Silverfish are found worldwide. Females deposit fertilized eggs in cracks and hidden places. The hatched young are scaleless and have short appendages. Silverfish normally live indoors and, because they eat starchy materials (e.g., paste, bookbindings, and wallpaper), can cause much damage. They live two to three years and molt throughout life.
Fire ants were accidentally brought to the United States from South America. Since arriving in Mobile, AL, they have spread to 14 States and Commonwealths. Identifying fire ants is difficult because they look much like ordinary ants. They are 1/8 to 1/4–inch long and reddish brown to black in color. Fire ants are probably best distinguished by their aggressive behavior and characteristic mound–shaped nests.
Carpenter ants are large (10 mm or more) black or brown ants often found in wooded areas. However, they are known to enter homes also, especially in the spring. These ants are most often seen one at a time, and they are by far the largest ants seen on the property. In the spring, you may find large numbers of flying ants. These are the reproductive members of the colony. They indicate the presence of a mature colony nearby, and this is cause for concern. This colony must be found and destroyed immediately because carpenter ants are capable of doing severe structural damage if left untreated.
These hunting spiders are fast runners that will chase their prey. Wolf spiders are hairy and often large, up to 1-3/8 inches long, sometimes confused with tarantulas. Their legs are long and spiny. Many are dark brown.
Black Widow Spider
The adult female black widow spider has a shiny, jet black, spherical abdomen with two connected red triangles on the underside that form a characteristic hourglass marking. Note, however, that the hourglass color may range from yellowish to various shades of orange or red. Adult females are about 1/2-inch long, not including the legs (about 1-1/2 inches when legs are spread). Adult males are harmless, about half the female’s size, with smaller bodies and longer legs.
Scorpions are not insects but are a closely related arthropod. Except when the scorpion accidentally stings man or invades his house, he is most beneficial. Scorpions feed on insects, and their presence is due to insect food in the area. Thus a key to control is to control the insects and the scorpions will leave. Scorpions are most abundant in the warmer areas of the U.S. They like trees, rock piles, old buildings, etc., where they lie in wait for prey.
The house mouse is one of the most troublesome and economically important rodents in the United States. House mice thrive under a variety of conditions; they are found in and around homes and commercial structures as well as in open fields and agricultural lands. House mice consume and contaminate food meant for humans, pets, livestock, or other animals. In addition, they cause considerable damage to structures and property, and they can transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as salmonellosis, a form of food poisoning.
Norway rats, sometimes called brown or sewer rats, are stocky burrowing rodents that are larger than roof rats. Their burrows are found along building foundations, beneath rubbish or woodpiles, and in moist areas in and around gardens and fields. Nests may be lined with shredded paper, cloth, or other fibrous material. When Norway rats invade buildings, they usually remain in the basement or ground floor. The Norway rat occurs throughout the 48 contiguous United States. Generally it is founds at lower elevations but may occur wherever people live.
The roof rat can survive in areas of lush vegetative growth within established neighborhoods by feeding on snails, nuts, berries, and fruits. Thus, it has less dependency on human foods than the Norway rat. Both rat species take full advantage of suburban environments that provide bird feeders, outdoor dog pens, and improperly managed garbage or compost piles.
Cat fleas are frequently encountered in homes and are common pests on domestic cats and dogs. Sticktight fleas can become a problem when pets frequent areas near poultry. Female sticktight fleas firmly attach themselves around the ears and eyes of their host. Fleas on either cats or dogs in Texas are most likely cat fleas.
Carpenter bees get their name from their ability to drill through wood and nest in the hole. Their drilling creates a near-perfect hole, approximately Z\x inch in diameter. The holeis usually located on the underside of the wood surface, including siding, decks, overhangs, fence posts and window frames. Although the hole appears to be only an inch or two deep, it rarely ends there.