(Pavement Ant, Odorous House Ant, Black Carpenter Ant): These three ants are the most common in St. Louis, MO. The Pavement Ant is black and will nest outdoors; they will come indoors to forage for food. The Odorous House Ant is the most common household ant in our area. They look like Pavement Ants but will nest indoors. When crushed, these ants give off an odor that smells like coconut. The Black Carpenter Ant hollows out spaces in wood for nesting. They are most common around windows, doors, decks, and gutters where wood for nesting is available.
Varying in size, color, and fur texture, bats are the only mammals that can fly. They eat insects, worms, and other bugs, and are nocturnal. They congregate in shaded areas: caves, under bridges, in trees, and in attics, chimneys, and crawl spaces. When in and around your home, bats can spread diseases, introduce bat mites to your environment, and cause structural damage through accumulation of their waste products. Boarding an access area is not a sustainable solution; bats can fit through very small spaces.
Also known as Cimex lectularius, bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about 3/16 to 1/5 inch long. Bed bugs can be easily seen by the naked eye, but their flat shape enables them to easily hide in cracks and crevices. Bed bugs are parasites that feed on humans or other warm-blooded animals and can be found in mattresses, box springs, and bed frames.
Recognized by a distinctive violin-shaped mark behind its eyes, the brown recluse is common in the Midwest. It is often found in sheds, garages and undisturbed closets. Their bite causes a red zone and surrounding crust which, when it falls off, can leave a deep crater which requires extensive medical attention.
Small, hard-bodied, wingless insects, fleas feed on blood. Their bite leaves a red, itchy spot on the skin. Their saliva acts as an irritant, causing dermatitis and hair loss in allergic animals.
Small, burrowing rodents about 15 inches in length, gophers create communities of tunnels and can disrupt commercial agriculture, garden plots, and landscaping with their underground activities.
With a hairless, pointed snout, small eyes, the absence of external ears, and large forefeet, moles burrow to form a community of underground tunnels. They feed on small invertebrates found in the soil and also a variety of nuts.
Marsupials with long tails, opossums are commonly found in the suburbs. They eat fruits, vegetables, and flowers, and often nest in roofs
Varying in size, raccoons are easily identified by the area of black fur surrounding their eyes. Nocturnal creatures, they scavenge around homes and businesses for food and make their dens in chimneys, roofs and attics. They often chew through electrical wires to clear access to den sites, and can cause much structural damage, including the destruction of shingles and aluminum. Their territorial nature eliminates access area board-up as a sustainable pest control option.
Nocturnal and producing eggs naturally protected from insecticides, cockroaches can invade a home quickly. They enter our homes through cracks and crevices, vents, sewer and drain pipes. We even bring them in on products like grocery bags, boxes, and purses. The dust created by cast-off cockroach skins, dead bodies, and droppings can act as a severe allergen for sensitive individuals.
Squirrels are small rodents varying in size from 6-12 inches in body length and often make their nests in shaded areas in and around your home or office because of readily available food and nesting provisions. Squirrels can cause significant structural damage including the shredding of roof or wall paper, vent ducts, and insulation around pipes. Squirrels also chew through electrical wires, which can lead to an increased risk of fire. Boarding up an access area is not a viable pest-control solution for these very territorial rodents.
Social insects found in wood and wood products, termites eat cellulose for nutrition. The two most common types of termites are “dry wood” and “ground” termites. Both types of termites are categorized as either a “flying termite” or a “winged reproductive”. These winged termites are new kings and queens attempting to establish a new colony.