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Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are considered the most beneficial insect to humans because of their ability to pollinate crops and the products they provide directly such as honey and wax. Honey bees contribute more than $16 billion annually to US agriculture and pollinate approximately one third of the crops we consume. In recent years, much has been written about the decline in the honey bee population; however, most declines have occurred in managed bee colonies. The status of wild honey bee colonies remains unknown. What is known, is that honey bees can become unwelcome guests, nesting in and around our homes, schools, and businesses.
The occurrence of many very tiny beetles in newly constructed or renovated homes and other structures could be a sign of mold buildup that has been used as a breeding habitat by species in this group of beetles. The plaster beetle, Cartodere constricta (Gryllenhal) is one of a number of minute brown scavenger beetle species in the family Latridiidae (Coleoptera)(Kingsolver and Andrews 1991). These beetles are cosmopolitan, occurring throughout the world, and are primarily found in structures.
These beetles feed on mold (mycophagous). Frequently, they can be found in newly constructed or recently renovated buildings where plaster was not dried sufficiently and became moldy, attracting the beetles and providing food for the developmental stages.
Pillbugs are common inhabitants of landscapes and garden sites around buildings. Among the few crustaceans that have fully adapted to life on land, pillbugs are relatively simple in their construction, but interesting in the way they have adapted to terrestrial life. Occasionally pillbugs become pests around the home, and that is what this factsheet is about; however if you are interested in learning more about these small creatures, see the section “For more information” at the end of this publication.
Mites are tiny arthropods, related to ticks. Several types of mites can be found in homes and of these a few may bite humans. Most mites are harmless predators of insects, or feeders on decaying plant material. Some pest mites feed on stored products like cheese and grain. Others are merely nuisance pests, accidentally entering homes from their normal outdoor habitat. Only a few mite species are parasitic on birds or mammals, but these can occasionally become biting pests in homes. Identifying the type of mite and/or likely host is the first step in solving an indoor mite infestation.
Infestations of some insects are the direct result of moisture and accompanying mildews and fungi. Several insects are feeders on molds and mildews, or require the same high humidity conditions that favor mildew growth. Sometimes the presence of these insects provides a clue to water leaks or some other form of moisture problem.
This article shows you how control lyctid powderpost beetles in homes.
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The house fly, Musca domestica, is one of the most common insects associated with people throughout the world. House flies are mostly nuisance pests. However, since they feed and develop on decomposing organic materials they can carry many different organisms that can cause diseases in humans and domestic animals. Suppressing their populations is very important in reducing contagious disease risks and the annoyance they usually cause. The purpose of this publication is to provide basic information on the biology and ecology of the house fly and suggestions on appropriate control methods.
Horsehair worms are parasites of certain insects, especially crickets and grasshoppers. They are commonly found in puddles of water, on damp sidewalks and patios, or as they emerge from bodies of their insect hosts. Despite their sometime frightening appearance, these creatures are not harmful and have no economic importance.
Hide and larder beetles are among nature’s most efficient scavengers, feeding mostly on dead animals. Occasionally, however, they become pests of households, where they feed on a wide variety of animal protein-based items. Common foods for these beetles include leather goods, hides, skins, dried fish, pet-food, bacon, cheese, and feathers.
In Texas there are two species of introduced house geckos, the Mediterranean house gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, and the common house gecko, Hemidactylus frenatus. House geckos are common in suburban and urban areas. Both house gecko species have bulging, lidless eyes with vertical pupils and sticky toe pads.