Pest Control Blog

David MooreOur staff entomologist (bug scientist) and Pest Detective, David Moore, writes about topics related to keeping your home pest free.

You can also visit with our Pest Detective on Facebook. Post your questions on our wall, with pictures if possible, and David Moore will answer the most common ones. When submitting photos, include as much information as possible, including size and color, and where any damage in your home is occurring.

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Fly management in your home
housefly greenfly fleshfly
House fly
(photo: Univ. of Nebraska)
Green blow fly
(photo: Cleveland Museum of Natural History)
Flesh fly
(photo: Univ. of Arkansas)

Warm weather is here and along with it comes many flying insects, including large filth flies.  The most common of the larger flies that bother us are the house fly, blow or bottle flies, flesh flies.

How can I tell which is which? 

  1. House flies (Musca domestica,  Muscidae) are about 1/8-1/4" long at adulthood.  They are dull with 4 narrow black longitudinal stripes on its back (thorax).  Just for perspective, house flies account for about 91% of all flies in human habitats throughout the world. 
  2. Blow or bottle flies (several species, family Calliphoridae) are about 1/8-5/8" long at adulthood and they are metallic blue, green, or dull brassy in color.
  3. Flesh flies (several species, family Sarcophagidae) are about 1/4-7/16"long at adulthood.  The top of the thorax has 3 black longitudinal stripes, and the tip of the abdomen is usually red or pink.
Read more... [Fly management in your home]
Bed Bug Travel Tips
Multiple life stages of bed bugs
(photo: Virginia Tech)
Bed bugs on a mattress
(photo: University of Kentucky)

Summer is nearly upon us, and you know what that means? It’s time for fun in the sun with the family-Vacation Time! However, in order to travel safely we will need to prepare ourselves: sunscreen-check, sun glasses-check, water wings-check, how to prevent taking home bed bugs-hmmmmm. Let’s see what we can do about only taking home memories.

Bed bugs do not discriminate the type of hotel they stay at and with more and more reports of bed bugs popping up all over the world, we need to ensure you are an informed traveler to reduce the likelihood of bringing bed bugs home. As a review, bed bugs are wingless blood feeders that are a reddish-brown color and about the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny. The eggs and nymphs can be as small as 1mm and have about the same color and consistency of fishing line. They are great hitchhikers and will gladly take a ride in your belongings to visit your home. First step, check the internet for repetitive issues at the same hotel. This may be indicative of a broader issue that is not being addressed properly.

Read more... [Bed Bug Travel Tips]
Stinging Insects
Honey Bee European Paper Wasp Bald-Faced Hornet
Honey Bee
(photo: NCSU)
European Paper Wasp
(photo: UGA)
Bald-Faced Hornet
(photo: Purdue)

Since we have finally thawed out from the polar vortex, that means many insects will begin to wake up as well. This time of year is when overwintering bees, wasps, and hornets will begin to emerge from their shelter where they hid all winter and start new colonies. Soon their nests will be thriving with life and many times these insects are found in areas frequented by people. Although many of these insects are beneficial to the environment, we should look at ways in which we can limit our family’s exposure to them.

There are many types of bees, wasps, and hornets that can cause you and your family harm. All stinging insect issues should be approached by a pest management professional due to any potential health hazards that could be associated with the issue. How severe a stinging insect reaction will be varies from person to person.

Read more... [Stinging Insects]
Termite vs Ant Swarmers

Termite vs Ant Swarmer (

Termite swarmer (

Ant Swarmer (

The weather is finally beginning to warm up, which means that before long termites will be swarming. All it takes is a few days of warm weather and then a rainy day followed by another warm day, and out came some flying insects in the house, usually in the morning of that warm day. So, what are they, termites or ants? As a homeowner, what can or should you do?

Unfortunately, both termites and ants will release their swarmers (winged reproductives) about
mid-morning of the warm day that follows the rainy day. Since termite swarmers are poor fliers, only a light breeze can be tolerated; if the wind picks up, the swarming will cease and they will try again later that day or on another day. Also, termites have trouble controlling water loss from their bodies, so a calm day with high humidity is required for a successful swarm.

Read more... [Termite vs Ant Swarmers]
House Dust Mite Management

American House Dust Mite

Controlling house dust mites is a lot different than a typical pest control problem. There is really not much that your pest management professional (PMP) can do for you other than share with you the information below. This is because if you have allergies to house dust mites, this is a medical problem usually involving you being tested for being allergic to house dust mites and if you test positive, then receiving a series of shots to reduce your allergic reaction.

Most homes have house dust mites that only become a problem when an occupant has or develops allergies. The problem typically becomes a concern once the occupant visits a dermatologist, finds out they are allergic to house dust mites, and then a quick internet search reveals that the typical home has hundreds of thousands of such mites. House dust mites are responsible for allergic reactions in millions of people and may be a factor in 50-80% of asthmatics. The two most common species involved are the American house dust and the European house dust mites.

Read more... [House Dust Mite Management]
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