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Pest Liabrary
When insects, mites and ticks bite they inject saliva to aid in the feeding. This often causes itching, redness and swelling. Insects and scorpions that sting and spiders that bite inject venom that is used to subdue prey, or to protect themselves. Bees and wasps that live in colonies and attack in large numbers cause the most problems when they believe the nest is threatened.

For most people, a single sting will cause pain, swelling and stiffness (if the sting was in a joint) that may last only a few minutes or for one or more days.Some people can develop more dramatic reactions, swelling may involve an entire arm or leg and last several days requiring hospital treatment.A third type of reaction is called "anaphylactic shock." In a few people their immune system goes "wrong" and within minutes after receiving a sting they may develop: (a) constriction in the chest and nausea; (b) difficulty in breathing and swallowing; (c) fall in blood pressure, blue color in the skin (lack of oxygen), and in extreme cases, unconsciousness and death.Those who develop more than just the normal symptoms from a single sting should see their physician about the need to be desensitized and/or the need to carry an allergy first aid kit with them.Bees, wasps, hornets, fire ants and scorpions most of those pests that inject venom from the tip of their abdomen are considered beneficial because of their importance in pollination or in preying on other pest insects. You can reduce the effects of venomous stings by applying wet salt to the site within five minutes of the sting. Leave the salt in place for 30 minutes. The salt will "draw" the venom from the wound. Similar results have been obtained with moistened tobacco, wet baking soda or wet aspirin.
Bedbugs General Facts

Up to 1/4-inch in length


It is likely that bed bugs are the most commonly known ectoparasites to humans. Nearly every child has heard the reminder, “Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!” Prior to World War II, bed bugs were fairly common in homes. Due to the introduction of modern pest control products in the 1940s, this insect faded from the American scene, and has only recently reappeared as a unique pest problem in buildings. These parasites are blood feeders, and they crawl into beds during the night while their victims are sleeping. The bite is painless and a number of bed bugs may feed for an extended period of time on any area of exposed skin. The resulting bite wound may show generalized minor swelling into a raised bump followed by itching. Fortunately, bed bugs do not carry or transmit any human disease, but the mere presence of any blood-feeding insect is disconcerting, at best. Eggs are deposited in small cracks in the bed frame, mattress seams, or in baseboards, trim or furniture near the bed. The nymphs and the adults reside near one another, hiding in such cracks awaiting nightfall when they might venture out to feed. In some cases, the offending bed bugs are harboring many feet from the bed in cracks in furniture, baseboards, door-frames, or even within voids in the wall. If populations become large, or when a host becomes scarce because no one sleeps in the bed for a period of time, bed bugs may crawl into other rooms or squeeze through walls to enter neighboring locations. They may also be transported from place to place hiding in furniture. Since they can survive in birds' nests, they can be seen in houses and buildings that have several bird nests, particularly on rooftops. They are also known to feed on bats or household pets, but their typical source of nutrition is human blood.


Tiny insects measuring about 1/6-inch in length and are laterally flattened.

Reddish brown.

One female flea can lay about 18 eggs a day and just 20 fleas on a dog can produce 360 eggs per day and over 2000 eggs in a week. After the home is treated, it may take up to two weeks or more before fleas are no longer seen. The reason for this is that flea pupae are unaffected by the treatment until the adult fleas emerge from their pupal cocoon. In any flea population, all stages of the flea will be present including numerous pupae. It will take several weeks for all adult fleas to emerge from these pupae and contact the treatment. Vacuuming as often as possible after the treatment can speed up this process because it stimulates adult fleas to emerge from their cocoons. Fleas may also carry human diseases such as typhus and tularemia.

The Honeybee is the only social bee that will establish a perennial colony that can survive for a decade or longer. The Honeybee will collect pollen and nectar from flowers and use these materials to feed the colony through the winter. A waxy honeycomb fills the nest cavity. Their nests are usually found in trees and cracks in rock formations, however, they may nest in a chimney or small void in a house as well.
The Paper Wasp is identified by the shape of it's nest. The nest is a round upside-down paper comb which is attached to a protected location. It resembles an umbrella. Paper wasps are predators and feed on insects, spiders and caterpillars. The colony starts with the Queen which finds a suitable place and creates a nest for her larvae. When the colony grows it can produce more than 100 workers. Their nests can be found under porches, in the corner of windows and beneath decks. They also can enter attics and build their nests there.
Bumble Bees
Bumble bees are social insects which live in nests or colonies. The adults are represented by workers which are sterile females, queens, and males (drones) which come from unfertilized eggs and usually appear in late summer.

  • As social insects, bumble bees live in colonies.
  • Each spring a queen that has survived over wintering will find a suitable nesting site and establish her colony.
  • Her first brood of eggs mature into workers that forage on pollen and nectar for food.
  • The workers do produce honey, but it is not edible to humans.
  • The bumble bees colony grows larger over the summer and is usually discovered while gardening or mowing the lawn.
  • The bumble bees will attack to defend their nest, so they are considered a health concern.
  • They forage when temperatures are below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C; lowest observed flight at 26 degrees F/-3.6 degrees C) whereas, most bees stop foraging at 61 degrees F (16 degrees C).
  • Each worker forages independently, and bumble bees never exchange food. Old cocoons are used to store both pollen and nectar.
  • Only enough food (honey and pollen) for a few days is stored at any given time which helps discourage nest predation by skunks, foxes, etc.
Africanized Bees
The Africanized Honeybee which is golden-yellow with bands of dark brown, is also known as a "killer bee". When this bee's colony is attacked, it can be quite aggressive, thus earning the nickname. The AHB releases an alarm pheromone that calls all the worker bees to attack and sting any moving animal or object. They will chase and sting animals and people for hundreds of yards, and death can result from an allergic reaction to the numerous stings received. While other honeybees will attack for a few minutes and then calm down, the AHB may take hours to settle down. They most often nest inside the cavities of trees, but on occasion they will nest in an attic, void space or chimney of a home.

1 to 1-1/2 inches in length.

Golden brown with darker brown stripes and markings on its thorax and abdomen.

European hornets are social wasps which form colonies that live for one year. Each spring, an overwintering queen will find a suitable nesting site and construct a small paper nest. Inside the nest, she builds a small paper comb in which she raises her first brood of larvae. After these larvae mature into adults, these worker wasps begin nest enlargement and food foraging for the colony. The paper in the nest and the comb are made from bits of wood scraped from logs, bark, and even the wood on decks and houses. Like bald-faced hornets and yellow jackets, European hornets aggressively defend their colony if it is disturbed. Loud vibrating noises, such as those from lawnmowers and leaf blowers, can "set off" the hornet workers causing them to sting people and pets. The colonies of European hornets may contain several hundred workers by the end of the season.

Red Ants

There are many sizes of workers in the colony, ranging from 1/8-inch to almost 3/8-inch in length.

Reddish brown.

Fire ants pose a health risk to anyone venturing into areas where the ants are found. Although the vast majority of stings result only in a raised welt that may develop a white pustule, a person allergic to insect stings could experience a more serious reaction. Additionally, a person seldom receives just one sting. Rather, dozens or even hundreds of stings can be inflicted quickly on a person accidentally kneeling or standing next to or on a fire ant mound.