Biting insects have a parasitic relationship with their human or animal hosts. These insects require a blood meal to develop, mate or reproduce. Their bites may be painful and can cause both physical and psychosomatic stress. Many biting insects carry and transmit dangerous pathogens that can harm and potentially kill humans.
Most biting insects are difficult to exterminate. Pest control treatments that kill adult insects are often ineffective against eggs or nymphs. Specialized pest control measures by knowledgeable pest professionals with expertise in eradicating biting insects is necessary to control these potentially dangerous pests.
Effective elimination of biting insects at your home or business requires the expertise of a pest control professional with demonstrated experience in biting insect extermination. Allison Pest Control’s professional exterminators have the knowledge, expertise and experience to locate and destroy problem biting insects.
Biting Insects Commonly Found in New Jersey
Bed Bugs. The size of an apple seed, bed bugs are reddish-brown with flat, oval, wingless bodies. They hide in cracks and crevices in and near beds and feed on human blood while their victims sleep. While bed bugs are considered a harmless nuisance pest, many people are traumatized by the reality of sharing their beds with these voracious insects.
Bed bug bites can leave itchy red welts and have provoked serious allergic reactions in some victims. Easily spread and difficult to kill, bed bugs infestations require professional pest control intervention as these insects are immune to residential grade pesticides which only spread the problem.
Fleas. Medium to dark-reddish brown in color, wingless fleas are a tiny 1/6-inch long with a very narrow profile that allows them to move easily through dense animal hairs. Adult fleas live on and feed on the blood of animals.
Loosely laid eggs and developing flea larvae are deposited in pet beds or wherever animals sleep. Fleas have powerful back legs that allow them to jump 7 inches vertically and more than a foot horizontally.
The most common flea species in New Jersey is the cat flea which, despite its name, also inhabits dogs, squirrels, raccoons and other animals. While fleas will bite people, they do not live on humans.
Flea bites cause itchy red bumps and can transmit bubonic plague and other dangerous diseases. Pets that are allowed to roam outdoors should be treated with a flea preventative by a veterinarian to prevent household pets from contracting fleas from yard animals like squirrels. An active flea infestation requires treatment by a pest control professional.
Sand Fleas. In beach areas and marshes along the eastern shore, long-horned sand fleas can be an annoying nuisance problem. Also called no-see-ums, hop-a-longs, biting midges and sand flies, these small waxy white “fleas” are the size of a grain of rice with long rear legs, transparent wings and antennae an inch longer that their bodies.
Frequently confused with cat fleas, sand fleas are actually tiny shrimp-like crustaceans, not insects. Although strong jumpers, sand fleas have a limited striking range and bites received while beach combing will usually be grouped around the victim’s ankles. Sand fleas are most active at dawn and late dusk. Sand fleas do not infest pets or live in human homes but their bites are painful and can leave itchy lesions. DEET-based insect repellent is an effective preventative.
Mosquitoes. Pale brown with delicate oval wings, common house mosquitoes are 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. Only the females suck human blood through a distinctive long, thin proboscis (mouthparts); males feed on plant nectar. Most active at dawn and dusk, mosquitoes are known carriers of viruses and disease-causing pathogens including potentially fatal West Nile Virus which attacks the human nervous system and can result in encephalitis and/or meningitis.
West Nile virus kills between 50 and 200 Americans every year. Control measures include removal of stagnant and standing water sources where mosquitoes breed. DEET-based insect repellent is an effective preventative.
Ticks. Several tick species are common to New Jersey including the Brown Dog tick, Lone Star tick and Black-Legged, or Deer tick. Flat and seed like with four limbs and no antennae, ticks are not insects but members of the arachnid family like spiders, scorpions and mites.
Brown to dark red in color, ticks are tiny, about 1/8 inch, quadrupling in size as they engorge on blood from their human or animal hosts. Found in wooded and grassy areas, ticks transmit dangerous bacterial diseases including Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
The best defense is prevention. When walking through woods or fields, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. DEET-based insect repellent is an effective preventative. Veterinarians carry tick preventatives for pets.
To remove a tick embedded in your skin, do not grasp and try to pull the tick out by its abdomen. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick by its head next to the skin. Slowly pull backwards, giving the tick time to disengage its mouthparts so they do not detach inside the skin and cause an infection. Disinfect the bite site and apply an antibiotic. Save the tick in a tightly sealed container and deliver it to your physician or public health department for inspection for Lyme Disease.
Lyme Disease is a serious bacterial infection transmitted by deer ticks and characterized by a telltale bull’s-eye rash. Symptoms are similar to rheumatoid arthritis and can include rash, fever, chills, body aches, joint swelling, weakness and temporary paralysis. Heart, brain and nerve problems may also develop. When promptly treated with antibiotics in its early stages, most people recover completely from Lyme Disease; however, some patients experience debilitating recurrent or lingering symptoms long after the infection is gone.
Get Help from Allison Pest Control
If you think you have a biting insect problem, there is no reason to put up with it. We offer a free no obligation pest inspection. Just contact us today to learn more about our services for mosquito control, flea extermination, bed bug treatment, and tick eradication.