ID your Pests

Displaying the featured pests from our Pest Identifier; Identify and learn about the pests that may be pestering your home. Please select a category from the menu above for more pests.

Fly Pests
FLIES - General Information

Class: Insecta, Order: Diptera  Flies are insects that have one set of wings in the adult stage.  They grow through the process of complete metamorphosis with life stage of egg, larva, pupa and adult.  The larval stages are commonly called "maggots".  Flies are worldwide in distribution and there are estimated to be over 240,000 different species.  Only about half this number have been identified and described.  The order Diptera includes insects such as house flies, mosquitoes, gnats, midges, bottle and blow flies.  Flies, especially mosquitoes are vectors for some diseases in humans such as dengue, malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis and other infectious diseases.  Others are known to spread food-borne illnesses such as salmonella.

Mosquito Pests
MOSQUITOES - General Information

Class: Insecta, Order: Diptera.  Mosquitoes are flies.  They develop through complete metamorphosis with life stages of egg, larva, pupa and adult.  The larval and pupal stages are found in water but breath air so they are different from other insects that use water during their development that have "gills" much like fish.  Both males and females live on plant nectars and juices.  However, females must have a blood meal in order to produce viable eggs.  The male mosquito does not feed on blood.  Females locate animals on which to feed - which includes humans - by detecting the carbon dioxide exhaled during breathing as well as body secretions and odors.  Some people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others.  Mosquitoes are important vectors of diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, West Nile virus and encephalitis.  Eliminating or treating the bodies of water that mosquitoes use for breeding is the best approach to controlling these insect pests.

Spider Pests
SPIDERS - General Information

Spiders - Class: Arachnida, Order: Arananea  Spiders are arthropods that have two body regions, the cephalothorax and abdomen, and have eight legs.  There are apporximately 40,000 known species of spiders worldwide.  Most all spiders are beneficial due to the fact that their major food items are insects, so they help keep insect populations in check.  However, a vast majority of people are uncomfortable with spiders being around them.  In the U.S., only a few spiders are important from a human suffering standpoint such as the black widow, brown recluse and the hobo spiders.  Pest management of spiders concentrates on the elimination or reduction of the conditions that cause spiders to be present.  Turning off exterior lights on buildings that remain on at night will have a huge impact on the number of spiders found in and around a structure.  These lights attract large numbers of insects which the spiders are attracted to for food.  Reducing the numbers of insects in a building will also reduce the number of spiders inside.

Snake Wildlife Bird Pests
WILDLIFE & BIRDS - General Information

Raccoons, opossums, skunks, squirrels, coyotes, snakes, pigeons, starlings, beavers, armadillos are all examples of wildlife that may become a problem for humans.  Whether they are using our buildings as a source for food, water, or shelter, destroying lawns and shrubs, or attacking our pets, these animals can quickly become an issue that needs swift and immediate attention.  The fact that most of the wildlife that come in contact with humans can cause injury or illness (e.g. rabies, histoplasmosis, and salmonella), only qualified people should handle these animals. 

Pantry Pests Moths
PANTRY PESTS - General Information

Pantry pests are also called "food pests" or "stored-product pests".  These pests attack food items that are stored in homes, warehouses, on store shelves, or wherever food items are held, especially for long periods of time.  Items commonly infested with these pests in the homes are products such as bird and dry pet food, flour, corn meal, pasta products, dried fruits, nuts, grains, spices, cake mixes, and cereals.  Cigarette and drugstore beetles, sawtoothed grain beetles, rice and granary weevils, red flour beetles, and Indian Meal moths are just a small number of pantry pests that can cause food to become inedible.  Finding and discarding all food items that are infested is the key to controlling these pests. 

Lawn & Garden Pests Beetle Larvae
LAWN & GARDEN PESTS - General Information

Lawn and garden pests around the home can cause severe damage or total loss of plants that we depend on for food or for beautifying our property.  Beetle grubs, chinch bugs, spittlebugs, and mole crickets are pests of lawns and recreational turf areas such as athletic fields and golf courses.  Insects such as Japanese and potato beetles, and tomato hornworms attack our crops, damaging them so they cannot be used as food.  Aphids, mealybugs, scale insects and Oleander caterpillars attack our ornamental plants making them less pleasing to the eye.  These pests can do a great deal of damage in a very short period of time.

Termite Pests Swarmers
TERMITES - General Information

Class: Insecta, Order: Isoptera  Termites are important structural pests due to the fact that they attack the wood that we use to build structures and furniture with, as a food source.  In the United States alone, it is estimated that termites are responsible for over 3 billion dollars worth of damage to structures every year.  Termites are grouped into subterranean and non-subterranean termites.  Subterranean termites live in the ground and the others may not.  The non-subterranean groups are divided into drywood and dampwood termites.  These termites are found in areas where there are tropical type climates such as Florida, California and Hawaii, as well as along the coast of all the states that border the Gulf of Mexico.  The subtereranean termites are found in most every state except Alaska, with the Southeast U.S. having the heaviest concentration of any other region of the United States.  Controlling termites requires an understanding of termite biology and behavior as well as an understanding of building contruction.  Professional pest management companies are equipped to control termites found in structures with a variety of techniques and equipment. 

Subterranean Termites - Families: Reticulitermes, Coptotermes, Rhinotermitidae  As the name implies, these termites are found in the soil, from where they invade any structure not adequately protected from attack.  In the early parts of the year, when the temperature begins to approach 70 degrees or higher and after rain, swarming activity consisting of hundreds or thousands of winged kings and queens may be noticed inside structures.  This is usually the first signs of termites being in the structure and possibly causing damage which may be hidden from view. The damage caused to wooden components is done by the workers of the colony which are white or cream-colored and possess no wings.

Drywood Termites – Family Kalotermitidae  Drywood termites, unlike subterranean termites, need less moisture and can be found in the upper portions of homes such as the attics, eaves and soffit areas. Most colonies have less than a thousand individuals, so the damage they do is not as great as subterranean termites.  However, if they go unnoticed for years, they can do substantial damage in the areas they are infesting.  They produce distinctive fecal pellets which are kicked out of the galleries as they tunnel in the wood.  These pellets are one of the first noticeable signs of infestation.

Ant Pests Acrobat
ANTS - General Information

Class: Insecta, Order: Hymenoptera - Ants are one of the most common and one of the most difficult pest to control. They can be a nuisance pest with just a few scouts in your house looking for food, or the dreaded and dangerous Fire Ant and Harvester Ant.  Medically and economically speaking, they may affect people by stinging and biting; by invading and contaminating food; by nesting in lawns, golf courses and premises causing damage; by stealing seeds from seed beds or by feeding on germinating seeds; by defoliating or gnawing into plants and plant products, fostering other injurious insects like plant lice, mealy bugs and plant diseases and fungus; by gnawing holes in fabrics, and by removing rubber insulation from telephone wires or other equipment; by killing young poultry, birds, livestock or game; and Carpenter Ants can seriously damage wooden structures. Now of course only a few of the ant species are actually anything more than just a nuisance pest. Some of these ant pests are the Argentine Ant, Fire Ant, Pharaoh Ant, Harvester Ant, Carpenter Ant, and the Odorous House Ant. 

Roach Pests Australian Cockroach
ROACHES - General Information

Class: Insecta, Order: Dictyoptera - Some of their more common names are kitchen bugs, kitchen roaches, sewer bugs, water bugs, house bugs, and palmetto bugs.  They form the oldest group of insects and have been around for over 300 million years.  Roaches can be found both indoors and out.  They are some of the most important pests infesting homes, restaurants, bakeries, hotels, and any place they can find food, water, and shelter.  The most common structure infesting cockroach is the German cockroach, but the American, Oriental, Smokybrown and Brown-banded cockroaches can also be found inside structures under the right conditions.  Roaches reproduce by Gradual metamorphosis, with the life stages of egg, nymph and adult.  The nymphs look very similiar to the adults except they are smaller, do not possess wings and are not sexually mature.  They feed on the same food items as the adults.  Roaches can reproduce quickly, allowing large numbers of roaches to be found in the same area.  This is especially true of German cockroaches. 

Mice Pests House Mouse
Mice  - General Information

Mice – There are several species of mice and rats in Illinois. The species most likely to cause problems are the house mouse, deer mouse, white-footed mouse, and the Norway rat. The house mouse and Norway rat are not native to Illinois. They have moved along with humans throughout North America and the world.