Pest Library

Pest Library

Having trouble identifying what household pests are infiltrating your home? City Wide Exterminating has created a comprehensive pest library to help you classify common pests and develop ways to prevent future infestations. Browse through our library below to learn more about each pests’ origin and physical profile.

Ants

Odorous House Ant (Tapinoma sessile)

General

This ant has to be one of the most common ants found in Charlotte homes by pest control professionals. If you were to pick up one of these ants and crush it, you would soon realize why it get its name Odorous House Ant. Other common names for this ant include sugar ants, sweet ants, and stink ants. You will often see these ants trailing around or in the dishwasher, sink, pet food, and anything sweet they can find.

Profile

Color: Brownish black

Size: 1/16″-1/8″

Unique Characteristics: Smell like rotting coconuts when crushed

Control

These ants can live in walls, below floors, inside appliances, gutters, and under anything and everything outside. It takes a well-trained and educated pest control professional to find and treat all these locations.  Odorous House Ants have multiple queens and thousands of workers. When these queens sense danger to their colony they quickly ‘bud’ or split the colony into many other smaller colonies in order to increase the chance of survival. This is often witnessed firsthand when a frustrated home owner treats these ants with products bought from a hardware store. The workers or foragers die, the queens are alarmed, and instead of having ants isolated in the kitchen, they’re now in the upstairs bathroom, dining room, and hall bathroom. It is also important to remember these ants are active year round in Charlotte, and treatment strategies must change from season to season in order to be successful. Our ant exterminating professionals have the tools and skill to conquer Odorous House ants.

Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile)

General

This ant can be one of the most difficult ants to control in Charlotte. Oftentimes people refer to these ants as “sugar ants” or “sweet ants”. These ants are extremely aggressive towards other ant species and will quickly displace them from an area. Argentine ants have a unique ability to coexist within its own species. This means Argentine ants from a neighboring colony are readily accepted into neighboring Argentine ant colonies. This gives this ant the ability to create Super Colonies. In fact, one of the largest Super Colonies in the world stretches 560 miles along the coast of California.

Profile

Color: Light – dark brown

Size:  1/16″-1/8″

Unique Characteristics: Queens can be up to 4 times the size of workers

Control

Persistence and patience is important when dealing with Argentine ants. These ants can cover a vast area and special products and techniques that take advantage of their highly social nature must be used to combat them. Over-the-counter products from hardware stores and misapplied and/or incorrect professional products can cause an Argentine Ant infestation to become worse. Not all Charlotte pest control companies have the skilled staff that City Wide Exterminating has to tackle such an incredible ant species.  With the help of our hardworking technicians and our Associate Certified Entomologist, we can assure you your Argentine ant problem will be handled before it becomes the next Super Colony.

Little Black Ant (Monomorium minimum)

General

Yes, that really is the name of this small sweet-feeding ant found in Charlotte. These ants are much smaller than the Odorous House Ant and Argentine Ant. Their nest only consists of a few thousand workers, but multiple queens may be found in a single nest. Their small size allows them to squeeze through the tiniest of cracks and seize any open or spilled food or drink within their foraging territory.

Profile

Color: Jet Black

Size: 1/32″

Unique Characteristics: Queen can be twice as large as workers

Control

As with most sweet-feeding ant species, keeping sugary food sealed and cleaning up spills is very important. Not only does this reduce resources for the ants, but also makes any bait formulations placed by the technician to become more appealing and more likely to be taken by foraging ants. Over-the-counter sprays applied directly to foraging ants can cause a phenomenon known as ‘budding’. This happens when the multiple queens within the Little Black ant colony are alarmed that their workers are not returning to the nest.  The queens will then split and disperse the single colony into multiple colonies through the area. This means instead of having ants in just the kitchen, they are now in the laundry room, bedroom, and bathrooms. Our ant exterminating professionals have the knowledge and tools to evict these ants without sounding this alarm.

Cockroaches

Oriental Cockroach (Blatta orientalis)

General

This is one of the least common cockroaches found in Charlotte homes. This roach is also commonly called a waterbug in Charlotte.  Large infestations of Oriental Cockroaches are rarely found inside homes, but if conditions are favorable, they quickly become comfortable around dishwashers, sinks, and water heaters. Oriental Cockroaches are found more often outdoors in cool damp areas and sewers.

Profile

Color: Adults: Oily Black | Young: Burgundy

Size: Adults- 1″

Unique Characteristics: Only adult males have noticeable wings, but cannot fly

Control

Oriental Cockroaches can best be managed by reducing conducive factors within the structure. Some of these include fixing leaking plumbing, maintaining proper sanitation, and reducing clutter. Outside the home or building, it is important to keep vegetation such as trees and shrubs cut at least 18″ off the building and keep any organic matter such as leaves and yard clippings raked away from the foundation. Sealing exterior entry points will help provide long term management. Our technicians use only the highest quality products both inside and outside the home to help eliminate any infestations that may be inside while managing outside populations.

Smokybrown Cockroach (Pariplaneta fuliginosa)

General

The Smokybrown cockroach is one of the most common cockroaches Charlotte pest control companies deal with. This cockroach is often referred to as a “Palmetto bug”, “waterbug” or “flying roach” in Charlotte. The Smokybrown cockroach prefers to live outdoors, but environmental conditions such as temperature, heavy rain, or drought can quickly cause an insurgence of them in homes or businesses. Outdoors, the Smokybrown cockroach lives in tree canopies, behind bark, under logs and under other organic matter. With all the beautiful tree lined streets of Myers Park, Dilworth and South Park, it’s easy to see why this roach gets so much attention from Charlotte pest control companies.  Indoors, this roach can be found in any room at any time, and chimneys and attics are an excellent point of entry for this roach.

Profile

Color: Adult: Mahogny | Young: Black-Burgundy

Size:  1 1/4″-1 1/2″

Unique Characteristics: When temperature and humidity are optimal, Smokybrown Cockroaches are able to fly

Control

In order to manage this cockroach, special attention should be made to keeping trees and shrubs cut off the roof. Also, it is important to keep gutters cleaned and leaves and other organic debris kept away from the foundation. Unless a moderate infestation is established, indoor baiting is rarely successful. Sealing and screening common entry points will help manage the influx of roaches entering a home. Our technicians can apply an array of family-friendly products to help manage outdoor populations in Charlotte.

American Cockroach (Pariplaneta americana)

General

The American cockroach appears very similar to the Smokybrown cockroach, but is found less frequently in Charlotte homes. In Charlotte, this roach is often referred to as a “Palmetto bug”, “Waterbug” or “Sewer roach”. American cockroaches can live both indoors and outdoors. Large infestations can be found in homes or buildings that have damaged plumbing, clutter, and other sanitation issues. This cockroach can be found from Ballantyne to Davidson and every Charlotte neighborhood in between.

Profile

Color: Adults: Reddish Brown | Young: Burgundy

Size:  1 1/2″

Unique Characteristics: Adults have a caramel colored pronotum covering the head area.

Control

When dealing with roaches that can live both indoors and outdoors, it is important to determine if the roaches appearing inside are accidentally wandering in, or if they have taken up a rent-free residence in your home. A Charlotte pest control professional can help determine this with a thorough inspection and evaluation of your home or business. Locating and sealing entry points is key to preventing the occasional invader from establishing and infesting indoors. If American roaches have become established indoors, it is important to reduce resources such as spilled food and standing water. Reducing clutter will also help reduce harboring sites and force roaches into treated areas. Our technicians apply a variety of family-friendly products in and around your home to evict and keep these unwelcome tenants out of your home or office.

German Cockroach (Blattella germanica)

General

German cockroaches are the most common domestic cockroach pest control companies in Charlotte deal with. It is the most common cockroach species found in homes, restaurants, hospitals, and schools. Common names for this roach include “water bug”, “filth roach”, and “Croton bug”. These roaches are prolific breeders and large infestations can build up in only a few months. They are excellent hitchhikers and are often times carried into a structure through grocery bags, food packages, cardboard, handbags, and clothing. German roaches are a major health concern in Charlotte homes and businesses because of their ability to cause food poisoning, dysentery, and other illnesses. Cast skins and feces from German roaches contain a host of allergens that cause allergic reactions, watering eyes, and asthma.

Profile

Color: Adults: Golden with two black stripes   | Young: Black

Overall Size: 5/8″

Unique Characteristics: Adults have fully developed wings, but are unable to fly.

Control

Sanitation is key in controlling German roach infestations. Cleaning spilled foods and grease as well as drying sinks and tubs is critical.  German cockroaches require a tremendous amount of skill to successfully eradicate, and control is rarely achieved by using box store products. Our technicians use a wide variety of products and control tactics to eliminate German roach infestation effectively and safely.

Additional Pests

Centipedes (Scutigera)

General

Although there are over 8,000 species of centipedes worldwide, the most common centipede Charlotte pest control companies deal with are House Centipedes. House Centipedes are fast, agile hunters that prey on other insects such as silverfish, spiders, ants, bed bugs, and termites. They kill their prey by using their front pair of appendages to  inject venom into the captured prey. House Centipedes can be found in any room of a home or business.

Profile

Color: Yellowish-white

Overall Size- 3″-4″

Unique Characteristics: The legs of the house centipede have white bands and the top of the body has 3 stripes running the length of the body.

Control

Eliminating moisture sources will help reduce the number of centipedes, but can be difficult to accomplish if a roof leaks or the basement or crawlspace remains damp. It is also important to keep leaf debris, firewood, and other organic debris from accumulating next to the foundation. Our technicians can also apply treatments in and around the home to also help reduce and eliminate centipedes.

Millipedes (Class: Diplopoda)

General

The most common Millipede found in Charlotte homes resembles a small worm with many legs and is often referred to as a “thousand legger”. Millipedes feed on a variety of decaying organic matter found outdoors. Millipedes live in damp areas such as flower beds, leaf debris, and in the top layer of soil in yards.  Seasonal migrations often leave Charlotte residences thinking there is a Millipede invasion underway. However, these invasions are usually temporary and weather related.

Profile

Color: Dark gray-black

Overall Size- 1″-1.5″

Unique Characteristics: Once indoors, Millipedes quickly become dehydrated and wind themselves into a tight circle as they expire

Control

It is important to keep decaying organic debris such as leaves and yard clippings away from the home. These provide food and shelter for millipedes. Sealing entry points and installing door sweeps will help reduce and manage millipede migrations. Our technicians can perform a thorough inspection to help determine possible entry points and apply family-friendly pest control treatments around the home to help reduce millipedes.

Earwigs (Forficula auricularia)

General

Earwigs can be found in every Charlotte neighborhood at any time of the year. They are commonly referred to as “pincher bugs” because of the forceps pincher located on the abdomen. Earwigs can be found in cool damp places such as flower beds, basements, crawlspaces, and underneath concrete slabs, (but never in ears)! Earwigs feed on decaying organic matter such as leaves and yard clippings.

Profile

Color: Dark abdomen with burgundy or tan head and thorax

Overall Size- 1/2″-3/4″

Unique Characteristics: The shape and size of the pincher helps identify the difference in male and female earwigs.

Control

Keeping yard waste away from the foundation will reduce both food and shelter for earwigs. Sealing entry points and installing door sweeps can reduce the number of earwigs entering. Our pest control technicians can inspect your property for potential entry points and apply family-friendly treatments around your home to reduce the number of earwigs indoors.

Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina)

General

At over 400 million years old, Silverfish are believed to be the world’s oldest insect. Today, they are found in homes and businesses all throughout Charlotte. This slender, long, light grey insect has a fish-like appearance, hence the common name Silverfish. Silverfish are also commonly referred to as “Bristle Tails” in Charlotte.  Silverfish are not prolific breeders and large infestations rarely occur indoors.  Airtight homes in which humidity levels exceed 50% provide a favorable habitat for silverfish. Some common foods fed on by Silverfish indoors include: dried beef, flour, paper, cotton, beef extract, dead insects, glue, and linen. However, the most common fed on material found by most pest control companies are books and newspapers that have been stored and are undisturbed.

Profile

Color: Light grey

Overall Size- 1/2″-1

Unique Characteristics: Females can potently lay 1-3 eggs per day during her 2-3.5 year lifespan.

Control

Cleaning up clutter and removing food items that could be supporting silverfish infestations will help with overall management. Our pest control technicians can inspect your property for potential harboring sites and apply family-friendly treatments around your home to reduce the number of silverfish indoors.

Sowbugs (Armadillidum vulgare)

General

Sowbugs and Pillbugs are often referred to as ‘roly-polies’ because of the tight protective ball they roll themselves into when threatened. Sowbugs are in Crustacean class of the Animal Kingdom and therefore, they are more closely related to shrimp and crayfish than insects. Roly-polies feed on decaying organic matter and prefer to live in moist habitats such as flowerbeds and leaf litter.  Much like millipedes, mass migrations of Sowbugs occur seasonally in Charlotte, and indoor presences are oftentimes related to outdoor environmental changes.

Profile

Color: Light grey

Overall Size- 1/4″-1/2″

Unique Characteristics: Ability to roll into a tight protective ball when feeling threatened

Control

It is important to keep decaying organic debris such as leaves and yard clippings away from the home. These provide food and shelter for Sowbugs. Sealing entry points and installing door sweeps will help reduce and manage Sowbug migrations. Our technicians can perform a thorough inspection to help determine other possible entry points and apply family-friendly pest control treatments around the home or business to help control Sowbugs.

Firebrats (Thermobia domestica)

General

Firebrats and Silverfish are found in the order Thysanura and are very close relatives to each other. It is estimated Firebrats and Silverfish have been around for over 400 million years, making them the oldest insects on earth. Today, Firebrats are found in homes and business all throughout Charlotte. Firebrats are often found in areas that Silverfish would not find habitable. Firebrats prefer temperatures in excess of 90* F and are oftentimes found around stoves, boilers, or areas containing steam pipes. Firebrats are not prolific breeders and large infestations rarely occur indoors.  Their diet consist of material that contain proteins and carbohydrates such as paper, glue, rolled oats, dead insects, and linen. Indoors, their dietary requirement is often met by feeding on books and newspapers that have been stored and are undisturbed.

Profile

Color: Light brown with black splotches on back

Overall Size- 1/2″-1

Unique Characteristics: Dark blotted patches on the back of firebrats help differentiate them from silverfish.

Control

Control of firebrats requires the same type of effort be made as Silverfish. Cleaning up clutter and removing food items that could be supporting a Firebrat infestation will help with overall management. Our pest control technicians can inspect your property for potential harboring sites and apply family- friendly treatments around your home to reduce the number of Firebrats indoors.