growth.

Fire Ant (Crematogaster sp.)

Length: 1/8 to ¼ inch

Color: Red

Location: Mostly world-wide, but with specific concentrated areas in the Northern  hemisphere.

Description: There are over 285 species of fire ants worldwide. Their colonies can reach  the hundreds of thousands. They feed mostly on young plants, crickets, and seeds. They nest in the soil on the banks of water sources.

Dangers: Fire ant venom consists of piperidine which causes a red mark and bump at the area of the bite. Some people can be extremely allergic to the fire ant and may need medical attention immediately.

Fungus Gnat (Lycoriella spp.)

Length: 1/10 to 1/8 inch

Color: Grey to black

Location: North America and Europe

Description: Small, dark, and short-lived, these flies feed on plant roots and fungi, and aid in decomposition. Although there are several different species, they can all do  extensive damage to growing greenhouse plants and harm the health of developed plants

Dangers: When fungus gnats feed on plant roots and vegetation, the leaves and stems will turn yellow and, in the case of edible plants, make them unable to digest  properly. Since it is hard to see these gnats, they can damage plants without the  grower’s knowledge.

Ghost Ant (Tapinoma melanocephalum)

Length: 1/16 inch

Color: The front half is dark while the back half is pale/light

Location: Most of the U.S. (Heavy in Hawaii and Florida)

Description: Because they are hard to see, many people have ghost ants in their home but do not realize it. They have a high attraction for moisture but can also live   indoors as a colony.

Dangers: When deceased, ghost ants emit a particularly foul smell. They also invade and take over any location they desire, eradicating other species, and making plant  growth difficult.

House Fly (Musca domestica)

Length: 8 to 12 mm

Color: Grey to black

Location: United States

Description: These non-biting flies can be found in residences, farms, and any place where food is made or controlled.

Dangers: House flies can transmit diseases and contaminants to humans even though they do not bite. They are also considered a major annoyance/discomfort.

Large Yellow Ant (Acanthomyops interjectus)

Length: ¼ to 3/8 inch

Color: Yellow to orange

Location: United States excluding most of the Midwest

Description: Large yellow ants get their nickname “citronella ants” because they smell like lemon. They usually reside under rocks, logs, and anywhere that provides shade and cool. They resemble termites, which frightens most people.

Dangers: Large yellow ants construct soil mounds in crawl spaces and basements. These ants are able to swarm in and out of households.

Little Black Ant (Monomorium minimum)

Length: 1/16 inch

Color: Black

Location: United States East coast

Description: Little Black Ants have workers that are all the same. This makes a colony  easier to identify. They are the most common house invader, residing in walls and   floors. Some can fly and start new colonies.

Dangers: The main danger of these ants is infestation. If they are allowed access to a  house they will most likely invade it and colonize inside of the house.

Mole Cricket(Gryllotalpidae)

Length: 1.2 to 2 inches

Color: Light brown to grey

Location: Throughout North America

Description: Mole crickets lay their eggs about 40 at a time, and they can hatch only 20  days later. They are nocturnal and spend most of their time underground.

Dangers: Much harm occurs from mole crickets tunneling and feeding in areas of  mass Turfgrass.

Mosquito (Culicidae)

Length: 2 to 8 mm

Color: Grey to black

Location: Most of the world, excluding some colder regions

Description: Mosquitoes are similar in appearance to crane flies, only smaller.    Mosquitoes get their nutrients from the blood of their victims. Some researchers say that getting rid of this species would not have many consequences on  ecosystems around the world.

Dangers: Mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting many diseases between humans  and animals. One of the most notable diseases is the West Nile Virus. West Nile is spreading throughout North America between mosquitoes and certain bird  species. Millions of people are killed each year from a mosquito-transmitted  disease.

Pavement Ant (Tetramorium caespitum)

Length: 1/8 inch

Color: Dark brown

Location: Eastern United States (Heavy in New England)

Description: Pavement Ants are all one size and nest in the same spots as most ants; under wood and foundations, in timber, and other secluded seldom-touched spots.   They are known to move indoors when looking for more food sources.

Dangers: As a colony, these ants are known to attack other colonies of ants and even  other species. They are able to contaminate food sources and need to be controlled  or eradicated.

Pharaoh Ant (Monomorium pharaonis)

Length: 1/16 inch

Color: Yellow to red

Location: Most parts of the world

Description: This ant is known for being a major pest of hospitals. It will find small crevices or openings and get into main areas of a hospital. Pharaoh ants are known to move the entire colony to a new location for no apparent reason.

Dangers: Pharaoh ants make trails and forage throughout households and buildings looking for food.

Pyramid Ant (Dorymyrmex pyramicus)

Length: 1/8 inch

Color: Red head and black thorax

Location: Most of the United States (Heavy in the south)

Description: The pyramid ants get their name from the coned shape of their mounds.  They do not like to build their mounts anywhere close to vegetation, preferring an open dry area. Pyramid ants like to build their nests close to other ants’ nests.

Dangers: Pyramid ants condone the living of fire ants, making them dangerous near residential or populated areas.

Scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus)

Length: 1 to 4 inches

Color: Brown to black

Location: Throughout the Southern United States and along the west coast up to Canada

Description: Scorpions are attracted to areas of shade and cool during the nighttime.   Their main prey is insects and sometimes small animals. Researchers are unsure   why scorpions invade homes, but doing so creates a threat to anyone living in the  house.

Dangers: There are about 25 different species of scorpions that have venom capable of  killing humans. Although most are not aggressive, if they are pressured they will use self-defense to protect themselves.

Small Honey Ant (Prenolepis imparis)

Length: 1/8 inch

Color: Light to dark brown

Location: Eastern United States and Canada

Description: This ant is one of the only ant species that is resistant to cold weather. Even  so, they usually reside in warmer areas because of the abundance of food and vegetation.

Dangers: Like many ants, the small honey ant is a forager and can destroy food sources and vegetation in populated areas.

Sod Webworm (Parapediasia teterrella)

Length: ½ to 1 inch

Color: White, gray, or black

Location: Mostly Midwest United States

Description: Webworm eggs only take 7 to 10 days to hatch. This means that they are able to breed very quickly, and can invade areas with minimal effort and time.

Dangers: Sod webworms will cause small dead patches of grass that will turn into larger areas as time goes by. If left alone, webworms will devastate entire areas of   fields/lawns.

Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae)

Length: ½ mm

Color: Red to Black

Location: Most of United States

Description: Spider mites are often mistaken as insects although they are actually part of the arachnid family. Mites are some of the most difficult pests to keep under  control. Although they are nearly microscopic, they exist in enormous numbers.

Dangers: Spider mites constantly cause damage to plants and fields by puncturing plant cells when they feed. These mites reproduce rapidly and are able to resist certain  pesticides because of this.

Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys)

Length: 17 mm

Color: Grey to black, and brown

Location: Most of the United States (Heavy in Pennsylvania and mid-Atlantic region)

Description: The stink bug originated in Japan and China, but traveled to the States when America started importing heavily from Asia. Stink bugs feed on  ornamental and fruit plants, making them particularly annoying to produce farmers.

Dangers: Stink bugs are known to destroy produce plants and move from region to region if they are not taken care of. Although they do not bite or sting humans,  they are invasive and detrimental to most plants and will bother other animals.

Thief Ant (Solenopsis molesta)

Length: 1/32 to 1/8 inch

Color: Yellow to brown

Description: Thief ants are able to survive in almost any conditions. They can travel with a few hundred to a couple thousand worker ants. These ants will live among other ant colonies and eat their food.

Dangers: These ants are very bothersome because it is hard to find them once they take over a human dwelling. They are not attracted to normal ant traps and will leave  their nest for unknown allotments of time.

Whitefly (Trialeurode vaporariorum)

Length: 1/16 to 3/16 inch

Color: White with a yellow head

Location: California and Florida

Description: Whiteflies typically feed on the underside of plants. Eggs can be hatched in  7 to 10 days. Generations overlap and there can be all different stages of the  whitefly lifecycle infesting a particular plant.

Dangers: Whiteflies contain a strong ability to carry and spread a variety of diseases.  They have become one of the top crop predators found today. They will ruin fields of crops and spread disease to plants, animals, and even humans.

Wasp/Hornet (Insecta hymenoptera / Vespa linnaeus)

Length: Up to 2.2 inches

Color: Brown to black (Sometimes with yellow stripes)

Location: Throughout the United States

Description: These predators mainly reside around houses and buildings. They like to build their nests in populated regions to prey on other insects. Some nests are built  from clay, paper pulp, or wood fibers.

Dangers: Wasps and hornets are both venomous insects. Hundreds to thousands of people die every year from allergic reactions to being stung. They are very  hazardous and impulsive, and just being around them can lead to a sting. Take  great care upon finding the nest or living space of wasps and hornets.