Pest Identifier

American Cockroach

Common Name: American Cockroach
Scientific Name: Periplaneta americana (Linnaeus)
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Blattodea/Blattidae
Metamorphosis: Simple

The American cockroach is also called a “waterbug”, the “Bombay canary”, and the “Palmettobug”. Despite its name, the American cockroach is not native to North America but was most probably introduced via ships from Africa. It is worldwide in distribution.

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Baldface Hornet

Common Name: Baldfaced Hornet
Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata (Linnaeus)
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Hymenoptera/Vespidae
Metamorphosis: Complete

This atypically large black-and-white yellowjacket gets its common name of baldfaced from its largely black color but mostly white face, and that of hornet because of its large size and aerial nest. Baldfaced hornets are found throughout the United States.

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Bed Bugs

Common Name: Bed Bugs
Scientific Name: Cimex lectularius Linnaeus
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Hemiptera/Cimicidae
Metamorphosis: Incomplete

Human dwellings, birds nests, and bat caves make the most suitable habitats for bed bugs since they offer warmth, areas to hide, and most importantly hosts on which to feed. Bed bugs are not evenly distributed throughout the environment but are instead concentrated in harborages.

Within human dwellings, harborages include cracks and crevices in walls, furniture, behind wallpaper and wood paneling, or under carpeting. Bed bugs are usually only active during night but will feed during the day when hungry. Bed bugs can be transported on clothing, in traveler’s luggage, or in bedding and furniture but lack appendages to enable them to cling to hair, fur, or feathers, so are rarely found on hosts.

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Black Widow Spider

Common Name: Black Widow Spider
Scientific Name: Latrodectus spp.
Class/Order/Family: Theridiidae
Metamorphosis: Simple

These spiders get their common name from the popular belief that the female eats the male after mating, a phenomenon which rarely happens in nature. The genus Latrodectus is worldwide in distribution, with 5 species occurring in the United States.

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Blacklegged Tick

Common Name: Blacklegged/Deer/Bear Tick
Scientific Name: Ixodes scapularis Say
Class/Order/Family: Arachnida/Acari/Ixodidae
Metamorphosis: Simple

The common name blacklegged refers to their dark legs which are in contrast to the paler body and that of deer because the preferred adult host is the white-tailed deer; in the midwest, it is called the bear tick. This tick is of medical importance because it is an important vector of Lyme disease. Blacklegged ticks are found primarily in the northeastern, midwestern, and southeastern states in the United States, but extend into Mexico.

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Carpenter Ants

Common Name: Carpenter Ants
Scientific Name: Camponotus spp.
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Hymenoptern/Formicidae
Metamorphosis: Complete

The black carpenter ant is a native species and the common species in the east. These ants get their common name from their habit of hollowing out galleries in pieces of wood for nesting purposes. This nesting habit can result in structural damage. Carpenter ants are found throughout the United States.

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Carpenter Bees

Common Name: Carpenter Bees
Scientific Name: Xylocopa spp.
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Hymenoptera/Anthophoridae
Metamorphosis: Complete

Carpenter bees get their common name from their habit of boring into wood to make galleries for the rearing of young. These are worldwide in distribution with 7 species occurring in the United States.

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Common Name: Flea
Scientific Name: Ctenocephalides felis
Class/Order/Family: Siphonaptera/Palicidae
Metamorphosis: Complete

Fleas are one of the more important groups of insect pests because they not only cause discomfort by biting, but they can transmit several diseases such as plague and murine typhus. Fleas are found throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

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German Cockroach

Common Name: German Cockroach
Scientific Name: Blattella germanica (Linnaeus)
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Blattodea/Blattellidae
Metamorphosis: Simple

The German cockroach is by far the most important and usually the most common of the cockroaches. In addition to being a nuisance, it has been implicated in outbreaks of illness, the transmission of a variety of pathogenic organisms including at lease one parasitic protozoan, and allergic reactions in many people. This species has worldwide distribution.

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Honey Bee

Common Name: Honey Bee
Scientific Name: Apis mellifera Linnaeus
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Hymenoptera/Apidae
Metamorphosis: Complete

Honey bees get their common name from the sweet yellowish to brownish fluid they make from the nectar of flowers and use as food. Honey bees not only provide honey and wax, but as pollinators are of far greater importance. They are also responsible for a large share of insect stings, although many stings blamed on “bees” are actually done by yellowjackets. Honey bees are worldwide in distribution.

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House Cricket

Common Name: House Cricket
Scientific Name: Acheta domesticus (Linnaeus)
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Orthoptera/Gryllidae
Metamorphosis: Simple

The common name comes from the fact that these crickets often enter houses where they can survive indefinitely. Having been introduced from Europe, this species is found throughout the United States but is a pest primarily east of the Rocky Mountains.

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Old House Borer

Common Name: Old House Borer
Scientific Name: Hylotrupes Bajulus (Linnaeus)
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Coleoptera/Cerambycidae
Metamorphosis: Complete

The old house borer apparently gets its common name from its ability to attack or rein fest well-seasoned wood found in old structures, although it usually attacks wood less than 10 years old. Of north African origin, it has been distributed through commerce to many parts of the world. In the United States, it is found in and eastward of those states going north to south, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas, and it is found as far north as central Maine.

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Powderpost Beetle

Common Name: Lyctid or Powerpost Beetle
Scientific Name: Various
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Coleoptera/Lyctidae
Metamorphosis: Complete

Lyctids are commonly known as (true) powderpost beetles because their larvae produce a very fine, powder like frass in their galleries. They are worldwide in distribution, with about 11 species occurring in the United States.

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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Common Name: Stink Bug
Scientific Name: Halyomorpha halys
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Hemiptera/Pentatomidae
Metamorphosis: Simple

This true bug in the insect family Pentatomidae is known as an agricultural pest in its native range of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Recently, the BMSB has become a serious pests of fruit, vegetables and farm crops in the Mid-Atlantic region and it is probable that it will become a pest of these commodities in other areas in the United States.

BMSB becomes a nuisance pest both indoors and out when it is attracted to the outside of houses on warm fall days in search of protected, overwintering sites. BMSB occasionally reappears during warmer sunny periods throughout the winter, and again as it emerges in the spring.

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Common Name: Termites
Scientific Name: Reticulitermes flavipes
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Isoptera
Metamorphosis: Simple

Subterranean termites nest in the soil. Winged male and female reproductives swarm from the nest in daylight during the spring, usually after a rain when proper conditions (heat, temperature and light) occur. Male (king) and female (queen) termites mate and seek a colony site and stay together because periodic mating is required for continuous egg production.

Development from egg to adult takes 2 to 7 weeks. Eggs, produced by the queen develop into wingless nymphs that develop through three stages (instars), requiring 10-14 days, 2-3 weeks and 3-4 weeks, respectively. At first, only worker termites are produced. Thereafter, there can be three types of nymphs: 1) false workers with no wing pads that molt continuously; 2) nymphs with wing pads that develop into winged male and female reproductives; and 3) soldier nymphs. Reproductive termites can develop from nymphs with wing pads (primary reproductives) as well as from false worker nymphs in the absence of primary reproductives due to the death of the queen or colony fractionation.

A termite colony matures in 2 to 4 years and may contain 21,000 to 365,000 termites.

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Common Name: Yellowjackets
Scientific Name: Vespula spp., Dolichovespula spp.
Class/Order/Family: Insecta/Hymenoptera
Metamorphosis: Complete

Yellowjackets receive their common name from their typical black and yellow color pattern. They are worldwide in distribution with about 16 species occurring in the United States.

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