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NE Wisconsin
Since 1985

Green Bay

Fox Valley


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Service Brown County/Calumet County/Outagamie County/Winnebago County in Wisconsin



Other Problem Pests & Photos

Beetles (Pantry)

Cabinet Beetles and Warehouse Beetles feed in a wide variety of food products, such as grain products, seeds, dried fruits, animal by-products skins, fur, hair, and pet food.  They are also known to feed on dead insects and animal carcasses.

They are elongate oval and 1/8" to 3/16" long.  They may be solid black or mottled with yellowish-brown markings.  Larvae are long and narrow, yellowish to dark brown, hair and generally grow to about 1/4" long.

Cigarette Beetles
Drugstore Beetles feed on a wide variety of dried plant products such as spices, macaroni and other grain based foods, dried flowers, tobacco products, and even paper, including books.

These beetles are about 1/8" long, oval, and brown.  The head is bent downward giving the insect a humped appearance.  Both species fly and can be found wround windows.  Larvae are 1/8" long when mature, and yellowish-white with a light brown head, have a curved body covered with fine hair, and often not noticed.

Flour Beetles (two primary species) infest many types of dried food products, such as flour, bran, cereal products, dried fruits, nuts, and chocolate.

They are 3/16 inch long, reddish-brown, and elongate oval in shape.  Larvae are cylindrical, whitish, or cream-colored and up to 1/4" long and have two small pointed spines on the tail end

Sawtoothed Grain Beetles
are found in many different food items, including dried fruit, nuts, dried meat, macaroni, and seeds.

They are only about 1/10" long, slender, flattened, and brownish-red to almost black in color.  Larvae are cream-colored, slender, and about 1/8" long, so small they are rarely noticed.

See also Pantry Pests

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Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder Nymphs are all red, no black, and slightly smaller than adult boxelder bugsAdult boxelder bug, both red and black

Boxelder bugs are commonly found both outside and inside homes during the fall through early spring. Boxelder bugs are about 3/4" long, and black in color with three red lines on the thorax and red lines on the wing margins.

During summer, they feed on leaves, flowers, and seedpods of boxelder trees and silver maple trees, where they do minor damage to the trees.

Although completely harmless to humans, these bugs can be an unsightly nuisance and occasionally their waste can stain.

Adult boxelder bugs lay eggs on trees in the spring. Nymphs emerge in 11 to 14 days and begin feeding on trees. The nymphs develop into adults during the summer, and lay eggs of a second generation of boxelder bugs that are active in August and September. The second generation boxelder bugs congregate on the outsides of homes on sunny days in September and October. They, then, move indoors to find a protected place to overwinter, then, move outside in the spring.

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Centipedes - Millipedes - Sowbugs

centipede | brown centipede | centipedes look like | centipedes in Northeast Wisconsin

Centipedes, millipeds and sowbugs are not insects, but are arthropods related to insects. They are not harmful to food, clothes, furniture or other household items; however, just the sight of them can creep us out.

Their preferred habitat is moist, decaying leaf litter or other organic material found around building foundations. During late summer and fall (occassionally during spring and summer) they crawl into homes, sometimes in great numbers!

The most common centipede is called the house centipede and is more than 1" long when full grown.  It has has a flattened body, 15 pairs of long legs (one pair of legs per body segment), and a pair of long slender feelers extending froward from the head. The body is brownish or grayish-yellow.

Centipedes move quickly and are usually noticed running across a ceiling or wall, attempting to reach a dark area. Centipedes are predators, feeding on other insects, spiders, and other arthropods; they use poision-filled jaws to help subdue their prey.  If ever bitten by a centipede some swelling may be expected, but the pain should not be severe.

Millipedes are dark brown, worm-like, with up to 400 very short legs; two pairs of legs per body segment.  It moves very slowly and grows up to 1 to 1 inches long.  It has a characteristic habit of curling up tightly when touched, and when it dies.  Millipedes are most active at night and commonly hide beneath objects where it is dark and damp, like potted plants, as it normally feeds on decaying organic matter.

Sowbugs are a land crustacean related to lobsters, crabs and crayfish.  It is uniformly brownish-gray and may reach 1 3/4-inch length.  It resembles a tiny armadillo and typically has fourteen legs.  It, too, feeds on deaying organic matter, and only survives in a moist/damp atmosphere.

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cricket | crickets in Northeast Wisconsin | get rid of crickets

Crickets mate in late summer and lay their eggs in autumn. The eggs hatch in the spring and have been estimated to number as high as 200 per fertile female. Species Acheta domestica however lays eggs almost continually, with the females capable of laying at least twice a month.

Crickets are omnivorous scavengers who feed on organic materials, including decaying plant material, fungi, and some seedling plants. Crickets eat their own dead when there are no other sources of food available, and exhibit predatorial behavior upon weakened, crippled crickets.

Crickets have relatively powerful jaws, and several species have been known to bite humans. More...

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First spotted in 1982, on the Lake Michigan shorelines, earwigs have spread fast across Wisconsin. Earwigs are the only insect in the world that cares for (nurtures) its young. More...

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Fleas can jump 7 to 8 inches vertically, and 14 to 16 inches horizontally; they carry disease organisms and parasites host to host.  The most common soecies is the cat flea, which often feasts on cats, dogs and humans.

Fleas can infest beds, upholstered furniture and/or carpeting and rugs. Although fleas can bite anywhere on the human (or animal) body, they commonly bite about the ankles.

When a suspected area is dark (night time), turn on the television or lay a lit flashlight on the infested surface, crouch down to surface level and peer across it. If you have fleas, you will see them jumping in the light.

[See flea bite photos below]

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Medical Alert - Seek urgent medical care. Bites cause extensive skin and muscle tissue damage Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism--over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-born diseases every year.  Not only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, they also transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to.

Adult female mosquitoes, only, feed on blood and it is the female mosquito's saliva that causes the red bump and itching to the bite area through an allergic reaction to the saliva; in some cases severe swelling.

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Moths (Pantry)

Indianmeal Moths are the most common moths infesting home stored foods.  They have a wingspan of 1/2" to 5/8".  The base of the front wing is pail gray or tan and the outer two-thirds is reddish-brown with a coppery luster.  They can be found inside infested products or flying around homes.  The larvae are whitish worms with shades of yellow, pink, green, or brown and grow to 1/2" long.

Only the larvae of the Indianmeal Moths feed in stored products; foods infested with these insects will have silk webbing present on the surface of the product.  When mature, they will fly away from the food source and spin a cocoon.  Adult moths may be seen up to several weeks after its food source has been removed.

Meal Moths can be found feeding on a wide vriety of flour and grain products and seeds, especially when the product is damp. Not real common in homes, they have a wingspan of 3/4" to 1".  Their forewings have a dark reddish brown band across the top and bottom of the wings, with an olive or yellowish green band outlines by wavy white lines in the center.

The larvae have a black head and whitish body with some orange at the end of the body.  They often form feeding tubes made of silk and tiny pieces of food.

See also Pantry Pests

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Pantry Pests

Insects infesting stored foods are one of the most common household insect problems and, because there are many different kinds they are referred to as "pantry pests".

Pantry pests contaminate more food than they consume.  They do not bite or sting people or pets, nor do they feed on or damage the house structure or contents.

However, nearly all dried food products are susceptible to insect infestation, especially products that have been opened. Importantly, pantry pests are also capable of penetraiting unopened paper, thin cardboard, and plastic, foil, or cellophane-wrapped packages.  They may chew their way into packages or crawl in through folds and seams.

Pantry pests within a single infested package can begin multiplying and can spread to other stored foods not only in the same area but in other rooms in a  home.  All stages (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) may be present.  [See also Beetles, Moths and Weevils]

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Silverfish - Firebrats

A full grown silverfish or firebrat is about 1/4' to 1/2" long; thick at the front and tapering towards the back.  Firebrats and silverfish have two long antennae on their heads and three tail-like appendages on the tips of their abdomens.  Silverfish have uniformly colored silver bodies, and firebrats have mottled gray-brown colored bodies.  Both move very fast when disturbed.

Once inside, they move quickly in search of food and generally stay close to it when they find a food source.  Both can be accidentally brought into buildings with boxes that have been stored in infested areas.

Silverfish and firebrats are general feeders, especially items that are high in protein, sugar or starch.  Food choices include vegetable foods, such as flour and cereal; fabrics, including cotton, linen, silk, and rayon; sizing in paper; starch in clothing; and paste or glue.  They also eat wallpaper, book bindings, and paper when trying to feed on the flue or paste underneath them.  Both can go for months without feeding.

Active at night, they lay eggs in cracks, crevices, and other narrow places. They both run with characteristic, quick movements, stopping at short intervals and then moving on rapidly (they cannot climb on smooth vertical surfaces).


Medical Alert - Seek urgent medical care. Bites cause extensive skin and muscle tissue damageThere are 14 different tick-related illnesses in the U.S.  The most common symptoms of a tickborne illness are fever/chills, aches and pains, and distinctive rashes (depending upon the specific desease transmitted), but these are only the most common. 

Both, female and male ticks feed on the blood of birds, mammals (including humans), and even reptiles.

Most ticks go through four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph, and adult. After hatching from the egg, ticks must eat blood at every stage to survive.  Ticks require many hosts, taking up to 3 years to complete their full life cycle, and most will die because they don't find a host for their next feeding.

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Weevils (Pantry)

Granary, Rice, and Maize Weevils only attack whole grains or seeds, leaving small round exit holes in infested kernels.  They are rarely found in nuts, dried fruits, macaroni, and caked or crusted milled products such as flour.  (A different, larger species of weevil can be found in homes during the fall when acorns or hickory nuts are collected and stored inside.)  See also Pantry Pests

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Images & Photos Under Construction