Resources for Home Pests

Title Available As Summary Date ID Author
Baldfaced Hornet
The baldfaced hornet is a large, black and white hornet up to 1 inch (25.4mm) in length. It is black and white in color with a mostly white head or face. It is widely distributed in Virginia. The nests are constructed of the same paper-like material as that of other wasps (yellowjackets). They differ a great deal from other wasp nests in being enclosed in a thick "paper" envelope. There is a single opening at the lower end of the nest and a few hornets always guard this. Nests are always abandoned at the end of the season. Hymenoptera, Vespidae: Dolichovespula maculata (L.)
Nov 3, 2014 3006-1449 (ENTO-84NP)
Drugstore and Cigarette Beetles Mar 8, 2016 3101-1526 (ENTO-193NP)
Earwigs in Virginia Mar 11, 2016 3101-1527 (ENTO-194NP)
Locust Leafminer Mar 17, 2016 3101-1528 (ENTO-205NP)
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)
Carpet Beetles Mar 4, 2016 3104-1588 (ENTO-189P)
Living Well Newsletter, Volume 7, Issue 2 Apr 23, 2013 370-108
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)
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)
Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) Mar 5, 2010 444-284
American Cockroach Mar 4, 2010 444-288
Widow Spiders Dec 18, 2012 444-422
Subterranean Termite Treatment Options Mar 5, 2010 444-500
Signs of Subterranean Termite Infestation Mar 1, 2010 444-501
Subterranean Termite Biology and Behavior Mar 5, 2010 444-502
Wax Scale
Plants Attacked: Wax scale has well over 50 hosts, especially Japanese and Chinese hollies, pyracantha, spirea, ivy, hemlock, euonymus, and boxwood; Description of Damage: Infestations seldom kill plants directly, but seriously weaken them, reduce growth, and cause decline. Deposits of honeydew give rise to rampant growth of the black sooty mold fungus, particularly on burford and Chinese holly.
Mar 3, 2015 444-622 (ENTO-112NP)
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)
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)
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)
Gypsy Moth in Virginia: An Update May 1, 2009 444-750
Pest Management Guide: Home Grounds and Animals, 2017
This 2017 Virginia Pest Management Guide provides the latest recommendations for controlling diseases, insects, and weeds for home grounds and animals. The chemical controls in this guide are based on the latest pesticide label information at the time of writing. Because pesticide labels change, read the label directions carefully before buying and using any pesticide. Regardless of the information provided here, always follow the latest product label instructions when using any pesticide.
Mar 15, 2017 456-018 (ENTO-220P)
2014 Arthropod Pest Management Research On Vegetable in Virginia
This booklet contains arthropod pest management research conducted on vegetable crops in eastern Virginia in 2014. Research was conducted at several
Apr 22, 2015 ENTO-127NP
Bed Bug Action Plan for Apartments
Bed bug infestations have been a nightmare for apartment managers. Apartment communities have seen their pest management expenses go from $30,000 to over $100,000 in a single year. Many apartment managers have admitted to hiring and firing 3 or 4 pest management companies because none were able to get the bed bug problem under control. Some complexes have even closed or sold because they could no longer afford to treat communities that were 50-90% infested.
Jun 2, 2015 ENTO-128NP
Bed Bug Action Plan for Schools
Bed bug infestations are continuing to spread through single-family and multi-unit homes. This means that more people are living with bed bugs than ever before. When more people live with bed bugs the possibility of people transporting bed bugs to other locations increases. Children living with bed bugs at home will bring bed bugs to school. We need to accept the fact that bed bugs have the potential to be transported to school every day that school is in session. Thus, there is a great probability any particular school will experience multiple bed bug introductions every year.
Apr 24, 2015 ENTO-129NP
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.
May 19, 2015 ENTO-134NP
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.
May 19, 2015 ENTO-135NP
Cluster Fly
Adult cluster flies are medium-sized, robust, somewhat bristly flies about 7 mm (0.3 inches) long.
May 19, 2015 ENTO-136NP
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.
May 19, 2015 ENTO-137NP
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).
May 19, 2015 ENTO-138NP
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
May 20, 2015 ENTO-140NP
Crab Lice, Pthirus pubis (L.) Psocodea: Phthiraptera; Pthiridae
Crab lice are very small (1.5–2 mm; 0.06–0.08 inch), wingless, flattened insects with mouthparts for sucking blood. The body is about as wide as it is long, broadest at the “shoulders”, with a small head.
May 7, 2015 ENTO-144NP
Native and Solitary Bees In Virginia
Although honey bees are well known for pollination and honey production, other bees at times impact humans in various ways. These native bees range from beneficial to annoying, sometimes at the same time. Native bees are important pollinators for fruit and vegetables.
May 8, 2015 ENTO-151NP
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.
Jan 26, 2016 ENTO-177NP
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
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.
Feb 3, 2016 ENTO-180NP
Mosquitos and their Control
The key to controlling mosquitoes is removing the standing or stagnant water where they live.
Mar 11, 2016 ENTO-202NP
Bed Bugs: How to Protect Yourself and Your Home May 14, 2013 ENTO-31NP
Insect and Mite Pests of Boxwood
Three pests, the boxwood leafminer, mite and psyllid commonly attack American and English boxwood in Virginia and cause spotting, yellowing, and puckering of leaves.
Sep 25, 2013 ENTO-42NP
Millipedes
Millipedes range from 1 to 4 inches (25.4-100mm) and are usually dark brown. Millipedes are slow crawling, round-bodied pests, which have two sets of legs on each, body segment. Millipedes develop best in damp and dark locations with abundant organic matter (food). They often curl up into a tight "C" shape, like a watch spring, and remain motionless when touched. The body is long and cylindrical.
Sep 25, 2013 ENTO-43NP
Gloomy Scale
Description of Damage: The bark becomes roughened and encrusted with scales. Branches and limbs die back and result in a rapid decline in tree vigor, occasionally resulting in the death of trees. Seriously weakened trees are common in Virginia as a result of scale populations, especially red and silver maples.
Sep 25, 2013 ENTO-44NP
Insect Identification Lab
Welcome to the Insect Identification Laboratory at Virginia Tech. The Insect Identification Lab covers all insects found in all situations and commodities in Virginia. This diagnostic lab started in 1967 and is a service for Extension Agents and Citizens of Virginia.
Sep 25, 2013 ENTO-45NP
Yellowjackets
DESCRIPTION: Yellowjackets are from 5/8 to 1 inch (14-25.4mm) long, have black and yellow markings in a bold pattern. Since they are a type of wasp, they have a definite waist. They fold their wings lengthwise when at rest. Like all wasps, yellowjackets prey on a wide variety of insects and other arthropods. Yellowjackets are unusual in that workers also forage on foods consumed by people, especially sweets and meats.
Sep 26, 2013 ENTO-49NP
How to Identify a Bed Bug Infestation May 3, 2012 ENTO-4P
Mexican Bean Beetle
Mexican Bean Beetle (MBB), Epilachna varivestis Mulsant (Fig. 1), is an herbivorous lady beetle (Coccinellidae) that feeds on bean crops (legumes) in North America. It is similar to the squash lady beetle, Epilachna borealis, which feeds primarily on cucurbits. MBB can cause significant defoliation damage to various bean crops particularly in the genus Phaseolus (snap beans, lima beans, pole beans, etc.). It will also feed on soybean, alfalfa, beggarweed, kudzu, and other legumes.
Dec 13, 2013 ENTO-51NP
Improving Pest Management with Farmscaping
Farmscaping is a holistic ecologically-based approach to pest management that emphasizes the arrangement or configuration of plants that promote biological pest management by attracting and sustaining beneficial organisms. Ideal farmscape plantings provide habitat for beneficial insects, suppress weeds, and grow in close proximity to the cash crop without competing for light, water and nutrients. Research has shown that maintaining high levels of species diversity is a key characteristic of a proper functioning agroecosystem. Unfortunately, intensive farming operations including growing large monocultures, regular cultivation, and excessive use of insecticides often leads to a dramatic reduction in arthropod diversity, especially natural enemies that often keep many pest insects below damaging levels. Farmscaping is a technique designed to add diversity back to the system and minimize disturbance leading to increases in natural enemy populations by providing insectary plants as food and shelter resources.
Dec 6, 2013 ENTO-52NP(ENTO-55NP)
Leatherwing (Soldier) Beetles
Beetles in the family Cantharidae are referred to as soldier beetles or leatherwings. The name soldier beetle originates from the elytra (front wings) of one of the earliest described species being reminiscent of early uniforms of British soldiers. The latter name was coined for the soft nature of the elytra. Two species in the genus Chauliognathus are commonly found in Virginia. Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus (Fig 1) is often referred to as the Pennsylvania leatherwing, or the goldenrod soldier beetle referring to its favorite flowering plant in the fall. A similar species Chauliognathus marginatus, the margined leatherwing, is found in the spring on various flowers.
Dec 10, 2013 ENTO-53NP
Como Identificar Infestaciones de Chinches May 3, 2012 ENTO-5S
Arthropod Pest Management Research on Vegetables in Virginia – 2013
This booklet contains arthropod pest management research conducted on vegetable crops in Virginia in 2013. Research was conducted at several locations including: 1) the Virginia Tech Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center (AREC) near Painter, VA; 2) the Hampton Roads AREC in Virginia Beach, VA; 3) the Virginia Tech Kentland Research Farm near Blacksburg, VA; and 4) the Southwest Virginia 4-H Educational Center in Abingdon, VA.
Feb 25, 2014 ENTO-60NP
Striped Cucumber Beetle
In Virginia, cucurbits are attacked by two native species of cucumber beetles, the striped cucumber beetle, A. vittatum, which is featured in this document, and the spotted cucumber beetle, Diabrotica decimpunctata howardi (Mannerheim), which is discussed in a separate fact sheet.
Feb 25, 2014 ENTO-61NP
History, Distribution and Pest Status of the Mexican bean beetle
Mexican Bean Beetle (MBB), Epilachna varivestis Mulsant, (Fig 1) is an herbivorous ladybeetle (Coccinellidae) that feeds on legumes in North America. It is closely related to the squash ladybeetle, Epilachna borealis, which feeds primarily on cucurbits. MBB can cause significant defoliation damage to bean crops, particularly those in the genus Phaseolus (snap beans, lima beans, pole beans, etc.). For more information on general biology and pest management of MBB, see VCE Fact Sheet No. ENTO-51.
Mar 25, 2014 ENTO-62NP
Pepper Weevil
The pepper weevil, Anthonomus eugenii (Cano), is a sporadic pest of pepper in Virginia. The insect is predominately a pest in the southern U.S., where it can inflict significant damage to that crop. Though adult weevils may feed on numerous plant species within the family Solanaceae, oviposition and subsequent larval development is specific to plants within the genera Capsicum (peppers) and Solanum (nightshades). Individuals may live 3-4 months and there are multiple generations (often 5-8) per year. The pepper weevil is an uncommon pest in Virginia, but if it occurs, infestations can result in the loss of entire pepper crops.
Mar 25, 2014 ENTO-63NP
Squash Bug
Squash bugs are one of the primary pests of cucurbits in the United States. Adults are typically 10 to 30 mm long, dark gray, brown or black in color with orange or brown markings on the sides of the abdomen (Fig. 1). Overwintering adults emerge from the soil, ground litter, wood piles or buildings in the spring. After feeding and mating, females deposit egg masses on the underside of leaves. Newly laid eggs are typically light pale in color, become coppery, then darker as they develop. Egg masses are commonly laid in diamond or V-shaped patterns along leaf veins (Fig 2).
Mar 25, 2014 ENTO-64NP
Spiders of Medical Concern in Virginia
Several species of spiders found in Virginia have fearsome reputations for giving painful bites resulting in life-threating complications.
Aug 8, 2014 ENTO-73NP
Bed Bugs Biology and Behavior Jun 25, 2013 ENTO-8P
Chinche de cama: Protéjase y proteja su hogar
La chinche de cama es una plaga que ha afectado a humanos a través de la historia; a comienzos del siglo pasado, era una plaga común en los Estados Unidos. La chinche fue prácticamente erradicada de los Estados Unidos en la década de los 40 y 50 debido, en gran parte, al uso del insecticida DDT, el cual estaba disponible para los consumidores y se aplicaba extensamente con poca regulación.
Oct 26, 2015 ENTO-80SNP
Pesticide Applicator Manuals Nov 17, 2011 VTTP-2