Pest & Bug Identification
Are insects or rodents invading your home? Search our pest identification library to find the problem pest you are dealing with, as well as pest control tips for protecting your home against them. Here you’ll find profiles for helping identify termites, ants, bed bugs, rodents, spiders, beetles, flies, bees and wasps, cockroaches, fleas, mosquitoes and more. Contact our pest control specialists for more information.
Ants present a unique challenge to pest control companies for many reasons. More than 30 species of ants can be found in and around North American structures including carpenter ants, “‘sugar ants'” or odorous house ants, fire ants, pharaoh ants, argentine ants, etc. Successful ant control requires exact ant identification as treatment methods can vary substantially.
The crazy Rasberry ant or Rasberry crazy ant is an invasive species of ant found near Houston, Texas. There is currently a large infestation in at least 11 counties in Texas. The ants appear to prefer the warmth and moistness of the coast. The ants are about 3 millimeters long (equivalent of one-eighth inch) and are covered with reddish-brown hairs. The colonies have multiple queens. They feed on ladybugs, fire ants and Attwater’s prairie chicken hatchlings, as well as plants. They are able to out-compete fire ants because they reproduce faster. The ants are not attracted to ordinary ant baits, are not controlled by over-the-counter pesticides, and are harder to fully exterminate because their colonies have multiple queens.
Please call us on your ant problem, we will try to properly identify the ant then recommend the proper solution.
Bees & Wasps
There are a few essential differences between a wasp and a bee. Most wasps feed on insects, spiders and other animal matter. Most bees, on the other hand, feed on pollen and nectar (although there are a few parasitic species of bee). Bees are nearly always “hairy” with short legs, which assists in their pollen-collecting activity. Wasps typically have smooth, slender bodies that are “pinched” at the waist and have longer legs than bees.
Adult cockroaches are about 1/2″ – 5/8″ long. Their color is usually brown to tan. The pronotum (first segment of the thorax) has two dark parallel bars on it. Adult males are somewhat narrower than females when viewed from below. Thy nymphs, 1/8″ long when they emerge from the egg capsule, are almost uniformly dark except for a light tan area on the back of the second and third segments. Cockroaches reproduce very rapidly, so it is critical to call us soon after first seeing them so that we can control their spreading and multiplying.
The house mouse is the most common and economically important rodent that lives in close proximity to humans. It is gray and weighs about one ounce. The body and the tail of the mouse are each 3″ – 4″ long. The muzzle is pointed, the ears are large, and the eyes and body are small. The droppings are about 1/8″ up to 3/4″ long and typically blunt on the ends.
Norway rats are very common in Texas and can bring disease and even fire danger to your home, typically in attic spaces. Green Pest Guys has several methods of helping you get rid of rats for good.”The head and the body of a rat is 7″ – 10″ long and its tail is an additional 6″ – 8″. Its body is stocky,and weighs seven to 18 ounces. Its fur is coarse, shaggy and brown with some black hairs. The muzzle is blunt, eyes and ears are small, and the tail is shorter than the head and the body combined. Droppings are up to 3/4″ long.
The adult body length of a silverfish is 1/2″ excluding the tail. Its coloration ranges from gray to almost black, with a metallic sheen. All silverfish taper from head to tail. They are covered with silvery scales and have a flat, carrot-shaped body. Three long, slender antennae-like appendages project from the end of the abdomen, giving them the name “bristle tails.”
Termites are generally white, almost translucent and look like “white ants.” The easiest way to tell them apart from ants is to compare the waist or body area of the bug – in general ants have narrow waist, termites broad. Termites swarm in the spring time and then shed their wings – look for discarded wings on window sills. Termites can cause serious damage to your home, call us to perform a thorough termite inspection if you suspect them in your home or yard.
The adult carpet beetle is about 1/16″ – 1/8″ long. Its oval shaped body is black with a pattern of yellow and white scales on its wing covers. The underside of the body is covered with grayish yellow scales. The larvae are dark brown to black and are about 3/16″ – 1/4″ long.
Effective Box Elder control begins with positively identifying that the pests you are dealing with are actually box elders. Adult box elder bugs are up to 1/2″ in length. They are typically black with three red stripes on the thorax and red veins in the wings. They are sometimes mistaken for beetles but are actually “true bugs.” The nymphs are smaller than those of beetles and are bright red.
Adult fleas are about 1/8″ long. Their bodies are laterally flat and brownish-black to black. They have a reddish back when they are full of blood. They have no wings and hop when they move. Mature larvae are about twice the size of an adult in length. Larvae are whitish, slender, eyeless and legless however, they do have well developed heads.
Texas attracts many varieties of flies, all of which we can help you eliminate. We have seen many homes in austin with small flies like gnats or fruit flies, they are frequently drain flies. The adult cluster fly is about 3/8″ long, slightly larger than the common house fly. Their coloration is a non-metallic, dark gray. The thorax lacks distinct stripes and has numerous short golden hairs. The abdomen has irregular lighter areas. Adult fruit flies are 1/8″ long and yellow-brown to dark brown. Some species have distinctive red eyes, and the wings have two breaks in the leading edge nearest the body. The larvae are small and very distinctive with an extended, stalk-like breathing tube at the rear of the body.
Moles burrow under your lawn, typically, looking for worms just under the surface. You may have moles if you are noticing soft dirt or “hollow” spots in certain sections of your yard. Green Pest Guys offers an effective and economical solution for moles, just call us!
Mosquitoes are slender, long-legged, winged insects that are 1/8″ – 1/4″ long. They are unlike other members of the fly family in that their wings and bodies are covered with scales and they have long, piercing mouthparts. The larvae are aquatic and have well-developed heads, swollen and un-segmented thoraxes, and eight segmented abdomens that end in an elongated breathing tube.
In houses, scorpions are usually found in undisturbed areas, such as closets, shoes and folded clothing. Crevices in woodwork and closets, spaces around plumbing, doorways and windows are common hiding places.
Texas has many varieties of spiders, some quite venomous. The Black Widow has long legs, a sticky web and a distinct red mark on the abdomen. The Brown Recluse has legs about an inch long, a violin pattern on their body, and an oval shaped abdomen that may be either brown, greenish yellow or yellow. Both of these spiders are dangerous and should not be played with, call us immediately. Other spiders like the very small ones around your interior baseboards and larger garden spiders outside can be controlled and repelled, call us.
Springtails are white, gray or light colored, measuring about 1/16″ long. They have a distinctive head with long antennae. The rest of the body has a somewhat humpbacked appearance. Springtails get their name from a forked appendage attached to the end of their abdomen, which allows them to spring forward like a flea. They do not have wings.
Stored Product Pests
Stored product pests are anywhere from 1/16″ – 1/4″ long. They can vary in color, in most cases ranging from brownish to black. The two major categories of stored product pests are moths and beetles. The moth family includes the clothes moth and Indian meal moth. The beetle family includes the cigarette beetle, drugstore beetle and carpet beetle.
Ticks are usually 1/4″ long, and their color varies from sandy brown, reddish brown to dark brown depending on the species. Rodent burrows, attics, wall voids and crawl spaces are just a few examples of common infestation areas in a home.