A Guide To The Common Pests Found In Reno, Nevada
Are you looking to learn more about the common pest pressures found in your area? If so, then our pest library is for you! Listed below are some common pests found in and around Reno, Nevada. This quick reference page will provide some helpful information about the insects that frequently invade our Nevada homes and businesses.
Ants are common household invaders. They are social creatures that live in diverse habitats. All ants have three body regions - head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have six legs and a pair of antennae. The reproductives (queens and kings) are the only members of the colony that are winged. These winged ants emerge from mature colonies a few times a year in large swarms to mate and create new nests. Ants range in size and come in a variety of colors, including black, brown, red, or yellow, depending on their exact species. Some ants are nuisance pests and pose no danger to people or property, while others have the potential to cause extensive structural damage, bite and sting, or spread significant diseases.
Ants typically live outside in nests located under the ground, under fallen trees, inside tree cavities, under piles of leaf debris, under rock piles, along foundations, or in wood piles. Ants often find their way inside homes and other buildings while foraging for food sources. After moving inside, ants may create their satellite nests near their newfound food source. Common indoor nesting spots include inside structural wood, underneath floors, behind walls, inside crawlspaces, behind large appliances, and near hot water heaters.
To prevent ants, seal any spaces in the foundation and exterior walls of your home that they can get through. Make sure all screens are intact, and place weather stripping around windows and doors. Limit food sources by placing locking lids on trashcans and compost bins, picking up pet food between feedings, and maintaining garden areas. Reduce water sources by fixing leaky outdoor faucets and fixtures, and keeping gutters clear. Get rid of potential nesting spots by removing fallen trees, tree stumps, piles of debris, and wood piles from your property.
Bed bugs are ectoparasites that mainly feed on humans. If no other food source is available, they will feed on other mammals. Bed bugs are mostly nocturnal, hiding during the day in tight cracks and crevices, and emerging at night to feed on their host(s). Adult bed bugs are often compared to an apple seed with legs. They are oval in shape and flattened from top to bottom. Their reddish-brown bodies grow to about 1/4 of an inch in length, they are wingless, and they have six legs. After feeding, they turn a purple-reddish color and their bodies expand and swell like a balloon.
Bed bugs live wherever there are people because they like to be close to their preferred food source. Bed bugs hitchhike their way from place to place on clothing, luggage, bags, and other personal belongings. Hotels, motels, airports, buses, taxis, shopping centers, hospitals, schools, dormitories, movie theaters, museums, and libraries are all common places where people accidentally come into contact with bed bugs.
To prevent bed bugs, keep your belongings up off of the ground in public places. Inspect hotel rooms before bringing luggage and personal belongings inside. Do not purchase used furniture, mattresses, or box springs for use inside your home. Wash and dry all newly purchased clothing or clothing brought on a trip immediately after bringing them home. Regularly wash your family’s bedding and vacuum your home. It's also a good idea to use a protective bed bug cover that encases mattresses and box springs. At Assassin, we offer a tried-and-true bed bug control service to rid your property of bed bugs.
Black Widow Spiders
All spiders have two body regions - cephalothorax and abdomen. They also have eight legs and fangs (chelicerae). They do not have wings or antennae. Spiders are arachnids and are closely related to mites, ticks, and scorpions. Black widow spiders are a dangerous species of spider that are found living across the United States. They are shiny and black, have round bodies, and adults grow to between 1 1/2-1 3/8 inches in length. These spiders have a unique "hourglass-like" red mark located on the underside of their abdomen. They may also have lighter red or white spots on their abdomens and backs.
While black widow spider bites are rare, it is important to understand that the black widow spider’s venom is strong enough to cause health concerns in people by compromising the nervous system of its victim. Symptoms of a black widow spider bite may include vomiting, fever, chills, stomach pains, and difficulty breathing. If ever bitten by a black widow spider, a medical professional should be contacted to treat the symptoms. Black widow spiders are usually found living outside between flat rocks, in woodpiles, near foundations, and inside barns, sheds and other outbuildings. If they do find their way inside while foraging for food (insects and spiders), they typically hide out under furniture, in closets, attics, crawlspaces, and other dark, secluded places away from humans.
To prevent black widows, remove fallen trees, rock piles, and other debris from your property that they can hide and build their webs in. Keep your lawn cut short and trim back tree branches, bushes, and shrubs from the exterior of your home. Seal cracks in the foundation, place weather stripping around windows and doors, and install door sweeps. Eliminate water sources by making sure gutters are clear of debris, and by repairing leaky hoses or fixtures. Switch out white outdoor bulbs for yellow or LED bulbs which are much less attractive to insects - their main food source.
Centipede means "hundred leggers", but rarely does a centipede have exactly 100 legs. Most species of centipedes have between 15 and 177 pairs of legs. One of the most common and well-known species of centipede is the house centipede. They have a flat, long segmented body that ranges in color from yellowish-gray to dark brown. They may also have dark strips or other markings on their body. Centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment. Their first pairs of their limbs are referred to as maxillipeds. The maxillipeds end in sharp claws and contain venom glands that the centipedes use to catch and paralyze their prey. Centipedes also have long, sensitive antennae that they use to find their prey.
Centipedes mainly live and nest outside in dark, damp locations like under mulch, landscaping ties, logs, stones, and piles of leaves. They are nocturnal and hide during the day. Centipedes emerge during the evening hours to hunt for food - spiders, carpet beetles, silverfish, flies, worms, and other small arthropods. Centipedes often live near the foundation of homes so it is common for them to accidentally find their way inside through cracks in the foundation. They also move inside if the weather outside becomes too hot and dry for them to live comfortably. Inside, centipedes live in places that imitate their outdoor environment such as basements, crawlspaces, laundry rooms, and underneath sinks.
To prevent centipedes, make sure that any cracks in your home’s foundation are sealed and all exterior doors (especially basement doors) have door sweeps. Remove piles of debris like leaves, grass, sticks, and fallen trees from your property. Place any woodpiles you may have on your property up off of the ground and a distance away from the exterior of your home. Make sure there is a stone barrier between any mulch or soil and the foundation of your home. Reduce moisture levels in your home by using dehumidifiers in the basement, ventilated fans in bathrooms, and making sure crawlspaces are properly ventilated.
Cockroaches are an invasive species of insect that live in diverse indoor and outdoor environments. They are social and usually live together in large groups. Adults have semi-hard, oval-shaped, flat bodies. Their heads are small in size compared to their bodies. Most species are winged, but not all are capable of flying. Their six legs are covered in spines and are sensitive to touch. Their antennae are usually just as long or longer than their body. One of the most common species of cockroach is the German cockroach. They are light brown or tan in color and have two black stripes running horizontally down behind their head. They are small in size and are commonly found inside homes and restaurants.
Inside homes and businesses, cockroaches live and nest in a variety of locations, such as in attics, inside crawlspaces, behind large electrical appliances, and near pipes and faucets. They commonly invade basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. German cockroaches prefer warm, dark, humid areas. These pests are scavengers and feed on a variety of both food and non-food (toothpaste, paper, glue) items. These insects are dangerous. Cockroaches carry a large number of viruses, bacteria, and parasites on their bodies and legs, and in their feces. Additionally, their shed skins and excrement can trigger allergic reactions and serious asthma attacks, especially in children.
To prevent roaches, inspect your home’s exterior and seal spaces in the foundation. Place weather stripping around windows and doors, and make sure door sweeps are installed. Eliminate as many food and water sources as possible by fixing leaky pipes and fixtures, using dehumidifiers, and store food in air-tight containers or the refrigerator. Inspect used furniture, appliances, potted plants, and packages for cockroaches before bringing them into your home or business.
Wasps are stinging insects that use a stinger to defend themselves and their colony. Wasps are usually categorized as either social or solitary. When living and nesting outside and away from people, wasps are beneficial and are responsible for feeding on and controlling nuisance insects. They also pollinate some plants and crops. When wasps decide to nest near, on, or in a home, they turn from helpful to dangerous and need to be managed by a professional. The venom wasps possess is strong enough to trigger allergic reactions, and in some people, anaphylaxis.
One common species of wasp is the paper wasp. Their bodies are black or brown in color and have yellow or orange markings. Their wings are grayish in color. Paper wasps are semi-social and live together in relatively small colonies. Wasps are most active during the end of summer and into early fall when their colonies are at peak numbers and are out and about foraging for food. Wasps will seek food in garbage bins, compost bins, around outdoor eating areas, and in gardens. Paper wasps are aerial nesters and create their unique upside-down umbrella-shaped nests on trees, utility poles, in shrubs, or in the corners of doorways, under roof eaves, in chimneys, or behind wall voids.
To prevent wasps, remove water sources by fixing leaky outdoor fixtures, getting rid of bird baths, and maintaining gutters. Eliminate sources of food by pruning overgrown flowering plants, keeping lids on trashcans and compost bins, and keeping outdoor eating areas cleaned up. Trim back tree branches and shrubs away from the exterior of your home. Place caps on all chimneys and seal cracks in the foundation and exterior walls.
Dan went above and beyond in treating my yard and rental properties for pests. I highly recommend him!