There are many other pests that you will encounter while selling, and it is important to know how to identify them, and what their habits are.
Description: Bed bugs are a reddish brown color, and often found around sleeping areas. They feed during the night on blood. They are attracted to humans through thermal detection. Rather than suck blood, bedbugs bite humans several times extracting whatever blood they can from each site. The multiple bites and the residual saliva often causes rashes or hives. Bed bugs cling to just about anything, and so are often introduced to a home through used clothing, suitcases, brushing against them when in a hotel or a public sleeping area. During the day they hide in the creases of a mattress or in the cracks and crevices of furniture. You can tell if you have bedbugs because of the bite marks, which usually leaves bloody residue on sheets.
Life Cycle: Bedbugs can live up to a year. Small black eggs are laid in the cracks and crevices of furniture or inside the creases of mattresses. The eggs look like feces because they are so small.
Description: Carpet beetles can live just about anywhere in the home where there is textile, carpet, clothing, or food such as a pantry. It can eat wool, hair, horn, dead skin, fathers, carpet, flour, wheat, and more. They are often found outside in the spring and summer, but can come inside through plants. They can also fly through open doors and windows. In times where there isn’t food present, they can live up to two years surviving on their own discarded skin.
Life Cycle: They lay 30-60 eggs early summer. The eggs hatch quickly after about two weeks.
Size: 1/8” to 6”
Description: Centipedes, like spiders, eat other insects. They have a poisonous bite similar to a bee sting. They are extremely fast and grow more legs as they molt with age. Centipedes are nocturnal, but can still be seen during the day in moist and dark areas.
Life Cycle: Centipedes lay their egg in the soil during the summer, and move inside as it gets hot or cools down. Centipedes live anywhere from 1-5 years.
Size: 1/2” to 3/4”
Description: They are reproductive masters, laying more than 500 eggs at a time. They are very attractive to spiders and centipedes, and mostly live outside. They can be very annoying when they get inside though, as males rub their wings together to create a noise to attract females.
Life Cycle: With the ability to lay more than 500 eggs at a time, up to 3 times each year, crickets can be a nightmare if they colonize inside the home.
Size: 1/4” to 1”
Description: These insects don’t often climb inside the ear, and their pincher is not strong enough to cause much damage to the skin, although is used for defense. Instead they eat plant material, and can often be found around mulch, decaying matter, and inside the home where there is some rot or decay.
Life cycle: Earwigs lay 50 eggs at a time, which can result in infestations in enclosed areas.
Size: about 1/16” to 1/8”
Description: These brown or black bugs can transmit plague and murine typhus. Fleas typically are more of a nuisance and danger to pets such as dogs and cats than they are to humans. Because fleas suck blood, chances are high they are inside the home if you allow pets inside. Fleas can jump about 6”, allowing them to catch a ride inside your home by jumping onto your shoe or pants. If you are in an area where fleas are common, it is often necessary to treat pets with a shampoo or food that changes the composition of oil of the pets that repels fleas.
Life Cycle: Fleas lay 5-8 eggs every time they feed, resulting in over 500 eggs laid during their lifetime. Eggs hatch as quickly as in 2 days, allowing for infestations to occur quickly. Fleas don’t always suck on fresh blood. In fact, most fleas are required to chew on dry fecal blood to finish developing. When fleas hatch, they stay in a cocoon for up to 20 weeks before emerging. The cocoons aren’t affected by pesticide, so it is often hard to treat for fleas using traditional methods. Vibrations from vacuuming the carpet encourage the fleas to come out and allows for better treatment.
Size: 1/16” to 4 1/2”
Description: These bugs live in moist and dark areas. They typically live outside in mulch or under rocks, but as those areas get too wet, they are forced out in masses, often into the home. They reproduce and molt extremely fast, so usually when one is seen, more are soon to follow. They don’t bite, but do secrete an oil that causes blisters if in contact with skin.
Life Cycle: 100-300 eggs are laid in soil or decaying matter during the summer. When the eggs hatch, most survive over the winter and will mate the following year. Most will live several years.
Size: 1/4” to 1/2”
Description: These are also called roly-polies, because of the way they curl into a ball when threatened. This bug isn’t an insect, but an arthropod. Pillbugs are sensitive to water loss, and so spend most of their time under rocks, trash, mulch, or other decaying material. They can only survive inside if there is a lot of immediate water available, due to them being a land dwelling crustacean.
Life Cycle: Eggs are laid in a pouch of the pillbug. After about 45 days the eggs will hatch. They live for about 2 years.
Size: 1/2” to 3/4”
Description: Silverfish are nocturnal and like to hide, but can often be seen after a light is turned on. They have a dust on their body that is hard to clean after being smashed. Silverfish have a unique diet, and prefer to eat starchy foods, such as book bindings, wallpaper, toothpaste, newspaper, etc. They look like a teardrop shaped fish, with several appendages. They can cause damage to all kinds of silk, cotton, synthetic fibers, glue, and even leather.
Life Cycle: They can live for several years, and can survive without food for a year. Eggs are laid daily.
Size: 2” to 4”
Description: Scorpions come in many different colors, but most are reddish brown or yellow. Scorpions are active at night, and like spiders eat other bugs, including other scorpions. Scorpions like cool areas to live, so typically live inside retaining walls, concrete walls, inside air ducts, or in attics. It is common for them to travel along the outside of water pipes and find their way into bathrooms and kitchens. Because scorpions are so active and curious at night, by the time morning comes along, they will hide just about anywhere, which is why they can be found in shoes, clothes, sand boxes, etc. They have both claws (pedipalps) and a stinger, that is similar to a wasp sting. They capture food using their pedipalps, then sting the prey repeatedly.
Life Cycle: Babies are born straight from the female, and then live on the mother’s back anywhere from a week to a month. Adults can live for several years.
Size: 3/16” to 5/8”
Description: Ticks require three hosts throughout their lifetime. When they first hatch, they often host on small rodents while larvae. They eventually molt into nymphs and host on small animals, like squirrels, or rabbits, but as they get bigger and molt past the nymph stage, they require a bigger host. It is during the nymph stage that dogs, humans, and deer get bit. When they attach, they survive by drinking blood, and can transmit Lyme Disease.
Life Cycle: Ticks begin as eggs, then molt into larvae, then after feeding will molt into nymphs. Nymphs will molt again after feeding for about a week, at which point it becomes an adult tick. Ticks usually drop from above by sensing prey with its legs. After a final feeding, a female will lay 1000-8000 eggs, then die.