There are so many types of pests out there to deal with. There’s a local family owned company here in The Capital District, that can handle them all. Mohawk Valley Pest Control is your local resource for expert removal of pests such as hornets, ants, spiders, mice, and more. No matter what you’re struggling with, our team can get rid of it.
Most carpenter ants establish their nests in decayed wood and later expand or enlarge into sound wood. Inside, nests are located in wood softened by fungus or rot. The presence of a carpenter ant nest is sometimes indicated by a rustling sound coming from the wall voids or from wood where the colony is located. Otherwise, the emergence of swarmers indoors may be the first indication of an indoor colony.
Inside, nests are located in woodwork, decaying wood, and masonry. The ants feed on grease, oil, fruits, and vegetable materials such as cornmeal and sweets. Outside, they nest under stones, rocks, in rotting logs, in lawns, or open areas. The workers feed on other insects, honeydew, and plant secretions.
Inside, these ants will occasionally nest in walls, in insulation, and under floors. The most likely place is in level masonry walls of the foundation and especially near some heat source in the winter. Outside, these ants typically nest under stones, in cracks, in pavement, and next to buildings. Although not aggressive, workers can bite and sting.
Since bees, hornets, and wasps are beneficial, control should only be done where there is an immediate threat to people or their pets or when peace of mind is required.
These bees are social insects that live in nests or colonies. Bumble bees foraging for nectar fly at seven to 12 miles per hour and spend only two to four minutes inside the nest between visits. They will travel up to three miles if necessary for nectar. Defense is usually done by using the relatively smooth stingers which can be used over and over.
Carpenter bees are not social insects and do not live in nests or colonies. Females will nest in a wide range of woods but prefer weathered and unpainted wood. Male carpenter bees tend to be territorial and often aggressive when humans approach, sometimes hovering a short distance in front of the face or buzzing one's head. Since males have no stingers, these actions are merely for show. The female does have a potent stinger which is rarely used.
Honey bees are not aggressive and do not search for something to attack. Instead, they are defensive and will attack only whatever seems to threaten the colony. Bees in a swarm are very docile and not likely to sting because they harbor no food stores or young. The worker bees have barbed stingers, and when used, the stinger is torn from the body. The stinger gives off a pheromone which attracts other bees and induces an alarm and attack behavior, so it is important to remove the stinger immediately.
These are solitary bees that do not live in colonies. They nest in various natural cavities or in the ground. Sometimes large numbers of these bees will nest close together, particularly in bare ground areas. They provision each nest with pollen and nectar. They can give a mild sting, especially when being brushed away.
This wasp gets its common name from the fact that it hunts and provisions each of its nest cells with a cicada. They typically use bare ground for nesting sites. While digging their burrows, the females excavate a sizeable pile of soil which can be disfiguring to a lawn. Females in general will not sting unless handled or stepped on, such as by barefooted children. Males will bus people away but cannot sting.
These bees are social insects that live in aerial nests. The adults are represented by workers, which are sterile females, queens, and males. The nest will consist of three to five rounded paper cones that are open ventrally and attached one below the other and are covered with a many-layered envelope. Bald-faced hornets will become aggressive and sting when their nest is being approached.
Mud daubers are solitary wasps; they are not social and do not live in colonies. They do not defend their nests and only rarely sting. They select a sheltered site to build their mud tubes. Favorite sites include under eaves, porch ceilings, in garages and sheds if left open, barns, attics, etc.
These are solitary wasps. Digger wasps fly above lawns that are infested with scarab beetle larvae (white grubs). The female does not burrow but instead stings the larva to paralyze it, attaches her eggs, and then builds a crude cell around the larva. The wasp larvae feed on the paralyzed scarab larva. These wasps rarely sting people. As a matter of fact, one can safely walk through them as they fly over a lawn.
Paper wasps exist in small colonies. The nest consists of a single layer of paper-like comb with the cells opening downward. Paper wasps hang their comb nests from twigs and branches of trees and shrubs, which can cause concern when shrubs are trimmed. There is a high probability that the person doing the trimming will get stung.
Yellow Jackets are social insects and live in nests or colonies. A nest can usually contain 1,000 to 4,000 workers at its peak. These bees are slow to sting unless the nest entrance is approached and then they are quite aggressive. Each can sting a number of times, inflicting much pain.
As days shorten and weather cools, cluster flies often enter structures to overwinter, sometimes traveling more than a mile to do so. They usually occupy attics and/or between wall voids of walls that receive the most sunlight. Typically, they use the same structure year after year. They do not multiply within structures.
These flies are attracted primarily to fresh fruit and vegetables and foods fermenting because of yeast. Materials commonly infested include bananas, grapes, peaches, pineapples, tomatoes, mustard pickles, potatoes, etc. They are also attracted to fermenting liquids such as beer, cider, vinegar, and wine. Some species are attracted to human and animal excrement.
Although house flies have been shown to migrate up to 20 miles, most stay within one to two miles of their release point if sufficient food is available. Adults live 15 to 25 days. Flies have sponging mouthparts, so they can feed on liquids and solids. A house fly excretes and regurgitates whatever it comes to rest on. This habit coupled with its many body hairs, bristles, and the sticky pads at the base of the claws on each leg make house flies well adapted for transporting disease organisms. They have been shown to harbor over 100 different kinds of disease-causing pathogens, many of which are associated with filth. Such pathogens include polio and salmonellosis, as well as parasitic worms. They have been shown to be disease pathogens transmitters via their vomit, feces, and contaminated external body parts.
Boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance pest because they enter structures to live out the winter. In the autumn, boxelders become gregarious and congregate on the south side of rocks, trees, and buildings where the sun hits. After large masses congregate, they may fly to nearby buildings to hibernate for the winter. Inside the home, these bugs are a pest because their fecal material may cause a red stain resulting in discoloration on curtains, drapes, clothing, and other resting places. When crushed or handled roughly, they produce a strong disagreeable odor. They will occasionally bite people.
Earwigs are nocturnal or active during the night and hide during the day in moist, shady places such as under stones or logs or in mulch. Earwigs feed on live or dead plants/or insects. At times, they damage cultivated plants. Earwigs are attracted to lights or insects attracted to light. They have a distinctive disagreeable/repugnant odor, which is released when they are crushed. Red-legged earwigs have been reported to cause minor skin abrasions in humans.
Millipedes are sometimes called “thousand leggers,” but they usually have 30 to 90+ pairs of legs. They have high-moisture needs and are typically found in areas of high moisture and decaying vegetation such as under trash, piles of grass clippings, flower beds, mulched areas, etc. Millipedes are nocturnal. They are primarily scavengers and feed on decaying organic matter, usually plant material but occasionally on dead insects, earthworms, and snails.
Pillbugs are sometimes called "roly-poly” and get this common name because they roll up into a tight ball when disturbed. Pillbugs are inactive and remain hidden under objects during the day to reduce water loss. During the day, they can be found around buildings in such places as under trash, boards, rocks, flower pots, piles of grass clippings, flower beds, mulched areas, and other decaying vegetation. Indoor invasion typically means that there is a large population immediately outside the building.
Because water loss is such a problem, sowbugs are inactive during the day and remain hidden under objects to reduce water loss. During the day, they can be found around buildings, under trash, flower pots, piles of grass clippings, etc. Usually, they do not survive indoors for more than a couple of days.
The American cockroach is also called the “waterbug.” Although cockroaches are found in residences, they are much more common in larger commercial buildings such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, food processing plants, hospitals, etc., where they usually infest food storage and food preparation areas, basements, and steam tunnels. During the summer months, they can be found outdoors in yards and alleys. This is the most common species found in city sewer systems. Cockroaches show a particular fondness for fermenting food.
Brown-banded cockroaches are found throughout structures but show a preference for warmer areas. They can be found in ceilings, anything high on walls such as picture frames and wall moldings, near appliance motors, and in light switches, closets, and furniture. The adult brown-banded can live about 260 days.
The German Cockroach is by far the most important and usually the most common of the cockroaches. In addition to being a nuisance, it has been implicated in outbreaks of illness, the transmission of a variety of pathogenic organisms, including at least one parasitic protozoan, and allergic reaction in many people. These cockroaches can be found throughout structures but show a preference for warm and humid places. They are usually found in kitchens and bathrooms, but infestations often occur in rooms where people eat and drink while watching TV. They feed on almost anything with nutritive value, including all kinds of foods and such things as soap, toothpaste, or glue. Adults live about 100 to 200 days.
In many cases, this cockroach survives quite well outdoors and spends considerable time there. It is typically found under debris, stones, and leaf litter but also in wall and porch voids. It has been observed to survive 13 weeks of almost continuous freezing weather. Indoors, they are found in crawl spaces, cellars, basements, and on water pipes, which they typically climb. They feed on all kinds of food and decaying organic matter but prefer to feed on starchy foods. They are much despised because of their strong "roachy" odor and because they feed on filth. Adult females live 34 to 181 days and males 112 to 160 days.
The adults cause no damage. The larvae are surface feeders and generally produce a lot of webbing throughout the infested part of the material. They are generally feeders and attack grain and grain products, a wide variety of dried fruits, seeds, nuts, graham crackers, powdered milk, dog food, and birdseed. The larval period lasts for 13 to 288 days and the adult cycle lasts 25 to 135 days.
The sawtoothed grain beetle does considerable damage to grains, but it cannot attack sound kernels. Its flat-body form permits access through very small cracks and into imperfectly sealed packages. Adults are known to fly and are not attracted to light. It attacks a wide range of foods, cereals, breads, breakfast foods, macaroni, dried fruits, nuts, sugar, chocolate, dried meats, candy bars, drugs, tobacco, snuff, and many other products. On average, adults live six to 10 months but may live longer than three years.
Signs of damage and infestation are round holes. Another indication of an infestation is the accumulation of piles of powdery, meal-like frass beneath the exit holes, or streaming from them. The frass/dust is tightly packed in the tunnels or galleries and contains no pellets like the frass. These beetles attack both softwoods and hardwoods and mostly sapwood. They usually attack new hardwood lumber and manufactured products, or wood that is less than 10 years old.
Termites have been around for over 250 million years. They are social insects and live in colonies, which are located in the ground or in wood. There are three kinds of termites: the worker, the soldier, and the swarmers/reproductives. The worker is creamy white with the head slightly darker, with no eyes or wings. They maintain the colony, constructing and repairing the nest. The soldier is creamy white with a dark and enlarged head. The head has a large pair of mandibles. Eyes are present but it has no wings. The soldiers have one function: to protect the colony. The swarmers are pale yellowish to reddish-brown to black. Compound eyes are present, and wings are clear to smokey black. Termite swarmers/reproductives start new colonies.
SUBTERRANEAN termites eat mostly spring wood and leave the remaining summer wood they cannot effectively digest. Because of this, damaged wood appears to be layered. Soil is typically found in these galleries. A typical mature colony may consist of 60,000 to over a million workers. 60,000 workers can/may eat 1/5 ounces or 5 grams of wood each day. The queen may produce about 5,000 to 10,000 eggs a year. Subterranean termite colonies are usually located in the ground. Location is usually below the frost line but above the water table and rock formations. Mud tubes are built to cross areas of adverse conditions between the colony and food sources. They can enter structures through cracks less than 1/16" wide. If there is a constant source of moisture available (like leaky pipes), colonies (called secondary colonies) can exist above ground and without ground contact.
The Brown Recluse, or fiddle back/violin spider, gets its common names from its coloration and reclusive habits, or the dark violin/fiddle-shaped markings on the top of the spider. Outside, brown recluse spiders are typically found around rocks, piles of inner tubes, utility boxes, woodpiles, under bark, etc. These spiders have been found in rodent bait stations and infesting cedar shake roofs. Inside the home, they can be found in almost any undisturbed area they can gain access to. They are most commonly found in boxes, among papers, and in seldom-used clothing and shoes, although they can be found in corners, underneath tables and chairs, or in crevices such as those found along baseboards, doors, and window moldings. Bites have been reported to occur when putting on seldom-used clothing or shoes, when cleaning out storage areas, or while rolling on the spider’s nest.
Sometimes called “cellar spiders,” these spiders construct loose webs in corners. They hang upside down on the underside of the web. The webs are found in dark and damp places such as cellars, basements, warehouses, eaves, windows, ceilings, and in closets. These spiders eat other insects that become trapped in their web.
This spider is the most common spider encountered indoors. It is a nuisance pest, more because of its webs than the spider itself. Survival is low in modern homes with low humidity and few insects, higher in garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, etc. because of more prey and higher humidity.
Unlike most spiders, these spiders are active during the daytime and like sunshine. They are hunters and have the keenest vision of all the spiders, being able to detect and react to movement up to 18" distant, but their night vision is very poor. They are excellent jumpers. They either jump on passing prey or stalk it and then pounce. When hunting they may jump 1" or more, but when threatened, they may jump 20 times their body length. Inside they build under furniture, in drapery folds between books on bookshelves, in cracks found in wood floors, around doors and window moldings, etc.
These spiders can be found indoors throughout the year, but they more commonly enter structures in greater numbers in the early autumn when their food supply decreases and temperatures cool. Once indoors, they may build their webs, where they rest during the day, in the upper corners and the ceiling wall junctions of rooms or in basements and crawl spaces. At night, the spiders are often seen running on the ceiling and walls. Bites usually occur when the spider crawls into clothing or bedding and becomes trapped against a person’s skin.
Signs of infestations include gnaw marks, droppings, tracks/footprints, rub marks, burrows, and damaged goods. They prefer sites that are dark secluded places where there is abundant nesting material nearby. They require an opening of greater than 1/4" to gain entry. The most threatening organism spread by mice is Salmonella, spread by their droppings. Other transmittable organisms include tapeworm, rat-bite fever, infectious jaundice, Weil's disease, and possibly Polio.
Signs of infestations include gnaw marks or holes, droppings, track marks, and damaged goods. These rats will practically eat anything but prefer meat, fish, and cereal. Norway rats will travel 100 to 150 feet from their home to find food or water. They will gnaw through almost anything to obtain food and/or water, even plastic or lead pipes. Transmittable diseases from rats are fleas, infectious jaundice, Weil's disease, rat-bite fever, food poisoning, or Salmonellosis.
Female bed bugs will lay one to five eggs a day, maximum up to 12 eggs. Humans are the preferred host of bed bugs, but in their absence, bed bugs will feed on poultry, canaries, sparrows, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and bats. Although the bite of bed bugs is painless most people (80 percent) develop an allergic reaction to the saliva injected by the bug as it feeds. With normal feeding and reproductive cycles, the individual bed bug can live up to 316 days.
Female fleas lay four to eight eggs after each blood meal, laying some 400 to 500 during their lifetime. Flea eggs hatch usually within one to 12 days. Fleas can survive up to a year. It is not necessary to have pets to have fleas present. Fleas can jump about 6" vertically, so they can easily hitch a ride on shoes or clothing.
Whether you have a rat or hornet problem, Mohawk Valley Pest Control has a solution to get it handled. Our company is highly experienced in dealing with all pests native to the area, and we can provide the information and prevention techniques you need to protect yourself against future infestations. Contact us today and get the answers to all of your pest questions. We’ll be happy to provide a free estimate.