The common fruit fly is usually found hovering around rotting fruits, soft drinks and garbage and recycling bins which are excellent grounds for breeding. They have a yellow-brown body which is 2.5mm long with brick red eyes. Fruit flies multiply very quickly and the eggs hatch in 24 hours. Fruit flies can breed in hard to reach places, such as baseboards and floor drains.
The most common type of earwigs found in North America, are the European earwigs, a common household pest. Earwigs are nocturnal insects, with a pair of forceps pincers on their abdomen with membranous wings, rarely used for flying. They are a reddish-brown or black colour, with an average length of 12 to 15 mm long. During the day they are often found hiding in small, moist crevices, and at night they are active, searching for food. When found in high populations, earwigs can cause damage to homes and gardens, harming flowers and crops.
Silverfish are small, wingless, nocturnal insects, with a torpedo shaped body, averaging in length of about 13 to 30 mm. They have a slivery light grey and blue body, with long antennae, which develops a metallic shine as they get older. Silverfish prefer to stay in dark and damp areas, such as basements and attics. They feed on carbohydrates, attracted to sugars and starches.
Crickets have a somewhat flattened body with long antennae and are found in various colours. They have large jumping hind legs, and vary in length of about 16 to 22 mm. These nocturnal insects usually hide in dark warm places during the day. The most likely sign of crickets are their chirping sounds, which is caused by rubbing their front wings together. Their main diet commonly consists of plants, and dead or live insects, but when indoors they feed on fabric, leaving large holes in clothes and carpet.
Fleas are wingless, external parasites that pierce the skin and suck on the blood of mammals and birds. They are usually a dark colour and average in length of about 1.5 to 3.3 mm long. Some of the main signs that may indicate that you have fleas are itching in pets, and bite marks on humans. These bites can cause the formation of itchy swollen spots which are often found in clusters or in lines. Some bite reactions may need the medical attention of a physician.
Mites are small arthropods that can be found almost anywhere. Because of their microscopic size they usually go unnoticed, living freely in soil and water, favouring moist conditions. A few mites, out of the 48 200 that exist, live as parasites as well, feeding on plants and animals. The most common mites found in households are spider mites, house dust mite and demodex mites. High populations of spider mites cause damages to plants and crops, by sucking the cell contents from their leaves. House dust mites cause several numbers of allergic diseases including asthma, eczema, and hay fever. Demodex mites, also known as ticks, are parasites that live in or near the hair follicles of humans and pets.
The most common dust mites found in North American homes are the European and American dust mites. They have small, translucent bodies that vary in length of about 0.25 to 0.3 mm. Invisible to the human eye, these dust mites feed on organic detritus such as flakes of human skin. They are commonly found in carpets, furniture and clothes, and are one of the main causes for asthma and allergies. During humid months, population becomes very high since they are exceptional at absorbing moisture from the air. Common symptoms of house dust mite allergies are itchiness, eczema, sneezing, and watery eyes.
Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of mammals and birds. They average in size of about 1 to 10 mm long and vary in several dark colours. Often found in grassy and wooden areas, some ticks rely on moisture to survive. Ticks have the ability of living as long as 200 days without food or water. A few signs of a tick infestation include seeing them and medical symptoms appearing from transmitted diseases or fluids from the tick. Because they carry more than one disease-causing agents, patients can be infected by a variety of pathogens at the same time.
Sow (Pill) bugs
Sow bugs are also known as pill bugs, in reference to the fact that these types of crustaceans can roll up into a ball. They are a greyish colour, and vary in length of about 8 mm to 15 mm long. They are nocturnal, and tend to live in moist areas. Their main diet consists of plants and decaying matter, and can be troublesome to homes and gardens. If you have a sow bug problem, make sure to reduce the moisture within your home by using fans and keeping areas well ventilated.
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