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Identifying Common Pests in Covington, GA
Know When You Have a Potential Infestation on Your Hands
Spotting a potential pest problem as early as possible is the best way to avoid all of the damages and health risks that pests bring with them into your home. At Cleary Exterminating Co. Inc, we want you to have all the tools you need to identify the ants, spiders, and other pests that you may encounter in your life so that you can be aware of the associated risks and know when you need to call our professional pest control team. We asked our trained, experienced pest control specialists to provide all of the information you need to know about the most common pests in the State of Georgia and our local Covington neighborhood, so you can know what kind of pest problem you may be dealing with.
When you need help identifying potential infestations, our Covington team has all the answers you need. Check out our tips for identifying common local pests below, or give us a call at (770) 766-9950 for more information!
- Argentine Ants: These stingerless ants are roughly 1/16” in length and emit a distinctive greasy or musty scent when crushed. Their favorite hiding spaces are moist areas like kitchens or bathrooms, near food sources, and under rocks or inside walls. These ants can live for several years, and each female Argentine ant can lay one egg per day, which means that infestations can last for a long time if not treated.
- Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants are usually black and between 1/4-3/8” long, much larger than the average ant. These ants do not eat wood but will often live in hollow trees or logs. Each colony has only one egg-laying queen but may have up to 3,000 worker ants, creating very large infestations.
- Fire Ants: Aggressive and venomous, fire ants will bite predators and potential threats multiple times, and their bites are capable of killing small wildlife and domestic animals and knowing through rubber insulation and wiring. They are typically between 1/16-1/4" long and have a distinctive dark red color. Fire ants can be found in the large, noticeable mounds of earth that they build, which can house up to 250,000 ants.
- Household Ants: This species of scavenger/predator ant love to eat most household foods, especially those that contain sugar, and other insects, so you’re most likely to see them in your kitchen. Indoors, they will colonize near heat sources or in insulation. In hot and dry situations, nests have been found in house plants and even in the lids of toilets.
- Pavement Ants: At 1/10" long and brown, pavement ants will sometimes live inside the nests of larger ants, feeding on their hosts' young. This means that if one type of ant is already present, Pavement Ants may see your property as a great hunting ground. They like to nest in sidewalk cracks, along curbs, under rocks, under floors, and in walls.
- Pharoah Ants: The pharaoh ant is a very small 1/16”-long yellow or light brown, almost transparent ant notorious for being a major indoor nuisance, especially in hospitals.
- American Roaches: Usually between 1-1 1/2" long with red-brown wings, American roaches are scavengers with a special taste for warm damp places, water, and alcoholic beverages. They like to eat decaying organic matter like old produce and garden plants.
- Brown-Banded Roaches: Brown-banded roaches are brown with distinctive strips across their body that can grow to a length of 1 1/4" as an adult and look similar to an American roach. However, this roach does not have a yellow stripe around the section above its wings like American roaches do.
- German Roaches: About the same size as brown-banded roaches, the German roach has two brown stripes running the length of their wings. They love fermented foods and like to venture outside du ring the warmer months. Without proper pest control treatments, one pair of German roaches can expand to an infestation of more than 2 million in less than a year.
- Oriental Roaches: Dark brown and about 1" long, Oriental roaches seek out warm damp areas indoors. That means that they flourish in basements and storage areas where they can stay close to the ground. They eat decaying organic matter and prefer starches like potatoes, bread, and other common foods.
- The House Mouse: Mice are generally much smaller than rats and can squeeze through holes slightly larger than a pencil eraser. This means that even if your home is rat-proof, mice can still make their way inside, where they can eat your food and gnaw away at walls, wires, and insulation. As an additional distinction between the two, mice have proportionally smaller ears and smaller hind legs than rats.
- The Norway Rat: Norway rats are a destructive pest commonly found in urban and suburban neighborhoods. These rodents eat and contaminate food, damage buildings and other property by their gnawing and burrowing, and may spread diseases that affect people and pets. These rats are larger than mice and have proportionally smaller ears and bigger hind feet.
- The Roof Rat: Black or brown, these rodents tend to be roughly 7-10" long, with a long tail, large ears and eyes, and a pointed nose. Their bodies are smaller and sleeker than Norway rats, and their fur is smooth. Roof rats and Norway rats are the most common domestic rodents in this area.
- Black Widows: Female black widows are about 1/2" long and black with a trademark red hourglass marking on their underside. Their webs are irregular and lack the distinct patterns you may associate with spiderwebs. The egg sacs laid by female black widows can carry up to 150 eggs that disperse through ballooning. Their bites are toxic - if bitten, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Brown Recluse Spiders: The bites of these spiders can be deadly to humans, so it’s important to know what they look like. Brown recluses are, as the name implies, brown, with a dark brown fiddle-shaped marking, and can grow to be about 1/2" long. They feed upon soft-bodied insects and hunt their prey at night. At sunup, they drag their food to spun irregular off-white webs in dark secluded areas. They can live up to 3 years. If bitten, seek immediate medical attention.
- Daddy-Long-Legs: Daddy-long-legs are NOT spiders, or even insects, at all! They are part of the Arachnid family but in a different classification and are sometimes called harvestmen. They have 3 body sections, not two like spiders, and their legs have seven sections which they can break off to surprise or distract a predator.
- Hobo Spiders: Hobo spiders are 3/8-5/8" long with long legs and are sometimes difficult to distinguish from common house spiders. Their bite is similar to that of the brown recluse—it can be deadly. This spider makes a funnel web, which is not used to capture prey. If bitten, seek medical attention immediately.
- Wolf Spiders: Wolf Spiders are large, brown, and hairy ranging from 1/2-2” long. They look much scarier than they actually are – their bites may cause pain and itching but are not deadly. Wolf spiders aren't typically associated with webs, so it can seem like they come from nowhere. Inside homes, they often hang out near windows, doors, house plants, or storage areas.
- Jumping Spiders: Jumping spiders are generally active hunters, which means that they do not as a rule rely on a web to catch their prey. They use their superior eyesight to distinguish and track their intended meals, often for several inches. Then they pounce and administer a venomous bite
Wasps and Hornets
- Bald-Faced Hornets: Bald-faced hornets are protective of their nests and will sting repeatedly if that nest is physically disturbed. They are more aggressive than other wasps, bees, and hornets you may encounter, and it is not considered safe to approach the nest for observation purposes. Bald-faced hornets will aggressively attack with little provocation, and if you suspect they may be present on your property, contact our pest control specialists immediately.
- Paper Wasps: These pests like to build hanging honeycomb-shaped nests from eaves, overhangs, or tree branches. Colors and sizes can differ among species. They are territorial and extremely aggressive, so it is best to let the professionals handle them and stay away from any nests you may find.
- Golden Wasps: These are solitary wasps, who like to live independently and do not share in either nest maintenance or in the caring of their young. Also known as the digger wasps or great goldens, there are over 130 known species.
- Yellow Jackets: Yellow jackets typically build nests that hang from trees and buildings, but they will also nest in the ground and in walls-voids and attics. Their nests have one entrance, and many workers that protect the nest. They have a lance-like stinger with small barbs and typically sting repeatedly.
- Mud Dauber Wasps: These tiny insects don't sting, but they can be a nuisance nonetheless. Mud daubers construct nests comprised of mud tubes high on walls and under overhangs.
- Bed Bugs: Bed bugs are parasites that feed on human blood and cause several health issues including skin rashes, psychological effects, and allergic symptoms. Bed Bug bites may lead to a range of skin manifestations from no visible effects to prominent blisters. If you spot shed skins, spots of blood, or greasy tracks on or around your bed, get your home inspected.
- Ticks: Ticks are found on pets, domestic animals, wildlife, and people. They are parasites, feeding on the blood of their hosts. Ticks are known vectors of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease, and can also cause paralysis in children and dogs.
- Boxelder Bugs: Boxelder bugs are a nuisance in and around homes from fall through early spring. This bug is about 1/2" long as an adult, black with three red lines on the thorax, a red line along each side, and a diagonal red line on each wing. The immature forms are smaller and are easily distinguished from the adults by their red abdomens and lack of wings.
- Earwigs: Earwigs are small, with pairs of horny, forcepslike abdominal appendages, larger in the male than in the female, and short, leathery forewings that cover the membranous hindwings when folded.
- Fleas: Fleas have been around for millions of years, sucking the blood of animals and humans. Fleas live on pets, mammals, in carpets, in sofas, and in other household and farm goods. Female Fleas lay eggs that turn into grub-like larvae, which then develop into pupae and settle inside a cocoon. Then, they wait for a host to start their life and suck blood, causing itching and even pain.
- Silverfish: These pests like to eat paper, glue, starch, and textiles. Silverfish will feed on wallpaper and are often found in books or cardboard packaging. They are nocturnal and flee from light and may even jump away. They are silvery-white, cone-shaped, and 1/2-3/4" long.
- Millipedes: Millipedes do not have a poisonous bite, but many protect themselves by producing offensive odors from their stink glands, and some produce highly irritating compounds that can injure the skin or eyes of attackers. They feed mostly on decaying vegetation, although some will consume decaying animal food. Some species attack plant roots and cause crop damage.
- Centipedes: Unlike millipedes, centipedes are venomous. Their venom allows them to attack prey and defend themselves against predators and other natural enemies. 5-hydroxytryptamine, a compound that can break down cell walls, is present in some centipede species found in North America. Centipede venom is not fatal to humans, although some individuals may be allergic to it.
If you think you may have spotted any of the above pests scurrying around your property, let us know! We offer free inspections to identify any kind of infestation you may be vulnerable to!