PEST LIBRARY

All the Information You Need About the Pests You'll Find in this Area

Check out the list of most commonly found pests in Southeast Georgia. You can click on the links below to learn more about a particular pest's habitats, potential health threats, appearance, and more. If you are experiencing issues with any of these pests - or others - contact Prevail Pest Control. We'll help you get rid of any of these pests and rodents efficiently. Call us at 912-265-1277 to schedule an appointment today!
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Ants

Ants are among the most successful of all insects. There are about seven different species which are of the most concern to southeast Georgia: Carpenter Ants, Fire Ants, Pharaoh Ants, Acrobat Ants, Argentine Ants, Crazy Ants, and Odorous House Ants. Like termites, they are social insects and live in colonies. 

Carpenter Ants
Carpenter ants are large and typically blackish or very dark bodied. Many are black, with some having a reddish coloration. Outdoor nests include stumps, hollow logs, fence posts, or other large pieces of wood. Indoor nests are usually found in hollow doors, window sills, roofs, or other hollow areas.

Fire Ants
Fire ants are so-called because of their venom injected by their stinger. It can cause intense irritation, severe reactions, or even death in sensitive people. The red imported fire ant is known to make large earthen mounds. When the mounds are disturbed, ants appear to boil or swarm out aggressively.

Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh ants are light yellowish to reddish brown. Their small sizes allows them to get into almost anything. When treating for this species, traditional sprays should not be used. They will cause them to bud, and will create a worse problem than before. Only non-repellent chemicals should be used.

Acrobat Ants
Acrobat ants will hold their abdomen over their body when excited, hence the name acrobat ant. They range in color from yellowish brown, to red and black, to black. They have a heart-shaped abdomen flattened on the upper side and curved below. They often nest in decayed wood around windows and doors.

Argentine Ants
Argentine ants are light to dark brown in color. Nests are typically found in moist soil around buildings, sidewalks, or other objects lying on the ground. Foragers may enter structures in large numbers, particularly when conditions outside become too wet or too dry.

Crazy Ants
Crazy ant workers are dark brown in color with long legs and antennae. Their habit of running around aimlessly about accounts for its name. There is usually no distinct trail, only thousands of workers running around sporadically. This species usually nests in cracks, crevices, and voids inside.

Odorous House Ants
Odorous house ants are brownish-black in color. They are often confused with argentine ants. They can be identified by a rotten coconut smell when crushed. Nests are found underneath boards, stones, or other objects lying around on the ground. Trails of this species can be extremely numerous.

A General Overview
Ant colonies include a collection of workers, one or more reproducing ants, eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults. Most species prefer to nest in the ground, while others can be found in places such as dead logs, hollow trees, fence posts etc. Ants do not eat wood, they just hollow out portions of it known as galleries.

Many adult male and female species of ants are winged. Most of the ant species either do not have the ability to sting or retain it only to a limited degree. Many tropical ants from the tropical regions have been introduced into the United States and are particularly harmful because of their ability to sting.

Their sting involves piercing the skin with the ovipositor, a structure located in the tip of the abdomen of female ants. Venom secreted by a gland associated with the ovipositor not only creates rapid, intense pain but can also cause serious, even life-threatening, allergic reactions in some people.

Ants have a complete metamorphosis divided into four stages: egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. Their eggs are almost microscopic in size. After the eggs hatch, the larval stage emerges. Most species of ants are encased in a silk cocoon which is known as the pupal stage.

When ants' nest is disturbed, the adults are often seen moving these pupae which most people mistake for eggs. The worker caste is comprised of only females which feed and care for the eggs, larvae, pupae, and the queen.

Some ants feed on a wide variety of food items, while others feed on a narrow range of foods. Food preferences may also change significantly during the course of a season, especially for outdoor species, or depending on the specific needs of the ants' colony.

Periods of high egg production need foraging ants to bring back proteins to the queens, while at other times foragers may prefer to gather sugars or greases for their own energy needs or to promote larval growth.

Foraging ants bring food and water back to the colony and pass it on to the other nest-tending workers by a mouth-to-mouth process called trophallaxis. Nest-tending workers then pass the food to the larvae or the queens. Workers may stimulate the larvae to vomit liquid food for use within the colony.

Life Cycle
Ants have a complete metamorphosis comprised of four stages - egg, larvae, pupa, and adult. The eggs are almost microscopic in size. After the eggs hatch, the larval stage emerges. Soon after, most species will become encased in a silk cocoon which is then known as the pupal stage. Often times when a nest is disturbed, the adults are seen moving these pupae - which many people mistake for eggs. The worker caste is comprised of strictly females which feed and care for the eggs, larvae, pupae, and the queen.

Feeding Habits
Some ant species feed on a wide variety of food items, while others typically feed on a rather narrow range of foods. Food preferences may also change significantly during the course of a season, especially for outdoor species, or depending on the specific needs of the colony. Periods of high egg production typically require foraging ants to bring back proteins to the queen or queens, while at other times foragers may prefer to gather sugars or greases for their own energy needs or to promote larval growth. 

Foraging ants bring food or water back to the colony and pass it to other nest-tending workers by a mouth-to-mouth process called trophalaxis. Nest-tending workers then pass the food to larvae or the queens. Workers may stimulate the larvae to regurgitate liquid food for use within the colony.

Bed Bugs

A General Overview
A bedbug is a small nocturnal insect of the family Cimicidae that lives by hematophagy, or by feeding on the blood of humans and other warm-blooded hosts. The common bedbug (Cimex lectularius) is the best adapted to human environments. It is found in temperate climates throughout the world and has been known since ancient times. Other species include Cimex hemipterus, found in tropical regions (as well as Florida), which also infests poultry and bats, and Leptocimex boueti, found in the tropics of West Africa and South America, which infests bats and humans.

Cimex pilosellus and Cimex pipistrella primarily infest bats, while Haematosiphon inodora, a species of North America, primarily infests poultry. Adult bedbugs are a reddish brown, flattened, oval, and wingless, with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. A common misconception is that they are not visible to the naked eye. Adults grow to 4 to 5 mm (one-eighth to three-sixteenths of an inch) in length and do not move quickly enough to escape the notice of an attentive observer. Newly hatched nymphs are translucent, lighter in color and continue to become browner and molt as they reach maturity. When it comes to size, they are often compared to lentils or apple seeds.

Feeding Habits
Bedbugs are generally active only at dawn - with a peak attack period about an hour before dawn - though given the opportunity, they may attempt to feed at other times. Attracted by warmth and the presence of carbon dioxide, the bug pierces the skin of its host with two hollow tubes. With one tube it injects its saliva, which contains anticoagulants and anesthetics, while with the other it withdraws the blood of its host. After feeding for about five minutes, the bug returns to its hiding place. The bites cannot usually be felt until some minutes or hours later, as a dermatological reaction to the injected agents.

Although bedbugs can live for a year or as much as 18 months without feeding, they typically seek blood every five to ten days. Bedbugs that go dormant for lack of food often live longer than a year, well-fed specimens typically live six to nine months. Low infestations may be difficult to detect, and it is not unusual for the victim not to even realize they have bedbugs early on. Patterns of bites in a row or a cluster are typical as they may be disturbed while feeding. Bites may be found in a variety of places on the body.

Bedbugs may be erroneously associated with filth in the mistaken notion that this attracts them. However, severe infestations are often associated with poor housekeeping and clutter. Bedbugs are attracted by exhaled carbon dioxide and body heat, not by dirt, and they feed on blood, not waste. In short, the cleanliness of their environments has effect on the control of bedbugs but, unlike cockroaches, does not have a direct effect on bedbugs as they feed on their hosts and not on waste. Good housekeeping in association with proper preparation and mechanical removal by vacuuming will certainly assist in control.

Reproduction
All bedbugs mate via a process termed traumatic insemination. Instead of inserting their genitalia into the female's reproductive tract as is typical in copulation, males instead pierce females with hypodermic genitalia and ejaculate into the body cavity. This form of mating is thought to have evolved as a way for males to overcome female mating resistance. Traumatic insemination imposes a cost on females in terms of physical damage and increased risk of infection. To reduce these costs females have evolved internal and external "paragenital" structures collectively known as the “spermalege”. Within the True Bugs (Heteroptera) traumatic insemination occurs in the Prostemmatinae (Nabidae) and the Cimicoidea (Anthocoridae, Plokiophilidae, Lyctocoridae, Polyctenidae and Cimicidae), and has recently been discovered in the plant bug genus Coridromius (Miridae).

Remarkably, in the genus Afrocimex both males and females possess functional external paragenitalia, and males have been found with copulatory scars and the ejaculate of other males in their haemolymph. There is a widespread misbelief that males inseminated by other males will in turn pass the sperm of both themselves and their assailants onto females with whom they mate. While it is true that males are known to mate with and inject sperm into other males, there is however no evidence to suggest that this sperm ever fertilizes females inseminated by the victims of such acts.

Female bedbugs can lay up to five eggs in a day and 500 during a lifetime. The eggs are visible to the naked eye measuring 1 mm in length (approx. two grains of salt) and are a milky-white tone. The eggs hatch in one to two weeks. The hatchlings begin feeding immediately. They pass through five molting stages before they reach maturity. They must feed once during each of these stages. At room temperature, it takes about five weeks for a bedbug to pass from hatching to maturity. They become reproductively active only at maturity.

Bites
In most observed cases a small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of each bedbug bite. This may be accompanied by severe itching that lasts for several hours to days. Welts do not have a red spot in the center such as is characteristic of flea bites. Some individuals respond to bed bug infestations with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Individuals may also get skin infections and scars from scratching the bedbug bites.

Most patients that are placed on systemic corticosteroids to treat the itching and burning often associated with bed bug bites find that the lesions are poorly responsive to this method of treatment. Antihistamines have been found to reduce itching in some cases, but they do not affect the appearance and duration of the lesions. Topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone, have been reported to expediently resolve the lesions and decrease the associated itching.

Disease Transmission
Bed bugs seem to possess all of the necessary prerequisites for being capable of passing diseases from one host to another, but there have been no known cases of bed bugs passing disease from host to host. There are at least twenty-seven known pathogens (some estimates are as high as forty-one) that are capable of living inside a bed bug or on its mouth parts. Extensive testing has been done in laboratory settings that also conclude that bed bugs are unlikely to pass disease from one person to another. Therefore bedbugs are less dangerous than some more common insects such as the flea. However, transmission of trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) or hepatitis B might be possible in appropriate settings. 

The salivary fluid injected by bed bugs typically causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed, although individuals can differ in their sensitivity. Anaphylactoid reactions produced by the injection of serum and other nonspecific proteins are observed and there is the possibility that the saliva of the bedbugs may cause anaphylactic shock in a small percentage of people. It is also possible that sustained feeding by bedbugs may lead to anemia. It is also important to watch for and treat any secondary bacterial infection.

Infestation
Bedbugs travel easily and quickly along pipes and boards, and their bodies are very flat, which allows them to hide in tiny crevices. In the daytime, they tend to stay out of the light, preferring to remain hidden in such places as mattress seams, mattress interiors, bed frames, nearby furniture, carpeting, baseboards, inner walls, tiny wood holes, or bedroom clutter. Bedbugs can be found on their own, but more often congregate in groups. Bedbugs are capable of travelling as far as 100 feet to feed, but usually remain close to the host in bedrooms or on sofas where people may sleep.

There are several means by which dwellings can become infested with bedbugs. People can often acquire bedbugs at hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts, as a result of increased domestic and international tourism, and bring them back to their homes in their luggage. They also can pick them up by inadvertently bringing infested furniture or used clothing to their household. If someone is in a place that is severely infested, bedbugs may actually crawl onto and be carried by people's clothing, although this is atypical behavior — except in the case of severe infestations, bedbugs are not usually carried from place to place by people on clothing they are currently wearing. Finally, bedbugs may travel between units in multi-unit dwellings (such as condominiums and apartment buildings), after being originally brought into the building by one of the above routes. 

This spread between units is dependent in part on the degree of infestation, on the material used to partition units (concrete is a more effective barrier to the spread of the infestation), and whether infested items are dragged through common areas while being disposed of, resulting in the shedding of bedbugs and bedbug eggs while being dragged. In some exceptional cases, the detection of bedbug hiding places can be aided by the use of dogs that have been trained to signal finding the insects by their scent much as dogs are trained to find drugs or explosives. A trained team (dog and handler) can detect and pinpoint a bedbug infestation within minutes. This is a fairly costly service that is not used in the majority of cases, but can be very useful in difficult cases.

The numerical size of a bedbug infestation is to some degree variable, as it is a function of the elapsed time from the initial infestation. With regards to the elapsed time from the initial infestation, even a single female bedbug brought into a home has a potential for reproduction, with its resulting offspring then breeding, resulting in a geometric progression of population expansion if control is not undertaken. Sometimes people are not aware of the insects, and do not notice the bites. The visible bedbug infestation does not represent the infestation as a whole, as there may be infestations elsewhere in a home. However, the insects do have a tendency to stay close to their hosts (hence the name "bed" bugs).

Detection
Bedbugs are known for being elusive, transient, and nocturnal, making them difficult to detect. The presence of bedbugs may be confirmed through identification of the insects collected or by a pattern of bites. Though bites can occur singularly, they often follow a distinctive linear pattern marking the paths of blood vessels running close to the surface of the skin.

A technique for catching bedbugs in the act is to have a light source accessible from bed and to turn it on at about an hour before dawn, which is usually the time when bedbugs are most active. A flashlight is recommended instead of room lights, as the act of getting out of bed will cause any bedbugs present to scatter. If you awaken during the night, leave your lights off but use your flashlight to inspect your mattress. Bedbugs are fairly fast in their movements, about equal to the speed of ants. They may be slowed down if engorged.

Roaches

In southeast Georgia, cockroaches are the most common pest that one will encounter. There are about 70 different species found throughout the United States, however, we will be focusing on five which are of the most concern to this area. These include the German cockroach, American cockroach, Brown Banded cockroach, Smokey Brown cockroach, and the Asian cockroach. 

German Cockroach
The German cockroach is the most common cockroach species found in homes, apartments, restaurants, hotels, and other institutions. Adults are pale to medium brown, and about 1/2" to 5/8" long. German cockroaches are easily distinguished by the two dark stripes on the top of the head.

American Cockroach
The American cockroach, or "palmetto bug", will grow to 1 1/2" or more. It is reddish-brown with a pale yellowish border on the surface of the pronotum. They are found in yards, hollow trees, palm trees, shrubs, and woodpiles. This species can fly, as well as glide for long distances.

Asian Cockroach
Asian cockroaches resemble German cockroaches in appearance, but have different behavior. They prefer shaded, moist areas in landscapes, lawns, and leaf litter. Asians are active at dusk and fly very well. They are attracted to bright colored surfaces such as TV screens, lamp shades, and walls.

Brown Banded Cockroach
Brown banded cockroaches are the smallest species, growing to about 1/2". It is light brown and is easily distinguished by two lighter, transverse bands running from one side to the other across the wings. They are transported in furniture and spread rapidly throughout a structure.

Smokey Brown Cockroach
Smokey browns are closely related to the American, but are smaller in size - being just more than 1" long, mahogany in color, and do not have a lighter coloration on their pronotum. They are usually found living in wood piles, gutters, or any other dark, moist areas with decaying organic matter.

A General Overview
Any of these roaches can pose a real challenge when it comes to control. However, the German cockroach is the most problematic and of the most concern to people. Cockroaches have a tendency to produce an odorous secretion which, when cockroach populations are high, will cause a strong odor in the infested area. Also, cockroaches have been found to have disease producing organisms, such as bacteria, which have been know to cause food poisoning, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and dysentery.

These organisms are carried on the legs and bodies of cockroaches and are deposited on food and utensils as they forage. Cockroach excrement and cast skins also contain allergens to which many people exhibit allergic responses, such as skin rashes, watery eyes, and sneezing. For some people, and particularly for those who also have a lung disease such as asthma, allergic attacks to cockroach allergens can be serious or even life threatening. However, cockroaches are not usually associated with severe illness or disease outbreaks.

Habitat
Cockroaches usually orient to protected cracks and crevices that provide a warm and humid environment. While they do have the ability to move around quite well, they are mostly carried into homes and businesses via hitchhiking. Therefore, it is usually necessary to inspect furniture, clothing, or other goods coming into your home or other facility for the presence of cockroaches which may be hiding in them.

Life Cycle
Cockroaches develop by a gradual metamorphosis that consists of three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The female produces a purse shaped egg capsule, called an ootheca, which has two rows of eggs inside. Nymphs hatch out of the egg capsule by working together to break a seam along the top of the egg case. Once the seam splits open, the tiny nymphs emerge to begin their life. The nymphs usually resemble the adult in appearance as well as behavior but are smaller, do not have wings or wing pads, and often have a somewhat different color. Newly molted nymphs are white but will darken to the normal color within a few hours. People often mistake them as albino cockroaches.

Fleas

A General Overview
Fleas are pests of humans and their domestic animals all over the world. While most fleas prefer nonhuman hosts, many can and do feed readily on humans when infestations are heavy or when other hosts are not available. Fleas are small, wingless insects that can vary from as small as 1/25" to 1/3" long. When viewed from the front, head on, the adult flea's body is narrow from side to side. This allows it to move readily between hairs in an animal's fur into very narrow areas, such as crevices and folds of upholstery, or even below flooring and into sub-flooring areas.

Adult fleas have piercing-sucking mouth parts to penetrate the skin of the host and suck blood. Their long, powerful legs permit them to jump as high as 7 to 8 inches vertically and as far as 14 to 16 inches horizontally. Cat fleas and dog fleas are two very similar species that occur throughout the United States. Cat fleas are by far the most commonly encountered of the two species. Dog fleas are usually found on wild hosts rather than on domestic pets. Both species prefer dogs or cats as hosts, although they may be found on a wide variety of other animals, including rodents and livestock.

Life Cycle
Fleas have a complete metamorphosis. Since flea eggs are not attached to the host, they will often fall off and hatch on the ground (e.g. into carpeting, the host's bedding, upholstery, or cracks in flooring). Flea larvae are small, active maggot like creatures. They feed on all types of organic debris, and develop particularly well when they can feed on the feces of adult fleas, which contain undigested blood.

The mature larvae spins a cocoon for pupation. Many adult fleas emerge from the pupa within 7 to 14 days after the cocoon is formed, but some will remain in a pre-emerged adult state, from which they may not emerge for several months to a year later.

Occasional Invaders

A General Overview
Most of these pests live outside of buildings and come indoors only on occasion. Although they may enter in large numbers, they usually do very little damage and are considered a nuisance simply because of their presence. Some factors that may cause these pests to move into structures include environmental extremes such as unusual dry spells, excessive rainfall, poor drainage adjacent to the foundation, onset of winter, or presence of some unusual food source within the structure. The presence of one or a few individuals of some species indoors may not really be a problem, but only an occurrence. In this type of situation, it may not necessarily indicate a need to institute a substantial pest control program.

Centipedes
Most centipedes live outdoors in damp areas, such as under leaves, stones, boards, tree bark, or in mulch around outdoor plantings. If provoked, larger centipedes may bite. This can cause some pain and slight swelling. Smaller species are not large enough to penetrate human skin.

Millipedes
Millipedes live outdoors in damp places, such as under leaves and in mulch. In dry weather, they will migrate from litter piles as the leaves dry and enter buildings in large numbers. This also occurs in lawns containing thick thatch layers, or yards were large piles of leaves are present.

Earwigs
Earwigs are recognized by the pincers at the end of the abdomen. They are primarily scavengers of dead animal and plant material, but some can be predatory. They are active at night, and some are attracted in large numbers to lights. They are often transported in potted plants or other plant material.

Silverfish
Silverfish are flattened, long and slender, broad at the front and tapering gradually toward the rear. The antennae are long and slender. Three long appendages are found at the rear. They have a uniform silvery color over the top surface of their body. They can be found almost anywhere in a home.

Scorpions
Scorpions are eight-legged carnivorous arthropods. They are nocturnal, and will find shelter during the day in cool underground holes or under rocks. They will come out at night to hunt and feed. Scorpion venom is usually harmless to humans - stings only produce local effects such as pain, numbness, and swelling.

Powderpost Beetles

A General Overview
True powderpost beetles are a group of wood-boring beetles in the insect subfamily Lyctidae and the false powderpost beetles, the family Bostrichidae. These, and other wood-boring beetles Anobiidae (anobiid, Anobium punctatum (common furniture beetles), and deathwatch beetles), all fall in the super family Bostrichoidea. The damage caused by the family Cerambicidae (the most common is the Old House Borer) is often confused with that of powder post beetles. However the damage is often very old, and of no consequence.

The term "powderpost" comes from the fact that the larvae of these beetles feed on wood and, given enough time, can reduce it to a mass of fine powder. They are therefore considered pests. The family Anobiidae is the only one capable of digesting cellulose, the primary ingredient of wood, and all other species excrete the wood without digesting it.

Life Cycle
Powderpost beetles spend months or years inside the wood in the larval stage. Their presence is only apparent when they emerge from the wood as adults, leaving pin hole openings, often called "shot holes" behind and piles of powdery frass below. Shot holes normally range in diameter from 1/32 inch, (0.8 mm) to 1/8 inch (3 mm), depending on the species of beetle.

If wood conditions are right, female beetles may lay their eggs and re-infest the wood, continuing the cycle for generations. Heavily-infested wood becomes riddled with holes and rooms or basements packed with a dusty frass — wood that has passed through the digestive tract of the beetles. The larvae feed mainly upon starch in the wood.

Target Materials
Depending on the species, powderpost beetles can feed upon certain hardwoods or softwoods. Some hardwoods are naturally immune, if they have low starch content, or if the pore (vessel) diameters are too small for the female beetle's ovipositor which prevents her from inserting eggs into the substrate.

Wood preservatives can be used to treat the wood and prevent beetle infestation. The most common treatment uses boron.

Items that can be infested by powderpost beetles include any wooden tools or tool handles, frames, furniture, gun stocks, books, toys, bamboo, flooring, and structural timbers.

Rats, Mice, and Rodents

A General Overview
Rats and mice are known as commensal rodents. The word commensal means "sharing one's table". This is an appropriate term because rats and mice have been "sharing" people's food and shelter for many years. In addition, the word rodent means "to gnaw". Like all rodents, rats and mice possess a single pair of chisel-like incisor teeth that grow continuously throughout their lives. These incisors are kept filed and sharp primarily by the rodents grinding the incisors against one another, and secondarily by the rodents constantly gnawing on various objects.

There are three species of commensal rodents that are of most concern to humans. These are the roof rat, Norway rat, and the house mouse. Rodents have been responsible for the spread of many diseases to people and domestic animals. Today, however, because of sanitation, effective drugs, and rodent control programs, the disease threat from rodents is not as significant as it once was. Rodents cause the spread of disease by carrying them into homes and businesses because of their living and traveling through sewers and garbage areas. Many of these diseases include but are not limited to plague, murine typhus, rickettsialpox, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and weil's disease.

House Mouse
The house mouse is small and produces up to 8 litters per year with 4-7 offspring per litter. They have a small, slender body. The ears are large, and the tail is as long as the head and body together. The fur is usually dark gray on the back and light gray on the belly - but many color variations are possible.

Roof Rat
The roof rat produces 4-6 litters per year with 4-8 offspring per litter. Their fur is grayish-black to solid black, and the belly varies from white to all gray; the snout is pointed and the ears are large; the tail is long and reaches the snout when pulled over the body.

Norway Rat
The Norway rat is also known as the wharf rat. They produce 4-7 litters per year with 8-12 offspring per litter. They have a stocky body and course fur that ranges from reddish to grayish-brown with white underparts. The nose is blunt and the ears are small. The tail is scaly, semi-naked, and short.

Spiders

A General Overview
Spiders have only two body regions and eight legs. This classifies them as arachnids where as those which have three body regions and six legs are classified as insects. Spiders are predatory invertebrate animals that have two body segments, eight legs, no chewing mouth parts and no wings. All spiders produce silk, a thin, strong protein strand extruded by the spider from spinnerets most commonly found on the end of the abdomen.

Many species use it to trap insects in webs, although there are also many species that hunt freely. Silk can be used to aid in climbing, form smooth walls for burrows, build egg sacs, wrap prey, and temporarily hold sperm, among other applications. Most spiders inject venom to protect themselves or to kill prey. However, in southeast Georgia, only the black widow and the brown recluse are considered dangerous.

Black Widow
Black widow females have a shiny black abdomen with a reddish hourglass design underneath.  Males are smaller and lighter in color with streaks on their abdomens. This species contains venom which has a neurotoxin that can cause convulsions or even death.

Brown Recluse
The brown recluse can produce a very dangerous bite. Within 8-12 hours the pain becomes intense. and after a few days a large ulcerous sore forms. These sores heal very slowly and often leave ugly scars. The body is yellow to dark brown and has a violin shaped mark on the top of the cephalothorax (head).

Yellow Garden Spider
Yellow garden spiders are also often called "writing spiders" because of the zig-zag patterns found in the center of their web. This spider is commonly found in gardens or other wooded areas, but can also be found around homes.

Morphology
Spiders, unlike insects, have only two body segments (tagmata) instead of three: a fused head and thorax (called a cephalothorax or prosoma) and an abdomen (called the opisthosoma).The abdomen and cephalothorax are connected with a thin waist called the pedicle or the pregenital somite, a trait that allows the spider to move the abdomen in all directions. They have pedipalps (or just palps), at the base of which are coxae or maxillae next to their mouth that aid in ingesting food; the ends of the palp are modified in adult males into elaborate and often species-specific structures used for mating. Since they have no antennae, they use specialized and sensitive hairs on their legs to pick up scent, sounds, vibrations and air currents. 

Spiders usually have eight eyes in various arrangements, although some have four or even two eyes. Several families of hunting spiders, such as jumping spiders and wolf spiders, have fair to excellent vision. The main pair of eyes in jumping spiders even see in color. However, most spiders that lurk on flowers, webs, and other fixed locations waiting for prey tend to have very poor eyesight; instead they possess an extreme sensitivity to vibrations, which aids in prey capture. Vibration sensitive spiders can sense vibrations from such various mediums as the water surface, the soil or their silk threads. Also changes in the air pressure can be detected in the search for prey. The abdomen has no appendages except from one to four (usually three) modified pairs of movable telescoping organs called spinnerets, which produce silk.

Digestion
Spiders can only eat their food in liquid form. For this purpose pre-digestion is carried out both internally and externally to liquefy the tissues of their prey. Some spiders do this by spitting up digestive juices onto prey while chewing it with their chelicerae. The resulting liquefied "soup" is then then sucked up by the spider. Dense combs of hairs around the mouth filter out solids while the spider ingests the liquids.

Undigested or uneaten parts of the prey are later discarded. Some spiders do not chew their food, but inject digestive fluids from their stomachs directly into the body of the prey to liquefy the inner tissues and organs. The spider then sucks out the liquefied tissues, eventually leaving the empty outer exoskeleton of the prey. Many spiders will store prey temporarily. Web-building spiders that have made a shroud of silk to quiet their envenomed prey's death struggles will often leave them in these shrouds and then consume them later.

Life Cycle
The time between when an egg is fertilized and when the spider begins to take the shape of an adult spider is referred to as the embryonic stage. As the spider enters the larval stage, it begins to look more and more like a full grown spider. It enters the larval stage as a prelarva and - through subsequent molts - reaches its larval form, a spider-shaped animal feeding off its yolk supply. 

After a few more molts (also called instars), body structures become differentiated. Soon, all organ systems are complete and the animal begins to hunt on its own; it has reached the nympho-imaginal stage. This stage is differentiated into two sub-stages: the nymph, or juvenile stage, and the adult stage. A spider does not become sexually mature until it makes the transition from nymph to adult. Once a spider has reached the adult stage, it will remain there until its death.

Reproduction
Spiders reproduce by means of eggs, which are packed into silk bundles called egg sacs. Spiders often use elaborate mating rituals (especially the visually advanced jumping spiders) to allow conspecifics to identify each other and to allow the male to approach and inseminate the female without triggering a predatory response. If the approach signals are exchanged correctly, the male spider must (in most cases) make a timely departure after mating to escape before the female's normal predatory instincts return. Sperm transmission from male to female occurs indirectly. 

When a male is ready to mate, he spins a web pad upon which he discharges his seminal fluid. He then dips his pedipalps (also known as palpi), the small, leg-like appendages on the front of his cephalothorax, into the seminal fluid, picking it up by capillary attraction. Mature male spiders have swollen bulbs on the end of their palps for this purpose, and this is a useful way to identify the sex of a spider in the field. With his palps thus charged he goes off in search of a female. Copulation occurs when the male inserts one or both palps into the female's genital opening, known as the epigyne. He transfers his seminal fluid into the female by expanding the sinuses in his palp.

Termites

A General Overview
Subterranean termites are a major concern for anyone who owns property which contains any amount of wood or cellulose material. Termites harbor one-celled organisms in their digestive tract which converts cellulose material into a substance that termites can digest. Termites actually do serve a major role in nature by converting dead wood and other organic materials containing cellulose into humus. Humus is basically feces which will revert back into soil. It is only when termites begin to feed on our homes and buildings that they become a major concern. 

Termites are known as social insects. This means there is as division of labor among different types of individuals, called castes. Termites have a reproductive and a soldier caste, however, most of the work (nest building, food gathering, and feeding of the reproductives and soldiers) are handled entirely by the nymphs which are simply an immature stage of the termite colony. The nymphs are the ones that do all the damage to a structure. The soldiers’ only duty is to defend the colony against enemies. They cannot eat wood. They, together with the reproductives, are fed by the nymphs.

Ants vs. Termites
The winged adults are known as the primary reproductives which are most often referred to as swarmers. They emerge from the colonies on colonizing flights during certain seasons of the year. This is when a male (king) and female (queen) will mate and begin to form a new colony. Many times swarmer termites are confused with flying ants.

There are three ways to distinguish termites from ants. First, ants have a very thin waste between the thorax and the abdomen, while termites are broad-waisted. Second, termite wings are all the same size and shape, whereas the forewings of the ant are larger, longer, and of a different shape than the hind wings. And third, termite antennae are straight, while the ants' antennae are elbowed.

Termite Control
The most common approach to termite control is to apply a chemical barrier in which termites must pass through before they can gain access to a structure. In order to create a solid chemical barrier, termiticide must be applied to the soil under and adjacent to the structure(s) being treated. In addition, it is also necessary at times to treat any voids that may be present in the foundation walls.

The best type of chemical formulation to use is known as a non-repellent (e.g. Termidor, Premise). This is the latest in chemical technology and is becoming more popular with each passing year. This type of chemical is undetectable by termites, therefore, they do not know it is present and will continue to travel through the treated area. By doing so they will transfer the chemical back to the colony and eventually eliminate the entire colony over a short period of time. If you would like a free estimate, please fill out the Request Services Form and we will contact you promptly.

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