pest identification

Learn More About The Pests Common To North Carolina

Have you discovered a bug in your home and are not sure what it is? Maybe you're hearing noises coming from the attic and are wondering what type of critter has invaded.  Use our pest library to learn more about the insects, rodents, and wildlife common to our part of North Carolina.  If you've already identified your pest, please feel free to reach out to A-1 Pest Control to find out how we can help you resolve the problem. 

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acrobat ants up close

Acrobat Ants

Acrobat ants can be found all throughout the United States and get their name from their ability to raise their abdomens above their thorax and head. These ants are typically viewed as nuisance pests and can cause a variety of problems when they find their way inside. Find out more information about this ant species here.

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carpenter ants looking for food outside lenoir home

Ants

Ants are social creatures that typically live and work together in large communities. Their nests can be located outside or unfortunately inside of homes and other buildings. Ants are a very common type of insect, in fact there are more than 10,000 species found living across the world.  Visit our ant identification page to learn more about the…

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argentine ants

Argentine Ants

Argentine Ants are a small species of ant and are usually either shiny dark brown or shiny black in color. These ants live together in extremely large colonies. A single Argentine ant nest has the potential to have hundreds of thousands of workers and hundreds of queens living and working together. These ants are often spotted traveling together in…

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bed bug in lenoir home

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are a common problem for homes and businesses in North Carolina.  Although it may seem that these biting insects show up out of thin air, the truth is that bed bugs have to originate from somewhere. Learn more about what bed bugs look like, habits, and how they find their way into residential and commercial environments. 

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pigeons on a lenoir businesses roof

Birds

Pest birds infestations can lead to serious problems for home owners as well as business owners.   Learn more about the most common types of pest birds in North Carolina including There are many different types of pest birds that call North Carolina home. Find out what makes these birds dangerous to people and property and what can be done to…

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argentine ants

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are usually between 1/8 and 1/2 of inch in length, appear to be either black, yellow or red in color and have a segmented body. These pests can cause significant damage to wood products so identification and prevention is vital to your home and property. 

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carpet beetle on a sheet in lenoir home

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are often mistaken for bed bugs and vice versa.  Learn more about carpet beetles including why they are appropriately called fabric pests, what can be done to prevent infestations of these bugs, and how to resolve an existing problem.  

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american cockroach on a cutting board in north carolina home

Cockroaches

Roaches are one of the most reviled insects in the world and are unfortunately a problem for homes and businesses in North Carolina.  Learn more about the types of roaches property owners and managers run into in our region, why they infest, and what can be done to get rid of cockroaches.      

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Fleas image coming soon

Fleas

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blow fly on a leaf outside lenoir home

Flies

According to the National Pest Management Association, there are more than 120,000 species of flies worldwide and 18,000 in North America. Learn about the common types of flies in North Carolina and what you should do if your home or business is experiencing a fly infestation. 

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indian meal moth

Indian Meal Moths

Adult Indian meal moths grow to about 5/8th of an inch in length from wing tip to wing tip. Their body grows to be about ¾ of an inch in length. This species is fairly easy to identify because of their distinctive-looking wings. Indian meal moths’ wings have a dark band that separates the front wing from the back of the wing.

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ladybug up close

Ladybugs

While ladybuugs are not considered a dangerous pest, they can still cause quite a nuisance within your North Carolina home with their ability to invade homes in very large populations.

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house mouse in a corner of lenoir home

Mice

Mice are commensal rodents, meaning they partially depend on humans for survival.  If there’s an opportunity for mice to infest homes and businesses, you can be sure they'll take it. Learn more about the signs of a mouse infestation and how you can keep mice out of your structure.  

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mosquito biting lenoir homeowner outside

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are considered one of the most dangerous animals in the world.  That’s because they transmit diseases that can seriously affect health. Learn more about the diseases mosquitoes can carry and how you can protect yourself and your family.

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rat on a kitchen counter in lenoir

Rats

Learn more about the different types of rats that call North Carolina home. Discover the difference between different species and how to prevent rats around your home or business. 

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black widow spider on it's web outside lenoir home

Spiders

While there are tens of thousands of spiders found throughout the world, there are only a handful that are considered common to North Carolina. Learn about the different types of spiders in the Tar Heel state including which ones are venomous and which ones are harmless. 

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bumble bee on a flower outside nc home

Stinging Insects

While beneficial in nature, bees, wasps, and other stinging insects North Carolina can be dangerous to people and destructive to property.  Learn more about these pests including which ones are likely to attack and sting and what to do should you be stung.     

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mosquito biting lenoir homeowner outside

Stink Bugs

While stink bugs are not considered a dangerous pest, they can still cause quite a nuisance within your North Carolina home with their powerful odor and their tendency to travel in large populations.

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termite colony outside lenoir home

Termites

Did you know that termites cause more than five billion dollars in damage in the United States every year?  What's more, you could have a serious termite infestation and not even know it.  Learn more about termites, their colonies and caste system, what termite damage looks like, and what to do to control and prevent these destructive pests.   

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bed bug in lenoir home

Ticks

In North Carolina, there are several types of ticks that are found living in or around homes and businesses. Keep reading to learn more about these species.

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squirrel outside lenoir home

Wildlife

Wildlife in homes or businesses can cause major headaches. Find out more about the different types of wildlife that can be found throughout North Carolina and steps you can take to keep nuisance wildlife away from your home and family.

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A-1 Pest Control Blog

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    [content] => <p><a href="https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article230619419.html">Parts of North Carolina rank among the worst in the country</a> when it comes to <a href="/pest-library/profile/mosquitoes">mosquitoes</a>. With mosquito season starting in July, an uptick in the numbers of this pesky insect occurs right in the middle of summer. Obviously, North Carolinians want to do whatever they can to keep this large horde of mosquitoes (and their scratchy bites) as far away from them as possible, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to use that easily accessible mosquito repellent. But does mosquito repellent work? &nbsp;</p>
<h3>Mosquito Repellents That Work &nbsp;</h3>
<p>Luckily, many mosquito repellents that you will find on many store shelves have been proven to be both safe and effective when it comes to keeping mosquitoes away from your person. <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/06/30/623865454/a-guide-to-mosquito-repellents-from-deet-to-gin-and-tonic">According to a 2015 study</a>, there are three separate ingredients contained in mosquito repellents that have been shown to be most effective: DEET, picaridin, and lemon eucalyptus oil (otherwise known as PMD). One or more of these ingredients are found in the following common mosquito repellents: &nbsp;</p>
<ul>
<li>OFF Deep Woods</li>
<li>Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus &nbsp;</li>
<li>Repel 100 &nbsp;</li>
<li>Cutter Skinsations &nbsp;</li>
</ul>
<p>There are <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/06/30/623865454/a-guide-to-mosquito-repellents-from-deet-to-gin-and-tonic">a few other products</a> that experts have noted do a good job repelling mosquitoes: &nbsp;</p>
<ul>
<li>Victoria&rsquo;s Secret Bombshell perfume &nbsp;</li>
<li>Off Clip-On &nbsp;</li>
</ul>
<p>So now we know that there are a large number of repellents on the market that do a good job of repelling mosquitoes -- in fact many more than the products listed above, which is not a comprehensive list, but just some of the most effective research for this specific study. But what about repellents that don&rsquo;t work? &nbsp;</p>
<h3>Mosquito Repellents That Don&rsquo;t Work &nbsp;</h3>
<p>There is something charming about the idea that age-old home remedies can be a great solution for repelling mosquitoes, and a feeling of modernity and tech-savviness that some newer technologies can replace repellents that have been in use since at least the 1950s. But the truth is that the tried-and-true repellents with those 3 special ingredients do a much better job at keeping mosquitoes away than anything very new, or very old. Here is a list of some mosquito repellent products that simply don&rsquo;t do their job very well: &nbsp;</p>
<ul>
<li>Vitamin B1 skin patches &nbsp;</li>
<li>Citronella candles &nbsp;</li>
<li>Bug-repellent wristbands and bracelets &nbsp;</li>
<li>Lemongrass and other essential oils &nbsp;</li>
<li>Sonic devices and misleading smartphone apps &nbsp;</li>
</ul>
<h3>Speaking of DEET&hellip;</h3>
<p>Consumers have long been concerned about the safety of DEET. If it can ward off mosquitoes, how can it possibly be safe for you and your family&rsquo;s skin? <a href="https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-deet-bad-for-you-and-your-kids/">According to the Cleveland Clinic</a>, there is no reason to be concerned. First, as we mentioned above, DEET-based repellents are super effective at keeping mosquitoes away -- not to mention ticks to boot. Protection from the diseases that those insects can spread- like Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus- is incredibly important for health. And DEET-based repellents have been <a href="https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/reregistration/fs_PC-080301_1-Apr-98.pdf">approved as safe for application by the EPA</a>.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>But that doesn&rsquo;t mean that there aren&rsquo;t safety guidelines to follow when applying DEET, and as always there are a few exceptions to the rule. <a href="https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-deet-bad-for-you-and-your-kids/">Again according to the Cleveland Clinic</a>, safely using DEET-based mosquito repellent requires taking the following safety tips: &nbsp;</p>
<ul>
<li><strong>Don&rsquo;t Overuse.</strong> Higher concentrations of DEET don&rsquo;t work better, they just last longer. If you&rsquo;re taking a short hike or spending an hour by the bonfire, reach for lower concentrations. Products with 10% DEET should repel bugs for about twp hours, while those with concentrations of 20% to 30% last around five. <br><br></li>
<li><strong>Limit exposure.</strong> Cover up with pants and long sleeves to minimize the amount of skin exposed to bugs (and bug sprays). Try not to spray on cuts or irritated skin and apply in well-ventilated areas to avoid breathing a DEET-cloud. When applying to kids, spray your hands and rub it onto their faces so they don&rsquo;t inhale the vapors. (And keep it off little hands, which always end up in little mouths.) <br><br></li>
<li><strong>Only Apply Once a Day.</strong> Unless you&rsquo;re out all day in a bug-infested forest, you probably don&rsquo;t need to apply DEET more than once a day. Skip the bug spray/sunscreen combos, since you&rsquo;ll definitely want to touch up your SPF. <br><br></li>
<li><strong>Babies and Pregnant Moms Should Stay Away.</strong> The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using DEET products in infants under two months old. There aren&rsquo;t any reports of issues in pregnant women, but DEET hasn&rsquo;t been specifically studied in that group. Pregnant women should minimize their use of insect repellent by covering up with clothing and avoiding it when it&rsquo;s not necessary.</li>
</ul>
<h3>Getting Rid of Mosquito Infestations &nbsp;</h3>
<p>Mosquito repellent is a very useful product to ward off mosquitoes, but it isn&rsquo;t a permanent solution if you are dealing with a mosquito infestation on your property. First thing&rsquo;s first: there are a few preventative measures we recommend that you take to decrease the chances of an infestation:</p>
<ul>
<li>Remove wet and rotting leaves and leaf piles.</li>
<li>Clear gutters to allow for proper drainage.</li>
<li>Dump standing water in pots, baby pools, or buckets.</li>
<li>Only use sprinklers when necessary, to avoid oversaturating the lawn and creating standing water.</li>
<li>Water flower beds and gardens enough to saturate plants but not leave puddles.</li>
<li>Rake vegetation away from the foundation of the house.</li>
</ul>
<p>If you already have an infestation, A-1 Pest Control can help! Here&rsquo;s how our seasonal mosquito treatments work: &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>We provide over-the-phone quotes if you know the size of the property you want treated. &nbsp;If you are unsure of your lot size or the most effective area to treat, we can provide a free in-person quote.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>Customers do not have to be home as the treatment is all exterior. Standing water in ponds and such are treated with eco-friendly products that will not harm fish, livestock, or pets. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>Your technician will leave a door hanger with the next treatment date and recommendations for things you might do around your property, such as dumping standing water or clearing gutters to increase drainage and prohibit mosquito breeding.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>In need of mosquito control today? Contact A-1 here and we can get started on developing your mosquito treatment plan ASAP!&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p>
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Parts of North Carolina rank among the worst in the country when it comes to mosquitoes. With mosquito season starting in July, an uptick in the numbers of this pesky insect occurs right in the middle…

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    [content] => <p><a href="/pest-library/profile/termites">Termites</a> are more than a nuisance; they can be a legitimate threat to homes and businesses. Their destructive habits cost American homeowners millions of dollars a year, and their ability to do this damage in virtual silence makes them even more threatening. That is why it&rsquo;s important to understand the phases of termite&rsquo;s destructive behavior -- it gives you the opportunity to potentially identify a problem before it becomes catastrophic and stresses the importance of proper home termite protection. Let&rsquo;s take a look at the phases of termite infestations.&nbsp;</p>
<h3><br>Phase 1: Termite Infiltration&nbsp;</h3>
<p><br>Before termites can begin inflicting damage on homes, they must get inside. Here&rsquo;s how subterranean termites- the common termite found in North Carolina- do it.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Subterranean termites (as their name suggests) do much of their movement beneath the ground. These soil-dwellers make their way into homes at locations where the soil touches compromised house foundations, porches, or decks. What is a compromised structure? It&rsquo;s anything with a crack, hole, or void that can act as an easy termite entry point. Once termites have discovered a way in, they will start to build what are called mud tubes (tunnels made of soil, wood, and termite saliva) to connect their colony to their food source, AKA their victim&rsquo;s home.&nbsp;</p>
<h3><br>Phase 2: Termite Feeding&nbsp;</h3>
<p><br>With a secure pathway that can now lead thousands of termites into the home, they get to work feeding. This includes munching on any plywood or wood joists on the ground floor, but that&rsquo;s just the beginning. If allowed, termites will begin to move their way upward into first-floor drywall; from there they will work their way up as they consume more wood, and their colony expands. Basically, subterranean termites typically start on ground level and will eat their way up, and termite colonies can survive for years, meaning it is not a problem that will just go away.&nbsp;</p>
<h3><br>Phase 3: Visible Damage&nbsp;</h3>
<p><br>When a termite infestation is allowed to fester for a long period of time, the damage can eventually become visible. This damage can be in the form of buckled floors (caused by moisture that the termites leave behind) or in the collapse of parts of a structure. This video does a great job illustrating the damage that termites can do:&nbsp;</p>
<p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TxsnPbRayW0" width="560" height="314" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>
<h3><br>How to Avoid Termite Damage</h3>
<p><br>If you want to beef up your home&rsquo;s security from a termite infestation, A-1 Pest Control has a solution. We will complete a thorough inspection of your property to identify if there is existing termite activity, assess the severity of the infestation and amount of termite damage, and identify conducive conditions. Based on our findings, we&rsquo;ll recommend a treatment plan and provide you with a termite control quote. <a href="/termite-control">Learn more about our termite control process here</a>, or just <a href="/contact-us">get in touch with us</a> to schedule an inspection!</p>
<p><em>Want to learn more about termites? Check out <a href="/blog/post/it-s-termite-swarming-season-here-s-what-you-need-to-know">our blog post on termite swarming season</a> to learn more about the dangers of termites.</em></p>
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Termites are more than a nuisance; they can be a legitimate threat to homes and businesses. Their destructive habits cost American homeowners millions of dollars a year, and their ability to do this…

Read More

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    [content] => <p>Due to their size, ants are often overlooked as nothing more than a common nuisance. But have you ever wondered how ants work? How do these colonies function together? How do they communicate? And why do they seem to be basically everywhere? In this article, we answer all those questions and more!</p>
<h3 style="text-align: center;">How Ants Communicate</h3>
<p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Black ants fighting " height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/Black-ants.jpg" width="550"></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><em>("<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black-ants.jpg">Trophallaxis in black ants</a>" by <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Rakeshkdogra">Rakeshkdogra</a> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>)</em></p>
<p>One of the aspects of ants that is most discussed is their ability to communicate. How do these insects work together with such coordination? Do they speak in tiny voices that we just can&rsquo;t hear? Well, no, not exactly. Ants can &ldquo;talk&rdquo; to one another using chemical pheromones that are picked up by other ants in their colony to communicate messages related to getting food or even coordinating attacks. They also sometimes use touch and even vibrations to communicate, but for the most part ant language is all done through specific chemicals. &nbsp;</p>
<h3 style="text-align: center;">How Ants Build Colonies &nbsp;</h3>
<p>Ants seem capable of settling down basically anywhere; just a casual walk down the street and there&rsquo;s a decent chance you&rsquo;ll see a little mound of soil in the cracks of a sidewalk that signals &ldquo;Ant colony here!&rdquo;. This speaks to their diverse colony-building skills. Some will build mounds of soil, some will burrow underground, and some will even live in rotting wood or just hang out under a rock. Ants decide on where and how they&rsquo;ll build their colonies based on what can provide the best environment for their larvae to grow, and once they&rsquo;ve settled, they build complexly constructed colonies. These colonies consist of a complex series of tunnels and chambers where they can safely store food, eggs, and even their young. Some ant colonies even have ventilation systems to circulate fresh air! This time-lapse video does a good job illustrating what the construction of an ant colony looks like, from start to finish: &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cME_aMVUEVU" width="560" height="314" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p>
<h3 style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</h3>
<h3 style="text-align: center;">Ants Have Jobs</h3>
<p><img alt="Line of ants carrying vegetation back to their colony " height="366" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/88778965_1c730a5c49_c.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><em>("<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/hartsell/88778965">Ants Working</a>" by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/hartsell/">Trevor H</a> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>)</em></p>
<p>No, it&rsquo;s not exactly your regular 9-5, but every ant in a colony has an essential role to play in perpetuating the existence of their colony. The Queen naturally spends most of her life laying eggs, but labor aside from the queen is largely determined by age. For example, younger worker ants spend most of their time indoors, taking care of the queen and her offspring, while older worker ants will venture out to gather food and defend the colony against potential threats. Interestingly, ants actually have some choice when it comes to the jobs they do: <a href="https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/secrets-superorganism">according to Arizona State University</a>, workers, &ldquo;decide which tasks to perform based on personal preferences, interactions with nestmates, and cues from the environment.&rdquo;</p>
<h3 style="text-align: center;">Ants Work Together &nbsp;</h3>
<p><img alt="Ants working together to build a crossable ant bridge" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-AntBridge_Crossing_04.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"></p>
<p style="text-align: center;"><em>("<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AntBridge_Crossing_04.jpg">Ant Bridge Crossing</a>" by <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:AntBridge_Crossing_04.jpg">Igor Chuxlancev</a> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en">CC BY 4.0</a>)</em></p>
<p>Naturally, any species that exists on such a communal level is going to be one that engages in a lot of teamwork, and ants are no exception. Ants are capable of processing information to solve problems as a group; in other words, they weigh options together and make decisions together, like the best place to build their colony. Ants also work as a group when defending their homes, teaming up and attacking any creature (including even mammals!) that they consider a threat. Ants will also work together to farm, collecting vegetation that they use to grow fungus gardens. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>Of course, there is a darker side to these collaborative efforts: ants will also work together to wage wars against other ant colonies that are intruding on the territory that they have established as their own. Here&rsquo;s an example of what those wars can look like: &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/X5YaihAtnC4" width="560" height="314" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><br>&nbsp;<br>Can&rsquo;t get enough of ants? Check out our <a href="/pest-library/profile/ants">ant Pest ID page</a> to learn all the different types of ants that are common in North Carolina.&nbsp;</p>
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Ants, Explained

Due to their size, ants are often overlooked as nothing more than a common nuisance. But have you ever wondered how ants work? How do these colonies function together? How do they communicate? And why…

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