Tiger, tiger…Aedes albopictus

Taken from the April 10 issue of Dideebycha, newsletter of the Georgia Mosquito Control Association

Aedes albopictus was introduced into the Port of Houston in 1985 in shipments of used tires from northern Asia. Movement of tire casings has spread the species to more than 20 states since 1985.

The Asian tiger mosquito is a small black and white mosquito. The name “tiger mosquito” comes from its white and black color pattern. It has a white stripe running down the center of its head and back with white bands on the legs.  These mosquitoes lay their eggs in water-filled natural and artificial containers like cavities in trees and old tires; they do not lay their eggs in ditches or marshes. The Asian tiger mosquito usually does not fly more than about ½ mile from its breeding site and generally flies a considerably shorter distance.

Asian Tiger Mosquito range in the U.S.
Asian Tiger Mosquito range in the U.S.

Aedes albopictus associates closely with people and is an aggressive, daytime biting mosquito.  It is native to the tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia, and is now found in 1/3 of the Unites States. New Jersey, southern New York, and Pennsylvania are currently the northernmost boundary of established Ae albopictus populations in the eastern United States.

The tiger mosquito is an important disease carrier in Asia. In North America, Ae albopictus is among the most efficient bridge vectors of WNV. In addition to vectoring exotic arboviruses, this species can also transmit the endemic eastern equine encephalitis and La Crosse viruses in the laboratory and in the field.  It is a competent vector of both Dengue and Chikungunya virus.  In fact, Ae albopictus is a competent vector for at least 22 arboviruses.

A lot of work has been done recently on control of Ae albopictus.  Since it is a daytime biting species and an asynchronous emerger, conventional truck-based ULV spraying doesn’t always work well.  According to one study, an integrated pest management approach can affect abundances, but labor-intensive, costly source reduction is not enough usually to maintain Ae albopictus counts below a nuisance threshold.


Fonseca, et al, Area-wide management of Aedes albopictus. Part 2: Gauging the efficacy of traditional integrated pest control measures against urban container mosquitoes. 2013. Pest Management Science, 69 (12): 1351–1361.

Regulatory Restrictions Protect Human and Animal Health

Nancy C. Hinkle, Ph.D.

Veterinary Entomologist, Dept. of Entomology, University of Georgia

One of the foundations of Integrated Pest Management is prevention, and one of the essential underpinnings of prevention can be regulatory restrictions. If we prevent the introduction of a pest or disease into an area where it does not occur, we avoid the risks associated with the pest or pathogen.

WNV cycleUp until fifteen years ago we had never had a case of West Nile Virus in the U.S. So how did West Nile Virus come to North America? Probably someone smuggled in an infected bird that was carrying the virus. The smuggler didn’t think he was doing anything bad; after all, he had paid good money for the bird and wanted to bring it home with him to New York City. What was wrong with tucking the bird into his pants and not declaring it when the agent asked if he was bringing any living animals as he passed through Customs? Once home, the bird was placed in a cage near the apartment window, a local mosquito flew in and sucked a little of its blood, then flew out and fed on a local sparrow. The sparrow became infected with West Nile Virus, more mosquitoes fed on it and picked up the virus, and a few weeks later dozens of birds at the Bronx Zoo dropped dead of West Nile Virus after being fed on by these infected mosquitoes.

Meanwhile people in Queens were developing high fevers, severe headaches, and nerve problems like paralysis. Even though New York mobilized and started treating for mosquitoes, the virus was already established in birds and mosquitoes. West Nile did not exist in the U.S. prior to 1999; since that year mosquitoes have spread West Nile westward through the continental U.S., resulting in over 1,700 human deaths and ten times that many paralysis cases.

WNV incidence in the US
Source – http://tinyurl.com/qdm4u65

There is a reason the Customs Declaration Form that people entering the U.S. fill out contains the question, “Are you bringing with you meats, animals, or animal/wildlife products?”  While we don’t often think about it, animals in other countries can contain pathogens that we don’t have here in North America and that can be lethal to humans or animal life on our continent. If these hosts get moved into our country, the pathogens can rapidly spread to local wildlife and then to humans.

Before traveling outside the U.S., travelers should visit the Centers for Disease Control website to determine which vaccinations and medications are needed for the areas to which they’ll be traveling. It’s important to follow appropriate precautions to avoid insect bites. And people reentering the U.S. should not bring back with them any living animal or plant, meat, or other animal products. The fellow who smuggled in the West Nile-infected bird had no idea that his action would result in the death of over 1,700 Americans, thousands of horses, and countless wild birds.

Can we use the behavior of these ants to better control them?

Ants engage in a social behavior known as trophallaxis, or food sharing, during which food (including bait) is distributed among nestmates.

Information on using bait formulations for insect control. Taken from the publication Insecticide Basics for the Pest Management Professional

Daniel R. Suiter, UGA Department of Entomology & Michael E. Scharf, UFL Department of Entomology and Nematology

Ants engage in a social  behavior known as trophallaxis, or food sharing, during which  food (including bait) is distributed among nestmates.
Figure 1. Ants engage in a social behavior known as trophallaxis, or food sharing, during which food (including bait) is distributed among nestmates.

See the rest of the publication at  Insecticide Basics for the Pest Management Professional

Bait Formulations. Baits must be eaten by the target pest — typically rodents, termites, ants, cockroaches, and other miscellaneous pests (Figure 2). Baits are comprised of an active
ingredient incorporated into a palatable, if not preferred, food source. Bait products usually contain inert ingredients (e.g., preservatives, thickeners, gels, and fillers) intended to stabilize and enhance the shelf life and palatability of the bait. Logically, it is important that bait ingredients (actives and inerts) not be a deterrent to feeding.

Baits are most commonly formulated as ready-to-use liquids, gels, pastes, granules, dusts,
stations, pellets, and blocks. Depending on the product’s label, baits can be used both indoors
and outdoors, are generally target-specific, and are considered environmentally-friendly
because only small amounts of active ingredient are delivered, usually from a point source.
Because baits must be eaten, it is important to keep them away from non-target organisms.

To facilitate bait consumption:

  • Neither the active ingredient nor any other part of the bait should be a feeding deterrent.
  • The food source should be palatable (perhaps even preferred) by the target pest.

In addition, for social insect pests (especially ants) it is important that the active ingredient be slow acting. Ants and termites share food with their colony mates in a social behavior known as trophallaxis (Figure 1). Trophallaxis results in active ingredient distribution throughout social insect colonies. It is, therefore, important that the active ingredient be slow acting over a range of concentrations in order to provide sufficient time for toxicant distribution among nestmates. Fast-acting active ingredients or excessively high concentrations of the active ingredient may too quickly impair a social insect’s ability to engage in trophallaxis, thereby rendering the bait less effective.

See the rest of this publication at  Insecticide Basics for the Pest Management Professional


Identifying & controlling different mosquito species

Skeeter wordRosmarie Kelly, Public Health Entomologist, Georgia Department of Public Health

The first step in controlling the mosquito species which are causing your client problems is to identify the local species.  Quite often, not all methods of control will work well for all species.   Knowing which species are the issue can help you determine future control methods.

So, how do you determine which species are active at any given time in your area?  The best method is to set out light traps in the area, collect the mosquitoes, and identify them.  If this is done in a systematic way, it is possible to develop a database of local mosquito species that will aid you in determining the best method of control at any given time.

Is this always feasible?  Unfortunately, no.  However, depending on where your client lives, some of this information may be available from other sources. Municipal mosquito control programs in Georgia rarely have sufficient funding to do mosquito surveillance.  However, there are a few programs that do collect surveillance data and may be willing to share information.

Mosquito information is available through the Georgia Mosquito Control Association.  Also see the other resources listed at the end of this article.

Asian tiger mosquito, Susan Ellis, Bugwood
Asian tiger mosquito, Susan Ellis, Bugwood

The very least that should be done is to determine if the mosquito causing the problem is Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito.   Asian tiger mosquitoes are small, aggressive, day-biting mosquitoes with black and white striped legs.

Since they do not fly far from their breeding ground, Asian tiger mosquitoes can be controlled through a combination of source reduction (eliminating breeding sites) and barrier spray (application of pesticide to vegetation where mosquitoes rest).  Not all mosquitoes will rest locally after biting, so barrier spray may not be as effective for all species but it works well for Asian tiger mosquitoes.

The most important reason to understand which mosquito species are causing problems at any given time is to assist with educating the client.  People tend to believe that all mosquitoes are the same, and often have unrealistic ideas about their control.  If you are well informed, it can help you when discussing control issues with the client and assist in keeping the client happy with your control program.

There are control situations that are better handled by commercial mosquito control companies. Having a list of local commercial applicators can be useful to a municipal program.

Resources are available to assist with mosquito surveillance and identification.  Check out:

Simple Key to Some Common Georgia Mosquitoes

Best Management Practices for Integrated Mosquito Management

Georgia Mosquito Control Association

American Mosquito Control Association

The Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory at the University of Florida offers an Advanced Mosquito Identification and Certification Course (http://mosquito.ifas.ufl.edu/Advanced_Mosquito_ID_Course.htm).

The Georgia Department of Public Health has offered at least one mosquito ID course every year since 2002, and hopes to continue this tradition depending on funding.  Watch the Pest Control Alerts training page for these classes or other upcoming training.

The various mosquito control products vendors not only offer equipment calibration, they also offer training opportunities.

UGA Urban Pest Management Program

Urban IPM videoUrbanization creates pest problems that threaten the health and welfare of all Georgians. Insect and rodent pests consume and contaminate our food anywhere that it is grown, prepared, cooked, served, or stored. Insects also consume the wood from which our homes are built. Some pests are life-threatening, especially those that bite, sting, or trigger allergies.

The Urban Pest Management Program on the University of Georgia’s Griffin Campus is responding to these challenges by researching key problems and disseminating information to those who can use it best, specifically Georgia’s residents and the owners and operators of Georgia’s termite and pest control companies.

The Griffin Pest Management Program is dedicated to the continuing education of employees of all of Georgia’s pest management companies. To that end, the Program offers multiple training opportunities for the pest management professional. Annually, more than 30/40 continuing education hours are available to Georgia’s registered/certified pest management company employees through a multitude of training programs.

The Georgia Structural Pest Control Training Facility is located on the University of Georgia’s Griffin Campus. The facility was built to train and educate pest management professionals, regulatory inspectors, and Cooperative Extension personnel on the biology and management of pests in the home, business and school environments.

For more information on our programs, contact Dr. Dan Suiter at 770-233-6114 or email dsuiter@uga.edu. Watch this video (YouTube) for an overview of the training programs offered on the UGA Griffin Campus.

Visit the Urban IPM Pest Management website here

Mosquitoes Modified to Create Only Male Offspring Could Help Eradicate Malaria

From Entomology Today

Anopheles mosquito image from online article
Anopheles mosquito image from online article

Scientists have modified mosquitoes to produce sperm that will only create males, pioneering a fresh approach to eradicating malaria.

In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from Imperial College London have tested a new genetic method that distorts the sex ratio of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the main transmitters of the malaria parasite, so that the female mosquitoes that bite and pass the disease to humans are no longer produced.

Read the entire article in Entomology Today.

Demise of Small Mosquito Control Programs (and the Effect on West Nile Virus Transmission)

State public health officials in Georgia support an integrated approach for mosquito control. Local officials can contact the Department of Public Health for more information about how to conduct an integrated program in their counties.

Learn more at the Georgia Department of Public Health Web Page.

Also check out the Georgia Mosquito Control Association website.

Summary of an article by Dr. Rosmarie Kelly, Georgia Department of Public Health Read the entire article here

Asian tiger mosquito, Ary Farajollahi, Bugwood.org
Asian tiger mosquito, Ary Farajollahi, Bugwood.org

A number of published reports suggest that mosquito control programs, and especially those using Integrated Mosquito Management techniques, are needed to reduce the risk of arboviral (West Nile Virus and some other mosquito vectored diseases) transmission at the local level. A study from Michigan indicated that people in communities with no mosquito control program had a tenfold greater risk of West Nile fever/encephalitis than those in areas where mosquitoes were controlled http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/conf/pdf/Walker_6_04.pdf

A Chicago area study suggested that mosquito control programs made a difference in WNV infection rates. The Des Plaines Valley District, with an intensive program to kill mosquito larvae, had four West Nile fever/encephalitis cases per 100,000 people, while the North Shore District, with a less ambitious program, had 51 cases per 100,000. This study showed that the program with the most mosquito surveillance and best documented larviciding and adulticiding operations had the fewest number of West Nile fever/encephalitis cases (Tedesco, Ruizand and McLafferty 2010).

This is not new information. The efficacy of aerial insecticide applications to reduce the transmission of Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus was shown during an epidemic in Dallas, TX in 1966. This study presented evidence that infection rate is reduced as a consequence of anti-mosquito measures. Before aerial spraying there was an SLE virus infection rate of 1 in 167 mosquitoes tested. After aerial control operations the SLE virus infection rate was 1 in 28,639 mosquitoes (Hopkins et al. 1975)

So, are small programs important? There was a documented increase in vector populations after the temporary closure of Clayton County, Georgia’s mosquito control program. There was an apparent increase in the risk of West Nile fever/encephalitis based on the presence of increased numbers of vector species and the detection of an early human case of West Nile fever/encephalitis in 2010. There was also a suspected increase in nuisance species and mosquito complaints, although these data were not collected. The Clayton County program has since been re-instated and is administered by Public Works.

Since the size of mosquito populations is crucial to disease transmission, it is important to reduce these populations below transmission thresholds. Even small programs can provide a reduction in vector populations and reduce the risk of vector-borne disease transmission.

Read the entire article here


Hopkins, CC et al. 1975. The epidemiology of St Louis encephalitis in Dallas, Texas in 1966. Am J Epidemiol 102: 1-15.

Tedesco C, Ruiz M, and McLafferty S. 2010. Mosquito politics: Local vector control policies and the spread of West Nile Virus in the Chicago region. Health & Place, 16 (6): 1188-1195.

Do you recognize this cockroach and know how to control it?

Do you recognize this cockroach and know how to control it?


The insect is a smokybrown cockroach. Read the following info to know how to identify and to control five types of cockroach found in Georgia!

This information is from the UGA publication, Management of Insect Pests in and Around the Home. The publication gives a full range of control options for 75 household pests based on pest biology. You will want to explore the entire publication, but this is an excerpt from the Cockroach Control section.

Cockroaches (Order Blattaria)

Cockroaches are large, night-active, fast-moving insects with a broad, flattened body, long antennae, and a relatively small head. The front pair of wings (called tegmina) are tough, protective, and lay on top of the membranous hind wings. Most cockroaches are poor fliers. None of the cockroach species listed below is indigenous to the U.S., but all are well established.

American cockroach (Blattidae: Periplaneta americana):

Adults are large (2 inches) with pale outer margins on the pronotum (upper thorax). Chestnut to light brown-colored insects that run quickly. Males and females are visually indistinguishable, although females are a little wider posteriorly than males.

American cockroach
American cockroach


Mainly found in sewers and other dark, damp hideaways such as basements. Rarely, if ever, found in attics. Night active. Sometimes found co-habiting outdoor harborage sites with smokybrown and/or Oriental cockroaches.


Apply gel baits (multiple small dabs no larger than a pea) or broadcast granular baits in areas where cockroaches are found. Bait stations can be used to control small nymphs, but adults and large nymphs may be too big to fit into the small openings in most bait stations.

Might Be Confused With:

Smokybrown cockroach, Oriental cockroach.

Smokybrown cockroach (Blattidae: Periplaneta fuliginosa):

Adults are large (1.5 inches) and uniformly dark cherry to dark red colored. Males and females are visually indistinguishable, although females are a little wider posteriorly than males. First instar nymphs approximately 1/8 to 3/16 inch, and identified by the white band across their back, just behind the thorax, and a white band on the tip of the antennae.

Smokybrown cockroach
Smokybrown cockroach


Most common cockroach in suburban, Southern neighborhoods with mature hardwood trees present, where they commonly live in treeholes, attics, crawlspaces, sheds and similar harborages with high humidity and protected from the desiccating effects of wind. Not commonly found in kitchens, as is the German cockroach. Night active. Sometimes found co-habiting outdoor harborage sites with American and/or Oriental cockroaches. Rarely, if ever, found in sewers. First instars not very mobile; their presence suggests nearby egg case hatch.

Smokybrown cockroach nymphs
Smokybrown cockroach nymphs


Apply gel baits (multiple small dabs no larger than a pea) or broadcast granular baits in areas where cockroaches are found. Bait stations can be used to control small nymphs, but adults and large nymphs may be too big to fit into the small openings in most bait stations.

Might Be Confused With:

American cockroach, Oriental cockroach.

Oriental cockroach (Blattidae: Blatta orientalis):

Adults are large (1 to 1.25 inches) and cherry to black colored. Males with short wings that do not completely cover the abdomen; females wingless (wingpads only).

Oriental cockroach
Oriental cockroach


Sometimes found cohabiting outdoor harborage sites with smokybrown and/or American cockroaches. Night active. Rarely found around homes in suburban environments. Biology and habits more similar to the American cockroach than the smokybrown cockroach.


Apply gel baits (multiple small dabs no larger than a pea) or broadcast granular baits in areas where cockroaches are found. Bait stations can be used to control small nymphs, but adults and large nymphs may be too big to fit into the small openings in most bait stations.

Might Be Confused With:

Smokybrown cockroach, American cockroach.

Asian cockroach (Blattellidae: Blattella asahinai):

Adults of both sexes about 1/2 to 5/8 inch, tan colored with dual, parallel stripes on back of pronotum (upper thorax). Males and females are visually indistinguishable.

Asian cockroach
Asian cockroach


Attracted to light, readily flies (rare for a cockroach), and found in shaded areas outdoors with leaf litter, mulch and/or high grass present. Rarely found indoors, unless attracted there by light. Flies during the day in response to disturbance (walking through habitat).


Alter lighting to make structure less attractive at night (see section in publication on Proactive Pest Management). Broadcast granular bait in areas where cockroaches are found. If desired, apply an appropriately labeled residual spray to those areas where cockroaches are found.

Might Be Confused With:

German cockroach.

German cockroach (Blattellidae: Blattella germanica):

Adults of both sexes about 1/2 to 5/8 inch, tan colored with dual, parallel stripes on back of pronotum (upper thorax). Males and females are visually indistinguishable.

German cockroach
German cockroach


Obligate indoor pest, never to rarely found outdoors except in cases of extreme indoor infestations. Found mainly in kitchens near and in warm appliances and sources of water. Night active. Under extreme levels of infestation this cockroach may be responsible for allergies, especially in children.


Use pheremone-based sticky traps to highlight areas of activity. Use gel baits and bait stations in areas (mainly in kitchen under the sink, next to the garbage, under/next to the refrigerator and stove, and in infested drawers) where German cockroaches are found. In moderate to heavy infestations, as many as 12-15 bait stations may be needed in a standard-sized home. Place bait stations on flat surfaces in corners and along edges of walls. When using gel baits, the application of many small bait ‘spots’ is preferred to the application of a few large bait spots (it does not take much bait to affect a large number of German cockroaches). If desired, in cases of extreme infestation apply a spot treatment with an appropriately labeled residual spray inside cracks and crevices where cockroaches are found. Total release aerosols (bug bombs) are ineffective at controlling German cockroaches, and should not be used indoors.

Might Be Confused With:

Asian cockroach.

About the Authors Daniel Suiter (dsuiter@uga.edu) and Brian Forschler (bfor@uga.edu) are Professors of Entomology, specializing in urban entomology, in the Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia; Suiter is located on the university’s campus in Griffin, while Forschler is on the main campus in Athens, GA. Lisa Ames (lames@uga.edu) directs the Homeowner Insect and Weed Diagnostics Laboratory on the UGA Griffin Campus. E. Richard Hoebeke, a systematic entomologist, is the associate curator of insects at the Georgia Museum of Natural History on the UGA’s main campus in Athens, GA (rhoebeke@uga.edu).

Online training for the pest control industry

Past trainings and webinars have been recorded and made available online. For more information, click on the links below. Not all webinars originate from Georgia, so not all information may be pertinent to our area.

This website lists the available online trainings.

Dealing with People Who Think They are Infested with Invisible Bugs February 19, 2014

Dr. Nancy Hinkle, Professor of Medical-Veterinary Entomology at the University of Georgia.

The presentation is available as a podcast at these two sites. You may need to download QuickTime to view the video.




Home Invaders (Kudzu bugs and others) October 2, 2013

Dr Dan Suiter, Professor and Program Leader-Urban Entomology, University of Georgia.


Category 41 (Mosquito Control) Exam Review to prepare applicators to take the GA Department of Agriculture commercial pesticide applicator exam June 2013

Elmer Gray, UGA Entomology Department.


The Bugs That Won’t Go Away: Your role in delusional infestation March 27, 2013

Dr Nancy Hinkle, UGA Entomologist

Dr. Peter Lepping, Consultant Psychiatrist, Visiting Professor at Glyndwr University in Wrexham, Wales


Ant Control Made Easy May 17, 2012

How Can You Tell if You Have Odorous House Ants? Dr. Karen Vail, University of Tennessee

Understanding the Biology and Behavior of Carpenter Ants Dr. Dan Suiter, University of Georgia

Managing Problems with Pharaoh Ants Dr. Michael Merchant, Texas A&M University


Fire Ant Control Made Easy May 10, 2012 

How Can You Tell if You Have Fire Ants? Dr. Jason Oliver, Tennessee State University

Understanding the Biology and Behavior of Fire Ants, Vicky Bertagnolli-Heller, Clemson University

Managing Imported Fire Ants, Dr. Bastiaan Drees, Professor, Texas A&M University

Biological Control of Fire Ants, Dr. Lawrence Graham, Auburn University

People and pests head indoors for the winter

Smokybrown cockroach

Editor’s note – Although this article is written for homeowners, this information may help pest control professionals to identify these occasional pests in the home. Fall is a great time to be proactive in pest management and to pest proof homes. See this publication for information on proactive pest management.

Sharon Dowdy, news editor with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

As temperatures begin to drop, people head indoors. Unfortunately, insects like to stay warm, too, and often choose our homes as refuge. “We are getting cold snaps at night, and it triggers insects to find some place to come inside for the winter,” said Dan Suiter, a University of Georgia Extension entomologist. “They are just reacting to external conditions.”

Caulk and spray

To help keep pests from picking your home as a winter retreat, Suiter says inspect your home for openings that insects use as entryways. Seal any cracks and crevices with caulk, or fill them with steel wool.As an extra precaution, spray an insecticide around the perimeter or your home, especially to those areas on the structure where they might enter.“It’s not a bad idea to do some spot applications of insecticides. This way when the insects encounter those deposits they will be exposed to the insecticides and be killed,” Suiter said.


Photo credit – Asian lady beetle, W. Louis Tedders, Jr. USDA ARS SE Fruit and Tree Nut Laboratory, Byron GA and Beneficial Insectry, Oak Run, CA
Photo credit – Asian lady beetle, W. Louis Tedders, Jr. USDA ARS SE Fruit and Tree Nut Laboratory, Byron GA and Beneficial Insectry, Oak Run, CA

Lady beetles

Multicolored Asian lady beetles are the most common unwelcome house guests this time of year. In the summer months, these beetles are a welcome sight in gardens as they eat aphids, a pest of many vegetable plants and ornamental plants.

“They are great for biological control, but in the fall they start coming indoors and it’s a different story,” Suiter said.

Smokybrown Cockroaches

Smokybrown cockroach
Smokybrown cockroach, Daniel R. Suiter, UGA Entomology, Bugwood.org

Probably the most unpopular pests of homeowners is often found scurrying across kitchen floors at night – the smokybrown cockroach. Just one cockroach egg capsule holds about 15 to 18 eggs and a female lays one per week in her six-month life.

“There are peak populations this time of year. It came from Japan, and it’s been here a long time,” Suiter said. “It’s really desiccation susceptible, so it’s especially in areas where relative humidity is very high.”

Suiter said many urban pests are indicators of more severe problems.

“Usually, it’s a moisture problem. If you have a lot (of pests) in your attic, you probably have a leak,” he said.

Brown marmorated stink bug
Brown marmorated stink bug, David R. Lance, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

Stink bugs

Brown marmorated stink bugs also like to overwinter indoors. Native to Asia, this stink bug was first spotted in Georgia in 2010. It can be found on a wide range of host plants.

“It’s a major, major nuisance pest in the Northeast and it’s headed south,” he said. “We see them in Georgia, we just haven’t seen the numbers they have seen in the North.”

Box elder bug
Box elder bug, William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, Bugwood.org

Boxelder bugs and carpet beetles

Another indoor pest, the boxelder bug, can be found on maple trees, too. Ironically, when you kill boxelder bugs, you will likely end up with a secondary pest – carpet beetles, Suiter said.

“If you kill them inside you can end up with carpet beetles. They feed on dead boxelder bugs and their populations can be enormous,” he said.

Sugarcane beetle
Sugarcane beetle, Clemson University Coop Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org

Sugar cane beetles

Sugar cane beetles may not come inside homes, but they will chew on the outside. They are a late summer invader that shows up in large populations and feeds on grasses. “It’s a scarab beetle, and when it emerges it’s attracted to lights on houses,” he said. “They have really strong hind legs and can chew through siding.”

Chinch bugs 

Chinch bugs
Chinch bugs, David Shetlar, Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

Chinch bugs are fall pests that also feed on grasses. They are about a half-inch long and show up by the thousands. “They may not come indoors, but they like to crawl under siding,” Suiter said.

When selecting a treatment method for these pests, Suiter warns homeowners not to purchase ultrasound devices.“They have been researched by multiple research facilities, and there’s a lot of data to show they don’t work,” he said.For more on controlling household pests, see the UGA Extension publication Management of Pest Insects In and Around the Home. This publication has information on identifying insects, preventing pest problems and other control methods.