Resources & Information

Resources & Information

The Housefly and the Yellow Jacket

The two most troublesome, annoying and potentially harmful insects for the consumer are the common housefly and the yellow jacket wasp.

The housefly, Musca domestica Linnaeus, is believed to have originated in Central Asia. and now inhabits all continents, climates, and environments that are inhabited by man. It is, in fact, always associated with humans and their activities whether in urban or rural environments. Not only are house flies annoying and a nuisance, they also carry disease causing pathogens, such as cholera, typhoid, anthrax, tuberculosis, and parasitic worms, among many others. They are especially plentiful in rural areas where animals are housed or raised, and in urban areas with poor sanitation.

All yellow jacket wasps are Vespids, a group that contains many dangerous stinging insects. Yellow Jackets are generally considered a beneficial insect around gardens and farms where vegetables and fruit are grown, since they feed on many insect pests such as flies and caterpillars during the growing season; but in late summer and fall when their population peaks and their normal diet disappears, they become a problem to humans. They feed on many of the food items associated with humans, and can be very aggressive when threatened.

The Roach and the Silverfish

The Roach and the Silverfish are two common indoor pests that cause the homeowner problems and annoyance.

There are about 4,000 species of cockroaches of which 30 species are associated with human habitations and about four species are well known as pests. Among the best known of the species is the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana, which is about 1.2 in. long. Cockroaches live in a wide range of environments around the world. Pest species of cockroaches adapt readily to a variety of environments, but prefer warm conditions found within buildings. Cockroaches leave chemical trails in their feces as well as emitting airborne pheromones for swarming and mating. Other cockroaches will follow these trails to discover sources of food and water, and also discover where other cockroaches are hiding. Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and will run away when exposed to light. Cockroaches are among the hardiest insects on the planet, some species capable of remaining active for a month without food, or being able to survive on limited resources like the glue from the back of postage stamps. Some can go without air for 45 minutes or slow down their heart rate. Cockroaches are one of the most commonly noted household pest insects. They feed on human and pet food and damage and can leave an offensive odor.[20] They can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including those that are potentially dangerous to humans, particularly in environments such as hospitals. Cockroaches infestations have been shown to be linked with allergic reactions in humans. General preventative measures against household pests include keeping all food stored away in sealed containers, using garbage cans with a tight lid, frequent cleaning in the kitchen, and regular vacuuming. Any water leaks, such as dripping taps, should also be repaired. It is also helpful to seal off any entry points, such as holes around baseboards, in between kitchen cabinets, pipes, doors, and windows with some steel wool or copper mesh and some cement, putty or silicone caulk.

Lepisma saccharina, commonly called the fishmoth, urban silverfish, or just silverfish, is a small, wingless insect typically measuring from a half to one inch. Its common name derives from the animal's silvery blue colour, combined with the fish-like appearance of its movements, while the scientific name indicates the silverfish's diet of carbohydrates such as sugar or starches.

Flour Moths

The Flour moths of the family Pyralidae are some of the most common and the most serious pests of grain products.

They are usually called flour moths because they seldom attack whole grain, but generally feed upon flour or milled products. Their preference for broken grains, insect damaged grain, and especially milled cereal products such as flour, breakfast foods, and meals make them important pests of many household and businesses, especially stores that sell bird seed and dried pet food.

Uninfested food items should be stored at the proper moisture levels in glass, metal or thick plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Proper storage of food items in such containers seems to prevent nearly all problems with stored product pests.

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