Common Pests found in and around homes in Utah
Wasps / Hornets / Yellowjackets
These pests are from the Vespidae family. They are social insects, meaning they work together. They become a problem when they build their nests on or near our homes. Paper Wasps often build their "paper" combs in the eaves, under a roof. Hornet nests are found in trees, while Yellowjackets can nest inside holes in the ground. All of these pests are territorial, and will fight when threatened. They have a painful sting. For some, who are allergic, these stings can be fatal.
SpidersSpiders are found in every home in Utah. There are only a few that may pose life-threatening problems to humans. All spiders can cause problems with their webs. Knocking webs down will, not only make one's home look cleaner, but will help control the holistic spider population. Because spiders are predators, they are present wherever their prey (other bugs) is nesting.
(1/2 inch, shiny black, with red hour-glass on abdomen) Black Widows are found throughout Utah. They are usually found in the garage or crawlspace, but sometimes in basements. They are often found hanging upside down in their thick, sticky webs. Their bite feels like a needle prick. In worse occasions, some victims may start having convulsions and may even die.
Hobo Spiders are part of the Brown Recluse family and can leave a bite that deteriates the flesh. They are brown and their abdomens have several chevron shaped markings. Males have two large palps that look like boxing gloves, while females' palps are not swollen.re not 'swollen' as they are on the males. Females tend to have a larger abdomen when compared to males. own Recluse spiders are rarely seen. They prefer to be hidden indoors. They are found in closets, garages, and bedrooms. They will not normally bite unless pressed up against the skin. At first, the bite of the Brown Recluse does not hurt. After about 8 hours, the pain will increase. If not treated, the venom from the bite will start to eat away at the skin until a nasty scar is left.
Other SpidersYellow Sac, Daddy Long Leg, Wolf, House, and Garden Spiders all help make the spider population in California. Many times these are the culprits to the spider bites that we encounter. Although these bites are not as serious as those of the Black Widow and Hobo Spider, they do often disturb the skin and cause itching.
Ants are common throughout Utah. They are present year-round. Although most species do not bite, they can all carry disease. Many people are appalled simply by the sight of these insects. Ants, in search of food, water, or shelter invade our homes. Often, they are found in the kitchen contaminating food. Carpenter Ants burrow into wood and can destroy the structure of homes and other buildings.
RodentsRodents compete for the same food, water, and shelter that are used by humans. They adapt extremely well to almost any environment. They can multiply at astounding speed, and will breed throughout the year. Annoyance is not the biggest problem rodents bring to humans - but their ability to bring sickness and disease. Murine typhus, Rickettsial Pox, Salmonellosis, Rat-bite Fever, and the Hantavirus are only some of the sickness that can be passed from rodents to humans (via feces, urine, fleas, or actual bites).
(body 3-4 inches, tail 3-4 inches, large ears, small eyes) House Mice are found in every neighborhood. They are nocturnal animals (doing most of their work at night). Because of their size, mice can enter into a home through a hole as small as ¼ inch. Mice are very curious, and get into almost everything.
(body 7-10 inches, tail 6-8 inches, small ears, small eyes) Norway Rats are also called "House Rats" or "Sewer Rats". They are the largest rodent that commonly infest homes. They are more cautious than House Mice. Outside, they will burrow in the ground to make their nest. Inside, they often build their nest in garages or other protected areas. Fires have been caused by rats gnawing on electrical wires. Norway Rats can jump up to 3 feet and as far as a yard. They sometimes attack when threatened or trapped. Norway Rats can eat 20-40 lbs of food per year while contaminating much more.
(body 3.5-5 inches, tail 1 inch, ), stocky build and small eyes distinguish them from true mice) Voles are also called "Meadow Mice". They breed year round and do not hibernate. If conditions are right there can be up to 500 voles living on 1 acre. Their population size can vary each year. The greatest damage often happens during the winter when snowfall is heaviest. Spring/Summer damage can go unnoticed because food sources are readily available. They can have many surface runways or underground tunnels with many burrow entrances.
Box Elder Bugs
Adult size is about 1/2", all black with red lines on their back. They love feeding on Box Elder and Maple trees. Box Elder bugs are not dangerous but can be a major nuisance. In the fall, they can try to enter homes in swarms looking for places to hibernate. Best control includes sealing cracks and crevices along windows, doors, and rooflines and treating with a residual insecticide.
Fleas and Ticks are known as Ectoparasites -meaning they live off of a host animal. Fleas have narrow bodies and spines that make them ideal for attaching to a carrier. Dogs and Cats itch profusely when infested. Fleas, often, will bite humans. Some people have become infected with Dog Tapeworm by ingesting these pests. They can build their population at a rapid rate. Ticks dig their head deep into the body of the host animal. They then feed off of the blood. While in the bloodstream, they may pass organisms of disease (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, etc...). Even if you do not have a dog or a cat, Fleas and Ticks can be present in your home.
Pillbugs/ Sowbugs, Earwigs, Millipedes, Centipedes, Snails/ Slugs, Crickets
For the most part, these pests are found outside. They do not bite (except the Centipede, which has a painful sting). Yet, they can carry disease. They prefer moist living conditions. After rain, they often enter homes. If conditions are right, they can build their populations inside the home.
Silverfish, Firebrats, Beatles, Clothes Moths
These pests can build large infestations inside homes. Silverfish and Firebrats are responsible for damaging books and other paper goods. Some Beatles (Carpet Beatle) and Moths will destroy a variety of fabrics and animal skins.
Stored Product Pests
10 percent of the World's grain is destroyed by Moths, Weevils, and Beatles. The same pests that invade grain fields and processing plants, also, populate the pantries and kitchens of our homes. Not only do these pests eat our food, but they contaminate it, too.
Termites and Carpenter Ants can be a major problem if present on a property. If you think that you have Termite or Carpenter Ant activity, Jitterbug can do an inspection for you.
Bedbugs are an increasing problem in Utah. Not only do they bite, but they can spread disease. They hide in cracks and crevices throughout the house and feed on people and pets during the night. Because of their small stature and mobility they become difficult to control. It is important that we work together to get rid of these pests and allow your family to sleep without letting the bedbugs bite!