It is said that by knowing your enemy, you can go a hundred battles victorious without harm. Taking that sentiment to heart, we make sure we are thoroughly knowledgeable about the pests that reside in the Greater Puget Sound area. Thus, we are able to offer very effective pest control solutions to our customers.
To the left you will find various kinds of pests that we treat. Each entry helps you identify threatening pests and understand their habits.
During various seasons, pests are continuously invading your home. They are attracted to your home for different reasons, such as for food or water, or in search of a more comfortable climate. Keeping them out is a continuous process and not a one-time event.
For example, pests like bedbugs are a constant threat. Bedbugs are parasitic insects of the cimicidae family that feed exclusively on blood. They may invade during any season, and can quickly reproduce becoming that much harder to treat.
Since 2007 Quality 1st Pest Solutions has been providing the highest quality pest control in the Washington State Puget Sound area.
We are ready to provide you with year-round services against all kind of pests. We work to deliver customized solutions to help treat your home or place of business. We assess by inspecting your home. We implement a highly customized plan for your specific pest control needs. And finally we monitor throughout the year.
For more information on how to get rid of your pest problem, call us today at: 253.226.2206
Carpenter Ants are the largest ants around your home. These ants are the most common and destructive wood destroying insects in the Pacific Northwest. Carpenter ants are a threat because they make nests in and around buildings. They do not eat or consume wood like termites do, however, they make galleries in the wood to live and raise their young. Colonies can reach the size of 40,000 to 50,000 ants. Ant activity is typically greatest between dusk and dawn. As a carpenter ant parent colony grows larger, it expands out from the main nest creating a new colony is known as a satellite colony, and is usually a close distance. The parent colony will contain the queen, larvae and workers. The satellite colony contains the mature larvae, pupae, workers, and winged reproductives. The ants will move back and forth from the parent nest to the satellite nest and to feeding areas. They will forage in and around the home for food and water, and often choose to establish satellite colonies inside a structure since these items are readily available there. Most damage by carpenter ants in the Pacific Northwest are caused by two species: Camponotus modoc or Camponotus vicinus. These species commonly nest in standing trees, logs, stumps, etc.
Odorous House Ants are small, dark brown ants approximately 1/8 inch long. They are often referred to as “sugar ants” due to their fondness for sweet foods. Empty soda cans, syrups, and any other type of sweet food debris are all attractants to this ant. Odorous house ants foraging in and around the home for food or water will often choose to establish colonies inside the structure since these items are easily available there. They are often seen in the kitchen and bathroom beginning in late March to early April. Inside the home they are generally found in wall voids, especially in and around hot water heaters and hot water pipes. Odorous House Ants do not cause structural damage, mostly they can be an annoyance. Odorous house ants are found outdoors nesting under rocks, old logs, under mulch, and landscape timbers, although just about anything on the ground can be a nesting site for these ants.
There are about twelve different species of yellow jackets & hornets in the Pacific Northwest.
Hornets are a type of aerial nesting yellow jacket. Its nest visibly hangs in the air on a bush, tree, under the eave of your house, or some place similar. Their colors may vary. Hornets are black and yellow. The bald-faced hornet is black & white.
Both yellow jacket & hornet nests are similar in structure, it’s a paper nest made of wood fibers. Unlike the paper wasp nest, a yellow jacket nest has a paper coating that is gray or brown in color. It resembles a paper machete ball with an entrance hole towards the bottom.
When yellow jacket queens first start their nest in the spring the nests are quite small, like a golf ball. Towards fall their nests can be very large. We’ve been in attics where the outer paper coating of the nest was five feet in diameter. However, most nests get to be just a bit bigger than a basketball with a few thousand yellow jackets in them. At the end of their cycle the queen will raise other queens for next year. Those queens leave the nest to find a place to hibernate for the winter, while the original nest dies out, never to be used again.
Yellow jackets are very aggressive and can be dangerous and cause considerable damage to your home. If you find them going in & out of a hole in your house you should have it treated immediately. They have a mandible like a carpenter ant & can chew through your wall quite easily. In most cases they’ll take a couple of weeks to do so, but if you spray their outside hole with a can of spray or caulk it, & they get desperate for another way out, they can come through much sooner.
In the Northwest there are several species of paper wasps & mud wasps, or mud daubers. Most are black & yellow, but some mud wasps are black with a metallic blue tint to them. These wasps are very beneficial insects. They are not aggressive and won’t do any damage to your home. They do have a stinger that they use to paralyze insects to eat, but they don’t use their stinger to attack people. However, while wasps will not defend their nest they will defend themselves. You can be stung if you swat at one or step on it barefoot.
Paper wasps make small nests out of wood fibers & are commonly found under the eaves or in the attic of houses & buildings. Their nests are open & the honeycomb shaped cells are exposed. Usually wasp nests are quite small (the size of a dime to hand size). Paper wasps start their nests in the spring. A queen starts each nest & then raises workers. A huge nest of paper wasps might get to be seventy-five in numbers, but most nests may have only twenty to forty wasps on them. At the end of their cycle the queen raises other queens for next year. Those queens leave the nest to find a place to hibernate for the winter while the original nest dies. The nesting cycle then starts again next spring with the new queens. Paper wasps can reuse old nests from a previous year, so any visible nests under your eaves should be knocked down.
Mud wasps are very similar to paper wasps except that they build their nests out of mud. Mud wasps will make a nest resembling a dirt clod, lay eggs in it, leave food for the larva, & then seal the cells. Those eggs will hatch out the next spring.
They will however, feed on other warm-blooded animals, including birds, rodents, and pets.
Bed bugs have been documented as pests since the 17th century. They were introduced into the American continent by the early colonists. Bed bugs were common in the United States prior to World War II, after which the widespread use of synthetic insecticides such as DDT greatly reduced their numbers. Improvements in household and personal cleanliness as well as increased regulation of the used furniture market also likely contributed to their reduced pest status.
In the past decade, bed bugs have begun making a comeback across the United States. The widespread use of baits rather than insecticide sprays for ant and cockroach control is a factor in their resurgence. Bed bugs are blood feeders that do not feed on ant and cockroach baits. International travel and commerce are contributing to the spread of these insects, because the eggs, young, and adult bed bugs are easily transported in luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture. Bed bugs can infest airplanes, ships, trains, and buses. Bed bugs are most frequently found in dwellings with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels and motels, dormitories, shelters, apartment complexes, and prisons. Bed Bug infestations usually are not a reflection of poor hygiene or bad housekeeping.
Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about 3/16 to 1/5 inch long. Their flat shape enables them to readily hide in cracks and crevices. The body becomes more elongate, swollen, and dark red after a blood meal. Bed bugs have a beaklike piercing-sucking mouthpart system. The adults have small, stubby, nonfunctional wing pads. Newly hatched nymphs are nearly colorless, becoming brownish as they mature. Nymphs have the general appearance of adults. Eggs are white and about 1/32 inch long. Female bed bugs lay from one to twelve eggs per day, and the eggs are deposited on rough surfaces or in crack and crevices. The eggs are coated with a sticky substance so they adhere to the substrate. Eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days, and nymphs can immediately begin to feed. They require a blood meal in order to molt. Bed bugs reach maturity after five molts. Developmental time (egg to adult) is affected by temperature and takes about 21 days at 86° F to 120 days at 65° F. Bed bugs can go without feeding for 80 to 140 days; older stages can survive longer without feeding than younger ones. Adults have survived without food for as long as 550 days. A bed bug can take six times its weight in blood and feeding can take 3 to 10 minutes. Adults live about 10-14 months and there can be 3 to 4 generations of bed bugs per year.
Bed bugs are fast moving insects that are nocturnal blood-feeders. They feed mostly at night when their host is asleep. After using their sharp beak to pierce the skin of a host, they inject a salivary fluid containing an anticoagulant that helps them obtain blood.
Nymphs may become engorged with blood within three minutes, whereas a full-grown bed bug usually feeds for ten to fifteen minutes. They become elongated after a blood meal. They then crawl away to a hiding place to digest the meal. The sole source of food is the blood meal they take at night from humans or bats during the day. When hungry, bed bugs again search for a host.
Bed bugs hide during the day in dark, protected sites. They seem to prefer fabric, wood, and paper surfaces. They usually occur in fairly close proximity to the host, although they can travel far distances. Bed bugs initially can be found about tufts, seams, and folds of mattresses, later spreading to crevices in the bedstead. In heavier infestations, they also may occupy hiding places farther from the bed. They may hide in window or door frames, electrical boxes, floor cracks, baseboards, furniture, and under the tack board of wall-to-wall carpeting. Bed bugs often crawl upward to hide in pictures, wall hangings, drapery pleats, loosened wallpaper, cracks in plaster, and ceiling moldings. The bite of a bed bug is painless. The salivary fluid injected by bed bugs typically causes the skin to become irritated and inflamed, although individuals can differ in their sensitivity. A small, hard, swollen, white welt may develop at the site of each bite. This is accompanied by severe itching that lasts for several hours to days. Scratching may cause the welts to become infected. The amount of blood loss due to bed bug feeding typically does not adversely affect the host. Rows of three or so welts on exposed skin are characteristic signs of bed bugs. Welts do not have a red spot in the center such as is characteristic of flea bites. Bedbugs bite the host most commonly around the waist while in bed sleeping. However, bites may occur on exposed skin such as arms and legs. Some individuals respond to bed bug infestations with anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, but its affect on people is substantial and debilitating.
A bed bug infestation can be recognized by blood stains from crushed bugs or by rusty (sometimes dark) spots of excrement on sheets and mattresses, bed clothes, and walls. Fecal spots, eggshells, and shed skins may be found in the vicinity of their hiding places. An offensive, sweet, musty odor from their scent glands may be detected when bed bug infestations are severe.
Control of bed bugs is best achieved by following an integrated pest management (IPM) approach that involves multiple tactics, such as preventive measures, sanitation, and chemicals applied to targeted sites. Once the bedbugs have spread, infestations usually are best handled by a Quality 1st pest solutions professional.
Do not bring infested items into one’s home. It is important to carefully inspect clothing and baggage of travelers, being on the lookout for bed bugs and their tell-tale fecal spots. Also, inspect secondhand beds, bedding, and furniture. Rodents that can serve as alternate hosts for bed bugs.
A thorough inspection of the premises to locate bed bugs and their harborage sites is necessary so that cleaning efforts and insecticide treatments can be focused. Inspection efforts should concentrate on the mattress, box springs, and bed frame, as well as crack and crevices that the bed bugs may hide in during the day or when digesting a blood meal. The latter sites include window and door frames, floor cracks, carpet tack boards, baseboards, electrical boxes, furniture, pictures, wall hangings, drapery pleats, loosened wallpaper, cracks in plaster, and ceiling moldings. Determine whether birds or rodents are nesting on or near the house. In hotels, apartments, and other multiple-type dwellings, it is advisable to also inspect adjoining units since bed bugs can travel long distances.
Discarding the mattress is another option, although a new mattress can quickly become infested if bed bugs are still on the premises. Steam cleaning of mattresses generally is not recommended because it is difficult to get rid of excess moisture, which can lead to problems with mold, mildew, house dust mites, etc. In dealing with an infested sofa, love seat or upholstered chair, disposal may be necessary since it is difficult to get treatment into the deepest crevices of the furniture where the wood frame may provide harborage for bedbugs.
In cases where the population of bedbugs is high, treatment of adjacent rooms may be necessary. Closets in bedrooms may require treatment and the contents will need to be washed and dried as needed.
Diptera Types: Cat, Dog, Northern Rat, Oriental, Rat, Rabbit
Fleas are small (2mm) wingless insects, with hard bodies flattened side to side, red-brown with backwardly directed spines and powerful legs designed for jumping enabling them to find new hosts as well as to escape quickly the attempts of the hosts to remove them. The adults can survive away from a host for several weeks without eating. All adult fleas are parasitic on warm-blooded animals and birds. Flea eggs are usually laid in dirt or in the nest of the host. Larval stages live in the nest of the host and feed on skin, feathers and, most importantly, the blood-rich feces of the adult flea. When fully grown the larvae spin well camouflaged silken cocoons. When fully developed the adult waits within until it detects the vibrations caused by a potential host. Only then does it emerge. The complete life cycle takes about an month in the summer. Adult fleas feed on blood using piercing and sucking mouth parts. Their bites can cause intense irritation around the central bright red spot. Different people react differently to a bite, both in terms of degree of reaction and time taken to react. Fleas are classified in the phylum Arthropoda , class Insecta, order Siphonaptera. The Cat Flea is by far the commonest species of flea and readily bites humans. The Human Flea and the Bird Flea are next in importance. Dog fleas are rare, although other species may become temporarily attached to dogs.
No matter how hard you may try to avoid them, fleas are part of owning a dog or cat. You can, however, take precautions to protect your pet by knowing when flea season begins for your area. In the Pacific Northwest, we experience year round activity for fleas. Remember: fleas can survive indoors during colder months, so it’s important for you to consult your veterinarian about treatment for your pet. Quality 1st Pest Solutions can provide year round protection in and around your home to help protect your pet from the aggravation of fleas using different both natural and chemical methods. The flea has a lifespan of six to 12 months. During that time, a pair of fleas could produce millions of offspring. Fleas have survived millions of years in a variety of environments. Some species can leap 15 to 36 inches high.
Fleas can cause reactions in your pet varying from a mild skin irritation to a severe allergic reaction. Because fleas feed on blood, an extreme infestation can cause anemia or even death in animals. All cats and dogs, and other mammals, too, are susceptible to flea infestations, except for some that live in high elevations or in extremely dry environments.
Whether or not you actually see fleas on your pet, they may be there. Scratching, scabs and dark specs, or “flea dirt,” found on the skin can all be signs that your pet has become the unwitting host for a family of fleas. Fleas can carry tapeworms, too. In extreme cases, an animal may be lethargic and its lips and gums pale. All cats and dogs are susceptible to flea infestations, except for some that live in high elevations or in extremely dry environments. You can help your pet win the war on fleas by knowing your flea season, which is largely influenced by temperature and humidity. In March we begin to see a increase in activity, rapidly growing thru the summer peaking in July-August. Then it gradually declines back to lower levels by November to December.
To battle flea infestation requires patience and perseverance. Because the life cycle of a flea is three to four weeks, it will take at least that long to completely rid your pet and its environment of the enemy. Different flea control products work in different ways, have varying levels of effectiveness and kill different flea stages (eggs, larvae and/or adults). We need to use a combination of products at the same time to be effective.
Dips, shampoos, powders and sprays will usually kill the adult fleas on your pet. Using a flea comb regularly will help, too. But more adults may be lurking in your home or yard, and eggs or larvae may be lying in wait, as well. You’ll need to rid your house of fleas by vacuuming and washing your pet’s bedding once a week, and using a disinfectant on washable surfaces and an insecticide or insect growth regulator in cracks and crevices (sometimes foggers are recommended) every two to four weeks. When using chemical products to control fleas, be very careful. You may be providing too much of a potentially toxic chemical if you use, say, a flea dip and a fogger with the same chemical ingredient. Always check with your veterinarian before beginning your war on fleas for your pet. Even if you purchase an over-the-counter product, it’s wise to consult your veterinarian for any safety concerns. To assist you with clearing your home of fleas, our methods at Quality 1st Pest Solutions treating your yard, carpets, pet areas, and other necessary areas can provide year round protection for your pet. Sunlight kills fleas, so concentrating efforts in the shady areas of your yard especially can help with the process of eliminating fleas. We can spray your yard with insecticide, we also treat your yard using fleas natural enemy, nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic worms that kill flea larvae and cocoons. We apply them to your yard once a month until the fleas are gone.
Be very careful to use the products as directed; some may be effective for dogs, but toxic to cats. Always consult with your veterinarian before implementing any flea control program that involves treating your pet directly.
Types: House Mice, Norway Rat, Roof Rat
Name applied to numerous species of small rodents , often having soft gray or brown fur, long hairless tails, and large ears. The chief distinction between these animals and the variety of rodents called rats is in size: mice are usually smaller. Many small rodents are adapted for leaping or hopping and are named accordingly, e.g., the North American kangaroo rat and Asian jumping mouse.
Name applied to various stout-bodied rodents , usually having a pointed muzzle, long slender tail, and dexterous forepaws. It refers particularly to the two species of house rat, Rattus norvegicus, the brown, or Norway, rat and R. rattus, the black or roof rat. Both species originated in Asia, but have spread throughout the world, mostly on board cargo ships. The black rat was common in Europe in the Middle Ages and was responsible for the spreading of plague. It has since been largely displaced in cooler regions by the brown rat, which reached Europe early in the 18th century, and North America by 1775. The brown rat is the larger of the two, growing up to 10 inches long excluding it’s tail and sometimes weighing more than a pound. It is commonly brown with white underparts and pink ears, feet, and tail. It is a poor climber, but an excellent burrower and swimmer; it is found in the damp basements and sewers of most temperate zone cities. The laboratory white rat is an albino brown rat. The black rat is commonly dark gray. It reaches a maximum length of 8 inches and has a longer tail and larger ears than the brown rat. A good climber, the black rat inhabits attics and upper floors in warm areas; it is the common rat of the Mediterranean region, the SE United States, and Central and South America. Rats are omnivorous, aggressive, intelligent, adaptable, and extremely fecund. Females produce as many as 8 litters each year with as many as 20 young per litter. The gestation period is three weeks, and the young reach sexual maturity in about two months. Rats may live as long as four years. They are social animals but sometimes fight among themselves. They live mostly in and around human settlements, where they have few natural enemies and an abundant source of food. They invade food supplies and cause widespread destruction; they also spread human diseases such as typhus and tularemia. Despite human efforts to exterminate rats, the house rat population is probably equal to the human population. Besides the house rats, the genus Rattus contains several hundred wild-living species. In addition, many other members of several different rodent families are called rats, e.g., the bandicoot rat , the wood rat, or pack rat , the rice rat, the muskrat , and the kangaroo rat.
Rodents cause more then $1 billion dollars in damage annually in the U.S. alone.
Rats can jump 2 feet vertically.
Rats can jump 4 feet horizontally.
Rats can fall 50 feet without injury.
Norway Rats can swim up to 1/2 mile in open water, dive through plumbing traps and travel in sewer lines.
Rats are transmitters of Mume Typhus fever, rat bite fever leptospiressis, trichinosis, salmonellas, melioidosi, brucellosis, tuberculosis, pastuerellosis, reckettsial and viral diseases. Norway Rats can also carry the rabies virus.
Quality 1st Pest Solution’s philosophy regarding rodent control is to eliminate all reasonable entry and exit points within a structure. Prior to the initial inspection, we communicate with our clients regarding their needs and concerns. We proceed to determine the type of pest(s) present and the level of infestation. A thorough inspection is performed to locate entry points. Upon completion, Quality 1st Pest Solutions will present a customized plan addressing the repair and trapping needs to exclude your home. **All Exclusion Repair Work is Guaranteed for 1 Year**
·Crawl Space: vents; pipe penetrations; doors; miscellaneous holes found in brick, block, stone, and porches
·Attic/Roof: gaps in roofline, valleys, and junctions; sewer and exhaust vents; gables; ridge vents; siding; overhanging tree branches, bushes, and vines
·Exterior Walls and Basement: downspouts; gutters; pipe penetrations; exhaust vents; siding; brick and block voids
·Formed galvanized sheet metal
· Copper Mesh
·¼” Wire Mesh
·Black IPF Foam
Spiders are from the class Arachnida, and have four pairs of legs and a two-part body consisting of a cephalothorax, or prosoma, and an unsegmented abdomen, or opisthosoma. The cephalothorax is covered by a shield, or carapace, and bears eight simple eyes. On the underside of the head are two pairs of appendages: the anterior pair called chelicerae and the second pair pedipalps, with which the spider captures and paralyzes its prey, injecting venom produced in the poison glands. Three pairs of spinnerets toward the tip of the abdomen produce fluids that harden as they are drawn out to form silk threads.
Although mostly found in Eastern Washington, black widows have found their way to Western Washington, and have started nesting. The female black widow has the appearance we associate with black widows despite males not conforming to the look: a glossy black body, pronounced abdomen with the signature red hourglass. The black widow bite is notorious for being lethal for humans, and does produce a venom considered one of the most lethal naturally produced venoms; however, most humans with experience only some side effects, such as severe muscle pain, abdominal cramps, and muscle spasms, for three to seven days. The little spider cannot produce enough venom in its bite to inject a lethal dose for most humans, but may be able to inject a lethal dose for children, the elderly, and the infirm. Often black widows are not hostile, and only bite when they are back into a corner.
Hobo Spiders vary from ½” to 1 ¾” in body length, and are a dark brown with a chevron pattern on their abdomen pointing towards the spinnerets. The hobo spider is thought to have been introduced to the Washington area from Europe through commercial shipping sometime before the 1930’s. Initial interactions with the hobo spider were mistaken for brown recluse due to the similarity in appearance and venom, and it wasn’t until 1983 that the hobo spider was identified as the culprit.
The hobo spider are reputed to be aggressive, which is in fact because they have very poor eyesight and need to be ever-ready for any prey. Therefore, anything that moves is considered prey, be it human, animal, or insect. In half of the instances of a hobo spider bite, the spider will inject no venom, a dry bite, but when it does inject venom, it has the ability to produce necrotic lesions and systemic illness. A small bite can become a large wound as the venom slowly kills the flesh. Such a bite can take years to heal.
To safeguard against hobo spiders wear gloves when working in the yard, cleaning your basement, or reaching into dark areas. The hobo spiders do not often climb high on vertical surfaces, and create a distinct funnel shaped web near the ground.
The Pacific Northwest has many different kinds of spiders, however, other than the above, they are mostly harmless. Still it is best to always handle spiders as if they were poisonous.
Both of these insects look very much alike. However, they are normally found in different parts of the home. Silverfish are commonly found on ground floors or in basements or crawlspaces. Firebrats like warmer temperatures and are usually found in attics and upper levels of the building, especially in structures with wood shake roofs. These pests often arrive from outdoors living in bark dust, decaying matter like grass clippings, leaves and compost piles. Treatment includes a thorough inspection of the property, treatment of either attics, crawlspaces or both, crack and crevice treating the interior, exterior or both, or a combination of all of the above. The silverfish is common indoors in cool, damp places such as basements. The firebrat is found in warm places, such as around steam pipes and boilers. Silverfish will infest and damage a variety of materials, ranging from clothing, books, papers, to even wallpaper. They are a nuisance pest that people can find repulsive. Silverfish love humidity. When storing books or papers, reduce the humidity by using a desiccant package in storage boxes. Silverfish will travel great distances in search of food.
Adults are approximately ½”, black with red lines. Box Elder Bugs, along with ladybugs and cluster flies, normally enter structures in the fall. They are not a real problem at this time as they search for dark, undisturbed areas in which to hibernate. However during the spring season, they can emerge indoors in significant numbers. Access prevention is your best weapon against this pest. These insects follow warm air currents, so you can reduce inviting heat loss and create a physical barrier with weather stripping. Seal crevices along the roofline and around doors and window frames.
Fabric pests like the clothes moth and webbing moth share many of the same charactastics and behaviors. They are both usually white or cream colored and measure about 3/8″ long. Both of these moths can cause irreparable damage to personal belongings. They feed on almost any item made of natural fibers, particularly items made of wool, cashmere and silk. They are also capable of digesting animal hair. Treatment includes trapping, chemical treating, inspection and washing or dry-cleaning of infested articles.
Carpet beetle adults are small 1/16″ round normally gray or black. Their larva are what damages your personal belongings. They are able to digest animal hairs and will feed on almost any item made of natural fibers, mostly wool, cashmere and silk. The larva is about 1/4″ in length. They are fuzzy and often a light brown, but may vary in color. They are most commonly found in birds nests, rodent burrows, old wasp or bee hives. They can also be found in bark dust, mulch, plant bedding and on plants. Treatment normally requires a thorough inspection, treatment of the outside grounds of the building, crawlspaces, attics, and interior treating.
Types of Roaches: German, Palmetto, Oriental, American, Smokey Brown
Name applied to approximately 3,500 species of flat-bodied, oval insects forming the suborder Blattaria of the order Orthoptera. Cockroaches have long antennae, long legs adapted to running, and a flat extension of the upper body wall that conceals the head. They range from 14 in. to 3 in. (.6-7.6 cm) in length. Some cockroaches have two pairs of well-developed wings, the front pair covering the hind pair when at rest; others have reduced wings or none at all. In some species only the wings of the female are reduced or absent. Many species are able to fly well, although the familiar household species do not fly. Most cockroaches are shiny brown or black, but bright yellows, reds, and greens occur in some tropical species. Cockroaches are night-active insects and most live in damp places; most are omnivorous scavengers. They are worldwide in distribution but are most numerous in the tropics. Most species live in the wild in their native regions, e.g., the wood cockroaches, species of the genus Parcoblatta, found under forest litter in the NE United States. A few tropical and subtropical species that have been introduced into the temperate zone have become residents in human homes, where they multiply rapidly and are serious pests. They invade food supplies and emit foul-smelling glandular secretions. Their shape enables them to use tiny cracks as hiding places. They are popularly believed to be carriers of human diseases, although this has not been proved. The large, dark Oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis, is a cosmopolitan household species. The smaller German cockroach, or Croton bug, Blattella germanica, native to Europe, is the common urban cockroach of the NE United States. The American cockroach, Periplanata americana, is a large light-reddish species that invades houses in the S United States. Cockroaches reproduce sexually. Their eggs are encased in capsules called oothecae, which in some species remain attached to the abdomen of the female until the eggs hatch. In a few species the ootheca is retained within the body of the female and the young are born live. Young resemble the adults except in size. The group as a whole is extremely old; fossil evidence indicates its extreme abundance during the Carboniferous period, about 350 million years ago. These ancient cockroaches were able to fly and were probably the first flying animals. Cockroaches are classified in five families of the phylum Arthropoda , class Insecta, order Orthoptera, suborder Blattaria.
German Cockroaches are about 1/2″ to 5/8” long as an adult. Nymphs and adults have two black stripes behind the head. Females can reproduce without males. Cockroaches are aggressive foragers that contaminate, devour, and destroy food. They can cause or aggravate asthma, especially in children. Cockroaches seldom if ever live outdoors in the Northwest. They are usually stowaways, carried indoors through both edible and non-edible purchases. Be sure to remove bulk packaging as soon as possible. Keep areas free of food debris and water sources.
Pantry Pests include beetles, weevils and moths. They often infest grain products, seeds, nuts, bird seed, dried dog food and cereals. The most commonly found pantry pest is the Indian Meal Moth. These moths wingspan measures about 5/8″ with the outer one half of the wing reddish or copper colored. The key to any pantry pest treatment is to identify all of the infested food sources. This can be difficult due to the wide variety of foods these insects will attack. The combination of chemical treating and pheromone trapping is essential for success in moth infestation elimination.
Indian Meal Moths have become one of the most common grain-infesting insects. They infest a broad range of stored food products and whole grains, and become a problem in homes as well as businesses including warehouses, grocery & pet-food stores, seed companies, grain mills, etc., etc. Their larvae feed on a wide variety of foods such as bird seed and pet food, dried fruits, powdered milk, flour & cornmeal, raisins, prunes, nuts, chocolate, candies, pastas, spices and many others. Indianmeal moths fly mostly at night and they’re attracted to lights.
Tip: Purchase seldom-used foods in small quantities & check package dates to ensure freshness.
Saw toothed Grain Beetles, as well as (cousin) merchant grain beetles, are tiny reddish-brown beetles about ⅛ long or less. They’re slender and flat with six teeth-like projections on each side of their thorax. These beetles attack almost any dry food (in opened or unopened boxes or containers). They’re most often found in cereal products such as flour, cake mix, cornmeal and macaroni products, as well as other items such as bread, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate and dry pet food.
Tip: Best to buy small packages of infrequently used dry products or store packages in the freezer.
Flour Beetles are small, reddish-brown insects about ⅛ long. The Confused flour beetle is most common and abundant. Red flour beetles look very similar. These pests commonly infest flour mills, warehouses and grocery stores, as well as homes. They feed on flour, cake mix, cornmeal, crackers, dry pet food and other foods such as dried fruits, nuts and seeds (such as bird seed).
Tip: Check both opened and unopened boxes or containers of potentially infested products. Vacuum out cracks & crevices, then dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag to help prevent reinfestation.