A Varied Carpet Beetle (pictured top, left) has a black center with yellow, brown, and white spots in various spots. It is round and approximately 1/16″ long. They get their name from the rainbow of colors on their back. They eat carpets, wool fabrics, dead insects, hides, and bones. They can damage fabrics, upholstery, and carpets.
To help prevent an infestation of the varied carpet beetle, store fabrics in plastic containers and dry clean clothing before storing for a long period of time.
Powderpost Beetles (pictured top, middle) are reddish brown in color and are approximately 1/8 to 1/4″ long. They lay eggs in the cracks of wood and the larvae tunnel to the surface leaving a powderlike substance. They enjoy flying and are attracted to light. They often attack hardwood floors, timbers and crates, antiques, and other items made of wood. Some researchers believe powderpost beetles to be second only to termites in the United States in their destructiveness to wood and wood products.
To help prevent powderpost beetles from destroying wood in your home, check wood products often for evidence.
Merchant Grain Beetles (pictured top, right) are brown in color and approximately 1/10″ long. They have six saw-like teeth on either side of their bodies. They enjoy eating cake mixes, cereals, macaroni, cookies, and chocolate. They are often found in cabinets, pantries, and manufacturing plants for these items. Its body makes it easy to gain entrance to packaging to eat and lay eggs. They can infest food products and contaminate food.
To help prevent merhant grain beetles, discard packaging that is infested and clean spilled food sources.
Common Cat Flea Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. The most common species, pictured right, is the cat flea. It often feasts on cats, dogs, and humans.
They usually transport themselves on rodents and other mammals, and infest household pets and wild animals. Fleas use their legs to jump 8 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally. Although they try to remain on their warm-blooded host at all times, they can be found on shoes, pant legs, and blankets.
Fleas are the most common transmitter of the rare bubonic plaque and can transfer the bacterial disease murine typhus to humans through infected rats. They can cause Flea Allergy Dermatitis in pets, and similar results from debris has been reported in humans. Tapeworms can be transmitted through fleas, causing anemia. A flea bite usually results in painful, red, itchy bumps.
To prevent fleas, clean and vacuum frequently to help remove flea populations and prevent the laying of eggs. Keep your lawn groomed to prevent rodents, and protect pets by keeping them on a leash while outside, clean and groom pets regularly, visit a vet annually, and treat your pet use flea treatments as directed.
Vacuum furniture, crevices, carpets, and rugs thoroughly. Remove bag from vacuum cleaner and place in a plastic bag, seal, and remove from the house.
Take your pet or pets to the vet on the day of treatment. Make sure you begin or continue the growth regulator (program for fleas) for each pet.
Wash or replace pet bedding. This is a primary breeding ground for eggs that drop off the host (pet). It is very important to keep the bedding clean.
On the day of treatment, you will need to be out of the house until it is completely dry. Please allow a minimum of three hours.
Fleas will continue to hatch for the next 3-5 weeks, but the growth regulator will sterilize the next group of eggs laid, resulting in sterile, dying offspring.
Vacuum frequently over the next 3-5 weeks to pick up eggs and stimulate hatching. The residual applied to the carpet and other areas will eliminate emerging adult fleas.
You may still be bit by fleas during this period, but emerging adult fleas will generally only live a few hours after coming through the residual treatment.
Carpenter ants (pictured above, left) are approximately 5/9″ long and are commonly red, black, or a combination of red and black. They like to live near wood, such as tree stumps, landscaping, or firewood. they usually gain entrance through wet, damaged wood or small holes and crevices of a building.
Carpenter ants get their name because they build tunnels and holes in wood to build their nests. They attack wood that has been wet or damaged by mold. They then build tunnels through undamaged wood. They usually come into buildings through cracks around door openings, windows or holes for wires. The ants will crawl on bushes or wires to travel to the top of a building to enter. When they come in, the pose a property threat.
To prevent Carpenter Ants, remove water sources or standing water. Cut back branches and trees away from the house. Make sure there are no cracks or holes around the bottom of the house, and make sure that firewood is not stored next to the house.
Red Imported Fire Ants (pictured top, middle) are approximately 1/8 to 3/8 inches long and are a dark reddish brown. They live in mounds on the ground, but can infest garages. They often build their nests near landscaping or near a structural foundation and gain access to a building through cracks and crevices.
Red Imported Fire Ants will sting humans who come across their nest. The sting is painful and often results in a red welt that becomes a white pestule. Often there are multiple stings from several ants and those allergic to the sting of a red imported fire ant will could have a more severe reaction.
The best way to prevent a problem with the red imported fire ant is to avoid their mound nests. To prevent entry to a building, seal all holes and cracks.
They get their name because they build their nests in the cracks of a pavement.
Pavement Ants will eat most anything, including insects, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts, and cheese. They do not present a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.
To prevent infestation of pavement ants, eliminate water sources outside, including standing water. Cut back trees and bushes away from the house, as they gain entrance through cracks and holes in the building and will infest a structure. Store firewood and stacks of wood away from the house.