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Ticks are not insects. They are arachnids belonging to the group – mites. They are bigger than all other mites and they are very important. There are hundreds of species of ticks in the world and they are capable of spreading more than 65 diseases, many of them serious. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, … Continue reading


Although most spiders possess venom glands, most are too small to break the skin with their fangs and have no desire to do so. All spiders will bite in self defense if they are handled carelessly, such as being squeezed. Most bites occur when people roll over in bed on one and get bitten or … Continue reading

Scorpions and Centipedes

Scorpions and centipedes are two groups of arthropods that nobody wants in their homes. Both of these animals have the capability of stinging (scorpions) you or biting (centipedes) you with painful results. Only one species of scorpion in this country is dangerously venomous. It is the bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus) found mostly in Arizona but … Continue reading


There are close to 2500 species of termites described worldwide. If you weighed all of the termites, they would weigh twice as much as all of the humans on the planet. There are over 50 species in the United States, but only a few species of subterranean termites and drywood termites are serious pests. Drywood … Continue reading


There are three groups of beetles that can cause problems in a home. Carpet beetles will damage carpets, clothing, animal fur, feathers and similar products. Stored product beetles will infest many dried foods and wood boring beetles can damage the structure of a home or wooden objects in it. Carpet Beetles (Dermestidae) Carpet beetle larvae … Continue reading

Pesticide Notification

I have written about pesticide notification in the past and I think it is about time it gets some notice from state government. Pesticide notification is required in many other parts of the country and should be here as well. The New Mexico Dept. of Agriculture has the ability to require notification when pesticides are … Continue reading


There are several types of moths that can become household pests. Clothes moths can damage clothing and pantry moths can infest some stored foods. Other moths that come in the house are occasional invaders and won’t do any damage. Clothes moths (Tineidae) There are two distinct types of clothes moths commonly found in homes. They … Continue reading


Flies are the fourth largest order of insects and there are over 100,000 species. Most of them are beneficial to some degree as they serve as a food source to many animals and even a few plants. Many breed in organic material such as animal manure and help recycle its nutrients to the soil. Others … Continue reading


There are many species of fleas throughout North America, but the ones considered pests most often are dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) and cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis), as these species will infest homes. Other species carry plague and other diseases, but they will not infest a home in large numbers. Dog and cat fleas prefer parts … Continue reading


Head and body lice (Pediculidae – (Pediculus humanus) The three main types of lice that infest humans are the head louse, the body louse and the crab louse. Head lice normally infest the heads of children. Children share these bugs when playing with each other. Body lice will live and breed in clothing and normally … Continue reading


First, I have to state that there is some disagreement among entomologists as to the proper name for the order of cockroaches. Sometimes they use Blatarria or Blattoptera. Some even use Dictyoptera. You can help prevent cockroaches from coming into your home by inspecting all incoming food products, all boxes, and any used furniture or … Continue reading


There are more than 20,000 species of ants around the world and about 570 species in the United States. Of those, about 30 species are common household pests. When discussing ants, we will use three terms that reflect the size of the ants in a colony. If ants are “monomorphic”, it means all the workers … Continue reading

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