Deer and Horse Flies

January 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Deer and Horse Flies


Of course, these flies get the name because they like to feed on deer and horses. They inhabit most of the U.S. usually around water and livestock. Deer flies can feed off many different mammals including humans. Adults can reach large sizes up to an inch long. Eggs can be laid in numbers ranging from 100-1000. Deer flies can carry disease including tularemia that is transmitted from rabbits and other rodents. It is thought that they can travel for over 30 miles to a feeding site.

            Control is not practical but humans can wear protective clothing or netting if they are a huge problem. Repellants can be used to keep flies from landing on skin and clothing. Proper screens can be used to keep flies from entering homes and porches

Black Flies

January 30, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Black Flies

There are about 140 species of black flies found throughout the world. Black flies are usually found around water and deliver a painful bite. They are often mistaken for gnats due to small sizes. Females require a blood meal to produce eggs and after feeding can lay up to 500. They can make life miserable for humans and livestock in areas with high numbers.

Control can sometimes only be obtained by government or state agencies when water ways can be treated. Homeowners can help keep flies from entering houses by using good screens, aerosols and other pesticides.

Cat Fleas

January 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cat Flea

Fleas are another important insect group because as everyone knows, they can carry disease including plague and typhus. It is also suspected that they carry dog tapeworms. Cat fleas are the most common species and are carried on both cats and dogs. They are found are all over the world and every state in the U.S. Adults are small, only about 2 mm long and can be black to brown colored.

            It is believed that fleas can jump up to 6 feet, which is how they establish themselves on new hosts. After each feeding, females lay 4-6 eggs so numbers can reach high levels very quickly. Hatching occurs in about 2 days depending on the environment and they usually stay in areas that pets frequent such as cracks, bedding and carpeting. Fleas can live for several months if there is no host present. Normal survival rates with ideal conditions can last for up to a year. It is not necessary for pets to be present to have fleas as most homeowners believe. They can be transferred on shoes and clothing much the same as bed bugs.

            Control is much the same as bed bug control. Homeowners must first have infested pests treated with frontline or similar products which can be purchased at the veterinarian’s office. All clothing, toys and items that can be washed should be on high heat to kill any eggs. Vacuuming should be done on a regular basis for several days during and after the spray treatments. Fogging is sometimes necessary. Pest professionals should also use an insect growth regulator which kills eggs. Any animals outside the home, such as raccoons, rabbits and squirrels should be controlled to keep new fleas from reestablishing in the home. Dog fleas, human fleas, and rat fleas are other species and treatments are identical. These fleas are not as common as cat fleas.

Conenose “kissing bug”

January 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

            Conenose or “Kissing Bug”

These bugs are also called kissing bugs because they like to feed on the human face. They are found mostly in southern states like Florida, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. They are an important pest because they carry several disease organisms including trypanosomiasis.

            Females lay eggs in the summer and adults hide during the day and feed at night. Feedings are usually on animals but if humans are available they are fair game. Raccoons, squirrels and opossums are some animals that can be carriers of the conenose. They can fly and do so at night, sometimes attracted to light. Kissing bugs usually live in hollow trees or areas with other animals. Households are usually not infested but can be if the elements are right.

            Control includes: insect proofing houses, removal of harborages such as wood piles and animal dens, and using pesticides on a regular basis

Bed Bugs

January 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are one of the most intimidating pests around. They can create a fear in humans unmatched by any other insect. In 2004, it is estimated that in the U.S. they had increased in number by 500% compared to the preceding 3 years. The increase is due to more than one factor including; integrated pest management (not using chemicals) in many areas, resistance to chemicals, increased visitation from foreign countries, and incorrect identification of the insects by physicians which allows the infestations to increase to huge levels. Bed bugs were almost unheard of in the U.S.  Until the 1990’s when they made a huge comeback.

Female bed bugs lay 1-5 eggs per day up to about 500 when they will die. Bed bugs need human blood for survival but can also feed on pets if humans are not available. They prefer exposed skin and will feed for 3-5 minutes when people are sleeping. This is one of the reasons they can be such a psychological problem. Some people may develop an allergic reaction to the bites, having a welt that looks like a mosquito bite. Others may show no signs whatsoever. They have been known to carry up to 25 different disease organisms but there is no proof that they transfer diseases as of yet. The bites usually only itch or become slight welts.

Bed Bugs can “hitch hike” very easily from one place to another, by getting into bags and luggage. The bugs only require the thickness of a credit card to hide or reproduce so many cracks and crevices become the main areas of infestation. Headboards, mattresses, box springs, couches, and other furniture are the primary areas due to humans sleeping and becoming easy, close targets. When infestations grow in numbers, other areas become infested such as: pictures, light sockets, wallpaper, curtains and even ceilings along the wall. Hotels and Motels can become heavily infested when the bugs transfer from room to room. Homeowners can transfer the bed bugs to their personal residence with luggage and clothing after staying in infested hotels. Hospitals can also become infested.

Clues to having bed bugs will include: reddish stains on bedding which is the blood they feed on, bites on the body after sleeping, they can also release a unique odor when numbers are high. At this point, it is time to treat the entire area.

Treatments can be time consuming and require multiple trips to ensure the death of all bugs. Any clothing, toys, stuffed animals or linens that can be washed and dried on high heat is required. Dusts and sprays can then be used on cracks, crevices, wall voids, light sockets, seams in carpet and furniture, and underneath mattresses. Headboards and mattresses that are heavily infested should be thrown away if possible. Some companies are now using dogs to detect infestations as well as high heat treatments. Many treatments are very expensive. There does not appear to be an end to bed bugs in the near future.

Blood Feeders

January 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Blood Feeders

Blood feeders are a huge concern to the general public because they bite, carry disease, and are a psychological pest. Some insects in this category are ticks, mites, lice, flies, fleas, and bed bugs. There are usually many steps involved in controlling this category of bug including identifying them correctly, prevention, and avoidance. Treating these bugs can be extremely difficult.

Oriental Roaches

January 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Oriental Roaches

Oriental roaches are also sometimes referred to as waterbugs because they typically are seen around pipes, drains and moist areas. They are similar to American roaches in that they are not typically brought in like German roaches but come in from drains and pipes. They prefer starchy foods and rotting vegetation. Control can be obtained by sealing around pipes and using a residual spray or dust. The large size can be intimidating but they are not nearly the nuisance that German roaches can be.

brownbanded cockroaches

January 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Brownbanded Cockroach

These roaches look similar to brown roaches but have a band that run across the wings of the adults. They are found throughout the U.S. Size is usually about one half inch long. Brownbanded roaches are found throughout structures but prefer warmer areas around lights and heaters. Normal residual spraying is an effective means of control

Iowa Cockroaches

January 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 


Cockroaches have been around for over 400 million years. They will be on the planet long after people have expired. They feed on just about anything that is possible to eat. Roaches are a nuisance to restaurants, apartments, hotels, hospitals, and regular households.

 Roaches carry many diseases including: salmonella, coli form, e coli and hepatitis b. They can also cause severe allergies and asthma especially in small children. Approximately 4,000 species of roaches can be found in the world, about 70 in the U.S. The most common species of roach in households are brown, german, brownbanded, oriental, and American. The german roach is by far the biggest nuisance and most prolific.

brown cockroaches

January 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Brown Cockroach

Usually mistaken for the American because of similar sizes it is normally found in southern states like Texas but has also been found further north. They are about 1- 1and a half inches long and completely brown. Brown roaches normally feed on rotting vegetation and are not a big nuisance like German roaches. Control is similar to the American roach with treatments to drains and pipe areas.

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