While their presence is rarely harmful to humans, nuisance insects can invade homes in uncomfortable quantities and some, like flies, carry dangerous disease pathogens. Preventing these pests from entering your home in the first place is the best defense.
Exclusion techniques such as tightly-fitting window and door screens, sealing cracks and crevices that may provide entry, outfitting trash receptacles with tight-fitting lids and regularly scheduled pest control perimeter spraying are the most effective methods of keeping these pests out of your home or business.
Effective elimination of nuisance insects at your home or business requires the expertise of a pest control professional with demonstrated experience in nuisance insect extermination. Allison Pest Control professionals have the knowledge, expertise and experience to locate and destroy nuisance insects. Allison’s residential and commercial pest control plans can rid your home or business of problematic nuisance insects and prevent them from coming back.
Nuisance Insects Commonly Found in New Jersey
Clover Mite. Smaller than a pinhead, clover mites are bright red oval arachnids that live outdoors in sod, often congregating on foundation walls and dense vegetation at the edges of lawns. The two forward-most legs of these eight-legged pests are exceptionally long and often mistaken for antennae.
During winter, cover mites may harbor behind door and window casings or under siding and roof shingles. Just 1/30 inch, these mites are tiny enough to crawl through minute cracks in foundation walls and window frames. In spring and fall, clover mites can infiltrate buildings in massive numbers, overrunning window sills, floors, walls, drapes and furniture, leaving unsightly red stains when crushed.
Clover mites can be a particularly annoying nuisance pest in hospitals, nursing homes and food processing facilities. As these mites are less likely to cross loose, bare soil, their migration into buildings can be discouraged by removing vegetation 18 to 24 inches from foundation walls and planting with flowers and shrubs noxious to mites such as marigolds, geraniums, petunias, junipers or yews.
Crickets. The strident nocturnal chirping of house crickets, field crickets (also called brown crickets and black crickets) and camel crickets (also known as cave crickets and spider crickets) can be extremely annoying when they harbor indoors, seeking out dark, damp areas like basements and crawl spaces.
Hatching in spring from eggs buried in the ground, crickets grow rapidly, progressing through numerous molts before reaching adulthood. Brown to black and 1/2 inch to two inches long, crickets have powerful, overlong hind legs used for jumping and long, thin antennae.
Some species of crickets have wings and can fly short distances, but crickets use their wings primary to produce the characteristic chirping that is their mating call. Often confused with grasshoppers which have a similar appearance, crickets have longer antennae and are nocturnal; whereas, grasshoppers have short antennae and are active during the day.
A food source for many animals, crickets are omnivores and among nature’s most effective scavengers. While they feed primarily on decaying plant material, seeds, fungi and dead insects, crickets have powerful biting jaws and will also feed on soiled laundry, wool, silk, manmade fabric, paper, wood, wallpaper, drapes, rugs and nearly anything humans eat.
Their piercing nighttime chirping can be a considerable annoyance when crickets seek shelter indoors, often in the fall. Only male crickets “chirp.” Their distinctive mating call is made by rubbing the serrated edge of one forewing against the other.
Crickets are known to carry a number of diseases which they spread through their feces, bite and physical contact with people or the objects they handle. While not fatal, most cricket-spread diseases can cause painful open sores.
Camel Back Crickets. Sometimes known as cave crickets, camel back crickets typically are not known for chirping, but can be more than a nuisance pest. These unusual crickets like dark and damp environments. Sometimes a home owner will not even know they have a camel back cricket problem until the population becomes so large that they start intruding on living spaces. The camel back or cave cricket will eat mold and fungus found in their damp nesting areas as well as fabrics.
Typically an outside dweller, camel back crickets, will migrate indoors as the weather gets frosty or when the temperatures rise in the summer time. Camel back crickets will typically invade the basement or crawl space of a home and then move to the main dwelling spaces from there.
Once established, camel back crickets reproduce rapidly. Homeowners are surprised at their size and appearance. Random jumpers they may jump toward you more often than away. Although this behavior of jumping may actually be a behavior that threatens animals and pests that may feed on the camel back cricket, it is typically an aggravating nuisance for home owners and one of the reasons for their call to us for treatment.
These crickets do not bite or sting but may destroy all types of fabrics. Typically a food source for rats and mice, a large population of camel back crickets may attract rodents into your home or yard due to the ready food supply. If left unchecked, cave crickets can damage fabrics in your home leaving chew marks and holes that resemble damage caused by moths.
As camel back crickets are usually an outdoor pest, the best defense is to keep a well treated exterior pesticide barrier to prevent them from migrating inside.
Drain Fly. Very tiny, just 1/10 inch long, drain flies are brown to black, their fuzzy moth-like bodies and wings covered with dense hair. Weak fliers, drain flies are capable of flying only a few feet at a time, preferring to jump or hop.
They breed in stagnant polluted water and in the slimy organic sludge that accumulates around household drains and commercial overflow pipes and are a particular problem at sewage treatment plants. Adult flies may be observed resting on shower or laundry room walls or hovering over drains or rarely used toilets. Drain flies are often discovered after return from a long vacation.
While undocumented, drain flies are suspected of carrying numerous pathogens due to their diet of decaying organic matter in drain sludge, garbage cans and animal dung. Dust from their decomposing bodies is known to trigger bronchial asthma.
The best defense periodic scrubbing of drain openings to remove slime and regular flushing of drains and toilets to prevent water from becoming stagnant.
Fruit Fly. Tan colored with distinctive red eyes, fruit flies are often seen hovering in kitchens or around trash cans. Fruit flies can be a significant problem in residential and commercial kitchens, restaurants and groceries.
These small 1/8-inch flies are attracted by the high sugar content in decaying fruits and vegetables, which they both eat and use as a breeding ground. Their feeding habits make fruit flies a likely, although undocumented, pathogen source. Because fruit flies are surface breeders and feeders, spoiled sections of infested fruits or vegetables can be cut away and the still healthy portion of the fruit eaten without concern that it might be infested with fruit fly larvae.
In addition to fruit flies, house and bottle flies are among the most common fly pests in New Jersey. Characterized by large protruding complex eyes, veined wings and an annoying buzzing behavior, flies can be a persistent nuisance both indoors and out.
These scavengers breed on decomposing plant and animal matter including rotting garbage, sewage, dead animal carcasses and manure. Tasting with tiny hairs on their feet, flies buzz from dumpster to table, spreading disease pathogens and creating a health risk wherever they light.
Flies are associated with more than 100 disease-causing pathogens including typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, hepatitis, polio and tuberculosis. Worldwide, flies destroy or contaminate more than $10 billion in food supplies annually.
About 1/4 inch long, the common house fly is dark gray to black. Liquid feeders, house flies regurgitate onto solids, liquefying food so they can absorb it with their spongy mouthparts. House flies lay their eggs on wet organic materials such as manure.
Bottle Flies. These flies are slightly larger than house flies with striking coloration. About 3/8 inch long, bottle flies have brilliant metallic green, gold or blue markings with black legs and antennae.
Bottle flies are usually the first insect to reach a dead animal and lay their eggs in carcasses, wounds and necrotic tissue. Forensic pathologists use bottle fly larvae to help determine time of death.
Lady Bug. Red to orange with black spots, 1/4-inch long native lady bugs and imported Asian ladybird beetles swarm New Jersey homes and businesses in massive numbers every October seeking a protected place to hibernate.
In New Jersey the pumpkin-colored Asian ladybird beetle, an agricultural transport that has overwhelmed native lady bug populations, presents the biggest problem. Particularly attracted to white and light-colored buildings, these small beetles congregate by the thousands on windows and doorways. On gaining entry to a building, they will harbor in attics and wall voids, emerging between March and April.
Introduced to the United States in the 1970s and 1980s as an agricultural pest deterrent, Asian ladybird beetles are voracious insect feeders that can eat up to 270 aphids daily. A serious fall nuisance in New Jersey, lady bugs can overwhelm buildings, inundating floors and decks.
Although considered harmless, lady bugs can bite. Large swarms can be vacuumed. Avoid crushing as lady bugs release a foul odor when frightened and their blood can stain walls and fabrics.
Spider. In New Jersey, wolf spiders and yellow sac spiders are both aggressive hunters, but it’s the small 1/4-inch yellow sac spider, not the big, hairy 1 1/2-inch wolf spider that causes the most problems.
Ground dwellers that do not spin webs, wolf spiders feed on other insects and may seek refuge in dark basements, crawl spaces and garages near their wooded habitat. Dark brown or black, these hunters resemble fierce-looking tarantulas but are harmless to humans.
Yellow sac spiders, on the other hand, are one of the most aggressive spiders and regularly bite humans. Small, just 1/4 inch, and a pale yellow color, yellow sac spiders get their name from the white, papery sacks of silk they produce for daily resting. These telltale “sacs” are often found along ceilings, in corners and behind pictures or shelves.
Outdoors, yellow sac spiders spin their sacks in foliage, on the backs of leave and under bark or stones. Fierce hunters and defenders, yellow sac spiders are quick to bite. Their bites instantly produce an intense stinging pain similar to the sting of a wasp or hornet. Localized redness and severe itching may accompany the sting. A necrotic lesion can develop.
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