Pests We Manage

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Biting and Stinging Pests

  • Bed bug
  • Cat flea
  • Black Widow Spider
    The black widow population has definitely been on the increase in central Maryland over the last decade. Adult female body length is about ½ inch, with a spherical abdomen. Usually black, with 2 reddish triangular markings usually joined to form a reddish hourglass-shaped marking underneath the abdomen. They spin an irregular web and hang from it upside down. Outdoors they prefer protected places such as under and around stone and wood piles, stored items and equipment, under decks, barns, sheds, etc. Rarely are they found indoors in homes. The black widow’s venom is a neurotoxin. Although their bite is rarely fatal (small children are at the greatest risk), it is quite painful.
  • Spiders, various species
  • Black Legged Ticks
    Black legged ticks are also commonly referred to as deer ticks. They are noticeably smaller than other common tick species found in Maryland. They are active primarily from April to September and are commonly found in wooded areas and leaf litter. Deer and other hosts help spread black legged ticks to different areas. They can transmit diseases including Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis.
  • American Dog Tick
    The American dog tick is very prevalent in Maryland where they are located primarily in grassy fields and areas with lots of shrubbery. Commonly found on dogs. They are mostly active from April thru September and carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia. To help reduce harborage areas for the ticks make sure grass around the home is well trimmed and undergrowth cut back where possible.
  • Lone Star Tick
    Lone star ticks are easily distinguished from other tick species. They have a white dot or star in the center of the back. All three life stages (larva, nymph, adult) will feed on humans and animals. They can spread various diseases such as ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis, tularemia, and theileriosis. The lone star tick prefers shaded, overgrown areas such wood to lawn transitional zone.
  • Mosquito
  • Honey Bee
  • Bumble Bee
    Bumble bees range in size from small to large, even within the same colony. Often confused with carpenter bees due to their similar black and yellow coloration, bumble bees have a more hairy appearance. They are social insects so the workers will defend the colony and can sting repeatedly. Nests are commonly built in already existing voids in the ground and under heavy grass and vegetation. They are very beneficial pollinators.
  • Yellow Jacket
    Yellow jackets are one of the most aggressive stinging insects we have in Maryland. The queens start to build their nests in April and will start to have workers appear on the nest around the third week of May depending on the weather. Yellow Jackets will build several different types of nests. They will build ground nests which are usually the most serious because a lot of people step or ride over the nest and get stung multiple times. They will also take advantage of any holes in the exterior of your home and build void nest inside the structure. The third nest type Yellow Jackets build are aerial nests which most people describe as a large softball or large grapefruit size paper nest. These yellow jacket nests will reach between 1,000 and 5,000 workers in size and it’s not advisable for homeowners to treat these on their own. Call Eco-Care Pest Management, Inc. today and get a quote from us to come and take care of your pest concerns today.
  • Paper wasp (Polistes spp.)
    These wasps (polisties spp.) build inverted umbrella shaped nests that are open faced. There are no lack of nesting sites they will use including behind shutters, under deck rails, in grills, under lawn furniture, in light fixtures, and under eave lines. Color patterns vary, with one imported type resembling yellow jackets. Paper wasps will readily sting when disturbed and average about 12-50 workers.
  • Bald Faced Hornet
    Baldfaced Hornets are actually a type of Yellow Jacket. The markings on their head are black and white, with white being the dominate color, hence the name baldfaced. They build aerial nests that can be free hanging from a tree branch or up against the structure of a building. People will describe these nests as the Winnie the Pooh nest. Baldfaced Hornet nests can reach the size of a large basketball. Nests are built starting in late April in Howard County and central Maryland. Around thirty days later the first workers start to appear. Baldfaced Hornet nests range in numbers from 250 to 500 workers. Baldfaced Hornets do not reuse their nests and build new ones every year. Call Eco-Care pest Management, Inc. today to take care of your Baldfaced Hornet needs and any other insect concerns today.
  • European Hornet
    As the name suggests European Hornets were imported from Europe. Most people will describe these as large Yellow Jackets the size of your thumb. They are quite large compared to other wasps and hornets. Workers hunt their prey during the day and night. In fact they are the only social hornet/wasp/bee that is foraging at night in Howard and the surrounding counties. We get quite a few calls when they fly into garages or around decks at night as they are attracted to the exterior lights. European Hornets build void nests. We find them in attics quite a bit and hollow wall voids. Large nests can be up to a thousand strong, but they usually range in size of 200 to 400 workers. Call Eco Care Pest Management, Inc. Today to take care of your European Hornet needs or any other pests concerns.
  • Cicada Killer
    Cicada killers are large solitary wasps that emerge during mid-summer and hunt annual cicadas. The females dig separate burrows in the ground after which they paralyze a cicada with their sting and bring it back to place in the burrow. Dozens can occur in a yard where they can appear aggressive as they will chase each other around. However, females can sting but are very unlikely unless stepped on or captured.
  • Carpenter Bees
    Carpenter Bees are a nuisance to homeowners due to their habit of boring into wood to create nesting galleries. Any exposed wood can be used such as deck and fence rails, fascia boards, playground equipment, and door and window frames. The most noticeable damage is done when woodpeckers rip the wood open to pluck the bee larvae from the galleries. Female carpenter bees can sting but rarely do.

Occasional Invaders

  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
    The brown marmorated stink bug is an exotic species of stink bug that is not native to the United Sates. Accidentally imported from Asia in the mid 90’s, this invader cause’s damage to agricultural crops and is a nuisance pest when overwintering in homes and buildings. Around September and October these insects show up on houses and building in large numbers looking for a place to overwinter. They find cracks and crevices and get into wall voids, attics, and living areas of homes. Successful treatment must be timed in the late summer—early fall.
  • Box Elder Bug
    Box elder bugs are black elongated-oval shaped insects with reddish colored lines. As the name reflects, this species is associated with box elder trees. They feed on the female trees during the spring and summer before leaving in the fall. The bugs will congregate on the sunny sides of buildings during the fall, to which they will try to make their way inside for the winter. Successful treatment must be timed in the early-mid fall.
  • Centipede
    Centipedes are fast moving, elongate, flattened and wormlike. The house centipede is the most common type found in homes and is noticeable by the ease in which it breaks off its legs if touched. They prey on other smaller arthropods and typically are found in unfinished basements, garages and sheds. Outside they like areas with a lot of moisture.
  • Camel Cricket
    In Maryland there are two common species seen in homes, camel and field crickets. Camel crickets have a distinctive humpbacked appearance and readily jump if disturbed. They can survive year round in homes, especially in areas with high-relative humidity. Camel crickets are commonly found under mulch, stones, woodpiles and wood siding on the exterior of homes. Field crickets are usually black, and unlike camel crickets, the males emit a chirping noise. They normally invade homes in the late summer and early fall. Outside they like weedy areas, around woodpiles, under debris, etc.
  • Field Cricket (gryllus spp.)
    In Maryland there are two common species seen in homes, camel and field crickets. Camel crickets have a distinctive humpbacked appearance and readily jump if disturbed. They can survive year round in homes, especially in areas with high relative humidity. Camel crickets are commonly found under mulch, stones, woodpiles and wood siding on the exterior of homes. Field crickets are usually black, and unlike camel crickets, the males emit a chirping noise. They normally invade homes in the late summer and early fall. Outside they like weedy areas, in and around woodpiles and under debris.
  • Earwig
    Earwigs are easily identified by a pair of appendages that look like forceps at the tail end of their body. The adults are about 3/4 inch long with a reddish brown body. They are nocturnal and like to hide during the day in moist, shady places such as under logs, piles of leaves, and mulch. Occasionally they will invade homes by the dozens or hundreds.
  • Asian Lady Beetle
    The Asian Lady Beetle is native to Asia. It had been introduced to United States to control aphid and other scale insects. However, unlike our native lady bird species, they overwinter clumped together in huge numbers. In the fall they can become a pest when they get into homes or buildings to overwinter. Lady beetles can produce an odor and a yellowish staining secretion when scared or smashed. Successful treatment must be timed when they began appearing on the outside of buildings during the fall.
  • Millipede
    Slow moving and wormlike, millipedes are sometimes called thousand leggers. The most common type found in homes in Maryland is blackish or brownish and about 1 inch long. They typically are found in high moisture areas such as under leaf litter, mulch, and grass clippings. They invade structures during times of drought or heavy moisture. Often homeowners find millipedes dead and curled up in their basements.
  • Pillbug
    Pillbugs are actually a land dwelling crustacean more closely related to shrimp than an insect. They favor damp moist areas including mulch beds, under objects like rocks, and flower pots. They can be found in areas of the home around exterior doors, basements, and crawlspaces. Using a dehumidifier in problem areas can help control them as they will not last long in low humidity.
  • Springtail
    Springtails, once considered insects, are very small hexapods that when disturbed will jump. Springtails live in the soil and are commonly found in mulch beds, under flowerpots and landscape timbers. They become a pest when they migrate inside and can appear in large numbers. This can happen during the summer when their habitat dries out. Areas where springtails are commonly found inside are places with moisture including kitchens, bathrooms, exterior walls, basements, and crawlspaces. They do not bite.
  • Ground Beetle
    The ground beetle that is typically a nuisance for Maryland residents is a medium sized elongated beetle with black coloration that emerges during the summer. They are nocturnal and are attracted to light so often they will fly to the lights in and around a home. They are actually a beneficial insect as they eat the larva of undesirable pests such as caterpillars and maggots. The beetles become a pest when they migrate into homes and businesses, sometimes in large numbers.
  • Silverfish
    Silverfish have a carrot shaped body covered with silvery scales and 3 long tail like appendages on the rear end of their body. They have a preference for living in the upper stories of a home, although they can be found in other areas as well. Silverfish are pests of paper, such as glazed paper and paper with sizing wallpaper and wallpaper paste.
  • Clover Mite
    These small dark red mites are normally found around the exterior of homes where they feed on lawns and plants. Clover mites show a preference for heavily fertilized lawns. They are active during times of cooler weather and can enter homes in large numbers, especially during the spring. Although they don’t bite, they will leave a reddish stain if crushed.

Stored Product and Fabric Pests

  • Carpet Beetle
    Carpet beetles are small oval shaped beetle that belong in the dermestid beetle family. The most common species encountered include the black, varied, and furniture carpet beetles. Carpet beetle coloration will vary depending on the species. They can do damage to animal based products such as wool and fur. They will also infest bird seed, pet food, milled food products, dead insects, and animal carcasses.
  • Cigarette Beetle
    The cigarette beetle is a small oval shaped beetle with a reddish brown coloration. It is a stored product pest that prefers dried plant material including herbs, spices, tobacco, and dried flowers. It also can be found in various grain products such as dried pet food. They are often found in the pantry area of the home.
  • Drugstore Beetle
    Drugstore beetles are small cylindrical light brownish beetles with a distinct groove pattern on the wings. Adults can fly and are attracted to light. They will infest a wide variety of products including stored foods, seeds, and animal products. In homes they are commonly encountered in pantry or other food storage areas.
  • Red Flour Beetle
    The Red Flour Beetle is a smallish cylindrical shaped beetle reddish to brown in color. They feed primarily on milled grain products including flour, cereals, nuts, seeds, chocolate, and beans. In the home they most likely would be found in the pantry and are very active when disturbed. They are primarily found in the Southern States.
  • Sawtoothed Grain Beetle
    The Sawtoothed Grain Beetle is a very small, elongated flat beetle. This stored product pest gets its name from the ridges along its pronotum that look similar to a saw. It feeds on nuts, seeds, cereal, pet food, bird seed, flour and chocolate. They are often found in a home’s pantry, and also infesting spilled food particles under stoves and refrigerators.
  • Indian Meal Moth
    The Indian meal moth is the most common stored product pest found in homes and retail food facilities. They are a small moth, approximately three quarters of an inch long. It has a reddish copper color on the outer part of its wings and a gray or white color on the inner part. Homeowners first notice the adult moths as they fly about or the larvae as they crawl on pantry and kitchen walls. The larva of this pest feed on a variety of milled and processed products including dried pet food, bird seed, grains, cereal, nuts and dried fruit.
  • Webbing Clothes Moth
    The Webbing Clothes Moth is the more common of the two different clothes moth species. They are small, approximately a quarter inch in length and are a goldish color with a darker colored head. The adults are not attracted to light and prefer dark areas. The larva will spin tubes of silk on infested items. They can infest a number of materials especially animal products including pet hair, fur, taxidermy, wool and feathers. They can also damage non synthetic materials that are stained or soiled.
  • Casemaking Clothes Moth
    The casemaking clothes moth is not as common as the webbing clothes moth. The larvae carry a silken case around with them that they enlarge as they grow. Often the case takes on the color of what they are feeding on. When the larvae is fully developed it will seal off the ends of the case, pupate, and emerge as a moth. The moths like dark areas and are not attracted to artificial light. They infest woolens, fallen pet hair, fur and feathers, and dead insects.

Flies

  • Phorid (Humpbacked) Fly
    Phorid flies are small flies with a humpback appearance. This fly has a tendency to run across surfaces instead of flying when disturbed. Often they will irritate you by flying around your video screen. They breed in areas of moisture with dead or rotten organic materials. These flies can also be a sign of a bigger problem such as a broken septic or sewage line. Finding and eliminating the breeding site is key to controlling this pest.
  • Moth Fly
    The moth fly is also known as the drain fly. It is a small fly with a fuzzy appearance that holds its wings rooflike when at rest. This fly is usually associated with dirty or sparsely used sinks, bath and floor drains. Sewage leaks and wet organic areas are places where these flies like to infest. Worst case scenario for a home is when sewage has saturated soil under the slab foundation. Eliminating the breeding site is key to control.
  • House Fly
    House flies are medium sized flies identifiable by four dark strips on the thorax. They are attracted to and breed in filthy areas like garbage and sewage. House flies are known to harbor over 100 different disease causing pathogens including ones causing typhoid fever, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, and salmonellosis. The adults feed on variety of substances, from feces to human food.
  • Small Fruit (Vinegar, Pomace) Fly
    The fruit fly is a small fly commonly found infesting rotting and fermenting fruit, food, and organic material. Fruit flies reproduce very fast as the entire process from egg to adult can take as little as one week. Finding and eliminating the breeding site is key to controlling this pest.
  • Blow Fly
    Blow flies, also referred to as bottle flies, are a medium sized flies that can be either a metallic blue, green, or gold color. These flies are usually associated with dead carrion, but can also be found in animal feces, rotting organic material and garbage. Blow flies can reproduce very fast in warm weather as the entire process from egg to adult can take as little as one week. Seeing several dozen to a hundred or more of these flies suddenly appearing inside your home is usually an indication of a dead animal within the walls. Often it is difficult to locate the carcass and it may take several weeks before the infestation runs its course. They can also breed in garbage stored in the garage during the summer.
  • Fungus Gnat
    Fungus gnats are very small flies that can occur in homes and offices. They are typically found in the soil of potted plants where they feed on fungi and organic material. Fungus gnats thrive in moist conditions, so avoid over watering potted plants.
  • Flesh Fly
    Flesh flies are larger then house flies and are easily identified by the 3 stripes running down their thorax. These flies are associated with dead carcasses, but will infest other things including garbage, compost, animal feces and other rotting organic material. Seeing several dozen of these flies suddenly appearing inside your home is usually an indication of a dead animal within the walls. Often it is difficult to locate the carcass and it may take several weeks before the infestation runs its course.
  • Cluster Fly
    Cluster flies are slightly larger than then the house fly. Dark gray to black in color with golden hairs. Cluster fly life cycle starts as eggs in soil. When the eggs hatch the larvae feed on earthworms before they molt and pupate. The cluster fly is a nuisance pest that swarms to homes in the autumn looking for over-wintering sites. Mostly found on sunny sides of homes. On warmer days they can find their way inside your home, but are usually sluggish and captured easily. Once inside they are attracted to light and are usually found around windows. Cluster flies do not do damage or breed inside homes.

Ants

  • Odorous House Ant
    One of the most invasive pests by far is the odorous house ant. It is a small brown to blackish ant, only 1/8 inch in length, and has a noticeable odor when crushed. Although they don’t cause damage like carpenter ants and termites, their nesting and foraging behavior into homes for food, moisture, and shelter can be extremely irritating. The foragers can be seen crawling around on floors, walls, and cabinets especially in kitchens and baths. Control can be difficult to achieve for homeowners due to the sheer numbers in a colony (500,000-1 million), the dispersal nature of the nests, and their general avoidance of baits. Removing leaf debris from around the foundation of the home, trimming back branches and shrubs from touching the house, and not over mulching can help reduce nesting sites.
  • Pharaoh Ant
    The pharaoh ant is a very small ant, yellowish to red in color. In Maryland, these ants are found primarily inside structures as they can’t survive outside during the winter. Colonies can be found in warm, humid, and inaccessible areas like wall voids and often are seen foraging in bathrooms and kitchens. It is a very adaptable ant in that the colonies will readily move if conditions are unfavorable. The pharaoh ant can be difficult to control as conventional treatments could worsen the situation.
  • Pavement Ants
    Pavement Ants derive their name from nesting in and around cracks in pavement. They commonly push up piles of soil from cracks and seams along sidewalks, driveways, and patios. Although only 1/16 – 1/8” long, the workers can bite and sting. They will forage into homes for food and nesting sites.
  • Acrobat Ants
    Acrobat Ants don’t actually do circus acts, but will arch their heart-shaped abdomen over their head when disturbed. In homes they like to nest in the same areas that Carpenter Ants do, especially areas subjected to high moisture and fungal decay. They are much smaller then Carpenter Ants, only 1/8” long.
  • Field Ant (Formica spp.)
    Field ants are 1/8 to 3/8 of an inch in size and can be brown, black or reddish in color. The most common species encountered by homeowners in Maryland has a solid black coloration. The workers are often confused with carpenter ants. The excavation of their ground nests can create mounds 5 feet or more in length. They rarely come into homes.
  • Citronella Ants
    Citronella ants range in color from light yellow to a dark reddish-yellow or light brown. They are found around the foundation and in gardens. Sometimes the winged reproductives will swarm into homes and businesses between the late fall and the early spring and get mistaken for termites. They get their name from the citronella smell they emit when threatened or crushed. Simply caulking or taping shut the foundation cracks they are swarming from often is all that is needed.
  • Carpenter Ants
    If you see large black or black/red ants in your home, most likely they are carpenter ants. Carpenter ants cause structural damage when hollowing out galleries in wood for nesting purposes. Usually their nests inside homes occur in areas with moisture problems. Seeing workers inside does not necessarily mean a colony is living in the home as they will forage in from outside nests looking for food. Outside colonies are typically in old firewood, rotten landscape timbers, stumps, and dead sections of standing trees.

Cockroaches

  • German Cockroach
    The German cockroach is one of the most common roaches seen in homes and commercial accounts. The adults are light brown or tan in color with 2 black stripes on the pronotum while the nymphs appear mostly dark brown to black. Most commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms and other places with moisture. These roaches are prolific breeders and can overrun a home or business in a matter of months if not treated. They do not fly and are sometimes confused in Maryland with wood cockroaches.
  • The American Cockroach
    The American cockroach is the largest cockroach found in Maryland with reddish brown coloration and 2 inches in length. Also known as a palmetto bug in the southern states. They are mostly seen in cities and industrial sites where they like warm and steamy conditions such as found in steam tunnels, floor drains, sewers, and boiler rooms.
  • Brownbanded Cockroach
    The brown banded cockroach is a small light brown roach with a dark brown head. They can be found throughout the home, but prefer humid places with temperatures above 80 degrees. Of the 4 major species of cockroaches in Maryland, the brown banded is the least encountered. Unlike the German cockroach, the brown banded males can fly.
  • Oriental Cockroach
    The oriental cockroach, commonly called a waterbug, is a large cockroach that is shiny black or dark brown in color and about an inch long. They can infest homes and commercial buildings in the cities and suburbs and also industrial sites. They like cool, dark and damp areas such as floor drains, sewers, basements, and other high moisture areas. Often seen during the summer at night scurrying along city sidewalks.
  • Pennsylvania Wood Cockroach
    The Pennsylvania wood cockroach is a light brown roach ½-1 inch long with no markings on its pronotum. Sometimes it is confused for a German cockroach which has 2 dark stripes on its pronotum. Commonly found in wood piles and timbers outside. The males will fly to lights at night and often are seen in the summer around porch lamps. Occasionally they will find their way into buildings but will not survive long.

Wood Destroying Insects

  • Termite, subterranean (Reticulitermes)
  • Powder post beetle (Lyctid & Anobiid)
  • Old house borer
  • Carpenter Ants
    If you see large black or black/red ants in your home, most likely they are carpenter ants. Carpenter ants cause structural damage when hollowing out galleries in wood for nesting purposes. Usually their nests inside homes occur in areas with moisture problems. Seeing workers inside does not necessarily mean a colony is living in the home as they will forage in from outside nests looking for food. Outside colonies are typically in old firewood, rotten landscape timbers, stumps, and dead sections of standing trees.
  • Carpenter Bees
    Carpenter Bees are a nuisance to homeowners due to their habit of boring into wood to create nesting galleries. Any exposed wood can be used such as deck and fence rails, fascia boards, playground equipment, and door and window frames. The most noticeable damage is done when woodpeckers rip the wood open to pluck the bee larvae from the galleries. Female carpenter bees can sting but rarely do.

Rodents

  • House mouse
  • Deer mouse
  • Norway rat

Wildlife Trapping

  • Raccoon
  • Opossum
  • Groundhog
  • Squirrel

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