Fleas

Flea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera which are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals (including humans) and birds.

In the past, it was most commonly supposed that fleas had evolved from the flies (Diptera), based on similarities of the larvae. (Some authorities use the name Aphaniptera because it is older, but names above family rank need not follow the ICZN rules of priority, so most taxonomists use the more familiar name). Genetic and morphological evidence indicates that they are descendants of the Scorpionfly family Boreidae, which are also flightless; accordingly it is possible that they will eventually be reclassified as a suborder within the Mecoptera. In any case, all these groups seem to represent a clade of closely related insect lineages, for which the names Mecopteroidea and Antliophora have been proposed.

Some flea species include:

Snails

Snail is a common name for almost all members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the adult stage. When the word is used in a general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails. Otherwise snail-like creatures that lack a shell (or have only a very small one) are called slugs. One snail, the Giant African Snail, can grow 15 inches (39.3 cm.) from snout to tail, and weigh 2 lbs.

Snails can be found in a wide range of environments including ditches, deserts, and the abyssal depths of the sea. Although many people are familiar with terrestrial snails, land snails are in the minority. Marine snails constitute the majority of snail species, and have much greater diversity and a greater biomass. Numerous kinds of snail can also be found in fresh waters. Many snails are herbivorous, though a few land species and many marine species areomnivores or predatory carnivores.

Snails that respire using a lung belong to the group Pulmonata, while those with gills form a paraphyletic group; in other words, snails with gills are divided into a number of taxonomic groups that are not very closely related. Snails with lungs and with gills have diversified widely enough over geological time that a few species with gills can be found on land, numerous species with a lung can be found in freshwater, and a few species with a lung can be found in the sea.

Most snails have thousands of microscopic tooth-like structures located on a ribbon-like tongue called a radula. The radula works like a file, ripping the food into small pieces.

Earwigs

Earwigs make up the insect order Dermaptera, found throughout the Americas, Eurasia and Australia. It is one of the smaller insect orders, with only 1,800 recorded species in 12 families. Typical earwigs have characteristic cerci, a pair of forceps-like pincers on their abdomen, and membranous wings folded underneath short forewings, hence the scientific name for the order, which translates literally as “skin wings”. Some groups within the earwig order are tiny parasites on mammals and lack the typical pincers. Earwigs rarely fly, even though they are capable of flight.

Earwigs are nocturnal; they often hide in small, moist crevices during the day, and are active at night, feeding on a wide variety of insects and plants. Damage to foliage, flowers, and various crops are commonly blamed on earwigs, especially the common earwig Forficula auricularia. However, the harmfulness of earwigs to foliage is still under debate, as they also eat certain insects that damage them.

Earwigs undergo an average of 5 molts over the course of a year, their average life expectancy, before they become adults. Many earwig species display maternal care, which is uncommon among insects. Female earwigs are known to take care of their eggs, and even after they have hatched as nymphs will continue to watch over offspring until their second molt. As the nymphs molt, sexual dimorphism such as differences in pincer shapes begins to show.

Earwig fossils have been found dating back 208 million years. Those specimens are now included in the extinct suborder Archidermaptera dating back to the Late Triassic. Many orders of insect have been theorized to be closely related to earwigs by many authors, though Grylloblattaria is the most likely.

Silverfish

Silverfish are nocturnal, elongate, and flattened insects typically between 0.5 and 1.0 inches (12–25 mm) in length. Their abdomen tapers at the end, giving them a fish-like appearance. They are born whitish, but develop a grayish hue and metallic shine as they get older. They have three long cerci at the tips of their abdomens, one parallel to their body, one facing left, and one facing right. They also have two small compound eyes, despite other members ofThysanura being completely eyeless, such as the family Nicoletiidae.

Like other species in Apterygota, silverfish completely lack wings. They have long antennae, and move in a wiggling motion that resembles the movement of a fish. This, coupled with their appearance, influences their common name. Silverfish typically live for two to eight years.

Silverfish consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives. These include glue, book bindings, paper, photos, sugar, coffee, hair, carpet, clothing and dandruff. Silverfish can also cause damage to tapestries. Other substances that may be eaten include cotton, linen, silk and synthetic fibres, and dead insects or even its own exuvia (moulted exoskeleton). During famine, a silverfish may even attack leatherwear and synthetic fabrics. Silverfish can live for a year or more without eating.

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American Cockroach

The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), also known as the palmetto bug or waterbug, particularly in the southern United States…

German Cockroach

The German cockroachCroton bug or Steam fly (Blattella germanica) is a small species ofcockroach, measuring about 1.3 cm (0.51 in) to 1.6 cm (0.63 in) long; however, they are known to get bigger. It can be tan through brown to almost black, and has two dark parallel streaks running from the head to the base of the wings. Although it has wings, it is unable to sustain flight.

The German cockroach is one of the most common and prominent household cockroaches in the world, and can be found throughout many human settlements. These insects are particularly fond of inhabiting restaurants, food processingfacilities, hotels, and nursing homes. In colder climates, they are found only near human habitats, since they are not very tolerant to cold. However German cockroaches have been found as far north as Alert, Nunavut.

The German cockroach is originally from Asia, it is very closely related to the Asian cockroach, and to the casual observer they appear nearly identical and may be mistaken for the other. This cockroach can be seen in the day occasionally, especially if there is a large population or if they have been disturbed. However, sightings are most commonly reported in the evening hours as they are most active at night.