Limit Access to Food to Practice Proactive Pest Management

Smokybrown cockroach nymphs

Practice Proactive Pest Management

Pest Management

Taken from the UGA publication Management of Pest Insects in and Around the Home by Daniel R. Suiter, Brian T. Forschler Lisa M. Ames and E. Richard Hoebeke

The origin and extent of a pest infestation is often associated with one or more conditions that promote the survival and reproduction of that particular pest. Those conditions include:

  • Favorable temperatures,
  • Abundant food and water, and
  • Available shelter or harborage

When pest problems occur there is usually one or more of these requirements readily accessible to the pest.

The preferred living environment for most humans also provides the necessities many pests need to satisfy their life support requirements. Therefore, it is important that homeowners limit pest access to potential sources of food, water, and shelter in and around the home in an effort to keep our personal living space inhospitable to unwanted house pests.

Proactive pest management is a process that begins with identifying the pest and using information on the biology of the offending creature to decide upon a plan of action. The action plan should involve interventions aimed at reducing pest population numbers or the chance for future encounters with that pest.

Proactive pest management interventions will vary from one household or business to the next but there are a few overarching themes worthy of comment. (Editors note: We discuss access to food in this article. For information on other proactive pest management refer to the publication Management of Pest Insects in and Around the Home)


General rules of cleanliness during food preparation, storage and disposal is the logical starting point for helping to resolve and prevent certain pest problems. Denying pests access to food is an important component of making our living environment less hospitable to pests.

Practice Proactive Pest ManagementImportant practices (habits to establish) that may limit insect access to food include, but are not limited to:

  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers;
  • Keep bird food in feeders, as rodents may use spilled food as a food source (Figure 1);
  • Rotate (use) boxed or packaged foods every 1-2 months;
  • Clean up spills that occur during food preparation or handling;
  • Do not keep soiled dishes in the sink or dishwasher overnight;
  • Empty indoor garbage receptacles twice per week, at a minimum;
  • Clean garbage disposals at least once a week;
  • Keep outdoor garbage in a tightly sealed container and away from any dwelling entrance;
  • Rinse recyclable containers prior to recycling;
  • Store birdseed in a tightly sealed container, preferably outside and away from doors;
  • Ensure that discarded plant waste is removed twice per week, at a minimum, especially during the  summer (Figure 2).

For more information on Proactive Pest Management see Management of Pest Insects in and Around the Home

About the Authors

Daniel Suiter ( and Brian Forschler ( 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 ( directs the Homeowner Insect and Weed Diagnostics Laboratory on the UGA Griffin Campus.

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 (

Flies: Managing pests in and around homes

For more information see the publication from which this information comes, Management of Pest Insects in and Around the Home by Daniel R. Suiter Brian T. Forschler Lisa M. Ames E. Richard Hoebeke

Crane flyCrane flies (Tipulidae):

Crane flies have long legs, a long slender body, and vary in body length from 1/16 to 1 inch. Some crane flies may resemble large mosquitoes. Color will vary depending on species, but one common species is light brown or tan. The larvae are called leatherjackets and can damage lawns by feeding on the roots of grass.

Habits: Crane flies generally rest with their legs spread widely. Adults feed on nectar or do not feed at all; many have vestigial mouthparts. Once they become adults, most crane flies simply mate and die, all within a few days. They do not bite humans.

Interventions: No action recommended.

Might Be Confused With: mosquitoes.

Fruit flies Suiter et alFruit flies (Drosophilidae):

The most common species have red/orange eyes, but not all fruit flies have red/orange eyes. Fruit flies often hover around and just above food (most often decomposing vegetable matter) prior to landing. Flies are 1/8 inch.

Habits: Feed mainly on decaying vegetable matter, compost, rotting fruit, etc. Often found around salad bars and restaurants where vegetable matter and juices collect. Also called vinegar flies, since vinegar (acetic acid) is a decomposition product of some rotting vegetable matter.

Interventions: Find larval fly feeding site(s) and clean or otherwise throw away rotting fruit or vegetable matter. Remove garbage, including the plastic liner, and other refuse at least twice per week.

Might Be Confused With: humpbacked flies, fungus gnats, moth flies.

Fungus gnatFungus gnats (several families represented; mostly Sciaridae):

Small (1/16 inch) fly with smoky black wings. Y-shaped wing venation is characteristic.

Habits: Often found in over watered plants indoors or in otherwise wet conditions.

Interventions: Find larval fly feeding site(s) and clean or otherwise dry out. If desired, apply a soil drench with an appropriately labeled liquid insecticide.

Might Be Confused With: mosquitoes, fruit flies, humpbacked flies, moth flies.

Black soldier fly larvaBlack Soldier flies (larva) (Stratiomyidae):

Strongly-segmented larva, 3/4 to 1 inch, with two 1/16 inch protrusions from one end. Adult flies rarely seen, but are 3/4 inch and appear wasp-like and with two clear spots on upper abdomen.

Habits: In homes, larvae usually found in the bathroom. Presence in bathroom may be indication of sanitary (sewer drain or septic tank) problems because larvae feed in putrid, wet conditions. This insect also lays eggs and larvae develop in piles of damp organic matter such as compost piles. Like many fly species, larvae are known to wander well-away from their breeding site into areas where they pupate.

Interventions: Find the larval food source and address the problem by sanitation or moisture management.

Might Be Confused With: adults look like wasps.

House flyHouse flies (Muscidae: Musca domestica):

The most recognizable of all fly species. Black, drab, 1/4 inch, fast-flying, often numerous around garbage cans and related refuse areas.

Habits: Breeds in garbage, trash, animal waste, and other organic refuse. Like most flies, found most frequently breeding in overly liquid or wet conditions. Often associated with unsanitary, unkempt conditions, such as areas abundant in animal waste or human garbage/landfills. The term maggot is most commonly used in reference to this fly’s larval stages. Because flies are pushed by prevailing, local winds, their source may be from some distance away.

Interventions: Proper sanitation and exclusion is an effective means of reducing fly numbers. Indoors deploy and maintain sticky traps associated with attractive lights (commercial insect light traps) and/or the chemical attractant Z-9-tricosene. Be sure that indoor light traps are situated so that they cannot be seen by flies from the outside. There is no scientific evidence to support claims that a hanging bag full of water serves as a deterrent to house flies. Remove garbage and other refuse at least twice per week.

Might Be Confused With: blow flies.

Humpbacked flyHumpbacked flies (Phoridae):

Also referred to as scuttle flies or coffin flies. Often scuttle about on the surface around and on infested materials. Humpbacked flies are about 1/8 inch.

Habits: Often associated with dead and decaying animal or plant matter (e.g., dead insects, rotting potatoes), bacterial buildup in drains (drain and sewer scum) in bathrooms and kitchens, and in/around garbage cans.

Interventions: Find and clean fly breeding sites and/or clean out drains. Make certain that the water trap in the drain line (especially common in less frequently used sinks) is filled – if the water trap dries out, flies and other pests that live in the drain lines will be able to enter the building. Remove garbage and other refuse at least twice per week.

Might Be Confused With: fruit flies, moth flies, fungus gnats.

Blow fliesBlow flies (Calliphoridae: many species):

Also referred to as bluebottles and greenbottles. Large, robust, fast-flying flies, 1/4 to 3/8 inch, commonly shiny and with metallic blue, green, copper, or gray coloration. Some species strongly bristled, some with stripes on their pronotum (upper thorax), and some with large, reddish-brown eyes. Resemble house flies in their flying behavior.

Habits: Flies attracted to and breed in recently dead and decaying animals and animal waste. When suddenly present in large numbers, and when present indoors (typically at windows sills), is highly suggestive of a dead animal indoors (e.g., attic, crawlspace, wall void, fireplace, etc.).

Interventions: Find dead animal and remove it. Maintain window and door screens to prevent entry into the house. Remove garbage and other refuse at least twice per week.

Might Be Confused With: house flies (especially the maggots).

Drain fly with nameDrain flies (Psychodidae: Psychoda spp.):

Also referred to as moth flies. Oblong or oval, appears moth-like, and is about 3/16 inch, wings fuzzy. Larvae up to 3/8 inch.

Habits: Commonly found in bathrooms (breeds in scum in drains, showers, overflows, toilet bowls, etc.). Adults rest motionless on walls until disturbed, and then fly well. Need wet conditions to breed. When toilets have gone un-flushed for an extended period, moth flies may lay eggs in the toilet tank, and larvae can be found there. When the toilet is finally flushed, larvae can make their way into the toilet bowl, where they are discovered.

Interventions: Clean the inside of the drain of all scum and detritus using a mild cleanser and a bristled brush. Never pour insecticides into drain. Pouring bleach into drains is not effective. Make certain that the water trap in the drain line (especially common in less frequently used sinks) is filled – if the water trap dries out, flies and other pests that live in the drain lines will be able to enter the building. To help determine whether a particular drain is infested, place a clear cup, inverted, over the drain. If flies emerge from the drain, they will be trapped by the cup, and can be seen.

Might Be Confused With: fungus gnats, humpbacked flies, fruit flies, and small moths.

Scientist seeks help tracking Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Brown marmorated stink bug, image by Brian Little.
Brown marmorated stink bug, image by Brian Little.

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

Edited from a longer article. You can find it here.

A University of Georgia entomologist is asking Georgians to help track an insect that loves to stowaway in homes and has the potential to hurt the state’s crops.

The brown marmorated stink bug, a native of Asia, was first spotted in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1998 and has since been found in 42 states and two Canadian provinces, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To date, it is classified as a nuisance pest in Georgia, but could quickly become an agricultural pest, too.

Paul Guillebeau, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, decided to find out how many Georgians are unwillingly hosting the pest.BMSB GuillebeauHe thought of the project after lying in bed at night and counting the number of stink bugs crawling on his Athens, Georgia, ceiling. “On any given day, there are at least five or six on the ceiling and at least 20 throughout the rest of the house,” he said. “You could spray them, but then you’d have dead stink bugs to deal with. It really becomes tedious. They only stink if you handle them, and they don’t do any damage, but they are annoying.”

Guillebeau likens the pest to lady beetles and kudzu bugs, which also torment homeowners by slipping through the tiniest crack to find a warm spot indoors. The stink bugs are first attracted to light and then to the warmer, indoor temperatures.

“I think my house is fairly well sealed, but they are awfully good at getting inside,” he said.

As temperatures begin to rise, the bugs are coming out of their winter slumber and searching for food and water. “Now they are flying to the windows, searching for a way to get out,” he said.

Once the brown marmorated stink bugs return to the outdoors, UGA entomologist Kris Braman hopes home gardeners will take a close, identifying look before killing them.

“The brown marmorated stink bug damages a host of plants, from ornamentals to trees to food crops,” she said. “But there are many other look-alike stink bugs and some of these are predators (that feed on harmful garden pests).”

Brown marmorated stink bugs have striped antennae, smooth shoulders and small mouthparts. Beneficial, predator stink bugs have solid antennae, spines or indentations on their shoulders and a “much stouter” mouth.

“You may need a hand lens to get a close look, but it will be worth it because they eat harmful garden insects like the Mexican bean beetle,” Braman said.

To participated in Guillebeau’s tracking survey, go to The three-question survey will remain open until responses begin to dwindle and the state has been represented.

“I think they are everywhere across the state, but we will just have to wait and see,” Guillebeau said. “I just hope of one of my colleagues develops a trap to catch them before they come in my house next year.”

For help identifying the Brown marmorated stink bug see this article.

This video contains more information on the stinkbug.

Find more information on beneficial insects on page 28 of the publication Insect Identification Guide for Southeastern Landscapes.

Scale insects (& others) outside can lead to ant problems inside

This wax scale-infested holly could be the key to controlling ants around your customer's home.
This wax scale-infested holly could be the key to controlling ants around your customer’s home.

From the Insects in the City blog by Mike Merchant, Texas AgriLife Extension Entomologist

Ask most PMPs who specialize in structural pest control what they know about scale insects, and you’ll get a blank stare. Pest management techs are typically taught little about insect pests of plants, especially tiny, non-descript pests that are frequently well-camouflaged from all but the most highly trained observers.

This is a mistake. A well-trained commercial or residential pest control PMP needs to know about plant pests, especially scales and their cousins the aphids, whiteflies and mealybugs. The key reason is that scales are part of the ecosystem surrounding the home or business, and can play an important role in insect life coming indoors…especially when it comes to ants.

You know ants. Only one of the most important pest issues for the industry around the world. The vast majority of indoor pest ants are sugar-loving.  But these ants don’t get their sweet tooth from sheer gluttony (like us!); ants have evolved with a heavy reliance on sugary foods in the form of honeydew.

Honeydew is the sweet excretion product of many plant feeding insects, including scales, aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies and others. Most of us have experienced honeydew when parking a vehicle under a tree during the summer months. Those sticky drops all over the windshield were honeydew, or less delicately, insect poop.

Much like our obsession with sugar, ants have an interesting relationship with honeydew producing insects. It turns out that ants have been relying on the scale insects for so long that both scale and ant have become co-dependent. The ant gets a free, long-term, stationary food source. The scales benefit from the ants keeping down excess honeydew and mold on the old leaf, and even get protection from predators like lady beetles and parasitic wasps.

Ants that naturally feed on honeydew include carpenter ants, crazy ants, odorous house ant, Argentine ants, acrobat ants, rover ants and fire ants…and probably several others I’m forgetting at the moment.  If you’re battling any of these critters on a regular basis, you might need to know something about why ants are attracted to your accounts in the first place.  In many cases it probably has something to do with the presence of scale insects around the building perimeter.

Sticky, shiny leaves are one tip-off that scale-like insects may be feeding on your customers’ plants.  Also look for waxy crusts often associated with aphids, scales and mealybugs.  Honeydew
also serves to grow a black mold called “black sooty mold”, another unsightly clue to a problem.

aphid honeydew

A few years ago when industry giant (at the time) American Cyanamid was searching for an improved bait for carpenter ant control they turned to experts in insect honeydew for insight. Researchers found that mimicking some of the natural constituents of insect honeydew in an artificial bait was a good strategy for designing a more effective bait.

I’m not suggesting that all ants are attracted to your accounts just because of sugar-pooping pests, but I guarantee you that, when present, these insects will contribute to an ant problem. So what can be done? First of all, learn the signs of honeydew producing insects, and how to select some of the excellent control products on the market.

There’s a lot to learn about scale insects–more than I can cover here; but if you’re interested in learning a little more, check out this link to a PowerPoint presentation I gave on the subject.  The topic is scale insects and their control. I hope the pictures and notes will give you an interesting introduction to the subject and a taste to learn more.  Speaking of taste, I think I hear a KitKat bar calling my name.

Argentine ants may move inside in the winter!

This is an excerpt from the UGA publication Argentine Ants by Dan Suiter and Brian Forschler, Department of Entomology

Argentine ant from pub
Argentine ants form strong foraging trails.

To survive the winter, Argentine ants commonly move into protected environments where temperatures are warmer and environmental conditions more stable. In structures, for example, ants commonly move into voids and other elements of construction that provide a warm, stable environment.

As spring temperatures return, Argentine ants move back into their preferred, outdoor nest sites where colonies grow steadily throughout the warm season. In the Southeast, populations typically peak in late summer. By early winter, declining temperatures once again trigger ants to begin searching for protected overwintering sites, and the cycle repeats.

To prevent large, late-season ant populations, and the resulting problems associated with winter infestations, management practices (especially outdoor baiting) should be started in the spring and continued through the warm season.

There are a number of approaches that can be utilized for the treatment of existing Argentine ant infestations, but no single insecticide-based approach is completely effective. An integrated approach, therefore, that incorporates both chemical and nonchemical techniques is best suited for the management of this ant species. If chemical controls are utilized, read and follow all pesticide label instructions, and never do more than what the label permits.

Before chemically-based Argentine ant control measures are undertaken, a thorough inspection of the indoor and outdoor premises should be conducted to determine the extent and origin of the infestation. The inspection should identify those areas where chemical control approaches should be directed.


The Argentine Ants publication discusses management techniques used to control these ants.

Insect pests invade Georgia homes in the fall

There are several insect pests that try to invade homes in the fall looking for over-wintering sites. Two are relatively new introductions to Georgia.

Kudzu bug Suiter AmesKudzu bugs (Megacopta cribraria): Wider posterior than anterior, about 3/16 to 1/4 inch. Red eyes, green to brown body with stipples present on wing covers. Distinct odor.

Habits: Flies to light-colored surfaces (buildings and automobiles), from nearby kudzu patches, in October/November as it looks for overwintering sites. Active again in Spring (February to April) as it awakes from Winter slumber. Native to Asia, was discovered in Georgia (and the Western Hemisphere) for the first time in October 2009. Feeds on kudzu as well as other legumes, including soybeans.

Interventions: Before kudzu bugs begin to move (October), take action to (1) seal all cracks 1/8 wide or wider, and (2) spot spray around all potential entry points with an appropriately labeled residual spray. Reapply insecticide treatments, per label specifications, through the end of November. Interventions should be implemented early enough (mid-September) so that preventative measures are in place before the onset of kudzu bug movement. In Summer, remove kudzu if possible. It is especially important to make sure all windows are screened, that doors remain closed, and doorsweeps are installed on all exterior doors. As temperatures decline into the Winter months kudzu bugs become less of a nuisance.

For more information see University of Georgia Extension circular #991, Megacopta cribraria as a Nuisance Pest.

Might Be Confused With: lady beetles, brown-marmorated stink bugs.


BMSB Suiter AmesBrown-Marmorated Stink bugs (Pentatomidae: Halyomorpha halys): Brown marbled- or mottled-colored stinkbug, 5/8 inch, adults with distinctive white-banded antennae.

Habits: First discovered in northwest Georgia in 2010, this invasive Asian species was first reported in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 1996. An important agricultural pest of fruit crops as well as row crops and vegetables. Like the kudzu bug, boxelder bug, and multicolored Asian lady beetle, this bug is attracted to homes in the Fall in search of overwintering sites, sometimes in large numbers.

Interventions: Follow suggestions under section titled Proactive Pest Management, especially the installation of doorsweeps and screens. Before brown-marmorated stink bugs begin to seek refuge indoors (Fall), take action to (1) seal all cracks 1/8 wide or wider, and (2) spot spray around all potential entry points with an appropriately labeled residual spray. Reapply insecticide treatments, per label specifications, through the end of November. Interventions should be implemented early enough (mid-September) so that preventative measures are in place before the onset of stink bug migration indoors. It is especially important to make sure all windows are screened, that doors remain closed, and doorsweeps are installed on all exterior doors. If bugs get inside the best solution is to vacuum them. Insecticide treatments indoors are not recommended. If bugs die inside walls or in attics their carcasses can accumulate and attract other insects that eat them, especially carpet beetles.

Might Be Confused With: kudzu bugs, lady beetles.

Online training available on kudzu bug & brown marmorated stinkbug

Kudzu bug Jeremy Greene, Clemson University,
Kudzu bug Jeremy Greene, Clemson University,

Learn about two new invasive insects, the kudzu bug and the brown marmorated stinkbug, in this webinar presented by Dr. Michael Toews, Associate Professor of Entomology, University of Georgia, Tifton, GA; and Dr. Tracy Leskey, Research Entomologist, USDA ARS Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory, Kearneysville, WV.

Click here to view the webinar which was presented on September 5, 2014.

For more webinars in this series, see All Bugs Good and Bad 2014 Webinar Series.

Tawny Crazy Ant found in three new locations


Daniel R. Suiter, Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA

Tawny crazy ant worker. Photo by Danny McDonald. Click on the image to view the major identifying characteristics. Image from Texas A&M publication found at
Tawny crazy ant worker. Photo by Danny McDonald. Click on the image to view the major identifying characteristics. Image from Texas A&M publication found at


In August 2013 James Morgan (UGA Extension Agent in Albany, GA) was the first to find the tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, in Georgia. Read the story here. Until Morgan’s find, the tawny crazy ant was known from sporadic counties in Mississippi and Louisiana, but was widely-distributed in Texas and Florida.

The tawny crazy ant was formerly known as:

  • The Rasberry crazy ant (after a pest control operator, Mr. Tom Rasberry, the discoverer of N fulva in Texas)
  • The hairy crazy ant (under a microscope the ant appears hairy) and
  • The Caribbean crazy ant (given its FL distribution)

The tawny crazy ant is an invasive ant species from South America with widespread distribution in Texas and Florida. The tawny crazy ant’s biology and general, visual appearance, to the untrained eye, is similar to that of another South American invasive ant species common in Georgia, the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) (known to Georgians as “sugar ants”). While the tawny crazy ant was detected in Georgia in 2013, the Argentine ant has been established in Georgia for more than 100 years. Neither are native to Georgia.


In August 2014 three additional tawny crazy ant sites were brought to our attention by Jarrell Jarret, Arrow Exterminators in Brunswick, GA in conjunction with Don Gardner, UGA Extension Agent. Two sites were found at I-95, exit 26 (Waverly, GA). Neither site was more than a quarter mile from the interstate (one east and one west of I-95). Both sites are in Camden county.

We suspect ants were transported from Florida. A fourth site was found just 3 miles north on I-95, at a gas station (exit 29). This site is in Glynn county.

We suggest that UGA Extension Agents and Pest Control Operators on Georgia’s coast, in southeast Georgia, and in the southern half of Georgia should be on alert for the existence of this major nuisance ant pest. In areas of Texas where the tawny crazy ant has appeared, it has become a tremendous nuisance. Although unseen, and perhaps less appreciated by homeowners, invasive species, including ants, can be highly disruptive to native habitats. Invasive ants commonly drive native ant species to extinction, and can disrupt the “balance” of native ecosystems, resulting in a cascade of detrimental impacts on a system’s ecology.


Control of the tawny crazy ant is similar to control of the Argentine ant, and includes (primarily) the direct application (strictly by label) of fipronil, pyrethroids, or other labeled sprays to trailing ants and nest sites (concentrations of workers, brood, and queens) around structures. Secondarily, baits can be utilized, but due to colony size and distribution, baits are less effective than perimeter sprays at alleviating this pest’s nuisance status.

The movement of tawny crazy ants into un-infested areas is aided by human beings (potted plants and other personal belongings). tawny crazy ant colonies reproduce by budding. tawny crazy ants do not have nuptial flights, so cannot move long distances unless their movement is aided by humans.

Because the tawny crazy ant is commonly found nesting in and amongst human debris and trash, it is important, in conjunction with chemical treatments, to maintain a tidy property. If this entails maintaining and cleaning-up the outside environment in an area where the tawny crazy ant already exists, it is critically important to not exacerbate the problem by moving the ant to an un-infested site in infested debris in an attempt to tidy the property.

Report Findings of the tawny crazy ant.

Should Pest Control Operators (PCO) or UGA Extension Agents find what they think to be a tawny crazy ant infestation, it is important to send a physical sample for confirmation of their identification. Send physical samples to Dr. Dan Suiter, UGA Griffin Campus, Department of Entomology, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, GA 30223. Call Dr. Suiter at 770-233-6114 or email him.

Local Extension Offices can often help PCOs identify insects or ship samples for diagnosis. Find your local Extension Office here or call (800) ASK-UGA1 from any non-cell phone.


See this tawny crazy ant Identification Information from Texas A&M. This website includes a video of the tawny crazy ant in a lawn. There is another similar video of tawny crazy ant in leaves.


Tawny Crazy Ant page from the Mississippi Entomological Museum website.

These things are crawling everywhere!

Millipede Gary Alpert, Harvard University,
Millipede – Gary Alpert, Harvard University,

This is a millipede. See the following information to know how to identify them or read the UGA publication Millipedes and Centipedes for complete identification and control information.

This information taken from the UGA publication Millipedes and Centipedes

Revised by Elmer W. Gray, Extension Entomologist
Original document produced by Dr. Beverly Sparks

Millipedes are often called 1,000-legged worms or rain worms. They are wormlike, with rounded body segments that each bear two pairs of legs. The head is rounded with short antennae. Species can vary in length from less than 1 to 2 or more inches. They are light brown to black in color.

Centipede Gary Alpert, Harvard University,
Centipede – Gary Alpert, Harvard University,

Centipedes are often called 100-legged worms and have one pair of legs on each of their body segments. All centipede species are more or less wormlike and have a flattened body with a distinct head that bears a pair of long antennae. Jaws containing poison glands are located on the first body segment immediately behind the head. Depending on the species, centipedes can vary in length from 1 to 12 or more inches when mature. The most common centipede species found in Georgia are less than 5 inches long. Centipedes vary in color from light yellow to dark brown and reddish brown.

Millipedes can be numerous - Gary Alpert, Harvard University,
Millipedes on a sticky trap – Gary Alpert, Harvard University,

Millipedes and centipedes are not insects. They are actually more closely related to lobsters, crayfish and shrimp. However, unlike their marine cousins, millipedes and centipedes are land dwellers. They are most often found in moist habitats or areas with high humidity.

Millipedes and centipedes do not carry diseases that affect people, animals or plants. Millipedes do occasionally damage seedling plants by feeding on stems and leaves, and may enter homes in large numbers during periods of migration and become a considerable nuisance. They do not cause damage inside the home, although they may leave a stain if they are crushed. Centipedes, which have poison glands and can bite, pose an occasional threat to humans.

Find more information in the publication here.

New Graphic Helps Consumers Make Informed Choices About Insect Repellents

Posted July 17, 2014 on the IPM in the South blog from the Southern Region IPM Center

The EPA unveiled a new graphic that will be available to appear on insect repellent product labels. The graphic will show consumers how many hours a product will repel mosquitoes and ticks when used as directed.

EPA Repellency label

The EPA’s new graphic will do for bug repellents what SPF labeling did for sunscreens. This new graphic will help parents, hikers and the general public better protect themselves and their families from serious health threats caused by mosquitoes and ticks that carry debilitating diseases. Incidence of these diseases is on the rise. The CDC estimates that there are nearly 300,000 cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year. Effective insect repellents can protect against serious mosquito- and tick-borne diseases.

The EPA is accepting applications from manufacturers that wish to add the graphic to their repellent product labels. The public could see the graphic on products early next year.