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Pest Control

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 Let's identify them...



Bed bugs,Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), feed primarily at night on the blood of warm-blooded hosts, especially humans. Their preferred habitat is bedding items such as mattresses and box springs, sofas, and other stuffed furniture frequently used by humans. Adult bedbugs will be approximately ¼ -inch in length, are reddish-brown in color and are flattened, oval, and wingless. Bed bugs feed at five- to ten-day intervals with their feeding period lasting about five minutes. Bed bugs are not known to transmit diseases. It is believed that they are moved from one place to another primarily by travelers in their luggage but they will move from one unit to another in multi-unit buildings.


Recluse spiders have six eyes in three pairs or diads and a carapace that is quite flat when viewed from the side and highest near the head. The fangs or chelicerae are fused at the base. The color is generally yellowish brown but it can vary. The most distinctive mark is the darker violin shape on top of the carapace.


The western black widow, Latrodectus hesperus Chamberlin & Ivie, usually has the hourglass marking connected or complete with the anterior triangle larger and wider than the posterior triangle. This species largely displaces the southern black widow in the western half of the state. In southwestern Texas through the Lower Rio Grande Valley and adjoining parts of Mexico, specimens of L. hesperus have been found in which the adults retain their brilliant immature colors. Further west, the coloration of the species appears to grade back to black.


Scorpions are capable of reducing their metabolic rates to very low levels. Mating apparently takes place in the fall, spring and early summer. All scorpions are born live (viviparous), and embryos are nourished in the female’s body (in utero or via a "placental" connection). Development (gestation) is estimated to take about 8 months, but varies depending on the species. Young are born in litter sizes from 13 to 47, averaging about 31. The young climb to the mother’s back after birth and soon molt.

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This is generally an outdoor species, living in wood piles, decaying trees, palm trees and in sewer systems. Cockroaches have flattened bodies that allow them to enter homes through cracks around loose-fitting doors and windows, and where electric lines or pipes pass through walls. They are mainly active at night and hide in cracks and crevices during the day, preferring dark moist sites in attics and basements. Cockroaches eat almost anything including meats and grease, starchy foods, sweets, baked goods, leather, wallpaper paste, book bindings and sizing. Adults are capable of gliding flights.

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This is mainly an indoor species although they will also migrate outdoors from structure to structure. Occasionally, new infestations begin by bringing in cartons and other materials from infested structures that harbor the roaches or their eggs. Kitchens, bathrooms and other locations that provide food, moisture, warmth and shelter are preferred habitats. German cockroaches are mainly active at night, when they search for food and water. During the day, they remain concealed in cracks and crevices unless they are over-crowded, with all developmental stages occurring together.



Primarily a nuisance pest inside the home or buildings; can contaminate food, damage paper goods and stain clothing; medically harmless. Many of their habits are similar to cockroaches and they appear to be more common as household pests in drier parts of the state. Occasionally damage book bindings, curtains, wallpaper. 

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Adults and nymphs have characteristic "pinchers" or forceps-like structures on the back end of their brown to black somewhat flattened bodies. They may be as long as 1 inch and have three pairs of well-developed legs. Nymphal stages are wingless, but some adult earwigs have hind wings neatly folded underneath short cover-like forewings. However, they rarely fly. About 10 species occur in Texas, but only a few are common.


Termites are occasionally confused with winged ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): termites have body segments that are similar in width, hair-like (filiform) antennae and, when present, four wings of equal length; ants have narrow waists, elbowed antennae and forewings that are longer than hind wings. The differences between drywood termites (Kalotermitidae) and subterranean (Rhinotermitidae) are easiest to see in the venation of the wings of the adult reproductive caste. Wings of drywood termites have three heavy veins along the basal part of the front edge of the forewing and the crossveins near the wing tip are angled, making trapezoidal cells.


Red imported fire ants produce hills or mounds in open areas where the colonies reside, although colonies occasionally occur indoors and in structures such as utility housings and tree trunks. Disturbance of mounds results in a rapid defensive response by worker ants, which quickly run up vertical surfaces. Worker ants range from 1/16 to 3/16 inch (1.5 to 5 mm) in length and are dark brown. Queen ants are larger (3/8 inch) and have no wings after mating.


Mouthparts are for chewing. Pharaoh ants are omnivorous, feeding on sweets (jelly, particularly mint apple jelly, sugar, honey, etc.), cakes and breads, and greasy or fatty foods (pies, butter, liver and bacon). Nests can be found outdoors and almost anywhere indoors (light sockets, potted plants, wall voids, attics, in any cracks and crevices) particularly close to sources of warmth and water.

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Honey bees are somewhat variable in color but are some shade of black, brown or brown intermixed with yellow. They have dense hairs on the pronotum and sparser hair on the abdomen. Microscopically, at least some of the body hairs of bees (Apoidea) are branched (pumose). The abdomen often appears banded. Larvae are legless grubs, white in color.


One of the largest wasps encountered; although females are capable of stinging, they are rarely aggressive towards man or animals; males are incapable of stinging, but can be more aggressive; large numbers of females nesting in localized areas such as sandy embankments can be a nuisance and cause concern because of their large size, low flight and nesting activities; nest entrances are often accompanied by a pile of soil excavated from the burrow that may disturb turf grass.

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Adults (fleas) bite pets and humans; bites are irritating and can potentially transmit diseases; consumption of fleas can also result in the transmission of tapeworms; constant scratching of itchy flea bites can result in other skin problems and allergic reactions.

Above information provided by the Entomology Department of Texas A&M University.

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