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Pest Identification

AMERICAN COCKROACH: The adults are about 1 3/8 - 2 1/8 inches long. They are reddish brown in color and there is commonly a pale brown to yellowish band behind their head. Both the male and female are fully winged. The American cockroach prefers dark, warm, and humid locations. They feed on most food items but prefer fermented food.

EARWIGS: The forcepts or pincers on the end of their abdomen readily identifies them. They are about 1/4 of an inch - 1 inch. They have a flattened body, and they are usually pale brown witth dark markings, but they can sometimes be reddish brown to black. Their legs are somewhat paler than their bodies. If crushed they can give off a strong odor. Earwigs are mostly active at night, and feed on plants and insects.

ANTS: There are three key identifiers of ants: a pinched waist, elbowed antennae, and wings of varied lengths. Ants are social insects that live in colonies.

BLACK WIDOW SPIDER: Identifiable by its black color with an orange or red hourglass marking on its abdomen. The adult female measures about 1/2 of an inch in diameter. This spider typically spends its time outdoors, but it hides in woodpiles, sheds, barns, and other areas.

BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER: Identifiable by its yellow to tan color, with a characteristic violin-shaped image on its back. The spider may grow to 1/2 of an inch in size, and has six eyes while other spiders have eight. The Brown Recluse hides in furniture voids, closets, and undisturbed boxes, attics, and similar out of the way areas.

BEES / HORNETS / WASPS: These species can be social or solitary insects. The social species feed on nectar, honeydew, sap, fruit juices, etc. and often get protein from pollen and other insects.

FLEAS: Are small brown or black, wingless insects measuring about 1/8 of an inch long. Their bodies are narrow, which enables them to move freely through the hair or fur of the host. Their legs are specialized for jumping as high as six inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally.

GERMAN COCKROACH: Adult German cockroaches are 1/2 - 5/8 of an inch long, and they are pale brown or tan. They are recognizable by two dark stripes directly behind their head.The smaller German cockroaches will appear almost black and have a single light stripe running down their back.

RODENTS: Three common urban rodents: the house mouse, the norway rat, and the roof rat create the principle rodent problem in SC. Rats and mice are more active at night and tend to move along walls, behind objects, in shadows, and in the protection of corners. Signs of an infestation include: fresh droppings, rub marks, gnaw marks, nests (often in insulation), and damaged goods.

SILVERFISH: They have flat, wingless, elogated bodies. They are about 1/2 - 3/4 inches long, with three long antennae-like structures at their tails. Silver to gray scales cover their bodies. They are active at night and hide during the day. Silverfish prefer cool, damp areas and can be found throughout the home.

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