What do you need?

Use the search below to search the site or find your local unit office.

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Home Pests

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
Mosquitos and their Control

Most common mosquitoes are brown to black with tan or white lines or markings. All pest mosquitoes have a long beak or proboscis that is used for feeding. In addition mosquitoes have three pairs of long, slender legs and are 1/4 to 1/2 inch long (6.4-12.7 mm). Immature mosquitoes are worm-like and called wrigglers because of the way they move in water. They are also 1/4 to 1/2 inch long (6.4-12.7 mm).

Mar 11, 2016 ENTO-202NP
Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly (SLF) originates from China where its presence has been documented in detail dating as far back as the 12th century. In modern times, it was first recorded from a sample collected in Nankin, China. SLF is native to China, India, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. In September 2014, the first detection of spotted lanternfly in the US was confirmed in eastern Pennsylvania. In 2015, the range expanded from two to four Pennsylvania counties; the geographical range is likely to expand further. SLF is likely to have arrived from China up to two years earlier on shipping materials, pointing to its ability to overwinter successfully. It is highly invasive and can spread rapidly when introduced to new areas. This is attributed to its wide host range (more than 70 host plant species) and a lack of natural native enemies.

Feb 3, 2016 ENTO-180NP
Evaluation of the Residual Efficacy of Commercial Slug Baits

Slugs are prevalent pests in no-till and reduced-till crop systems in Virginia. These slimy mollusks utilize plant residue to hide during the day, and at night, they feed on numerous crops causing irregular feeding holes and shredded leaves. Slugs cause the most damage during early plant growth.

Jan 29, 2016 ENTO-178NP
Pest Management Guide: Home Grounds and Animals, 2016 Feb 1, 2016 456-018 (ENTO-166P)
Control of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug with Insecticide-Treated Window Screens

In Virginia and other Mid-Atlantic states, the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) has become a serious nuisance pest (Rice et al. 2014). Each fall, these insects aggregate on buildings seeking shelters in which to spend the winter months. A licensed pest control professional can treat buildings for stink bugs in the late summer or fall just prior to bug congregation. A number of insecticides are registered for structural pest control, but the relative effectiveness of these products is not completely known.

Jan 26, 2016 ENTO-177NP
Chinche de cama: Protéjase y proteja su hogar (Spanish) Oct 26, 2015 ENTO-80NPS
Bed Bug Action Plan for Apartments Jun 2, 2015 ENTO-128NP
Iris Borer

Adult iris borers are stout, medium sized moths with a wingspan of 3.8–5 cm (1.5–2 inches). The head and forewings are covered with purplish brown scales and the hind wings are yellowish. The forewings have thin dark zigzag lines, a more conspicuous dark kidney-shaped spot, and variable sooty shading around the margins. The bottom edge of the forewings is noticeably scalloped. Eggs are highly sculptured and are found primarily in the folds of dried out, brown, dead leaves of iris plants. Initially a creamy color with a greenish tinge, the eggs turn lavender with age. Full grown caterpillars are cylindrical, smooth, and pinkish-white. They measure up to 4.4 cm (1.7 inches) long. Pupae are dark brown to nearly black and very shiny.

May 20, 2015 ENTO-140NP
Lice Found on Humans

Human head and body lice are wingless, flattened insects with mouthparts for sucking blood. The head is somewhat narrower than the rest of the elongated body. Adults are small, about the size of a sesame seed (2.5–3.5 mm; 0.1 inch). Head and body lice are gray to tan in color. If they have fed recently, the blood meal will be visible through the body and make them appear darker. Bloodsucking lice have a large claw at the end of each leg that fits snugly around a hair shaft, allowing them to cling securely to their host or the fibers of their clothing. Lice cannot fly or jump; they can only crawl.

May 19, 2015 ENTO-138NP
House fly

Adult house flies are medium-sized flies about 6 mm (0.25 inch) long. They are grayish-black in color, with 4 dark bands running the length of the thorax and conspicuous bristles on the body. The abdomen is usually yellowish or gray, with a dark midline. The large eyes are reddish-brown and there are silvery patches between the eyes on the face. There are two pairs of wings, but the hind wings are small and modified for balance during flight. Adults often cluster in the sun on the warm sides of buildings, outcroppings, fences, and other prominent structures. House fly larvae (maggots) are found in dung, garbage, and rotting organic materials. Homeowners may find house fly maggots in garbage cans that have been left uncovered and not emptied regularly, or in improperly stored food.

May 19, 2015 ENTO-137NP
Cluster Fly

Adult cluster flies are medium-sized, robust, somewhat bristly flies about 7 mm (0.3 inches) long. They are brownish-gray with numerous short yellow hairs on the thorax, a checkered pattern on the abdomen, and large, reddish-brown eyes. Adults are typically slow fliers. In the fall they begin to cluster in the sun on the warm sides of buildings, outcroppings, fences, and other prominent structures as they seek protected places to overwinter. They may enter houses and other buildings in large numbers. Homes built on the top of a hill or otherwise stand out in the landscape may attract many cluster flies. While cluster flies are a nuisance in the home, they do not bite, are not associated with the transmission of disease, and do not reproduce inside buildings. Cluster fly larvae (maggots) are parasites of earthworms and develop in the soil. They are not known to reduce earthworm populations to the extent that they disrupt soil ecology.

May 19, 2015 ENTO-136NP
Brown Recluse Spider

Brown recluse spiders belong to a group of spiders commonly known as violin spiders or fiddlebacks. Their name refers to a characteristic fiddle-shaped pattern on their head region directly behind their eyes (never on the abdomen). Brown recluse spiders range in color from tan to dark brown, but often they are a golden brown. The coloration is generally uniform (head and abdomen are about the same color) with no stripes or bands on the legs. The fiddle marking is usually dark brown or black, with the neck of the fiddle pointing towards the abdomen. Hairs on the body are fine, not coarse, and the fiddle pattern is often shiny. The body measures 8–10 mm long (about 0.4 inch).

May 19, 2015 ENTO-135NP
Blow Flies

Adult blow flies are generally

medium to large, robust flies. They vary in

length, with the largest species measuring about 16 mm (0.6 inches) long. They can be green, blue, or black with metallic reflections. Some species have conspicuous bristles. All adults have large, noticeable reddish-brown eyes. The wings are transparent and held flat over the back. Adults often cluster in the sun on warm sides of buildings, outcroppings, fences, and other prominent structures. They are sometimes found visiting flowers and feeding on nectar.

May 19, 2015 ENTO-134NP
Native and Solitary Bees In Virginia May 8, 2015 ENTO-151NP
Crab Lice, Pthirus pubis (L.) Psocodea: Phthiraptera; Pthiridae May 7, 2015 ENTO-144NP
Bed Bug Action Plan for Schools Apr 24, 2015 ENTO-129NP
2014 Arthropod Pest Management Research On Vegetable in Virginia Apr 22, 2015 ENTO-127NP
Wax Scale Mar 3, 2015 444-622 (ENTO-112NP)
Spiders of Medical Concern in Virginia Aug 8, 2014 ENTO-73NP
Squash Bug Mar 25, 2014 ENTO-64NP
Pepper Weevil Mar 25, 2014 ENTO-63NP
History, Distribution and Pest Status of the Mexican bean beetle Mar 25, 2014 ENTO-62NP
Striped Cucumber Beetle Feb 25, 2014 ENTO-61NP
Arthropod Pest Management Research on Vegetables in Virginia – 2013 Feb 25, 2014 ENTO-60NP
Mexican Bean Beetle Dec 13, 2013 ENTO-51NP
Leatherwing (Soldier) Beetles Dec 10, 2013 ENTO-53NP
Improving Pest Management with Farmscaping Dec 6, 2013 ENTO-52NP(ENTO-55NP)
Yellowjackets Sep 26, 2013 ENTO-49NP
Insect Identification Lab Sep 25, 2013 ENTO-45NP
Millipedes Sep 25, 2013 ENTO-43NP
Gloomy Scale Sep 25, 2013 ENTO-44NP
Insect and Mite Pests of Boxwood Sep 25, 2013 ENTO-42NP
Bed Bugs Biology and Behavior Jun 25, 2013 ENTO-8P
Bed Bugs: How to Protect Yourself and Your Home May 14, 2013 ENTO-31NP
Living Well Newsletter, Volume 7, Issue 2 Apr 23, 2013 370-108
Widow Spiders Dec 18, 2012 444-422
Como Identificar Infestaciones de Chinches

Los chinches no aparecen por arte de magia. Ellos aparecen porque usted los trae a su hogar. Entonces usted como cree que los trajo a su hogar, en sus maletas después de un viaje, o en algún mueble que usted compró en una tienda de garaje? La mayoría de la gente sospecha que tiene chinches cuando encuentran inexplicables picaduras en su cuerpo. En la mayoría de los casos estas personas se va a dormir sintiéndose bien pero cuando se levanta la mañana siguiente se encuentra con molestas picaduras.

May 3, 2012 ENTO-5P
How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation

You cannot just “get” bed bugs. They have to be brought into your home. So what is your first clue that you have brought bed bugs home (say after a trip, or after purchasing a piece of used furniture that you bought at a garage sale)? Most people become suspicious of a bed bug infestation when they find unexplained bites on their bodies.

May 3, 2012 ENTO-4P
Pesticide Applicator Manuals Nov 17, 2011 VTTP-2
Carpet Beetles

 The four most important and most common species are the black carpet beetle (Attagenus mezatoma) shown here, the varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci) , the common carpet beetle (Anthrenus scrophulariae) , and the furniture beetle (Anthrenus flavipes) . The adults feed primarily on pollen and nectar and can be found on outdoor plants during the summer. The adult stages of carpet beetles are small, oval insects, usually less than 1/4 inch long. Carpet beetle larvae are usually about the size of the adult beetle, 1/4 inch or less in length but they have dense tufts of long setae (bristles) on their bodies. Black carpet beetle larvae have a long tuft of hair at the end of their bodies. Adult carpet beetles are commonly found indoors at windows. Carpet beetle larvae often wander about the infested location-- from room to room in a house. This behavior results in spreading the infestation throughout the house. Coleoptera: Dermestidae.

Mar 4, 2016 3104-1588 (ENTO-189P)
Pine Tortoise Scale

Foliage drops, needles usually shorter and may kill tree over period of years -
most damaging on seedlings and young saplings. Often black sooty mold is associated with infestations.

Mar 24, 2016 3101-1529 (ENTO-207NP)
Locust Leafminer Mar 17, 2016 3101-1528 (ENTO-205NP)
Earwigs in Virginia

Earwigs can be up to 1 and 1/4 inches (25.4 - 31.8mm). Most are Red-brown to black in color. Adult earwigs are flattened insects, up to 1 and 1/4 inches in length, and light red-brown to black. Some species are wingless but others have a pair of leathery forewings covering a few segments of the  abdomen and the membranous hind wings, which have the tips protruding. The forceps-like appendages at the end of the abdomen are strongly curved in the male. The female's appendages are smaller and less curved. The forceps are used primarily for defense and during courtship and cannot harm people. Earwigs are primarily scavengers on dead insects and rotted plant materials. Some species are predators. Only a few of the winged species are good fliers. They are often transported great distances in plant materials and occasionally in other freight. The most common earwig in Virginia is the European earwig, Forficula auricularia. Dermaptera: Forficulidae.

Mar 11, 2016 3101-1527 (ENTO-194NP)
Drugstore and Cigarette Beetles Mar 8, 2016 3101-1526 (ENTO-193NP)
Baldfaced Hornet Nov 3, 2014 3006-1449 (ENTO-84NP)
Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) Mar 5, 2010 444-284
Subterranean Termite Treatment Options Mar 5, 2010 444-500
Subterranean Termite Biology and Behavior Mar 5, 2010 444-502
American Cockroach Mar 4, 2010 444-288
Signs of Subterranean Termite Infestation Mar 1, 2010 444-501
Gypsy Moth in Virginia: An Update

Most Virginians are aware that the gypsy moth is a serious pest of hardwoods in our state. Although this insect has maintained a low profile the past few years, there was a general resurgence in moth populations in 2000. This population increase serves as a reminder that, in areas where gypsy moth has become established, this pest is still present in the environment even when populations are too low to be noticed.

Gypsy moth is a native of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. It was accidentally released in the U.S. over 130 years ago by a Frenchman who wanted to cross it with native silk moths. From its original introduction near Boston, Massachusetts, this pest has spread into the mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states (Fig. 1).

May 1, 2009 444-750
Dogwood Twig Borer

The larvae tunnel in live twigs and feed down the center of the branch, making a long series of closely placed round holes for the exudation of frass. Periodically, the larvae cut off portions of the twig from within and continue to feed inside the twig on the green wood working their way down.

Nov 18, 2014 444-625 (ENTO-91NP)
Japanese Weevil

The Japanese weevil has a long list of hosts, but is especially found on cherry laurel, broad-leaved evergreens, pyracantha, privet, barberry, euonymus, and many others. This weevil has also damaged vegetable and field crops in Virginia.

Dec 11, 2014 444-624 (ENTO-98NP)
Magnolia Soft Scale
Heavy magnolia soft scale infestations cause stunting of twigs and undersize leaves, visibly weakening the trees. Small trees may be killed. Large trees lose branches and tree shape may become irregular.
Dec 11, 2014 444-623 (ENTO-101NP)
Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle in Virginia

Multicolored Asian Lady beetles enter the house through small openings around windows, doors, and utility access points. In addition, they can enter the house by cracks in the siding and trim and through attic vents. Sealing those entry sites is the best method to keep them from becoming indoor pests later. Conduct a thorough energy audit of your house, as places where cold air can enter the house are places where this lady beetle can gain access. Fill all cracks and leaks with a fine quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.  Once inside, insecticides are not recommended except for severe cases. Sweep up with a broom and dustpan all beetles that collect in windowsills and on walls. Beetles can also be picked up with a vacuum cleaner but bags will need to be discarded so that beetles do not escape.

Dec 11, 2014 444-275 (ENTO-102NP)
Giant Resin Bee

Size: about 0.75 inch (1.9 cm) Color: Black and yellow-brown Giant resin bees are large with a cylindrical body and large jaws. They have a dark head and abdomen with yellow-brown hair on the face, thorax, and the first segment of the abdomen behind the "waist." The wings are a transparent brown color that darkens toward the tips. Male giant resin bees have a truncated, squared abdomen while the females have a more tapered, pointed abdomen. Giant resin bees can be distinguished from bumblebees and carpenter bees by their cylindrical bodies and the appearance of their abdomens. Giant resin bees do not have hairy abdomens like bumblebees, nor are their abdomens shiny like carpenter bees. Hymenoptera: Megachilidae Megachile sculpturalis Smith.

Dec 10, 2014 444-206 (ENTO-96NP)