Q. What is this bug?
A. Check our Pest Library first for images and descriptions of pests common to the Midwest region. If you do not find a match there, we offer a free identification service. Bring a bug to any of our locations for an on-the-spot identification or mail us a sample. If you mail a sample, carefully pad the sample with tissue or similar product and be sure to include your name and day telephone number or email address.
Q. Something is biting me and / or members of my family. What is it?
A. First of all, most insects and other arthropods that bite can be seen without magnification. If you notice an insect biting you, a sample should be located and given to your pest management professional (PMP) for identification. There are different protocols for treatment depending on the insect involved. Possible insects that may be biting you are:
- Fleas - check your pets to make sure they do not have fleas crawling on them. Determine if you have any wildlife living in the attic, crawlspace, chimney, or under steps or a deck.
- Mosquitoes - these are primarily found outdoors, but may fly inside while doors or windows are open.
- Bedbugs - guess what, they're back. These night time blood feeders sneak into your bed at night when you are sleeping and feed on your blood.
- Ants - ants can be found inside or outside. While some ants, such as fire ants produce a painful sting, most ants in this area rarely sting or bite.
- Another possibility is that your skin may be drying out because of the weather. When this occurs, it often feels like tiny pricks, or that an insect is biting you.
Q. I hear noises in my attic / wall void. What is causing them?
A. Noises could be caused by rats, mice, bats, squirrels, raccoons, cats, or insects. Typically attic inhabitants are getting in through vents or soffits that need repair. You must locate how the animal is getting in and repair the access point or points at a time when you are sure they are not in the attic. We provide trapping and exclusion services if you would rather have someone do this for you. You should also note that bats are protected in many states and cannot be disturbed without a special permit during the summer months.
Q. I have flying insects in my house. What are they?
A. Based on environmental conditions, flying insects could be:
- Swarming ants or termites - both have mating swarms where numerous reproductive insects leave the original nest to mate and then find a new nest.
- Filth flies, fruit flies or fungus gnats. For flies, it is very important to find the source of infestation. Until you get rid of the breeding site, the adult flies you see in your home will continue to be a problem.
Q. Will the bees and wasps found in and around my home sting me?
A. There are numerous types of insects that can sting you if provoked. Social bees and wasps (live in a single nest) will vigorously defend their nest during the summer months and are the most likely to sting humans. These include paper wasps, hornets, yellowjackets, and honey bees. The solitary bees and wasps nest as pairs and rarely sting humans. These include the carpenter bees, mud daubers, ground bees, cicada killers, and potter wasps.
Q. What about spiders?
A. Spiders are actually beneficial and may be left alone to help control pest insects in and around your home. Not all spiders have venom. However, two spiders of concern are - the black widow and brown recluse. These spiders can cause you to become ill if bitten. Brown recluse spiders are rather common in the mid-west region, but we have solutions for these pests.
Q. I have ants trailing in my house. What do I do?
A. Most ants that are observed indoors originate from a nest that is outdoors or in a void in the exterior wall. If you can find the nest, elimination is quite easy by direct treatment. There are a variety of ants that you may find in your home. Pavement ants, odorous house ants, honey ants, and carpenter ants are the species that we regularly find indoors in the mid-west region. To date fire ants are not established north of the North Carolina/Virginia border area.
To help you more easily solve your ant problem, proper identification of the ants is critical. You can collect ants by scooping them into a jar or plastic bag or you can stick them onto tape.
Q. Can the chemicals you use harm me?
A. When pesticides are used, we use products that minimize the risk of causing injury to you, your children and pets. The materials we use are applied at very low concentrations, some as low as 0.015%. They are applied directly into areas where insects are likely to be located and will travel and out of the reach of children and pets. The manufacturers of these chemicals have formulated them at doses that are registered for use around adults and children, but still are able to kill insects. If you have a health-related concern, please let us know before we come to treat and we will let you know what we plan to use. We want you to be comfortable with the products we use in and around your home and will gladly share any information we have about any product.