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Ants – Ants are social insects whose nests can be found both indoors and outdoors. Each nest contains one or more queen ants that lay eggs and are taken care of by worker ants. Certain times of the year, many ant species produce winged ants that leave the nest to establish new colonies. Winged ants are commonly mistaken with termites; however, there are distinct differences between the two.
There are numerous species of ants that can infest your home. The following is a list of common household ants and information about each species:
1. Odorous house ant – Color – brown to black; Size – approx 1/8 inch; Odor when crushed – rotten-coconut-like or a banana-like odor; Food –feed on living or dead insects and sweets and other household foods; Nest sites – shallow nests in shady, moist areas such as mulch, stones, logs, and bee hives – Indoors – wall voids near pipes and heaters, termite-damages wood, beneath carpets and toilets
2. Argentine ant – Color – light to dark brown; Size – approx 1/8 inch; Odor when crushed – rotten-coconut-like or a banana-like odor with a faint musty odor; Food – feed on nectar, fruit tree buds, ripened fruit, eggs, meats, oils, and sweets; Not widespread in TN, but localized in Knoxville, Chattanooga and other areas; Nest sites – Outdoors in mulch, soil, trees
3. Allegheny mound ant – Color – head and thorax red, abdomen and legs dark; Size – 1/8-1/4 inch; Distinguishing feature – uneven thorax which distinguishes it from a carpenter ant; Food – feeds on living and dead insects, honeydew; Nest sites – usually not found indoors, large mounds;
4. Black field ant – Color – black to very dark brown; Size – 3/8 inch; Food – feeds on living and dead insects, honeydew; Nest sites – large mounds that only reach grass height, under rocks, firewood, etc. Not usually found indoors
5. Carpenter ant – Color – black, black and red, golden; Size – 1/8-5/8 inch; Food – living and dead insects, honeydew; Nest sites – firewood, moisture-damaged wood, trees, fences
6. Little black ant – Color – black; Size – 1/16 inch; Food – insects, honeydew, sweets, meats, bread, oils, vegetables, and fruits; Nest sites – in soil, stones, rotten wood, masonry
7. Fire ant – Color – reddish brown to dark brown; Size – 1/8 to ¼ inch; Food – other insects, oils, seeds, dead animals; Nest sites – Mounds up to 2 ft. high
TICKS & FLEAS
The cat flea is the most common flea found on cats and dogs in Tennessee. They are about 1/16 inch long and appear reddish-brown in color. Adult fleas can jump almost 200 times its height. A potential concern with cat fleas is there ability to transmit dog tapeworm. Common hosts to cat fleas include cats, dogs, opossums, foxes, rats, and other urban animals.
Ticks are external parasites that feed off of the blood of their hosts. Their fused head, thorax, and abdomen distinguish them from other pests. They are commonly found in woodlands, lawns, brushy areas, dog kennels, and dog runs. There are three common ticks in Tennessee:
American dog tick – dark brown tick that has randomly arranged silver streaks on its back. This species of tick can transmit the organism that causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. They are mostly seen in the spring and early summer.
The lone star tick – reddish brown tick that has long, large snouts and pale markings on its back. The adult female has a white spot in the middle of her back, which is how this tick was named. They are mostly seen in the spring.
Brown dog tick – dark reddish-brown without any light-colored markings on its back. This tick rarely attacks humans and is most likely found on dogs and other animals. It is usually found in the spring and summer.
Adult box elders are flat bugs that are about ½ inch long and 1/3 inch wide. They are dark brownish-black with three lengthwise red stripes. Box elders group in large numbers and are found primarily on the bark of box elder trees. As the temperature gets colder, box elders will go into cracks and crevices in walls to remain warm
Approx. ¼ inch long that are orange-red in color with black spots. As the temperature gets colder, lady bugs will go into cracks and crevices in walls to remain warm.
Yellow jackets can be considered the most dangerous stinging insect in the United States. They will usually sting if their nest is disturbed. Their nests are generally located underground, beneath rocks, in walls, crawl spaces, and behind the siding of buildings. One queen bee usually starts colonies in the spring and by midsummer, a colony has grown to become a nuisance. Unlike the honeybee, which stings only one time and then dies, a single yellow jacket can sting many times. These stings can be life-threatening to persons who are allergic to the venom
Cockroaches are among the most common insect pests found inside buildings
They can contaminate food, kitchen utensils, and other items as they move feely from filth to food thereby carrying microorganisms that can cause food poisoning and other illnesses
They can enter buildings through produce boxes, grocery bags, cracks and openings around doors and windows.
Cockroaches are more active at night as they generally remain hidden in dark secluded places during the day
Size: 1/2inch-5/8 inch
Color: adults are light brown with two dark stripes running lengthwise behind their head
Typically found in kitchens, bathrooms, and eating areas
Size: 1 ½ inch
Color: reddish brown to brown with a pale yellow bad around the edge of the shield behind the head. Adults do have wings; however, they seldom fly
Prefer to eat sweet, starchy and other organic materials
Prefer warm, dark, and moist areas
Largest cockroach found in TN
Termites are small white or brown insects that live in soil or wood in colonies. The most common termite infestations are caused by subterranean termites. These termites live in colonies below ground and build mud tunnels to reach the wood and can enter into a home through a crack in stone or concrete foundations and are classified into three groups:
Worker – This group of termite is creamy-white in color and do not have wings or eyes. Their responsibility is to forage for food, maintain galleries within the wood, and feed the king, queen and soldier termites. Commonly misnames as “white ants”.
Soldier – This group of termite has a greatly enlarged golden-brown head, sword-like jaws and they do not have wings. Their main responsibility is to protect the colony against predators, particularly ants.
Paper Wasps-Construct umbrella-shaped nests (typically under eaves and ledges) that appear paper-like that contain finely chewed wood fragments and salivary secretions from the wasps
Hornets -Construct nests that resemble a grey, bloated football, which can typically be found in a tree, bush, or on a side of a building.
Each nest may contain thousands of wasps which are extremely aggressive when disturbed
Size: Up to 1 inch in length
Color: Typically black with yellow stripes
Bumblebees live in colonies that continue to grow larger over the summer. These colonies are commonly found in old rodent burrows, or other spaces under ground. Sometimes they may establish a nest above ground in a wall, shed, attic, or firewood pile.
The worker bees produce honey, which is not edible to humans.
Size: 1 inch long
Color: black with some yellow
Carpenter bees chew tunnels in wood where they will lay their eggs and the female will eventually pack the tunnel with pollen to protect the eggs.
The male carpenter bee will protect the eggs; however, he does not have a stinger.
Typically found on bare wood decks, fences, and window sills.
Size: ½ inch in length.
Color: golden-yellow with darker bands of brown.
Honeybees are the only type of social bee that will establish a perennial colony that can survive over a decade.
They forage on pollen and nectar from flowering plants and use this to produce honey to feed the colony.
Nests are a honeycomb appearance and can be found in crawl spaces, chimneys, or attics.
Size: 1/2 –3/4 inch
Color: light yellowish brown with three dark bands on the head, or solid shiny black
Facts: Crickets cause damage to fabrics and/or other materials. They are attracted to lights around buildings at night. They are attracted to cool, damp situations such as sheds, under concrete pads, in wells, basements, crawl spaces, garages, etc.
Size: Female is about ½ inch long; Males are slightly smaller
Color: Females are shiny black and usually has a red hourglass mark on the underside of the abdomen. Males generally have several red dots on the upper side of the abdomen.
Facts: Webs are typically found outdoors under objects. Black widow spiders are timid; however and will only bite if they are injured. If bitten, medical attention is necessary due to the reaction to the venom.
Size: 1/8 to ¼ inch
Color: light yellowish brown to a dark, reddish or chocolate brown
Only have three pairs of eyes, which can assist in determining that it is a brown recluse spider.
Facts: they prefer sheltered areas with low moisture levels and are usually found under loose bark or in closets, garages, basements, attics, or other seldom disturbed areas.
Size: 1/3 to ¾ inch
Color: Silver, or light to dark gray
Facts: they are active at night and are usually found trapped in a bathtub, sink or wash basin. They live and grow in dark cool places and can live without food for many months.
They eat a wide variety of food, including glue, paper, cereals, starch in clothing, and wheat flour
Size: 2 ½- 3 ½ inch long with a 3-4 inch semi-hairless tail
Color: gray to brown with large ears
House mice only live for approximately one year; however, during that time they produce approx 24-70 young.
They can be found both indoors and outdoors and typically move indoors when their food supply is scarce.
They commonly nest within walls, ceiling and cabinet voids, furniture, and large appliances.
Food: They prefer seeds and cereal grains
People often mistake carpenter bees for bumblebees, which look quite similar. Bumblebees (genus Bombus) nest in the ground, usually in abandoned rodent nests, and live in social communities. Carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa) are solitary bees that burrow into wood. If you see a bee that looks like a bumblebee emerging from a hole in your porch, it’s a carpenter bee, not a bumblebee. You can differentiate the two by examining the dorsal (upper) side of the abdomen. If it’s shiny and hairless, it’s a carpenter bee. A bumblebee, by contrast, has a hairy abdomen.
The mosquitoes are a family of small, midge-like flies: the Culicidae. Although a few species are harmless or even useful to humanity, most are considered a nuisance because they consume blood from living vertebrates, including humans. The females of many species of mosquitoes are blood-eating pests. In feeding on blood, some of them transmit extremely harmful human and livestock diseases, such as malaria, yellow fever, and filariasis
Hire a Professional Franklin Pest Control Service
If you’re in need of pest control services in Franklin, TN, we have your solution. The highly skilled and experienced experts at Franklin Pest Control use the latest technology and effective methods to keep these unwanted bugs off your premises. Whether you have an infestation of ants, termites, or mosquitoes, we can help. Contact us today for a free estimate.