PREMISE KEEPERS PEST SOLUTIONS
Ident-A-Bug and Insect Fact Page
"Guarding the Best Against the Pests"

The Basic Facts

There are well over 1 million different known species of insects in the world, and some experts estimate that there might be as many as 10 million. They are divided up into 32 orders (depending on whose taxonomic system you use) of which the largest is the Beetles (Coleoptera) with 125 different families around 500, 000 species. In fact one in every four animals on this planet is a beetle.  Below are some of the most common pests in the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley areas of Southern California.

Given these basic facts, why wait until these pests "bug" you? Call us today for a FREE estimate!


UMBRELLA WASP
Photo Credit: 
University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)

YELLOW JACKET / HORNET
Photo Credit:
College Of Natural Resources, 
University of California , Berkeley

MUD DAUBER
Photo Credit:
College Of Natural Resources, 
University of California , Berkeley
UMBRELLA WASPS

Umbrella wasps have a narrow waist between the thorax and abdomen. They range in size between 15-20 millimeters (.625-.75 inches).  They eat the nectar from flowers and live at the edges of woods, in fields, and in gardens.  Their nests consist of a paper cone, containing their larvae.
 
 

YELLOW JACKET / HORNET

The yellow jacket  is attracted to fruit and meat, and is sometimes referred to as the "meat bee".  It is a nuisance to picnickers and campers and has a very painful sting.  They nest in trees, and also in the ground. 
 
 

MUD DAUBER

Mud Daubers are not aggressive and seldom sting.  THe mud nest built by the females are stick under eves, beneath rocks, and rafters of attics and garages or where ever there is protection from the elements. Nest building and egg laying take place  in the late summer and fall, after which the female dies. 


BUMBLE BEE

HONEY BEE
Photo Credits: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
BEES

Both Honey and Bumble Bees have hairy bodies and pollen baskets on their legs.  They range from 4-25 millimeters (.125-1 inch) in size. 
A bee sting is always potentially serious and can be life threatening.

BUMBLE BEES
Bumble bees nest underground in colonies of several hundred individuals. The nests are usually in abandoned rodent burrows, in mulch, or under logs or debris. The abdomen of the bumble bee is covered with hairs. 
HONEY BEES
The honey bee's barbed sting cannot be withdrawn by the insect once it has penetrated the skin. The muscles of the sting apparatus continue to pulsate after the bee has flown away, driving the sting deeper into the skin and injecting more venom. For this reason the sting apparatus should be scraped (not pulled) out of the skin as soon as possible after a sting is received.

HARVESTER ANTS
Photo Credits: Stephensville Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University


FIRE ANT


ARGENTINE ANT
Photo Credits: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)

RED AND BLACK HARVESTER ANTS
Red and black harvester ants are 1/4 to 1/2" long. They build mounds which are clear of vegetation and typically covered with small gravel with the entrance hole near the center of the mound. These ants may sting if disturbed. They forage around the mound for seeds and vegetation. 
 
 



FIRE ANT

Fire ants range in size between 1/16-1/4" long and inflict especially painful bites and stings. Their heads are yellowish red and their abdomens are black.  Typically a ground nesting ant, they are commonly introduced into new areas via potted or balled shrubs and trees. 
 
 

ARGENTINE ANT

Averaging approximately 1/16" in size, Argentine Ants do not have stingers.  They emit a stale greasy or musty odor when crushed.  They are typically found in moist areas (such as kitchens and bathrooms) located near food sources.

GERMAN COCKROACH
Photo Credit: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)


ORIENTAL COCKROACH
Photo Credit:  Department of Entomology at Clemson University


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

THE GERMAN COCKROACH 
The German cockroach is the most common of the cockroaches. Not only is it a nuisance, it is also responsible for causing allergic reactions and outbreaks of illnesses in people.  Their color varies from light brown to tan and they are about 1/2-5/8 inches long.   These pests seek out warm and humid places, such as kitchens and bathrooms. 
 
 

THE ORIENTAL COCKROACH

The Oriental Cockroach is approximately 1-1/4 inches long and is dark reddish brown to black in color.  When they are disturbed, these cockroaches may run rapidly and adults may fly. Females are wingless, and males have wings. Unlike other pest cockroaches, oriental cockroaches cannot climb up smooth surfaces (they lack sticky pads on their feet). Producing an average of 150 young per year, the pests are commonly found in crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings. 

VARIED CARPET BEETLE
Photo Credit:
PestWorld, National Pest Management Association

KISSING BUG
Photo Credit:
PestWorld, National Pest Management Association

STINK BUG
Photo Credit:
PestWorld, National Pest Management Association
CARPET BEETLE

Often responsible for causing dermatitis in people, the carpet beetle is approximately 1/16-1/8" in size. These beetles tend to infest and damage fabrics, such as carpets and furs as well as cereal and grain products. They prefer to breed in the spaces between walls and ceilings, attics, and crawl spaces and are also found around windows.  Adults hatching from indoor pupae avoid or shun light until egg laying is mostly complete, and then become attracted to light. Most outdoor adults show an attraction to light.

KISSING BUG (The Western Cone Nose Bug)

It' s medium size (5/8 to 3/4 inch long) and has solid blackish or dark brown color.   The abdomen has flared sides and is compressed in the center.  They normally live in the dens of woods rats, where it feeds on the blood of the rodent.  The normal food of the kissing bug is the blood of vertebrate animals, including humans,  and has a very venomous bite.  The symptoms range from simple itching, severe swelling, joint pain, nausea, chills, and dizziness.   This pest can be found in the foot hills and rural areas.

STINK BUG

The bugs in this family are the real "stinkers" of the insect world. Glands opening  near the coxae of the hinds legs produce a strong acrid smelling vapor, which serves to discourage or repulse enemies.  Stink bug are from 3/4 to 1 inch long, and black in color.   Are common in the summer, on weedy vegetation in vacant lots and on some garden plants, and desert areas. 


CAT FLEA
Photo Credit: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
FLEAS

Transmitters of plague and typhus, fleas bite humans and animals alike.  Approximately 1/8"  in size, they are parasitic pests that require the eating of blood to survive.  Fleas can jump about 6 inches vertically and are known to "hitch a ride" on clothing and can live for months without food -- even as much as six months or longer. Fleas are typically found where animals sleep or frequent, including along their usual avenue of travel. 


BROWN DOG TICK
Photo Credit: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
TICKS

Known for transmitting Lime disease, ticks are about 1/16" in size.  They tend to climb grass and shrubs to wait for a passing host. 
A favorite feeding area for these ticks on humans is at the back of the neck, at the base of the skull; long hair makes detection more difficult. 

Photo Credit: Liphatech 

MICE
Capable of jumping as much as 13 inches from the floor and squeezing through openings as small as 1/4 inch in diameter, mice are incredibly destructive, not only destroying property, but they also transmit diseases such as salmonellosis (food poisoning) and dermatitis. Mice are about 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 inches long, including the 3- to 4 inch tail. Known for their extraordinary reproductive capacity, a single female can have as many as 10 litters of 5-6 young each year.  Mouse infestations are noticed by droppings, gnaw and claw marks, and tracks.

ROOF RAT
Photo Credit:  Photo Vault
RATS

The bodies of adult rats range in size between 6-8 inches with an additional 7-10 inches for their tails.  Infestation is most noticed as gnaw and claw marks, droppings, and tracks.  Rats are responsible for transmitting dermatitis, food poisoning, Salmonellosis, infectious jaundice, and even bubonic plague.  They tend to be nocturnal and will eat practically anything.  For them to enter a building, the opening must be larger than half an inch. 


BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER
Photo Credit: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER

Approximately 1/4-1/2" in size, brown recluse spiders can be yellowish tan to dark brown in color.  Most active at night, these spiders have three pairs of eyes and a "violin shaped" dark marking right behind the eyes.  Typically they are found in undisturbed areas of the house. The bite of this spider is particularly hazardous in that its venom contains an enzyme that destroys cell membranes in the wound. Within 24 hours, the bite can erupt into a "volcano lesion" (a hole in the flesh due to damaged, gangrenous tissue).  Typically taking months from which to recover, scarring can be permanent, often requiring plastic surgery and skin grafts to repair the damage.  Antivenin is seldom readily available.


SCORPION
Photo Credit: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS)
SCORPIONS

Commonly found in the desert, scorpions have four pairs of legs. Approximately 5 inches long, the scorpion is best known for  a bulb shaped structure containing the venom glands and a sharp, curved aculeus to deliver the venom.. The largest scorpions in the United States are about 5 inches in size. Scorpions are nocturnal, predatory animals that feed on a variety of insects, spiders, centipedes, and other scorpions. Despite their bad reputation, only one species in the U.S. and about 20 others worldwide have venom potent enough to be considered dangerous to humans.  The venom of this scorpion may produce severe pain and swelling at the site of the sting, numbness, frothing at the mouth, difficulties in breathing (including respiratory paralysis), muscle twitching, and convulsions. 


SUN SPIDER
Photo credit: John A. Jackman, Extension Entomology, Texas A&M University
SUN SPIDERS


SUN SPIDER DEVOURING A GRASSHOPPER
Photo Credit:U ltimate Pet  Habitat Net

Scientifically known as Solpugida, sun spiders are also known as wind spiders and wind scorpions.  Although they appear to look like a spider, they don't have venom but do have four pairs of legs.  The characteristic twittering sound helps to identify this pest. A burrowing insect, the sun spider thrives in the high desert environment and are attracted by light.


BLACK WIDOW SPIDER
Photo Credit: Cooperative Extension, University of Arizona
BLACK WIDOWS SPIDERS

Although the Black Widow is considered the most venomous spider in North America and its is 15 times as toxic as the venom of the prairie rattlesnake, they are not usually deadly especially to adults, because they inject only a small amount of venom. The female Black Widow is shiny black, usually with a reddish hourglass shape on the underside of her spherical abdomen. Her body is about 1.5 inches long. Adult males are harmless, about half the female's size, with smaller bodies, longer legs and usually have yellow and red bands and spots over the back as do the immature stages.  While the female Black Widow's fame comes because she  eats the male after mating, these spiders are shy and nocturnal, biting only when the webs are disturbed.

NOTE:  All photographs and graphics are offered here for the purposes of educating people about the common pests in the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley areas of Southern California.  As far as we know, all of the animated graphics on this page are in the public domain, having been downloaded from many different sources identifying themselves as "free" for any use. If this is not the case, please E-MAIL us and we will take the offending item down.

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