Silverfish are small wingless insects often found in homes and libraries. They are gray or silver in colour and are about quarter to half inch long. They have three long bristles on their tail end. They are nocturnal insects and so they are not often seen by the homeowners. They can jump easily and run fast. They feed on paper products, paste, glue and starched textiles and also prefer vegetable matters that are rich in carbohydrate and protein content. The interesting fact about silverfish is that it can live for longer periods without food. They can be commonly found in and around showers and baths. They can be found under refrigerators, well-heated toilets and crevices in the floor tiles and requires high humidity to survive.
Silverfish are harmless, but they can contaminate food and damage loads of papers. They can even stain clothes. They tend to eat the paper products and can damage book bindings, wallpaper and curtains. On fabric, we can find silverfish excrement, scales and yellow stains.
Maintaining good sanitary conditions at home is a sure way of avoiding silverfish because this insect loves damp and cool environment. Controlling the humidity of the atmosphere inside the house is a good act in preventing the silverfish from breeding inside. All the cracks and crevices on the walls or woodwork have to be plugged giving no room for the insects to hide. It is more economical to prevent the damage caused due to silverfish than to eliminate them.
Fleas are tiny parasites that are about 1/8 of an inch in length, fleas range in colour from brown to reddish-brown and are known for the ability to jump about 6 inches high. Though their name suggests that they are only a problem for felines, cat fleas are attracted to other warm-blooded animals including dogs and local wildlife.
If you are a pet owner it is likely that fleas were introduced into your home by attaching to your pet’s hair. If you do not have pets, it is possible that a neighbour’s pet or wildlife crossing your property exposed you to fleas. Fleas can also be transported by other pests such as mice.
Despite their small size, fleas can be quite a headache and flea bites produce varied reactions among humans, including minor itching and redness to allergic reaction. They are also known to transmit murine typhus and plague. Fleas are intermediate hosts of dog tapeworm and smaller pets may become anemic due to fleas consuming too much of their blood.
Because fleas have the ability to reproduce quickly (approximately 30 days in ideal conditions) they can be hard to control. Flea control is made more difficult due to the fact that these pests are often introduced onto property by outside sources. Contacting adams Pest Control at the first sign of an infestation is the most effective way to ensure your property is kept free of fleas.
Earwigs are a long, narrow, brown insect 2/5 to 3/5 inches long with characteristic “pincers” at one end, the earwig is often transported indoors via cut flowers or house plants and can enter the home from the garden through open windows; sometimes this can be in large numbers – hence the need for earwig pest control.
The female lays around 30 eggs that are laid in soil and looks after eggs and young until they are ready to disperse. In terms of lifecycle there is one generation per year.
Adult larder beetles are about 1/4 – 3/8 inch in length with a long oval shaped body. They are dark brown to black, with a wide yellow band that has 6 or 8 spots across their wings. Their short antennae are clubbed. The larvae are brown, 3/8 – 5/8 inch in length and hairy.
These beetles over winter outdoors in cracks or crevices, in spring they enter homes and buildings. Both the larvae and the adult larder beetle cause damage feeding and boring into solid materials in which to pupate. The larder beetle feeds on a large variety of animal products such as bacon, cheese, ham, meats, dry pet food, feathers, etc.
Adult females lay their eggs on any one of their many feeding sources, or in cracks or crevices near the food source. They lay as many as 800 eggs, which will hatch in about 12 days. The male larvae molt 5 times while the female molts 6 times. The mature larva will wander around looking for a location to bore into to pupate.
INDIAN MEAL MOTH
Indian meal moth is a common pest found in homes. It is also referred to as pantry moths or flour moths. It is about 3/8 inch long and the length of wings is about 5/8 inch. The body colour of Indian meal moth is generally dirty gray. It has unique bi-coloured wings. The part of wing near to the head is light gray in colour and the remaining section is dark brown or copper in colour.
The female Indian meal moth lays 60 to 400 eggs on her food source. The eggs are non sticky in nature and they are smaller than 0.5mm. The eggs are hatched in 2 to 14 days. The larvae of Indian meal moth is normally termed as wax worms. The larvae are off-white in colour and have brown heads. The larvae stage lasts from 2 to 41 weeks. The time required for larva to become an adult varies, depending upon the temperature conditions. The larva is about 12mm long. They feed on nuts, coarsely ground grains and other food products.
In homes, we can find them laying eggs in dried food, grain products, grains, pet foods, chocolates, candy, seeds and powdered milk. They contaminate these foods, as they leave droppings and silken webs in them. Indian meal moths can be prevented from entering food areas by storing the materials at lesser moisture levels in air-tightly sealed glass or plastic containers. Temperatures of 130 to 140 deg F for duration of 60 minutes kill all the developmental stages of the insects. If the infested material is treated in freezing atmosphere of less than 0 deg F for 7 days, the insects can be eradicated thereby damages can be averted. Measures such as residual sprays and sanitation must be followed strictly especially if the grains are stored for a long period of time. In case of extreme Indian meal moth infestation, fumigation can be considered.
Although ticks are commonly thought of as insects, they are actually arachnids like scorpions, spiders and mites. All members of this group have four pairs of legs as adults and have no antennae. Adult insects have three pairs of legs and one pair of antennae. Ticks are the most common pest of domesticated dogs. These parasitic insects take blood from mammals, birds and reptiles to survive. Ticks are among the most efficient carriers of disease because they attach firmly when sucking blood, feed slowly and may go unnoticed for a considerable time while feeding.
Ticks are prolific laying between 1,000-3,000 eggs per breeding cycle, depositing them in cracks and crevices in and around the home. Larvae or “seed ticks” appear every 19-60 days and immediately search for food. The prefer warm dry environments and are commonly found in dry environments near their host, especially on bedding. Eggs found can be found around baseboards, window sills, door casings, curtains, furniture, where rugs meet baseboards, in cracks of kennel ceiling, and high on building walls and ceilings.