Winchester Pest Control
Winchester Pest Control

Winchester Pest Control

 Integrated Pest Management

 Telephone - 781-729-1893
Common Insect Pests
AntsAnts - General Information
 There are an estimated 10,000 different species of ants worldwide and many experts believe they are more numerous than any other group of insects on earth. Ants live in nests or colonies which are usually located in the ground, but may enter and reside in buildings for shelter and/or food. Ant colonies may survive for more than 20 years and often it contains more than one queen ant.
Pavement AntsPavement ants
 Some ants can be very small (less than 1/8") such as pavement ants who develop trails from outside or under cement area colonies to indoor food sources. They are usually black in color and because of their small size they can get into almost anywhere searching for food.
Carpenter AntsCarpenter ants
 Carpenter ants can cause damage to the structure of buildings and are among the largest of all ants with worker ants ¼" to ½", (queens can be larger). They usually begin to infest over time by congregating and establishing themselves in areas associated with moisture, and then canal inside the grain of wood in order to have shelter and lay eggs. Once established they can continue to spread and damage structures.
Citronella AntsCitronella ants
 Yellow ants, also known as the citronella ant commonly “swarm”, and with the presence of wings they can be mistaken for termites. They are most often orange to reddish brown in color. These ants are small usually less than ¼" and usually found swarming around concrete slabs, building foundations, rock walls, under patios, porches, walkways, etc...
BedbugsBed bugs - General Information
 General Bed Bug Information - The common bed bug adult is about 3/16" long, reddish brown in color, oval shaped, and flat (unless engorged with blood). They feed on the blood of humans or other animals and typically feed as little as once a week, but adults can survive long periods of time without feeding. If a bed bug is between meals it may not come in contact with any treated areas for at least a few days. After feeding usually at night, they return to residing in cracks & crevices in a bed, dresser, nightstand, or nearby baseboard areas, etc. The bed bug lifespan can average up to one year; adult females can lay 1-5 eggs per day and the time from egg to adult can average from 21 to 60 days under normal conditions. Although primarily nocturnal and immobile during the day, they can be transported on clothing, miscellaneous belongings, or moving furniture. As a general rule it is strongly recommended to never accept or bring in any unknown used furniture, beds, bed frames, or miscellaneous items.

Points of interest when dealing with bed bug infestations
  • Regular inspections and vacuuming throughout the premises should be performed especially near sleeping areas such as under & around bed & bed frames, night tables, along baseboard areas, couches, recliners, etc. Vacuum bags should be removed immediately afterwards, sealed in plastic bags & removed from the premises.
  • As an ongoing priority to monitor any evidence of activity, all cluttered conditions such as crowded closets, boxes full of miscellaneous items, stacks of old magazines, newspapers, etc. should be eliminated. Items placed in tightly sealed plastic containers can be safe from bed bug infestation and may not need to be emptied.
  • Certain items to be laundered could be washed using the Hot Water Cycle. If items do not need laundering, a Clothes Dryer can be used by setting at High Temperature for a minimum of 25 minutes to kill bed bugs.
  • Rips, tears, or holes in misc. furniture; box springs and mattresses can provide access for bed bug nesting sites. Replacing infested bedding alone, with a new mattress & box spring usually will not eliminate the problem. The use of "bed bug certified" box spring & mattress encasements could be thought of as an integral part in eliminating these pests. One respected brand backed with independent research is "Protect-A- Bed" mattress & box spring encasement covers. Once installed on the box spring & mattress, they should never be removed.
  • It is important to understand that bed bugs only crawl; they cannot fly, jump or hop. Before sleeping, bed frame head boards should be pulled away from the wall and special care be made so bedding will not touch the floor.
  • The use of monitors & catch traps can be a helpful tool in eliminating these pests. "Climb-up" is a brand name of a trap & monitor device that attaches under bed legs, and prevents bugs from climbing up the bed legs. Two sided tape can also be wrapped around each bed leg or bed frame areas to help prevent bed bug access.
  • If individual live bed bugs are seen, they can be captured by pressing a general use tape on them, or they can also be killed by capturing them in a tissue, crushing and discarding of them properly. There are a number of "over the counter" non-residual products that can kill individual bed bugs if sighted. These products should only be used to treat a specific spot or area, so as to not interfere with any professional treatment procedures.
  • The information printed here is only intended as a general information guide. It is incomplete and does not cover all bed bug information, living situations or infestation possibilities, etc.
BeesBees - General Information
 Bees are for the most part a very beneficial group of insects, being the major pollinators of flowering plants. They are categorized as being either solitary or social. Solitary species are those whose members live independently of each other. Social species are those who live together in colonies or nests and which have an adult division of labor composed of workers, queens and periodically males. The more common social groups include bumble bees and honey bees. The more common solitary group includes carpenter bees.
Bumble BeesBumble Bees
 Bumble Bees can range in size from ¼" to 1" and are robust in form. They are black & yellow in color with an overall fuzzy appearance. Bumble bees are social insects which usually become active in the spring through the fall, and inseminated queens "overwinter" until next spring. They will sting as a defense mechanism and people sensitive to insect venom should exercise care around bumble bee nests.
Honey BeesHoney Bees
 Honey Bees not only provide honey & wax, but as pollinators are of far greater importance in our ecosystem. The adults usually range from ½" to ¾" and are (yellow to orange) & black in color. Honey bees are social insects; they are primarily not aggressive and usually only attack in defense of their colony. The preferred non-pesticide live removal of honey bees & nests is through the practices of an experienced beekeeper.
Carpenter BeesCarpenter Bees
 Carpenter Bees are solitary insects, and they range in size from ½ "to 1". Their colors are black & yellow are often misidentified as bumble bees. Mating begins in the spring, then the mated female typically bores a ½" hole into wood against the grain (about an inch), then bores a right angle turn. They prefer to bore into weather beaten or unprotected wood. She then places a mass of pollen & nectar in this gallery, deposits an egg, and finishes this cell with a chewed up wood pulp plug. This process is usually finished by the end of June and by the end of the summer the eggs will mature and new adults can emerge to forage. They can overwinter in abandoned nest tunnels and the survivors will emerge again in spring.
CockroachesCockroaches - General Information
 Cockroaches have changed little in the known 400 million years that they have been around. Most species are tropical or subtropical in origin. Females produce segmented egg cases or capsules. Although they are not social insects, they are gregarious and commonly occur in groups. They will feed on practically anything of nutritive value. Of the approximately 4,000 species worldwide only a few species will inhabit man's dwellings. Here in the New England area the most common species are the American, Brown banded, German, and Oriental cockroach.
American CockroachAmerican Cockroach
 The American cockroach is large (1-3/8" to 2-1/8") and is mostly reddish brown in color. They are found worldwide and are also referred to as a "waterbug" or "Palmettobug". During warm climates they can be found in outdoor areas where trees or plants are, however they are also commonly found in sewers, damp basements, and lower level food storage rooms. The females produce about 10 egg capsules each containing about 15 eggs. The developmental time from egg to adult can be as long as 18 months depending on varying temperatures and once adult they can live another 14 months on average.
Brownbanded CockroachBrownbanded Cockroach
 Brownbanded cockroaches get their name from the pale brown band which runs across the body and/or wings. The adults are about ½" long and can be found throughout structures having a preference for warmer areas. Adults can live close to a year. The females produce on average about 12 egg capsules containing about 15 eggs each. The developmental time from egg to adult can be from 90 days + depending on varying temperatures and once adult they can live another 6 months on average.
Oriental CockroachOriental Cockroach
 Oriental cockroaches are sometimes called the black beetle. They are shiny black but may vary to dark reddish brown. The adults are 1" to 1 ¼" long and survives at cold temperatures for long periods of time outdoors typically under leaf litter, misc. debris or rocks & stones. The females produce about 8 egg capsules each containing about 15 eggs. The developmental time from egg to adult can be from 9 to 16 months depending on varying temperatures and once adult they can live another 4 to 6 months on average.
German CockroachGerman Cockroach
 German cockroaches are by far the most common of cockroaches. In addition to being a nuisance it has been implicated in outbreaks of illness, including the transmission of a variety of pathogenic organisms which results in allergic reactions in many people. The adults are ½ " to 5/8" long and are light brown with two dark brown parallel stripes running down from the head area of the body. They are usually found in kitchens and secondarily in bathrooms, but they can infest in other areas of buildings. They have a preference for warm and humid places and spend more than 75% of their time in crack & crevice harborage areas. The females produce about 6 egg capsules with each containing from 20 to 50 eggs. The developmental time from egg to adult can be about 60-90 days depending on varying temperatures and adults can live for another 6 to 10 months.
Pennsylvania Wood CockroachPennsylvania Wood Cockroach
 Pennsylvania wood cockroaches are commonly called "wood roaches" and are often mistaken for German cockroaches because of their like size, shape and color. These insects are primarily found outdoors in shrubs, loose bark in trees, leaf litter and wood piles or under wood siding of homes. The developmental time from egg to adult is quite long and can be average about 300 days. It is common that eggs can hatch in summer, grow and mature, overwinter and emerge the following spring. The adults are usually active from May through early November.
FleasFleas - General Information
 Fleas are an external parasite which means they live on another animal (host) to obtain food & shelter. Most people know that fleas cause discomfort by biting, but a lesser known fact is they can transmit several types of diseases such as the plague & murine typhus. Of the different types of fleas in the world, the two most common types found in this region are the cat flea & dog flea.

 Cat & dog fleas are similar in appearance & biology; adults are about 1/8" long and they are brownish to black in color (reddish black when full of blood). The adult females lay 4 to 8 eggs after each blood meal and will deposit their eggs on animal fur (on or between the animal hairs). The eggs will usually hatch in less than 12 days and the larvae will develop to adult in a range from a few weeks to several months depending on variations of moisture and/or temperature.

 Once established on a host, fleas will spend most of their time feeding, mating & laying eggs on that host, unless dislodged. The adults, larvae & pupae routinely fall off (or are shaken off) a host and can survive in areas where the host or other potential animal hosts frequent, sleeps or nests. Although they may have a preferred host, they can survive using other species as hosts such as rabbits, rodents or other animals. Because of a potentially long pupal period, fleas can survive several months without feeding. If a building is unoccupied for a time, fleas can lay dormant until people and/or pets re-enter and their activity will resume.
FliesFlies - General Information
 In the United States there are over 18,000 species of flies, with about 200 species that require or greatly benefit by manís environment. Flies feed on a variety of food materials and develop in fermenting and/or decaying organic matter. They are well known as nuisance pests and are also of greater human concern due to their potential as carriers of several different disease organisms.
Moth / Drain FliesMoth / Drain Flies
 The moth / drain fly common name comes from their body & wings being "fuzzy" or moth like in appearance, also from the common places they frequent or situations which represent typical breeding & developmental sites. These adult flies are about 1/16" to 1/4" in length; they have broadly oval wings and are usually gray to brownish - black in color.

 Adult females will usually lay 30 to 100 eggs, and at a normal room temperature the eggs will hatch in 32 to 48 hours. The larvae will feed on the algae, bacteria, fungi, sludge or gelatinous film that can be found in drains and similar areas. The developmental time (from egg to adult) is 7 to 28 days and the adults usually live for about 2 weeks.

 As a result of their small size they are sometimes able to penetrate through window & door screens. These flies are weak fliers and only fly for short distances. During the day they typically rest on vertical surfaces near drain or sink openings and their greatest time of activity is in the evening when they can be seen flying or hovering near drains.
Phorid / Humpbacked / Scuttle FlyPhorid / Humpbacked / Scuttle Fly
 There are over 200 different species of these type of flies currently recognized in the U.S. & Canada. Phorid flies are mostly a nuisance pest but there are cases of larval infestation in wounds, intestines & eyes of humans. Humpbacked flies get their common name from their humpbacked shape and scuttle flies for their erratic manner.

 Adults are 1/64" to 1/4" long; they have yellowish colors with brown and/or black. Females lay their eggs (up to 100 at a time) in, on or very close to a larval food source. As the larvae mature, it will crawl to a drier area to pupate. The developmental time from egg to adult at about 70 degrees can vary from 21 to 28 days.

 These adult flies can be found on larval food materials which consist of decaying organic matter. Several species breed in human corpses and are commonly referred to as coffin flies when they become problems in morgues, mortuaries & mausoleums. In structures, breeding materials can include fresh cut flowers in vases, over watered potted plants, moist & dirty trash barrels, under kitchen equipment, wet & dirty mop heads, the film lining drain pipes, and broken sewage pipes.
Fruit / Vinegar flyFruit / Vinegar fly
 The fruit / vinegar fly common name comes from their fondness for fruits as egg laying & developmental sites, also the vinegar like liquids at the top of imperfectly sealed canned fruits & vegetables. These adult flies are about 1/8" long including the wings and from tan to yellow to brownish - black in color with usually bright red eyes.

 Adult females lay their eggs (usually about 500) near the surface of fermenting fruits & vegetables. The eggs hatch in about 30 hours, the larvae develop in about 5 to 6 days and the newly emerged adults will mate in 2 days completing their life cycle (adult to adult) in 8 to 10 days. Needless to say their reproductive potential is enormous.

 Newly emerged adults are attracted to lights, and because of their small size they are sometimes able to penetrate through window & door screens. The adult flies tend to hover in small circles and are attracted primarily to fresh fruits and those fermenting because of yeast. They are particularly attracted to bananas, grapes, peaches, pickles, pineapples tomatoes, beer, cider, vinegar, and wine.
House FlyHouse Fly
The house fly is the most common fly found in & around homes especially in rural areas of the country. Adult house flies are about 1⁄8" to 1⁄4" long, usually gray with silver & gold stripes and large eyes. The common house fly has been found to harbor over 100 different pathogenic organisms.

The adult female lays her eggs in clusters of 20 to 50, with a total of 75 to 150 clusters per batch and 5 to 6 batches over her lifetime. Depending on varying temperatures, the eggs can hatch in about 8 to 20 hours, they can mature to adult in 1 to 4 weeks and there may be as many as 12 generations per summer. The adults usually live for 15 to 25 days.

Females seek almost any warm & moist material with sufficient food for egg laying purposes. It is common for them to gain access into buildings through loose windows & screens. During the day house flies tend to rest anywhere they choose that is usually less than 5 ft. from the ground and usually above 5 ft. at night that is close to their day time food sources.
Blow / Bottle FlyBlow / Bottle Fly
There are about 80 species of these flies throughout the United States. Adult blow / bottle flies range from 1⁄8" to 5⁄8" long, they can vary with metallic blue & green & brass colorings and they have large eyes. These flies are usually the first insect to arrive on an animal after it dies. The presence of larvae is often used by forensic entomologists to help determine the time of death.

Adult female flies lay their eggs on suitable larval food material. Because of the several different species their biology can differ; from quantity in numbers, to time needed for egg laying, through the developmental changing to adult, but these differences remain within the normal quantities & time periods of most other fly species.

They may easily infect human food sources because they readily develop in meat or animal carcasses, and if not available sewage, garbage or animal excrement will be used. Outside these flies are most active on warm sunny days, resting on cool and/or cloudy days. Indoors they are attracted to the sunlight coming through windows, and potential food sources can be from the presence of any decaying garbage, dead rodents in wall voids, dead birds, or other small animals.
Cluster FlyCluster Fly
The common name reflects this fly's habit of developing in compact clusters. They are prevalent throughout New England wherever the earthworm is found, usually in well drained soil with grass cover. The adults are about 3/8" long and dark gray in color.

With warming springtime temperatures, cluster flies emerge from under the soil to mate. Eggs are laid in soil cracks & hatch in about 3 days. The larvae attach themselves and develop to adult on their host the earthworm. This process is typically completed in about 30 days, with usually 4 generations per year.

As autumn days shorten & weather cools, cluster flies will enter buildings to overwinter particularly in wall voids or attics that receive the most sunlight. They do not multiply in structures; however they can be a nuisance problem in autumn when they enter to hibernate or become active on warm sunny days of winter and again in the spring when they attempt to leave the structure. Once stimulated, they seek light and can be seen around windows or room lighting. Their movements are slower or sluggish when compared to house flies.
Flesh FlyFlesh Fly
There are over 300 species of flesh flies in the U. S. & Canada. The common name comes from the fact that their larvae is laid in and often develops in decaying animal flesh. Flesh flies are of a human health concern for the possible transmission of disease organisms. The adults range from ¼" to 5⁄8" long, usually light gray in color, with 3 black stripes along their body and they have large reddish eyes.

Females will give birth to larvae instead of laying eggs; with the larvae being laid on a potential food source such as decaying animal flesh, spoiled meat, food waste or animal excrement. The mature larvae eventually leave the breeding source in search of a drier place in which to pupate. The life cycle from adult to adult, can vary with species, usually ranging from 8 to 36 days.

These flies are attracted to potential food sources & larvae developmental areas that have had prolonged exposure to sunlight. Adults can be found in a variety of areas such as on flowers & plants, on other insects or invertebrates, on live or dead rodents or other animals, garbage, etc... They prefer stone walls as resting places and show the greatest activity at temperatures of 76 to 82 degrees F. Within buildings dead birds or rodents can be a potential food source for these flies.
HornetsHornets - General Information
 Hornets are for the most part a very beneficial group of insects, being the major pollinators of flowering plants. They are categorized as being a social species who live together in colonies or nests and which have an adult division of labor composed of workers, queens and periodically males. The more common species in Massachusetts are the Baldfaced hornets and the European hornets.
Baldfaced HornetsBaldfaced Hornets
Baldfaced Hornets are mostly black with a white "face" or head and white on the rear tip of the abdomen. The adults range from ½" to ¾" and are social insects that typically build large aerial nests in tree branches, shrubs or vines (sometimes attached to structures).
European HornetsEuropean Hornets
European Hornets can measure ¾" to 1-3/8" for adults and are usually brown with yellow abdominal stripes. These social insects can be predators of other insects and typically create their nests in similar areas of other social bees, hornets & wasps. They are typically non-aggressive around their nest sites but people sensitive to insect venom should exercise care around them.
SpidersSpiders - General Information
 There are over 3,000 species of spiders occurring in North America alone. Many species of spiders such as the house spider, sac spider, wolf spider, or daddylonglegs are prevalent throughout New England. Through increased travel and transport, several different species can be transported from other regions of the country or from abroad such as the black widow, brown recluse, tarantulas, and the hobo spider.

 Most spiders are active at night and during the day they remain inactive often hiding in crack & crevice areas. They primarily are predators that feed on insects or other arthropods, and can survive without food for several weeks to a few months. Most spider bites are not considered a serious threat to humans because many species cannot penetrate human skin, and those that can usually result in no more than a slight swelling and inflammation similar to a bee sting; however some people can have an allergic reaction to some common spider bites.

 * In the United States two spider groups are considered dangerous to humans; Black widow spiders and Brown recluse spiders. If bitten by these spiders, one should immediately contact a physician or go to a hospital emergency room.
Black Widow spiderBlack Widow spider
Black Widow adult spiders can have an overall length (including legs) of 1½" with an almost spherical abdomen. They are typically black with red markings, but young spiders can be orange with white markings. It should be realized that color and markings are not always reliable characteristics for identification. Inside structures or buildings, they are typically found in seldom used or cluttered areas that provide more harborage areas for insects. Outdoors they prefer dry protected areas including under porches or decks, in rock walls or under stones, hollow tree stumps, woodpiles, etc...
Brown Recluse spiderBrown Recluse spider
Brown Recluse adult spiders can have an overall length (including legs) of 1" They are typically tan to dark brown in color with a darker violin-shaped marking on top near the head which points towards the rear. They get their name from their reclusive habits; outdoors they can be found under rocks, under tree bark, in woodpiles, near utility boxes, under building siding, etc... Inside buildings they can be found in almost any undisturbed or seldom used areas including storage and living spaces. These spider bites are reported to occur when; putting on seldom used clothing, shoes or boots; when cleaning out storage areas; or even when just rolling over the spider while in bed.
Wood boring beetlesWood boring beetles - General Information
 Wood boring beetles function in nature to help reduce wood to a form that can be utilized as plant food. They can feed on wood in almost any condition from healthy green wood in the forest to seasoned processed lumber. These beetles can damage the appearance of wood and/or cause structural damage. They are separated here into two categories of non-reinfesting wood boring beetles and reinfesting wood boring beetles.
Non-reinfesting beetlesNon-reinfesting beetles
 Non-reinfesting beetles will attack trees and use them for food and/or shelter, and they do not commonly re-infest structural wood. These beetles do not commonly re-infest structural seasoned wood for many reasons including that once wood is seasoned or processed the moisture content in the wood is below the accepted level. There are several types of these beetles including ambrosia beetles, bark beetles, hide beetles, longhorned beetles, wharf borers and wood wasps. Since there are several variations of these insects there can be several variations in size & shape, and in color ranging from light tan to orangish brown, reddish brown and to black.
Powderpost beetlesPowderpost beetles
 The two most common groups of powderpost beetles are the Anobiid beetles & Lyctid powderpost beetles. Both beetle adults are similar in size from 1/32" to 1/4", and also in color - reddish brown to black. Some differences of these beetles is the age of the wood they infest, the type and moisture content of wood they infest and the insect frass they produce from boring through the wood.

 In both beetle types it is the larvae that do the most damage of boring through the wood. Adult female beetles usually lay their eggs under the bark, on surface splinters, cracks & crevices, and exposed pores of the wood. After hatching the larvae starts to bore directly into the wood and can continue to bore along the wood grain for several months to several years. As they mature into adults, they will bore out of the wood to the surface through their "exit holes" that are round (approx. 1/32" to 1/8") at which time they will actively seek a mate and the process can be repeated. These exit holes can produce a fine powdery frass and can sometimes be used for the female's new egg laying sites. Powderpost beetles are known as wood re-infesting beetles.
Old House BorersOld House Borers
 Old house borers attack primarily softwood such as pine, and contrary to their name they regularly attack wood 10 years old or less, although they can and do infest much older wood as well. The adults are 5/8" to 1" in length and brownish-black to black in color. The life cycle and damage to wood can be similar to powderpost beetles but including that their exit holes are larger ranging from 1/4" to 3/8", elongated or oval and the powdery frass produced contains small pellets. Old house borers are known as wood re-infesting beetles.