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Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter ants range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen.

Odorous House Ants

This ant gets its name from the strong, rotten coconut-like smell it gives off when crushed. These tiny insects range in size from one-sixteenth of an inch to one-eighth of an inch long.

Pavement Ants

Pavement ants get their name because they make their nests in or under cracks in pavement. They can infest structures.


Pigeons (also known as rock doves)

Pigeons are monogamous and will lay one to two eggs which hatch within eighteen days. Young are fed "pigeon milk" which is regurgitated food from both males and females. While mating occurs year round, the peak mating seasons are spring and fall.


Twenty one species inhabit the United States. These birds are federally protected and cannot be destroyed.

European Starling

Starlings were introduced intentionally in New York over a hundred years ago. Since then, they have spread in population and area. These birds may produce two clutches of offspring per year, each with four to seven offspring.


Color: Varies. House centipede is gray-yellow with three dark stripes.

Size: Varies. House centipede approximately one inch.

Habits: Hunters which feed on insects. Active at night.

Habitat: House centipede prefers dark, damp areas. Other species live outdoors.

Threat: House centipede and outdoor species in New Jersey harmless to humans.

Prevention: No practical method of prevention.


American Cockroaches

The American cockroach is the largest of the house-infesting cockroach.

Brownbanded Cockroaches

Brown banded cockroaches get their name from the two lighter bands they have across their dark brownish bodies. In addition to the distinctive banding, males have full wings, which reach beyond the tip of their rather pointed abdomens, but females have underdeveloped wings, much shorter than their broad, rounded abdomens. The lighter band markings are much more distinct in nymphs than in adults of either sex.

Oriental Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroaches, Blatta orientalis (L.), are large very dark (almost black, but sometimes dark reddish-brown), shiny cockroaches which live in sewers and similar wet, decaying organic matter. They are sometimes called "water bugs" because they come out of drains, and "black beetle cockroaches" because of their smooth, dark bodies. Males are about 1 inch long, with wings that cover only about 3/4 of their abdomen; females are about 1 1/4 inch long, and have only short stubs of wing pads.

German Cockroaches Blatella germanica

Color: Brown with two dark stripes

Size: 5/8 inch

Habits: Feed on almost anything. Active at night. Live in cracks and crevices during the day. If activity seen during the day, the population is extremely high. Tend to cluster in harborages near food. Female carries egg case protruding from abdomen until it is ready to hatch. Many generations produced in a year. Not a strong flier

Habitat: Cracks and crevices near food and water. Prefer a humid environment with a temperature near 70°F.

Threat: Can carry various disease but little documentation they transmit Them to man. Produce allergens and affect humans when populations are high.

Prevention: Examine groceries before unpacking them. Seal cracks and crevices to eliminate harborages and to prevent migration from adjoining living areas. Remove food residues quickly to eliminate food sources. Eliminate water sources.


Color: Pale brown to black

Size: 1/2 to 1-1/4 inches

Habits: Feed on various organic materials including green plants outdoors. Live outdoors but the house cricket may migrate in during the fall months. Active at night.

Habitat: Live outdoors in dumps and fields. Indoors they seek dark, damp areas.

Threat: No threat to human but may feed on soiled clothing.

Prevention: Seal openings to prevent entry in the fall.


House Flies

houseflyHouse flies get their name from being the most common fly found around homes. Adult house flies can grow to one-quarter of an inch long and usually live between 15 and 25 days.



Fruit Flies

Fruit flies feed on decaying fruits and vegetables.


Color: Dark red-brown Size: 1-1/2 inches

Habits: Live in decaying organic matter and feed on it. Active at night. May migrate indoors when weather becomes dry or population explode.

Habitat: Outdoors in decaying organic matter. This includes mulch, compost piles and thick grass clippings.

Threat: No threat Prevention: Seal opening to prevent entry

Occasional Invaders

Varied Carpet Beetles

carpetbeetleVaried carpet beetles get their name from the rainbow of color on their back surfaces.

Powderpost Beetles

Powderpost beetles lay their eggs in cracks of wood and the larvae tunnel into the surface, filling it with a very fine powder-like dust. Powderpost beetles have long, narrow, flat bodies that allow them to easily attack wood surfaces. These beetles are reddish-brown in color.

Merchant Grain Beetles

Merchant grain beetles are typically not found in grain products, but instead like to attack cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies and chocolate. Merchant grain beetles are dark brown and have six saw-like teeth on each side of their bodies. They can grow to be one-eighth of an inch long and have very flat bodies.


Earwigs got their name from the myth that they crawl into sleeping people's ears and tunnel into their brains. The long cerci, or clippers, on their backsides easily identify an earwig.

Indian Meal Moths

The indianmeal moth was given its name after an insect scientist found it feeding on corn meal, also known as Indian meal. From wing tip to wing tip, adult moths measure from five-eighths of an inch to three-fourths of an inch long.


This pest is the only crustacean that has become completely adapted to spending its life on land. Pillbugs have oval bodies and seven pairs of legs. They are easily recognized by their back, which is made up of seven hard individual plates. Pillbugs are sometimes referred to as rollie-pollies.

Stink Bugs

This insect, notorious for its "smelly" reputation, earned its name from its tendency to release an odor when disturbed or when crushed. Many other insects have these same characteristics, including some species of ants, beetles and other bugs. Most stink bugs are herbivorous and use their piercing and sucking mouthparts to feed on plant juices. A few common species of stink bugs are predatory and use their mouthparts to drain fluids from caterpillars and other pest insects.


Deer Mice

The deer mouse rarely invades homes, and is found in rural areas.


House Mice

The house mouse is the most common rodent pest in most parts of the world. It can breed rapidly and adapt quickly to changing conditions.

Norway Rats

These rats have smaller eyes and ears and shorter tails.

Solitary Wasps

This group is diverse but have in common there is no social structure.

The group includes:

  • Paper wasps: They build the upside down umbrellas under eaves
  • Mining bees: They bore into fences or bare ground and provision each hole with an egg and food for the larva
  • Cicada killers: They are the really big wasps making holes in the ground
  • Siricids: The bore into freshly cut wood and may emerge in new buildings but they don't reinfest

Threat: The paper wasps sting readily. Mining bees and Cicada killers can sting but won't unless grabbed. Siricids can't sting.

Prevention: There are really no preventative measures available for any of these solitary wasps. Sometimes pesticides are applied to surfaces which historically have been attacked to prevent new infestations.


Black Widow

blackwidowSpiders Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape under their abdomen. Contrary to legend, female black widow spiders rarely devour the maleblack widow spider after mating.

Brown Recluse Spiders

Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back.

Stinging / Biting Insects

Bed Bugs

bedbugBed bugs get their name because they like to live and feed in beds.


Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees look like typical bumblebees but often lack yellow stripes. They are solitary bees.

Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are beneficial insects because they pollinate crops and plants.


Honey bees are social insects found all over the world. They are an extremely important beneficial insect because of their role in pollination. Honey bees pollinate more than 100 crops in the U.S.


One of the best known summer pests, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water or soft soil and can develop from egg to adult in 10 to 14 days.

Blacklegged (Deer) Ticks

The blacklegged tick is named for its dark legs, which are a contrast to its pale body. Blacklegged ticks are sometimes called deer ticks.



Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of any warm-blooded body. The most common species is the cat flea, which often feasts on cats, dogs and humans.


There are several species of yellowjackets. These flying insects typically have a yellow and black head/face and patterned abdomen. Many say, the pattern resembles stripes. Signature to species, the abdomen pattern can help an entomologist or pest professional identify specific types of yellowjackets.

Subterranean Termites

termiteSubterranean Termites

Subterranean termites live in underground colonies or in moist secluded areas aboveground that can contain up to 2 million members. They build distinctive "mud tubes" to gain access to food sources and to protect themselves from open air. Termite colonies are organized into castes depending on tasks -- workers, soldiers and reproductives. The characteristics of a subterranean termite are dependent on the termite's role in the colony. Cream-colored Worker subterranean termites are 1/8 to 3/8's of an inch in length. Soldier subterranean termites are of a similar body length, but are distinguished by their powerful mandibles. Solider termites have cream-colored bodies and brown heads. Reproductive subterranean termites are approximately one inch long.

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