Argentine Ants fees on sweets, fresh fruit, and buds of some plants. You can find them foraging for sweets and oils in homes. Travel rapidly in distinctive trails along sidewalks, up sides of buildings, song branches of trees and shrubs, along baseboards, and under edges of carpets.
Workers are all the same size, small 1/8-inch long, and uniformly dull brown.
Carpenter ants feed on dead and living insects, aphid and scale honeydew, juices of ripe fruit; preferably sweet. traveling in loose trails, forage mostly late in the day or at night, and prefer moist or humid environments. Although, this species does not feed on wood, they will bore into wood to make nests, sometimes causing serious structural damage.
These are among the largest of ants and are vicious biters. Workers vary greatly in size from 1/2? to 3/8? in length. Usually they are black, but may have some brown coloration. They’re long-legged and move swiftly.
Odorous House Ant
Odorous ants feed on both dead and living insects, favoring aphid and scale honeydew. They ravel in both wandering patterns and set trails In homes, foraging primarily for sweets. Common trails are along branches of trees, foundations, sidewalks, baseboards, and edges of carpets. When disturbed, become erratic with their abdomens raised in the air.
Workers are all the same size, small, 1/8 inch long, dark brown to shiny black.
Mice not only live inside, but outside near foundations; in shrubbery, weeds, crawl spaces, basements, or garages. They eat almost anything, but prefer cereal grains, seeds, or sweet material requiring very little water to survive. When the colder months hit they move inside nesting closer to a food supply. These nest are found in many places including: in walls, ceiling voids, storage boxes, drawers, under major appliances, or within the upholstery of furniture.
The adult house mouse is small and slender and about 1-2 inches long, excluding tail. It has large ears, pointed nose and small eyes. The tail is as long as the head and body combined. The fur color varies, but it is usually a light gray or brown, but could be darker shades.
The Roof Rat is a climber, commonly nesting in areas above the ground: trees, vines, attics, ceiling voids, or in voids along the roof line. These rats enter your home much like squirrels. As their population grows they will nest in underground burrows. They prefer seeds, nuts, fresh vegetables and fruits, but will eat meat and grain products. They become sexually mature in 2-3 months, with 4-6 litters per year, 4-8 pups per litter.
Adults weigh about 5-9 ounces,7-10 inches long. The tail is longer than the head and body combined. They have smooth (not shaggy) fur, large ears and a pointed nose.
These rats are sometimes called brown or sewer rats, are stocky burrowing rodents that are larger than roof rats. Their burrows are found along building foundations, beneath rubbish or woodpiles, and in moist areas in and around gardens and fields. Nests can be lined with shredded paper, cloth, or other fibrous material. When Norway rats invade buildings, they usually remain in the basement or ground floor.
The Norway rat is large, robust, and between 7 to 18 ounces. Adults weigh about 7-18 ounces, large and robust. The tail is shorter than the body, dark above and pale below.
Found in dark, moist areas such as around bathtubs, clothes hampers, sewers and basement corners. Also, wherever food is prepared and stored.
The largest of the common species, growing to a length of 1-1/2″ or more. Reddish-brown with a yellow border on the back of the pronotum. The wings of the male extend beyond the tip of the abdomen, while the female’s wings are about the same length as the abdomen.
The most common roach in United States homes. Breeds throughout the year. Favors humid atmosphere and an average temperature of 70 degrees.
Adults are about 1/2″ long, brown with two dark streaks on the thorax. the female is darker in color with a broader, more rounded posterior. Both sexes have wings as long as their bodies.
Found in all parts of the United States. They’re most common in high moisture situations, especially around decaying organic matter. Most common in late spring or early summer.
Very dark brown or black. Male is about 1-1/4″ long while the female reaches only 1″ in length. The female has functionless stubs. The male’s wings cover about 3/4 of the abdomen. Neither sex flies. Females are broader and heavier.
Spiders can be found in both damp and warm, dry parts of buildings depending on the species. Most species hide in cracks, darkened areas or in shelter they make from silk.
Spiders have eight legs with no wings or antennae. Their bodies have only two sections – a fused head an thorax, and an abdomen. All spiders have a pair of jaw-like structures with a hollow, claw-like fang at the end.
The black widow spider is the most common harmful spider in California. Venom from its bite can cause reactions ranging from mild to painful and serious, but death is very unlikely and many symptoms can be alleviated if medical treatment is obtained. They and their associated webs usually are found in dark, dry, sheltered, relatively undisturbed places such as among piles of wood, rubbish, or stones; in culverts, hollow stumps, and old animal burrows; in garages, sheds, barns, crawl spaces, utility meter boxes, and outhouses; and sometimes among plants.
The typical adult female black widow has a shiny black body, slender black legs, and a red or orange mark in the shape of an hourglass on the underside of the large, round abdomen. The body, excluding legs, is 5/16 to 5/8 inch long.
Most common in northern states. This beetle infests carpets and feeds on the fabric. It also feeds on animal products that are left undisturbed such as wood, leather, furs, etc.
These beetles are small and oval in shape. They’re grayish black in color with a varied pattern of white and orange scales on the back. An orange-red band of scales runs down the middle of the back.
Brown Dog Tick
Most often, these are found in the ears, between the toes and on the backs of dogs. After feeding they retire to molding, baseboards, around window-cord pulleys, any protected openings.
Adult ticks are flat, about 1/8″ long and uniformly red-brown with tiny pits scattered over the back. Unlike the male, the female enlarges after feeding to about 1/2″ long and 1/4″ wide. The enlarged portion of the body becomes gray-blue to olive in color.
Earwigs are active at night and hide in cracks or underneath objects during the day. Most species scavenge on dead animal and plant material. Eggs are laid in underground burrows.
Earwigs are most readily recognized by the forceps at the end of the abdomen. Species range from 1/2″ to 1″ in length, and from light reddish-brown to jet black in color. Some species are marked with stripe or bands on body and legs.
Most common during the summer, especially when homes are reoccupied after vacation. Most common hosts are cats, dogs, man and a wide variety of animals.
Fleas are extremely small, averaging 2 to 4 mm i length. The body is flattened vertically and is covered with spines which protect backward. They are wingless but have long, powerful legs for jumping great distances.
Among the most common insects in the home. They eat paper, fabrics and get into cereals.
Bodies are long, slender and flattened; broad at the front and tapering to the rear. Antennae are long and slender. Three long, slender appendages protrude from the rear. They’re wingless and the body is about 12″ long.
Bed bugs are mainly active at night, but are not exclusively nocturnal. They usually feed on their hosts without being noticed.
Adult bed bugs are light brown to reddish-brown, flattened, oval-shaped and have no hind wings. The front wings are vestigial and reduced to pad-like structures. Bed bugs have segmented abdomens with microscopic hairs that give them a banded appearance. Adults grow to 4–5 millimetres (0.16–0.20 in) long and 1.5–3 millimetres (0.059–0.118 in) wide.
Honeybees live year round, and can be observed as a giant swarm migrating, or as 5 to 20 bees buzzing around a wall, eave, chimney, or other structural openings. In warm dry areas they may show up for water. New honeybee swarms consist of 4,000 to 6,000 bees. An active hive generally has 10,000 to 50,000 bees and 20 to 80 lbs of honey.
They are amber to brown translucent alternating with black stripes. Exact pattern and colouration varies depending on strain/breed. their size ranging from ½” to ¾”.
Western yellowjacket, which tend to defend their nests vigorously when disturbed. Defensive behavior increases as the season progresses and colony populations become larger while food becomes scarcer.
These wasps tend to be medium sized and black with jagged bands of bright yellow—or white, on the abdomen and have a very short, narrow “waist,” the area where the thorax attaches to the abdomen.
The names “wood wasp” and “horntail” describe several kinds of wood-boring insects. Of greatest concern are the large, nonstinging wasps that normally are attracted to and complete their life cycles in newly dead or dying conifer trees. Timber salvaged from these trees can be processed into infested lumber. This can lead to adult wasps emerging in recently completed buildings or structures.
Although these insects are extremely annoying, they aren’t harmful to humans or structures. They attack only trees and won’t bore into wood in buildings or furniture.
The dozen species of wood wasps in California look similar. They are large insects, generally 1 inch or longer, and wasplike in appearance but have an elongated, cylindrical body without a noticeable constriction or “waist.” They often are black or metallic dark blue or combinations of black, red, and yellow. They make a noisy buzz when flying.