It is fairly common for homes to have a cockroaches, spiders, ants, or even flies intrude on activities. These general pests are often attracted to the favorable climate your residence has to offer along with the convenient food and water sources, as well as the protection from the elements and predators. But there are also occasional pests that come into our homes from time to time. With that in mind, we at Stewart Termite & Pest Control would like to offer some basic information on these little pests that will occasionally show themselves in your Pittsburgh bathroom, kitchen and home.
Are Silverfish Harmful?
Silvery-gray colored scales with tapered bodies that host three tail filaments are the basic descriptive characteristics of a silverfish. Starchy foods, cereals, and flours kept in your pantry as well as paper, books, and fabrics are among the preferred menu items of this insect. Silverfish can potentially cause severe damages to property between eating and nesting. Silverfish generally tend to stick to the outdoors, and if they managed to get into your home they are generally in a desperate quest to find food. To prevent infestation, it is recommended that you keep your home well sanitized and clutter free. Food should be well contained in seal-able containers, crumbs and other food spills maintained with regular vacuuming and cleaning habits. Dispose of books, magazines and newspapers that you no longer care you own, and properly store the ones you wish to hang on to in an effort to control the clutter. Closets and other storage areas should be periodically cleaned, as silverfish have a tendency to burrow there looking for nests, refuge, and convenient meal sources. Valuable books or papers can be better protected from these little intruders by sealing them in plastic bags and exposed to freezing temperatures in the freezer to kill adults as well as their eggs.
Where Do Mites Come from?
Literally thousands of different species of mites roam the earth with different characteristics and habits and mites are grouped in the arachnid family. But generally, they have four pairs of legs and bodies comprised of the prosoma and abdomen. In dogs, scabies mites can cause mange and in humans, they can cause scabies. In contrast to other mites, scabies mites burrow under the skin and produce tunnels to lay their eggs.
Chiggers and clover mites are young mites, very tiny and red. They will attach themselves onto hosts, people or animals, and consume blood until adulthood. Their bites cause severe itching and skin irritation. Some parasitic mites will transfer dangerous diseases and others will feed on plants, infesting your lawns and devouring the various vegetation.
Because of their name, many believe the myth that earwigs will crawl into a sleeping person’s ear. Fortunately this is just a fallacy and earwigs prefer to stay as far from humans as possible. Though earwigs are indeed frightening to look at, mostly due to their pincers on the back of their abdomens, they are relatively harmless, only using their pincers for defensive purposes and for sparring with rival earwigs. In addition to having pincers, some species of earwigs have a secondary defense, in which they produce a foul odorous liquid. Earwigs are slender insect with two pairs of wings, and depending on the species, adults are about 5/8″ in length. Earwigs are generally more active at night compared to daylight hours, and during that time they tend to hide in damp cracks, under rocks, logs, and mulch in gardens and landscapes. Their basic diet is consuming plants and other insects. During the winter, earwigs burrow underground and in the spring, the females will lay eggs in the burrow. The females will stay with the eggs and care for the nymphs until they are capable of obtaining their own food.