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Pest Identification Guide

Identifying

Field Ants

What They Look Like:

Field ants have 6 legs and are segmented into conflicting round appearances. They are pale yellow, reddish-brown in color.

Where They Live:

They often live in mounds of plant material. Often near trees, shrubs, rocks, sometimes in sidewalk cracks or along foundation walls. Field ants rarely nest in homes.

How You Can Detect Them:

Field ants can bite and spray formic acid into the bite wound that can cause pain. You can prevent a field ant infestation by storing firewood 15 feet from the house, keeping your surrounding shrubs maintained, and avoiding having mulch against the house.

Identifying

Pavement Ants

What They Look Like:

Pavement ants have 6 legs and are segmented into oval appearances. They are dark brown and black in color.

Where They Live:

They often live in walls, insulation, and floors when infested within a home. Outside they can be found under stones and in the cracks of pavement.

How You Can Detect Them:

These small pests can contaminate food, causing infection. You can prevent a pavement ant infestation by keeping your counters clean and clear of any food particles.

Identifying

Carpenter Ants

What They Look Like:

Carpenter ants have 6 legs and are segmented into three body parts. They can be brown, yellow, red, or black in color.

Where They Live:

They often live in damp and rotten wood, whether it is inside or out. They like to burrow in the wood, which leaves a sawdust-type matter surrounding the infestation.

How You Can Detect Them:

These carpenter ants can enter your house through wet wood and create pathways through dry wood, which later can cause damage to your house’s foundation. You can prevent these pests by keeping your house and yards clear of damp or wet wood and by cutting your tree branches back away from your house.

Ant Exterminator Milwaukee:

Ants can become a nuisance real quick. With fast-growing farms, these pests can get infest your home in many ways. While there are simple ways to prevent these bugs from getting in, it is not inevitable. If you spot an ant infestation within your home, contact an exterminator immediately. At Ehlers Pest Control, we don’t just get rid of ants, we keep them from coming back. Contact us today for a free quote.

What Does an Ant Exterminator Do?

Here at Ehlers Pest Control, we ensure that your ant problem will be solved for good, while keeping your family and pets safe, with our environmentally-friendly methods. We work both in homes and commercial buildings to ensure your personal and work life is bug-free. We identify the pests infesting your space, discover the source, and administer our removal procedures to get rid of those unwanted guests. 

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Store firewood 15 feet or more away from the home

  • Avoid placing mulch against the foundation of your home

  • Keep your shrubs trimmed and clean

  • Keep your home & yard free of damp wood

  • Cut tree branches back, away from your home

  • Keep your counter tops free of spills & crumbs

Asian Lady Beetles Back to Top
Identifying

Asian Lady Beetles

What They Look Like:

Asian lady beetles resemble ladybugs with their orangish-red color with black spots or black color with orangish-red spots. You can typically tell they are around because they exude an unpleasant smell. They also produce a secretion when infesting a home, leaving a yellow stain.

Where They Live:

Asian lady beetles tend to habituate towards fields and leaf piles within the warmer seasons. These ladies will infest your home during the winter in order to stay warm.

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Plug any holes within your home

  • Plant a garden that they can focus on besides your house

  • Use citronella and citrus oil to ward off more lady bugs

Bed Bugs Back to Top
Identifying

Bed Bugs

What They Look Like:

Bed bugs are reddish-brown in color, secrete a musty odor, and are as small as ¼ of an inch long.

How You Can Detect Them:

Detection can be hard due to bed bugs being nocturnal. However, be on the lookout for bloodstains on your furniture, small black spots on your furniture, and of course any bites you may receive on your body. These bites will be small red bumps in a line, causing an itchy, burning sensation.

Bed Bug Exterminator Wisconsin:

Bed bugs will infest your mattress faster than you can fall asleep. If you do identify bed bugs, do not try to home remedy them away. Contact Ehlers Pest Management immediately and take precautions to not spread the infestation. Precautions may include wrapping the infested furniture, washing any clothes that possibly touched the bugs on the hottest setting, ensuring not to spread the infestation to other furniture, and more. If you have discovered a bed bug infestation, call us today to schedule an inspection. 

How Does An Exterminator Help?

At Ehlers Pest Management, we offer a custom solution for all bed bug infestations. We provide three different treatment options ─ heat treatments, chemical control, and eco-friendly. Please do not try to replicate any of the treatments we perform, at the risk of hurting you, your family, or your house. Contact us today for a free quote and to set up an appointment. 

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Cover box springs & mattresses in plastic

  • Avoid picking up furniture and other second hand products from the street or thrift stores

  • Wash all clothes & vacuum suitcase after travelling

When in a hotel: 

  • Keep clothes in bathroom, closet, or drawers

  • Smell around for musty odor

  • Look for brown spots on the bed; these could be fecal matter or blood from past & current bed bugs

Box Elders Back to Top
Identifying

Box Elders

What They Look Like:

These bugs are dark in color with red markings on their wings and abdomen.

Where They Live:

Typically these box elders will live outdoors and on trees during the warm seasons and move indoors through cracks when the weather turns cold.

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Call a professional to spray any cracks within your home

Centipedes Back to Top
Identifying

Centipede

What They Look Like:

Centipedes are brown in color and 1 to 1.5 inches long. They have about 30 to 90 legs but often look more like a million, giving them their name.

Where They Live:

Centipedes thrive outdoors in damp mulch but when the weather changes to the dryer season, these insects will look for shelter in moist bathrooms and basements indoors.

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Get rid of their food source (other insects and spider)

  • Remove moisture from your home

  • Remove clutter that may provide them shelter

  • Seal entryways

 

Cockroaches Back to Top
Identifying

German Cockroach

What They Look Like:

German cockroaches are oval-shaped with six legs. They appear to be light brown with dark brown stripes on their backs.

Where They Live:

German cockroaches tend to live in warm, humid spots with food nearby. In a home, they are most likely found in kitchens and bathrooms.

Identifying

American Cockroach

What They Look Like:

These cockroaches are oval-shaped insects with six legs. They have reddish-brown and yellow markings on the backside of their head.

Where They Live:

These insects tend to live in basements, sewers, and drainage systems. They tend to dwell near moisture and food, so it is important to keep your house clean of untouched food and excess moisture.

What Threats Cockroaches Pose:

Cockroaches can be a danger to you, your family, and your pets. Any type of cockroach carries with them bacteria, parasitic worms, and other human pathogens that can cause issues such as allergic reactions, asthma intensity, and other health issues. 

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Keep your kitchen clean 

  • Vacuum frequently

  • Avoid allowing moisture to build up in any part of your home

Crickets Back to Top
Identifying

Field Crickets

What They Look Like:

Field crickets are always black or brown in color and can grow up to 1.5 inches in length.

Where They Live:

These crickets live in southeastern Wisconsin and can be found both indoors and outdoors. If found outdoors, they will typically be eating other insects, littered paper or fabric, wood or mulch, garbage, mold, and algae. When indoors, they will eat any paper, wood, silk or man-made fabrics, wallpaper and wallpaper glue, and food.

What Threats They Pose:

These pesky insects can cause hurtful, but non-fatal diseases. Although crickets rarely puncture skin when biting, these bugs can spread disease through leftover bacteria on human and animal food and utensils.

How To Detect Crickets:

It is easy to detect crickets within your house because you will either hear chirping sounds, see the crickets, or will most likely notice chewed fabrics, paper, and moldings. If you think you have a cricket infestation, call Ehlers Pest Management today. 

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Seal windows & dry dog food properly

Identifying

Fleas

What They Look Like:

Fleas are small insects with two pairs of smaller legs and one pair of enlarged back legs. They can jump up to 13 inches horizontally. Female fleas lay up to 200 eggs at a time.

Where They Live:

Fleas often infest within a pet’s coat, carpet strands, and more.

How You Can Detect Them:

You can typically see these pests jumping on your furniture. You can also tell if they are present if your pets are excessively itching or biting themselves or if you or your family is developing a hive-like rash near the feet and ankles.

Flea Exterminator Milwaukee:

Here at Ehlers Pest Management, we don’t just get rid of your bug problems. We keep those unwanted guests away.

What To Do If Bit:

If you get bit by a flea, wash the affected area with antiseptic soap, apply hydrocortisone cream or take medication to reduce inflammation, and apply an ice pack for the itching. If bit, call us immediately for a free quote and inspection appointment. 

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Vacuum often

  • Groom pets regularly & use flea treatments

Identifying

Blow (Bottle) Flies

What They Look Like:

Blow Flies are metallic green, blue, and copper in color.

Where They Live:

These types of flies tend to live indoors with air currents and odors surrounding them. If you notice a swarm of blowflies within or near your house, it may signify a presence of a dead animal or rotting food.

Identifying

Fruit Flies

What They Look Like:

Fruit flies are tannish-brown in color with red eyes. They are very small in size as well.

Where They Live:

Fruit flies tend to live indoors near food prep areas. Their most common nesting areas include food plants, recycling containers, coolers, and garbage disposals. Outdoors, fruit flies are most likely to be nesting in dumpsters.

Fly Infestations Signs:

You may be able to tell if you have a fly infestation before the swarms roll in. If you discover egg clusters within your kitchen or bathroom or other areas in your home, along with white larvae or maggots, those are sure-fire signs of a fly infestation. 

Threats That Flies Carry:

Flies can carry diseases such as salmonella, E. coli, and cholera. They can contaminate food with fecal matter and these diseases. While seeing one or two flies doesn’t pose a big threat with this, flies that breed into hundreds quickly do.

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Keep all meat properly sealed 

  • Ensure no rodents have died within your attic or walls

Pantry Pests Back to Top
Identifying

Bean Weevils

What They Look Like:

Bean Weevils tend to be an olive green color with red antennae and wings. They are a teardrop shape and can be up to ⅙ of an inch in length.

Where They Live:

Bean weevils make their home in whole beans that are stored in a pantry. These pests will multiply by the thousands and create holes within the beans, where they will then live. Do not eat any beans that you may find holes in.

Identifying

Clothes Moths

What They Look Like:

Clothes moths are a dull yellowish color with furry bodies. They are slightly smaller than food moths by 1 to 2 inches.

Where They Live:

These moths love to live within dark areas near clothing, typically the fabrics of wool, silk and felt. The adult moth tends not to eat clothing, as it tends to be the larvae that do. Clothes moths also have an appetite for bran, flour, biscuits, etc and will live within dark pantries when they want.

Identifying

Dried Fruit Beetle

What They Look Like:

Dried fruit beetles are oval and black in color with amber and yellow spots along their bodies, including legs, wings, and antennae.

Where They Live:

These pests are usually found around fruit-producing facilities but can also be found in fruit trees, and stored fruit.

What Threats They Pose:

Dried fruit beetles can contaminate fruit with many bacteria and diseases.

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Store pantry items in airtight containers

  • Inspect grocery items

  • Regularly clean through your pantry & throw out expired foods

  • Store bay leaves in your pantry containers

Identifying

Deer Mice

What They Look Like:

Deer mice are light reddish-brown on top and white on the bottom (feet and belly). They are about 2 inches long and resemble a white-tailed deer.

Where They Live:

Deer mice often live in rural areas with lots of forested lands. They often burrow inside trees, logs, and sometimes homes with small crawl spaces.

What Threats They Pose:

These small, furry animals carry a fatal respiratory disease called Hantavirus. This disease can be deadly to humans and should be taken care of professionally.

Identifying

House Mice

What They Look Like:

House mice are light brown and grey in color and can be between 3-4 inches. They have large ears and small eyes.

Where They Live:

These mice love to find a home within rural and urban areas within country land. They tend to nest in firewood, stones, leaves, and bricks and can infest homes and buildings easily. As long as there is a ¼ inch opening, they are welcoming themselves to nest next to any heat, moisture, or food that they want.

Detecting Rodent Infestations:

Most rodents will leave a trail of their actions. Be on the lookout for small animal droppings, chewed wires, and eaten wood and plastic within your home. 

Rodent Exterminator Wisconsin:

Ehlers Pest Management is a call away from ridding you of your rodent issues. IF you have a rodent infestation, we’ve got you covered with our fast and affordable inspections and exterminations. 

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Seal cracks & entry ways

  • Keep firewood away from your home & trim trees back

  • Store pet food securely and properly

  • Keep building clean 

  • Remove nesting materials such as newspaper & cardboard

  • Seal garage & patio doors

  • Store garbage in a safe place

  • Repair loose siding & shingles

  • Seal entrances under porch at least 6 inches under the ground

Identifying

Cellar Spiders

What They Look Like:

Cellar spiders are cream-colored, thin spiders. They are most identifiable for a large number of cobwebs they spin and habituate on.

Where They Live:

Cellar Spiders are more often found in damp, dark areas like basements, sheds, garages, and more.

Identifying

Daddy Longlegs

What They Look Like:

Although daddy longlegs are not technically spiders, most people identify them as so. Daddy longlegs have one oval-shaped body piece with longer legs than most actual spiders. They are typically brown, yellow, and black in color.

Where They Live:

Daddy longlegs tend to live outside near lighting, where it is easy to lure other insects in for consumption, but they are also regularly found indoors. However, these arachnids are harmless to humans.

Identifying

Black Widow

What They Look Like:

Black widow spiders are black in color with a distinct hourglass shape on the backside of their bodies.

Where They Live:

These spiders are typically found outside and in spots that they feel protected. Such spots include boxes, boards, firewood, and more.

Identifying

Brown Recluse

What They Look Like:

Brown recluse spiders are brown in color (light or dark) with a violin shape behind the head.

Where They Live:

These spiders are found indoors in any suitable corner. They often are found in pantries, basements, and garages; sometimes even in shoes. There have only been five sitings in Wisconsin.

How to Prevent and Infestation:

  • Get the perimeter of your house sprayed by a professional

  • Vacuum any eggs, webs, or spiders you see

  • Seal windows & cracks

  • Remove any outdoor harborages

Stinging Insects Back to Top
Identifying

Yellow Jackets

What They Look Like:

Yellow Jackets are small wasp with yellow and black colored stripes. Unlike the regular bee, these wasps have a thin waist.

Where They Live:

There are two types of yellow jacket wasps in Wisconsin. The first, nesting below ground and within building walls, is the Eastern Yellow Jacket in midwest Wisconsin. The second type, nesting within attics, crawlspaces, and building exteriors, as well as the ground, are the German Yellow Jacket in southeastern Wisconsin.

What Threats They Pose:

These yellow jackets will sting repeatedly if their nest is agitated.

Identifying

Carpenter Bees

What They Look Like:

Carpenter bees are black and yellow in color with a full-body silhouette. Although these bees do not have a stinger, they will aggressively buzz in order to rid of enemies.

Where They Live:

Carpenter bees tend to live outside within logs, dead trees, desks, fences, etc. However, carpenter bees will nest in painted wood as well, meaning they will welcome themselves inside if need be.

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Carefully inspect potential nesting areas

  • Remove all materials bees could use to make a nest

  • Keep cracks in your house, garages, and sheds sealed

  • Lay cucumber peels around your yard, warding off potential wasps

  • Avoid sweet perfumes

Termites Back to Top
Identifying

Termites

What They Look Like:

Termites are a cream color with a darker brown face and mouth. They have six legs and their mouths are scissor-like.

Where They Live:

Termites live within underground colonies but also infest moist areas above ground. Typically, they find secluded areas within a home to start eating away at the wood.

Termites In Your Wisconsin Home:

Termites can put quite the damper on your new home. If you see any wood dropping or sawdust-like piles within your home, call an exterminator immediately. Termites can be dangerous to you and your family. They can cause medical issues such as allergies, asthma, cough, migraines, fungal infections, and pink eye. Call Ehlers Pest Management to rid your home of termites immediately. 

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Use gutters & downspouts to properly remove rainwater from the perimeter of your home

  • Avoid wood & soil touching near your home

Identifying

Voles

What They Look Like:

Voles are small mouse-like creatures that are brown in color.

Where They Live:

These critters will infest your home and crawl spaces. Although they are relatively harmless to humans and pets, they will kill gardens and trees and can carry common diseases found in most rodents.

How to Prevent an Infestation

  • Keep grass trimmed 

  • Avoid using too much mulch in your yard, where they can burrow