Insects are wildly diverse in their appearances, purposes and reasons they're classified as pests. Some are simply nuisances and annoy people by gathering in large numbers and instilling fear. Many insects carry diseases and contaminate stores of human food. Others consume and tunnel in wood, causing costly structural damage.
Biting and stinging insects, as the title would imply, are pests because they inflict painful bites or stings. While this category is far-reaching, the most common species of biting and stinging pests include harvester and imported fire ants, mosquitoes, brown recluse and common house spiders, bed bugs, and fleas. In addition to biting and stinging, many of these insects can spread deadly diseases.
Given the diversity of biting and stinging insects, it's challenging to make any overarching statements about their appearances. Ants have six legs, segmented bodies, antennae, and are reddish-black to black in color. Mosquitoes are tiny and delicate looking. They have two wings and long, slender proboscis, or mouthparts used for penetrating skin and feeding on blood. Spiders have eight legs, uniquely arranged eyes, identifying patterns on their backs, and range in color from black and brown to tan and yellow. Bed bugs are tiny, flat, and appear reddish. Termites are usually whitish or colorless insects, with short antennae. They have strong biting mouthparts, which they use to chew wood, seeds or leaves. Finally, fleas are microscopic, reddish-brown, and have piercing-sucking mouthparts.
Several biting and stinging insects, such as common house spiders, bed bugs, termites, mosquitoes, and fleas, are cosmopolitan in distribution and thrive wherever there's human activity.
Species of ants build tunnel systems underground in yards and parks, as well as in rotten logs, the walls of buildings, and under sidewalks. Mosquitoes must live around sources of standing water. Spiders construct intricate webs in secluded corners of basements and attics. Outside, they may live under rocks, logs, woodpiles, and collections of debris. Bed bugs nest in mattress seams, headboards, and other secluded areas situated close to sleeping humans. Subterrain Termites leave mud tubes as they create entrances into the wood they tunnel through in your home. Fleas live much of their lives in the fur of their hosts.
Are biting and stinging known to enter homes or yards?
All biting and stinging insects infiltrate yards and homes. Ant tunnels are often constructed in lawns and individuals from colonies will move inside homes and heated structures at the onset of cold weather. Mosquitoes feed off people and animals and therefore hang around yards, farms, and any places where blood meals are regularly present. Spiders, like ants, often infest homes to survive cold winter weather. Bed bugs, like mosquitoes, need to be around humans in order to regularly feed. Similarly, fleas orient themselves around available blood meals, hanging around cracks and crevices close to the ground waiting to latch onto pets.
Do biting and stinging insects harm people or property?
Ants and bed bugs leave behind irritating itchy red spots where they bite people. Imported fire ants actually inject venom into their victims, which causes an unpleasant burning sensation. Mosquito bites also cause itchy red spots to appear on victims' skin and hold the additional threat of disease transmission, as many species carry West Nile virus. Termites can cause extensive damage to the foundation of your home.
Though spiders are not aggressive, they bite people when they feel threatened or trapped. Common house spiders leave behind red marks when they bite; however, all symptoms tend to dissipate in a few hours. Brown recluse spiders are much more dangerous, as their venom can destroy skin tissue and incite severe allergic reactions.
Fleas do not typically target humans and more commonly congregate on household pets, like dogs and cats. Severe reactions to flea bites cause symptoms such as intense itchiness, hair loss, reddening skin, and secondary infections.
Control and Safety
Any number of modifications can be made to homes and yards in order to decrease the possibility of encountering biting and stinging insects. Clean-up liquids and solid food spills immediately. Keep indoor and outdoor trash bins tightly sealed. Replace broken and ripped window and door screens. Look for and seal any cracks in building foundations. Trim ornamental shrubs and tree branches to ensure they don't touch or hang over homes. Eliminate areas of standing water and excess moisture. Store firewood off the ground and away from homes. Bathe pets regularly. Employing any or all of these methods will make homes less favorable to insect pests.
Trapping and Removal
The variety of biting and stinging insect pests makes over-the-counter removal solutions ineffective. Critter Control technicians have extensive knowledge of the behavior of several insect species and the necessary tools to eradicate biting and stinging insects from homes. At the first sign of infestation, property owners should contact our trained professionals.
We can help you get rid of stinging insect problems. Call today: (724) 775-5444.
Wildlife Control Reviews
Our current technician is very good. He always calls us the day before so we know when he is coming. He also has done a very good job keeping pocket gophers in check.
- Espanola, NM
Mike did our service today. He was awesome! He addressed and resolved a couple of critter issues we were having. It's really helpful to be reminded when he was coming and texted me when he was on his way. Thank you for the great service!
Service: Rodent Control in Santa Fe
We appreciate that your company was able to rid our property of the squirrel activity that we observed. We were concerned that the squirrels would dig under the foundation of our house (which had happened to a neighbor in our area).
Thank you for doing what you said you would do to eliminate this squirrel activity.
Service: Ground squirrel control in Rio Rancho, NM
We personally have a bad infestation for a while, Critter Control has been stellar in the customer service/ communication department, We are still working on the infestation but CC has been absolutely above and beyond our expectations with some of our projects hurdles.
Services: Wildlife Control in Philadelphia
It has been very effective at reducing the number of mice, lizard, and snake sightings. During one visit Edgar removed a rattlesnake he came across. We may see a snake maybe two to three times during the spring and summer months, but it has been far less than before.
Serivces: Wildlife & Rodent Control in San Diego
Melinda is a true professional. She has helped us maintain a "critter-free" home. Whenever a mole decides to visit our property, she is right on top of it. Her recommendations about mosquito control made a big difference for my boys to be able to enjoy our backyard.
Services: Mole Control in St. Louis
We use Critter Control to deter snakes. We haven't seen any since using the monthly service. They are quick to answer questions and explain snake behavior. Also, if any are found they remove them with no extra charge.
Services: Recurring Snake Control in Destin, FL
Have been using for almost 10 years after a record rat invasion. The help I had back then was like a super-helpful friend taking a few weeks to rid me of that invasion. Over the years I have had a few other representatives. They are always nice and helpful.
Services: Rat Control in Austin, TX
Very informative and very knowledgeable staff in the field. Also they keep you up to date of how things are progressing.
Services: Wildlife Control in Detroit
Knowing my critter control professional & his familiarity with my property, especially when emergency wildlife issues arise.
Services: Wildlife Control in Quad Cities
On recommendations from a nearby pest control company, I called Critter Control for suspicious bat droppings
Madison came out the same day to do an inspection. She was knowledgeable, thorough, and highly professional. She examined the ‘matter’ that had been scattered on my threshold and thought it was foliage. But she then asked to go up to my attic space where the bats could be roosting. She had to walk up 3 flights of stairs with a heavy ladder. She again spent some time searching all the nooks and crannies and found nothing.
She seemed so interested in her craft, it was truly inspiring to see! She reassured me and is writing up a prevention strategy for my appraisal. She charged me NOTHING!! I am so impressed. We need more Madisons in this world!
Service: Bat Removal in San Diego
Daniel did a great job pigeon proofing. We have a huge pigeon problem in our neighborhood and the pigeons were roosting in the gutters of my house and my two next door neighbors, who also had nests in their gutters and under their air conditioner. Pigeon poop filled our gutters, and was piled on the outside floor when I bought the house. Since Daniel's pigeon proofing, and my neighbors also pigeon proofing their gutters, fireplace chimney, air conditioners, and removal of nest, I rarely see pigeons any more. Only the lovely native sparrows, robins, vermillion fly catchers, and mourning doves visit our property now.
Service: Bird Control in Albuquerque