Visit Critter Control's Eco-Wise™ Pest Management site, www.ecowisepestcontrol.com for more information about insect and other non-vertebrate pest control solutions. Identifying Stinging Insects Biting and stinging insects are pests because they inflict painful bites or stings. The most common species of biting and stinging pests include fire ants, mosquitoes, brown recluse, bed bugs, and fleas. In addition to painful bites, many of these insects spread deadly diseases. Appearance There is a large diversity of biting and stinging insects, making it challenging to make a statement on their appearances. Ants: six legs, segmented bodies, antennae, reddish-black in color Mosquitoes: tiny and delicate, two wings, long and slender mouthparts Spiders: eight legs, uniquely arranged eyes, identifying patterns on their backs, black and brown to tan and yellow in color Bed Bugs: tiny and flat, reddish in color Fleas: microscopic, reddish-brown, piercing-sucking mouthparts Habitats Several biting and stinging insects, such as common house spiders, bed bugs, mosquitoes, and fleas, thrive wherever there is human activity. Fire ants, brown recluse spiders, and harvester ants typically need moisture and fairly warm climates to survive. Ants: tunnel systems in yards and parks, as well as rotten logs, walls of buildings, and under sidewalks Mosquitoes: live around standing water Spiders: construct intricate webs in secluded corners of basement and attics Bed Bugs: nest in mattress seams, headboards, and other secluded areas close to sleeping humans Fleas: live in the fur of their hosts Stinging Insect Problems Entry All biting and stinging insects infiltrate yards and homes. Tunnels are often constructed in lawns and individuals from colonies will move inside of homes and heated structures at the onset of cold weather. Mosquitoes feed off people and animals, therefore hang around yards, farms, and any places where blood meals are regularly present. Spider, alike ants, often infest homes to survive cold winter weather. Bed bugs, like mosquitoes, need to be around humans in order to regularly feed. Similarly, fleas will orient themselves around available blood meals, hanging around cracks and crevices close to the ground waiting to latch onto pets. Damage Ants & Bed Bugs These stinging insects will leave behind irritatingly itchy red spots where they bite. Fire ants actually inject venom into their victims. Mosquito bites also cause red itchy spots, and also threat the possible disease transmission of West Nile virus that many of them carry. Spiders Spiders are not aggressive but will bite when they feel threatened or trapped. Common house spiders only leave behind red marks when they bite, and symptoms seem to go away in a few hours. The brown recluse spider bites are much more dangerous and can destroy skin tissue and incite severe allergic reactions. Fleas Fleas commonly congregate on household pets like dogs and cats. Severe reactions to flea bites cause symptoms including intense itchiness, hair loss, reddening skin, and secondary infections. Stinging Insect Control Control and Safety Any number of modifications can be made to homes and yards in order to decrease the possibility of encountering biting and stinging insects. Clean up liquids and solid food spills immediately. Keep indoor and outdoor trash bins tightly sealed. Replace broken and ripped window and door screens. Look for and seal any cracks in building foundations. Trim ornamental shrubs and tree branches to ensure they don't touch or hang over homes. Eliminate areas of standing water and excess moisture. Store firewood off the ground and away from homes. Bathe pets regularly. Employing any or all of these methods will make homes less favorable to insect pests. Trapping and Removal The variety of biting and stinging insect pests makes over-the-counter removal solutions ineffective. Critter Control of SW Oakland County technicians have extensive knowledge of the behavior of several insect species and the necessary tools to eradicate biting and stinging insects from homes. At the first sign of infestation, property owners should contact our trained professionals. We can help you get rid of stinging insect problems. Call Critter Control of SW Oakland County 248.397.5110 Critter Control of SW Oakland County, MI Service Area Berkley, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, *Birmingham, *Bloomfield, *Bloomfield Hills, *Bloomfield Township, Commerce Township, Farmington, Farmington Hills, *Ferndale, Franklin, Huntington Woods, *Keego Harbor, *Lathrup Village, *Northville, Novi, *Oak Park, Orchard Lake, *Pleasant Ridge, *Pontiac, *Royal Oak, Southfield, Sylvan Lake, Union Lake, Walled Lake, *Waterford, West Bloomfield, *White Lake, *Wixom, Wolverine Lake *Our service area includes only part of this city. If you are West of Woodward, North of Eight Mile, South of M-59 (Highland Road) or East of Duck Lake and Wixom Roads then this is your Critter Control Office. This franchise is independently licensed and operated by Horizon Home Services, Inc., dba Critter Control of SW Oakland County SW Oakland County Critter Control is your professional wildlife control and removal company. We can handle any wildlife control problem.