Indiana is home to more than 800 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and mussels, as well as 800 species of insects. That’s a lot of diversity! Here’s our list of six Indiana pests that we think qualify as “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”
Not all pests are bad. Some can actually be helpful under the right circumstances. Two insects that we think qualify as “good” pests are praying mantises and centipedes.
In some cultures, seeing a praying mantis is considered good luck. You might consider yourself lucky to find a praying mantis around your home or garden. Praying mantises are predators of most pest insects, mites, eggs, or any insect in reach. Even while young, mantises have enormous appetites, eating various aphids, leafhoppers, mosquitoes, caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects when young. As they grow, they will eat larger insects, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and other pest insects. It isn’t likely that you’ll find many praying mantises inside your home, but if you find one in your yard, say hello, and thank her for helping with the pest situation.
Full disclosure, we weren’t sure if centipedes should be in the good category, or in the ugly category. Sure, they’re kind of ugly, and definitely not considered good luck like the mantis, but we think they are pretty helpful, too. Like praying mantises, centipedes provide a little pest control of their own.
While it isn’t likely you’ll find a praying mantis in your home, you might find a centipede or two (or three, or four…). They’re nighttime hunters, known for killing pests that you REALLY don’t want in your house. They prey on other pests such as cockroaches, termites, spiders, flies, and even wasps. Centipedes aren’t dangerous to humans. They don’t make a nest or web, so they really don’t leave a mess. They don’t eat wood or destroy property. All in all, these little guys are pretty helpful, and just want to eat other bugs. That said, if you find yourself with more than you care to have in your home, give us a call.
As we all know there are certainly plenty of unwanted pests hanging around, too. The two we think have potential to do the most damage are bed bugs and termites.
Bed bugs are definitely at the top of our list of “bad” guys. Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of, as they can survive for months without food and they can withstand wide ranges of temperatures. These small, elusive parasitic insects survive by feeding nocturnally on the blood of humans, or other warm-blooded animals. They do not fly or hop, but are fast-moving feeders, gorging themselves while their host is asleep, thus the name bed bug.
Bed bugs can be hard to detect, and often their populations get out of control before the homeowner even realizes what is going on. Complete bed bug extermination is extremely difficult for those inexperienced in pest control. Elimination of a bed bug infestation typically requires the services of pest control professionals who understand bed bugs’ habitats and biology and know how to find and treat all of the places the bed bugs or eggs may be present.
In case you’re unfamiliar with them, termites are wood-boring insects that are known as hidden threats. They can cause extensive damage, often with few external signs. In fact, termites are responsible for an estimated $1 to $2 billion in property damage annually in the US. The average home or business owner how finds themselves in the midst of a termite infestation spends $3,000 to repair damage.
Discovering a termite infestation inside your home or business is of course financially frustrating but can also be an emotionally trying experience. The thought of thousands of tiny insects silently feasting on your largest investment is enough to upset anyone. Although termite activity can be difficult to locate and often go undetected by the home owner, YES Pest Pros use technology that enables them to detect, treat, and monitor termite activity. The Sentricon Termite Colony Elimination System is used in conjunction with our Integrated Pest Management System green pest control program to find and manage termites as needed. This reduces the need for unnecessary pesticides and insecticides.
One might argue that almost all pests in Southern Indiana could qualify as “ugly,” and sure, they’re not all the prettiest things. But there are two in particular that we think could top the ugly list.
It’s possible you haven’t seen a mole before, since they spend their lives underground. In fact, if you’ve even seen one, it’s likely that it was already dead. While moles aren’t necessarily dangerous, they can certainly be a nuisance, especially to gardeners and landscapers.
Moles are insect-eating animals that belong to the same family as shrews and bats. They have large paddle-like front feet that make them very efficient diggers. Their diet consists mainly of earthworms, larvae, insects, and grubs, so while they don’t eat your plants, they can certainly disturb them. The two most common signs of mole activity are raised ridged areas in lawns, and the traditional molehill.
Slugs are in the mollusk family, but unlike many other mollusks, they lack a shell. Instead, they secrete a mucusy film for protection. They’re often thought to be a snail without a shell, and that’s exactly what they look like! Slugs often emerge in spring, when they are happy to make a meal of fresh spring gardens. Left unchecked, slugs can cause a gardener a major headache.
Slugs just want to live their best lives. Unfortunately, that often involves destroying hostas and other common Indiana perennials. They may be slimy and pretty ugly, but thankfully they aren’t dangerous to humans.
Good, Bad, or Ugly – We Can Help.
No matter which pest is “bugging” you, we can help! YES Pest Pros is not your typical pest control company. We offer solutions to your pest problems using environmentally-friendly pesticides, and in some cases, no pesticides at all! Our mission is to provide our customers with quality pest control services, while always keeping our environment a priority. Give us a call today to see how we can help!