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American (a.k.a. Water bug)
Size:  1 ½” to 2”
Color:  Dark reddish brown
How to recognize: Largest of the roach species—also referred to as Palmetto Bugs
Habitat:  Homes, hospitals and warehouses are usual habitats
Behavior: Good fliers, they will contaminate food, carry disease, damage book bindings, fabrics and wallpaper

Brown Banded Cockroach
Size: ½” to 5/8”
Color:  Dark and light brown banding across its back
How to recognize:  Same size as german cockroach, but doesn’t depend as much on moisture in its habitat
Habitat:  Prefers areas over 80 degrees, often found high on walls, in picture frames, behind molding, near appliance motors, in light switches, closets and furniture
Behavior:  Doesn’t multiply as fast as the German, but is often harder to control because they scatter all over a structure.

Size:  ½” to 5/8”
Color:  Light brown, with two dark brown vertical stripes behind the head.
How to recognize:  Found all over the world, living wherever man lives, sharing the same foods and habitats.
Habitat: Live closely packed in small cracks and crevices near food and water.  Commonly found in restaurants, kitchens and stores where food, moisture and shelter are abundant.  Rarely seen outdoors.
Behavior:  Populations increase rapidly, and they usually hide during the day.  They contaminate food, leave stains, create foul odors and carry disease organisms.

Size:  Often reach 1” in length
Color:  Dark brown to black
How to recognize:  Not as large as the American cockroach, the females are somewhat oval in shape. Neither sex can fly, even though they have wings.
Habitat: Inhabit damp locations such as crawl spaces under structures, or underground water and sewage systems.  Often enter structures by walking in or entering through drains of various kinds.
Behavior: Their travel through such unsanitary habitats increases their potential as disease vectors. It may be common in outdoor environments and enter a structure on its own, by crawling under doors or through other exterior openings.

Smokey Brown
Size: 1” to 1 ¼”
Color: Uniform in color– brownish black and very shiny
How to recognize:  Good flyers and are attracted to lights at night.
Habitat:  Warm, dark, moist areas such as tree holes, ivies, mulch, woodpiles and the eaves of attics, especially where there are moisture problems.
Behavior:  This species is very mobile and hard to control because they are so active and have many habitat preferences.

Size:  1/11” – 1/10”
Color:  Brown
How to recognize:  Trail in large numbers and develop super-colonies that spread across large areas
Habitat:  Nest under heavy leaf litter, under wood on the ground, at the base of trees, in planters and mulch.
Behavior: Very aggressive–can drive most other ant species out of their territory


Size: ¼” to ½”
Color: Black
How to recognize:  Their large size makes them easier to identify
Habitat:  Nest in dead portions of trees, stumps, or logs, and invades homes in search of food.
Behavior:  Do more damage to sound undamaged wood, than to old wood.  They don’t eat wood, but carve out smooth galleries in wood for nesting, often are so smooth, they appear to have been finished by sandpaper.

Size:  1/8” to ¼”
Color:  Reddish brown
How to recognize:  Aggressive behavior and large mounds
Habitat:  Mounds can be up to 2 feet high and 3 feet wide, and are often located near shrubs or other structures, which provide protection from burrowing, ant-eating animals
Behavior:  Known for their painful, burning sting, they often seem to attack whoever steps near their mound.  Some are extremely allergic to the sting, and will require medical attention to deal with the toxins.

Odorous House Ant
Size: 3 mm have a single node that is tucked closely against the front of the abdomen
Color:  Shiny black to dark brown
How to recognize:  They have a single node that is tucked closely against the front of the abdomen.
Habitat: Outdoors they make shallow soil nests under any material on the ground, within hollow trees, or in any other cavity available. Indoors they nest in wall voids, under insulation in crawl spaces, or within cavities in the wood
Behavior:  The name is derived from the strong odor given off when the ants are crushed, said to resemble rotting coconuts. Workers are all the same size and forage in long, distinct trails


Size:  1/12” to 1/16”
Color: Red to yellowish
How to recognize:  Small with two nodes. The Pharaoh ant’s antenna has 12 segments and ends in a three-segmented club.
Habitat:  Wall voids, cabinets, boxes of food, and any accessible small crevice spaces; are known to invade sick rooms and feed on blood plasma and wound dressings.
Behavior:  Colonies have multiple queens and can split into small groups, spreading very rapidly.
Drain Flies
Drain flies are tiny dark flies that may suddenly appear in kitchens and bathrooms. Drain flylarvae develop in the gelatinous gunk that forms inside drains and or other stagnant water sources. Cleaning away this gunk from household drains will eliminate the flies. no other treatment is needed.
Other Insects

House Centipede
Size: 1” to 2”
Color: Usually brown, to orangish brown
How to recognize: Less worm-like in appearance than the millipede, their bodies have many segments, with only one pair of legs per segment.  House centipedes have extremely long legs.
Habitat: Usually found anywhere in the house where dampness occurs.
Behavior:  Nocturnal, and when disturbed move very swiftly towards a darkened hiding place.

Grasshoppers / Cicadas
Size: 1” to 3”
Color: Yellowish to green, with colorful hind wings with blue, red, orange, or yellow bands on them
How to recognize:  Can be seen in meadows, fields, or along roadsides in the warmer months.  Recognizable by their “song”, produced when their legs are rubbed together, or the snapping noise of their wings produced in flight.
Habitat:  Outdoors, in meadows and fields.
Behavior: They are principally a plant pest, rarely enter structures, but can be extremely destructive to crops when found in large numbers.

Size: ¾”
Color: tan or brown
How to recognize:  Often heard before they are seen.  Common song is a triple chirp.  Courtship song is a continuous trill.
Habitat:  Can be found in warm, damp, dark places such as shrubs, grass, basements or crawl spaces.  Usually enter a building from harborage right outside.
Behavior:  Active mostly at night, they will eat almost anything they can chew.
Size:  3/8” to 1”
Color:  Brown to black
How to recognize:  Most easily recognized by its forceps-like tail appendage.
Habitat:  Feed mostly on green plants and other vegetation.  They do little damage indoors.
Behavior:  It is one of the few insects that take care of its young.  The pinch of their forceps is neither painful nor poisonous.
Size:  1/32” to 1/16”
Color:  Small, black, hard-bodied and wingless, fleas have a flattened body and legs adapted for jumping onto a host.
How to recognize: Their tiny size and ability to jump make them recognizable, as do the itchy red spots left behind by their bite.
Habitat:  Anywhere there are available hosts to sustain them.
Behavior: They can be a direct health hazard, transmitting disease and tapeworm.
Size:  1” to 1 ½”
Color: Brownish
How to recognize:  Worm-like in appearance, they have multiple segments, with two pairs of legs per segment.
Habitat:  They usually live outside, in moist vegetation, leaf litter and mulch and feed on decaying wood and plants.
Behavior:  Will only find their way indoors when conditions are right.  When disturbed, they curl up like a watch spring.
Pill bug
Size:  ¼” to 3/8”
Color:  black
How to recognize: Roll into a ball, or “pill”, when disturbed.
Habitat:  Lawn turf, under leaves, and moist areas of decaying vegetation.
Behavior:  Weather extremes may drive them indoors, but they do no damage.
Size: 1” to 7”
Color:  Yellowish tan to dark brown
How to recognize:  Recognizable by the large claws in front and the long, narrow tail tipped by a stinger.
Habitat:  Under debris, or woodpiles on the soil, within clutter in storage areas.  Damper areas may also be an attraction to many of them.
Behavior:  Nocturnal predators that feed on other animals, using their stinger to subdue their prey.  To humans, their sting can be painful, but their venom poses few health concerns.
Size: 3/8” to ½”
Color:  silver or gray
How to recognize: Slender, wingless insects with three long, tail-like appendages, and two thread-like antennae.
Habitat: Moist, hot areas from the attic to the crawl space.  They breed in bookcases, storage boxes and linen closets.
Behavior: Cause damage by eating foods, cloth, paper, bookbindings, wallpaper, starch in clothing and linens.
Size: 1/16” to ½”
Color:  Black
How to recognize: Are usually discovered once they have attached themselves to a host, by their engorged bodies.
Habitat: Must have a host, often dogs or wildlife, but will attach themselves to humans as well.
Behavior: Survive on blood meals from a host.  Transmit serious diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Typhus, and Lyme Disease.