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Cockroaches are insects that are familiar to many people. They are particularly suited to hiding in cracks and crevices. They survive quite well living off the scraps of food left by human activities. The chief economic toll of cockroaches is the food they contaminate and diseases they spread.
This group contains familiar pests such as hornets, mud daubers, yellow jackets and cicada killers. All of these wasps have two pairs of wings and a "wasp waist" or constricted abdomen. They either consist of social wasps such as yellow jackets or hornets or solitary wasps such as mud daubers or cicada killers.
The honeybees, bumble bees, and carpenter bees all belong to the same family the apidae. The honeybees and bumble bees are social insects and among the most beneficial of all insects. In addition of being producers of honey and wax they are also the biggest pollinators. The carpenter bee is a solitary bee and not considered beneficial for its wood boring behavior.
Ants of many kinds are found throughout the world in many different habitats. They are one of the most advanced and successful insect groups. Ants are social insects and colonies contain several different types of castes and individuals. The ant species of the biggest economic importance is the carpenter ant. They nest in wood and over time can cause significant damage.
All flies belong to the order of insects called diptera. They may be separated from all other insects in that they only have one pair of wings. Flies become a problem to man primarily through the nuisance created by their presence or biting behavior but some are involved in disease transmission.
Sucking lice are external parasites of many animals and any one kind occurs on only one species of animal. Those lice which feed upon man are the body, head and crab louse and none of these live on any other animal. They are capable of transmitting disease and thrive in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Treatment by a physician is recommended as well as a home treatment.
Fleas are small brownish to black insects which are characteristically flattened laterally. Adult fleas are wingless and adapted to jump long distances. Fleas often live or hide in places such as pet beds, carpeting and sofas. Fleas feed exclusively on blood and when the host is available may feed several times a day and are capable of surviving long periods of starvation. Fleas are involved in the transmission of diseases and tapeworms.
Bed bugs are wingless reddish to brown in color and appear oval and flattened from top to bottom. Bed bugs maintain a close relationship to man feeding on blood at night and hiding in cracks and crevices associated with sleeping areas during the day. The female can lay 200-500 eggs in her lifetime so once an infestation occurs it can grow rapidly.
There are many different types of beetle some being wood destroying. Each species has different developmental temperature and humidity preferences. And can also attack a variety of food sources such as flours, spices, tobacco, mixes and pet food pellets. Another beetle of economic importance is the carpet beetle which can cause significant damage to clothes, carpets and upholstery.
There are many different species of moth ranging in a variety of different colors, shapes and sizes. Different species prefer different food sources and are common pests of stored food products. One of the biggest pests of this group is the clothes moth which can destroy fabrics.
Most species of earwigs are outdoor scavengers of organic debris such as decaying vegetable matter and dead insects. Although some species become pests in gardens and greenhouses and can feed upon living plants.
Although they belong to a relatively primitive order of insects, silverfish and firebrats are important household pests. These pests feed on a variety of starchy materials associated with paper, book bindings, wallpaper, labels, and starched clothes. Silverfish or firebrats are more or less gray or brownish wedge shaped wingless insects often seen scurrying around at night in search for food. They need high temperature and moist conditions which is why their attracted to hot shower steam and can be found in bathrooms.
Crickets are indoor and outdoor pests of crops and gardens and frequently enter dwellings. Damage to fabrics, food, furs, and some paper products may then result. They are generally considered nuisance pests because of their presence and the chipping noise made by the adult males.
Ticks are not insects but are more closely related to mites and spiders. Ticks are oval and flat shaped. Ticks can withstand long periods of starvation but if they fail to locate a host they will die. Ticks are recognized as a significant public health threat for the variety of diseases the transmit such as lymes.
Centipedes are not insects but belong to the class chilopoda. The house centipede is commonly found in residences. They have many legs and are considered beneficial predators feeding on pests such as flies, spiders, clothes moths, and cockroaches.
Mites are not insects but are closely related to ticks. Most mites are of little importance to man but a few species are of economic and public health concern. Issues associated with mites are disease transmission and allergic reactions.
Spiders have eight legs and are considered beneficial because they feed on other insects. However a few species can be poisonous and the presence of their webs may be considered a nuisance.
Rodents such as rats and mice support populations of disease transmitting organisms such as fleas and mites and thus aid in the spread of diseases, plagues, typhus and more. The biggest economic concern is the vast amounts of food they contaminate and while looking for nesting materials may destroy other items. Rats and mice differ in size with the mouse being the smaller of the two.