ID Your Pest

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Common Cockroaches (from left: Brown banded, Oriental, American, Smokey Brown)

These four species of roaches are common pests in the Greater Houston Area.  Also referred to a Palmetto Bugs, Tree Roaches, or Water Bugs, they live in trees and outdoor environments and come inside while looking for food or shelter.  Nocturnal insects, these typically are not active in the daylight unless disturbed.  All four of these Cockroach Species are covered under our General Pest Control Service.

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German Cockroach (left) and Asian Cockroach (right)

These two species of roach look almost identical.  The only way to easily tell the difference is to observe the wing length.  Because the German Roach lives indoors and is not a strong flyer, the wings of this species typically are no longer than the body.  The Asian Roach lives outdoors and is a stronger flyer thus typically have wings longer than the body.  Because of the high reproductive rate of both of these species, specific treatments are required for control.  Please visit our Roaches page for more information.

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Earwig

Earwigs are hard reddish brown insects and can reach about 1 inch in length.  They are typically found in gardens feeding on vegetation and other insects and are more active during hot, dry spells.  While they are capable of giving a good pinch if threatened, are typically non aggressive.  Despite the name, they do not enter the ears of sleeping people which has been a rumor for years.  Earwigs are warrantied under our General Pest Control Service.

Fish

Silverfish

Silverfish are common house pests in Houston.  They are fast runners and are most active at night.  While they can go for long periods of time (up to a year) without food, they will make a meal out of flour, dried meat, oats, paper and glue.  They can damage paper goods, stain clothes and contaminate food. Silver or brown in color, they can reach about 3/4 of a inch in length.  Silverfish are warrantied under our General Pest Control Service.

Verses

Ant Swarmer (left) Vs. Termite Swarmer (right)

All termite and ant species have a season of migration.  During this time it is common to see up to thousands of insects with wings dead or alive.  The time of year of this activity varies from species to species.  There are a few simple ways to tell if the activity that you see is ant or termite.

  • Ants have bent antennae while termite swarmers have straight antennae.
  • While each species has four wings, ants have larger front wings and smaller back wings while termites have four wings of equal length.
  • Ants have three easily discernible body segments having a small “pinched” waist while termites have a body which resembles more of a “tube”.
  • While most ant species are covered under our General Pest Control Service, There are two species that are not.  You can find more information about those on our Ants page. We offer a very comprehensive control and protection for Native Subterranean Termites.  More information can be found on our Termite page.

If you are unsure as to what type of insect is flying around your home, we recommend that you contact us to set up a free inspection.

Brown  Widow  Shaynes-bug 

Common Venomous Spiders (from left: Brown Widow, Black Widow, Brown Recluse)

While all spiders are warrantied under our General Pest Control Service, control can be tricky.  Because spiders do not groom themselves, control has to be achieved indirectly, by them either eating an insect that has passed through our barriers or by eliminating their food sources.  Of the nearly 3000 species of spiders that call the US home, only two groups are considered dangerous to people and both are found in the Greater Houston area.  These are the widows and the recluse.  The Black Widow and Brown Widow Spiders are found outdoors in protected cavities.  They prefer garages, gas meters, circuit breakers.  They can nest in furniture if often unused.  Although the Brown Widow’s venom is not a strong as the Black Widow, both can cause painful bites and risk of infection.  The Brown Recluse is typically non-aggressive spider than can grow to about the size of a quarter with color varying from orange yellow to dark brown.  The brown recluse can be found in bathrooms, bedrooms and closets as well as behind baseboards and in any protected area.  If you suspect that you may have been bitten by a venomous spider, seek medical aide immediately.