If you are dealing with pests in your yard, home, or business – we’re here to help. There are many different species of pests that are common in Henderson, Transylvania, Polk, & Rutherford Counties, and we’ve outlined the major culprits in our pest library. Look over our list of pests and note the different behavioral tendencies of each one. Our team of pest experts is well versed on each of these intruders and we know how to eliminate them from your property for good.
Bed bugs are ectoparasites. Their favorite hosts to feed on are humans, and blood is their only source of food. However, if people are not available, they will feed on other mammals, including our pets.
These insects hide in cracks and crevices in or near beds, emerging at night to feed on their sleeping victims. Bed bugs are wingless and have an oval-shaped body that is flattened from top to bottom. Adults are about 3/16 of an inch long and reddish-brown. They resemble an apple seed with six legs and antennae.
Bed bugs live wherever there are people and in almost any public place. Hotels, libraries, shopping centers, schools, hospitals, and airports are all places you may come into contact with bed bugs. These insects move from place to place by hitchhiking on people or their belongings. While an infestation typically begins in sleeping areas, as the infestation grows they travel to different rooms or different housing units.
Carpenter ants received their name because, with the help of their strong mandibles, workers tunnel through pieces of wood to create nesting galleries for their colony. They make their central nest outside, but often find their way inside homes and other structures where they take advantage of water-damaged structural wood to create satellite nests and expand their colony.
Carpenter ants are large and usually black but sometimes have various colors like red, yellow, or a combination. Adult workers grow to between ¼ and ½ of an inch in length, and the queen grows up to an impressive inch.
Carpenter ants usually choose areas of high moisture to build their nests. Outside, they nest in rotting trees, tree stumps, large tree roots, fallen trees, and old piles of firewood. Inside, they nest in wood beams that are behind walls and under floors, as well as wood that is around chimneys, sink areas, and the roofline. Carpenter ants pose the biggest danger to yards and homes that are near wooded areas, although an infestation can happen anywhere in any structure. When you first see large black ants wandering in or around your home, it is important to contact a professional and get rid of these wood-destroying insects before they have the chance to cause extensive and expensive damage inside.
Solitary by nature, carpenter bees aren't seen swarming around yards in large numbers. Carpenter bees are a type of stinging insect that poses more of a danger to property than people.
Female carpenter bees can sting, but they are docile and usually only sting if they are threatened or handled. Males are much more hostile and aggressive but luckily lack a stinger. Adults range in size from ¼ to 1 inch long. They are often confused with bumblebees, and the most recognizable difference between the two is that bumblebees have fuzzy hair covering their bodies, while carpenter bees have an abdomen that is black, shiny, and hairless.
Carpenter bees are outdoor pests and can become a problem on almost any property. However, they gravitate to areas with lots of flowering vegetation to feed on and plenty of softwoods and untreated wood structures for them to nest in. Carpenter bees place their nests in trees like cedar and redwoods, man-made wooden structures like outdoor furniture, play structures, decks, porches, and wood siding or shingles. Carpenter bees tend to return to the same nesting areas year after year, and many females nest in the same piece of wood. Over time the presence of carpenter bees will lead to structural damage. Also, carpenter bee nests attract woodpeckers. Woodpeckers peck at the tunnels to feed on carpenter bee eggs and larvae, causing even more structural damage.
Cockroaches are insects, and over 3,500 species live worldwide, with approximately 55 species living throughout the United States. The German cockroach is one of the most common. They are most often found inside homes and businesses and prefer to live indoors.
German cockroaches are small, and have two dark parallel stripes running down their backs right behind their heads. In general, cockroaches have flattened oval-shaped bodies and antennae as long or longer than their bodies. Having wings is species-dependent, but even those with wings are usually not adept fliers. Roaches that live near people have come to depend on us for some of their food and shelter needs.
Some of the biggest reasons why these creatures are so problematic for people include that they are prolific breeders, carry and spread disease-causing pathogens and parasites, trigger allergies and asthma, contaminate food, and are tough to prevent and eliminate.
Cockroaches can find their way into homes and businesses in a variety of ways. While out foraging for food, they move inside through spaces in the foundation, exterior walls, windows, and through drains. They also hitchhike their way inside in bags, packages, furniture, appliances, and even on the bottom of shoes. Inside, the most common places cockroaches live and breed are kitchens, bathrooms, and basements. They are attracted to the easy access to food and the warm, damp environment these locations provide.
Odorous house ants are a common species of household ants. These small ants grow to between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch in length. They are black or brown and typically identified by the way they smell after being crushed. Odorous house ants emit a foul-smelling odor that is powerful and likened to a rotting coconut.
These ants feed on a wide variety of foods but prefer those high in sugar - which is why they are also called sugar ants. Odorous house ants forage for food in flower and vegetable gardens, open containers of trash, compost bins, and outdoor eating areas.
These ants often find their way inside homes either while searching for food or while trying to escape harsh weather. Inside, these ants prefer to create nests near areas of moisture such as wall voids near hot water pipes or sinks, inside heaters, and in crawlspaces. They also place nests in pieces of wood already damaged by termites and other wood-damaging insects.
Termites are a type of wood-destroying pest and responsible for causing billions of dollars worth of damage across the United States each year. The most widespread kind of termite living across the United States is the subterranean termite. These termites are mostly attracted wood that is decaying or has been previously damaged by water.
Subterranean termites nest under the ground and each day travel back and forth from their nest to food sources. While out foraging for food, worker termites often find their way into homes and other structures through cracks in the foundation, or pieces of wood that are making direct contact with the ground.
Outside, away from our homes and businesses, termites are beneficial pests. They help to reduce the amount of decaying wood and vegetation, releasing nutrients back into the ground that other living organisms benefit from. However, when these insects move inside structures, they become unwanted and have the potential to cause extensive structural damage that is expensive to repair.
Known as "silent invaders", termites can work for long periods (sometimes years) before their damage becomes apparent. Subterranean termites feed on structural wood found behind walls, below floors, and above ceilings. They prefer to attack water-damaged wood, but over time will also attack sound wood. Partnering with a professional to implement a proactive termite control plan is the best way to save the structure of your home, your bank account, and your sanity from termite damage.