Flying & Stinging Pests Identification

Clothes Moth

Length: up to 1/2″

These are small yellowish or brownish moths. Larvae spin a silken tube or case which they drag around themselves to protect them from the environment and their natural enemies. Eggs are laid on products the larva will consume such as: wool, feathers, fur, hair, animal and fish meals and milk powders. Adults do not feed on fabrics. Only the larvae damage household goods. They are not attracted to light, preferring dark, protected areas. Cedar closets will not prevent them from entering.


Length: 5/8″ – 3/4″

Hornets nests are the most noticeable sign of hornets. Hornets are  responsible for these large, football-shaped nests around homes and businesses in trees and on the sides of buildings. These pests are extremely aggressive and have been known to repeatedly sting anyone or anything that disturbs them. They are black and yellow and will live in colonies of hundreds to thousands. Control can be accomplished at any time of day, but treating at night will ensure that most of the insects are in the hornets nest at the time of treatment. Do not use a flashlight during treatment, Hornets will follow the beam of light and attack its holder.

Paper Wasps

Length: 1/2″ – 1″

These can be found in a variety of colors from reddish brown to dark red to orange with varying bright stripes of yellow and red. Paper Wasps are predators and feed on insects, spiders and caterpillars. Several females build nests of paperlike cells (wood pulp and saliva) that are usually attached to the underside of a support (an eave or window) and hang down. Mated young queens spend the winter under leaf litter and in stone walls. They are very protective of their nests and will defend against invaders with a painful sting.

Yellow Jackets

Length: 1/2″ – 5/8″

These are often confused with Honeybees because of their yellow and black markings, but they can be distinguished from bees by their thinner waistlines. Yellow jackets are social insects and will aggressively defend their nests, which are typically located in stumps or fallen logs or in the ground. They prey on a variety of insects and also forage on foods people eat, especially sweets and meat. Their stings can be painful and can cause a serious reaction to allergic individuals.

For more information about bee and wasp control, click here.

House Fly

Length: 1/8″ – 1/4″

This is the most common fly to be found in this area. The house fly has clear wings that are longer than its body, and protruding eyes, which are quite noticeable. The house fly is a vector for many types of diseases and pathogens and they will lay between 350 – 900 eggs in a lifetime. Under ideal conditions a house fly can fully mature in as little as 6 days. They generally breed outside near garbage or other waste. A combination of methods is needed to control these pests including exclusion, exterior baiting, and insect light traps.

Indian Meal Moth

Length: 5/8″ – 3/4″

The Indian Meal Moth is the most common of insect stored product pests. This moth, which is readily found in homes and grocery stores all over the country, readily infests all types of grain products, such as cereal, flour, cake mixes, rice, beans, pet food, and especially, birdseed. The adult lives only a very short time and is only capable of reproduction. It does no damage to food products. The larval stage of this species does much of the consumption and damage to products. In the store, inspect packages for damage, expiration date and moth presence. A cocoon often will be visible on the outside of infested product packaging. At home, inspect your pantry, both on product packages as well as on shelves and in corners. If a product is outdated, damaged or suspected of infestation, throw it away immediately.


Length: 1/4″

These pests breed in ponds, lakes, and any standing water. They have a short reproductive cycle which allows them to become a problem very quickly. They are most active around dusk, and are strongly attracted to light, body heat, and Carbon Dioxide. Only the female mosquito actually bites, and that is right before she is about to lay eggs. These pests are carriers of many diseases and other parasites, most notably the West Nile Virus. A comprehensive plan to eliminate breeding sites, standing water, is the best way to prevent these pests and reduce the spread of the West Nile Virus. Fogging and misters only provide temporary relief from these pests.

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Length: 1/16″ – 1/2″

The tick is an eight-legged relative of the spider. It must feed three times before hiding and producing up to 3,000 eggs in a crack or crevice. The tick can live without food for up to 200 days, waiting for a host, usually a dog, to supply a blood meal. Many serious diseases can be transmitted through ticks: Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Typhus, Lyme Disease, Relapsing Tick Fever and other disorders.