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Earwigs

Earwigs

Order Dermaptera
Color: Dark brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Long, narrow
Size: 1
Antennae: True
Region: Found throughout U.S.

Earwigs got their name from the myth that they crawl into sleeping people's ears and tunnel into their brains. The long cerci, or clippers, on their backsides easily identify an earwig.

Habits

Earwigs hide during the day and feeds on leaves, flowers, fruits, mold and insects at night.

Habitat

These insects live together outdoors in large numbers. They can be found under piles of lawn debris, mulch or in tree holes. They gain entry to a structure through exterior cracks

Threats

Contrary to folklore, earwigs do not crawl into ears and eat peoples' brains at night. They do not spread diseases, but their menacing appearance can be alarming to a homeowner.

Prevention:

Remove harborage sites such as leaf piles, mulch piles or other vegetation. Seal cracks and crevices well to prevent structural entry.

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Silverfish

Silverfish

Lespisma sacchrina (Linnaeus)
Color: Silver to brown
Legs: 6
Shape: Oval, elongated
Size: ¾ inches
Antennae: True
Region: Found throughout U.S.

This insect gets its name from its silvery, metallic appearance and fish-like shape and movements. Silverfish have no wings, but are able to run very fast. They tend to hide their presence from humans which means any damage they have caused could go unnoticed as well.

Habits

Silverfish tend to feed on paper items, glue, clothing and food items, such as flour and rolled oats. Silverfish can live up to a year without food, but require a high humidity environment. They move fast and are typically nocturnal.

Habitat

Silverfish are found throughout the U.S. and are typically seen in moist, humid areas in the home, such as bathrooms, basements, and attics.

Threats

While silverfish are mainly a nuisance pest, they can contaminate food and damage paper goods such as wall paper and books.

Prevention:

Consider a dehumidifier for your home, repair leaky pipes and drains and eliminate or repair any moldy or wet wood. Don't keep old books and magazines in areas where silverfish are usually found like basements, attics and garages. It's also important to keep food items such as flour and sugar in tight containers.

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Pillbugs

Pillbugs

Armadillilium vulgare
Color: Dark brown to black
Legs: Seven pair
Shape: Oval; round when rolled up
Size: 3/4"
Antennae: True
Region: Found throughout U.S.

This pest is the only crustacean that has become completely adapted to spending its life on land. Pillbugs have oval bodies and seven pairs of legs. They are easily recognized by their back, which is made up of seven hard individual plates. Pillbugs are sometimes referred to as rollie-pollies.

Habits

Pillbugs eat decaying vegetable material and are most active at night. They are known for their ability to roll into a ball.

Habitat

Pillbugs live in moist locations. They are found under damp objects or under vegetable debris.

Threats

Pillbugs do not spread diseases or invade food products. However, the pillbug is often considered a pest when it gains entry into a home.

Prevention:

Pillbugs can be avoided by eliminating food sources such as vegetable or plant debris. If pillbugs enter a structure, they will often dry out and die.

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House Crickets

House Crickets

Acheta domesticus
Color: Yellowish brown with 3 dark cross-bands on head
Legs: 6
Shape: Long with short, stout hind legs; threadlike antennae, longer than body
Size: 3/4- 7/8 " (16-22 mm)
Antennae: True
Region: Found throughout U.S., but primarily east of the Rocky Mountains, also spread by human activities

The name house cricket comes from the fact that these crickets often enter houses where they can survive indefinitely. House crickets are reared in commercial cricket factories and sold in bait and pet stores.

Habits

House crickets are nocturnal and usually hide in dark, warm places during the day. Male house crickets chirp and attract females by rubbing a scraper on the inner edge of the left wing against the teeth of a file beneath the right wing. Outside, crickets are attracted to bluish electric lights and can often be seen swarming near them in large numbers. They feed on plants and dead or live insects, including other crickets.

Habitat

During warm weather, house crickets typically live outdoors and can commonly be found in garbage dumps. With the approach of cold weather they seek shelter indoors, especially in places such as sheds and houses, seeking areas of moisture and fermentation.

Threats

When crickets find their way inside homes, they can damage clothing, carpeting and other fabrics including wool, cotton, silk, and synthetics. They can eat through large areas of fabric, and are especially attracted to clothes soiled with perspiration.

Prevention:

Reduce or eliminate areas of moisture near your home by mowing lawns, weeding plant beds and removing woodpiles. Change outdoor lights to less attractive yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lamps. Properly screen windows and doors. Seal points of entry outside the home such as around doors and windows, near utility pipes and holes in masonry.

 

Best Pest Control in Illinois / Best Pest Control Illinois