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Pests 101

Bed Bug

At Simple Pest Solutions in Riverside, we have gathered a wealth of information about the potential pests you may encounter in your home or business environment. While unpleasant, it is helpful to learn more about what kinds of infestations, bugs, and rodents can invade your living or working spaces. Since you will be armed with this information, you will experience faster and longer lasting results when it comes to pest management.

Pests 101 includes details about the pests and what you can do to prevent infestations in your homes and businesses. Please check back here for content coming soon.


Spiders are predators that have two body segments, eight legs, no chewing mouth parts and no wings. Spiders can go for long periods of time without food, however they will generally eat a couple times each month. Spiders travel by foot and by air using a process called ballooning. This involves spinning and releasing a strand of silk into the air and then floating with the wind. There are over 2000 species of spiders in the world, of which less than 200 possess venom strong enough to be harmful to humans.


Ants can be found in every landmass in the world except for Antarctica and have more than 12,000 species. Ants are known for their organized colonies, some of which can be the size of several city blocks. Like those of other insects, ants have exoskeletons. Ants will eat almost anything. A small percentage of the colony is sent out to forage for food, while the rest will work within the nest.


Fleas are external parasites that live off the blood of mammals and birds. Fleas are small (1/16 to 1/8-inch (1.5 to 3.3 mm) long), agile, usually dark colored (e.g. the reddish-brown of the cat flea), wingless insects with tube-like mouthparts adapted to feeding on the blood of their hosts. Their bodies are laterally compressed, permitting easy movement through the hairs (or feathers etc.) on the host's body. Fleas are well known for their ability to jump; vertically up to 7 inches and horizontally up to 13 inches (200 times their own body length)! Its tough body is able to withstand great pressure, likely an adaptation to survive scratching etc. Even hard squeezing between the fingers is often insufficient to kill the flea; it may be necessary to crush them between the fingernails

Millipedes are arthropods that have two pairs of legs per segment. Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical bodies, although some are flattened dorso-ventrally, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a ball, like a pillbug. Most millipedes eat decaying leaves and other dead plant matter, moisturizing the food with secretions and then scraping it in with the jaws. However they can also be a minor garden pest, especially in greenhouses where they can cause severe damage to emergent seedlings. Signs of millipede damage include the stripping of the outer layers of a young plant stem and irregular damage to leaves and plant apices. Common species have between 80 and 400 legs.

Species of land snails live in almost every kind of habitat, from deserts and mountains, to marshes, woodland, and gardens. Most snails move by gliding along on their muscular foot, which is lubricated with mucus. This motion is powered by succeeding waves of muscular contraction which move down the undersurface of the foot. Snails move at a very slow speed. As the snail grows, so does its calcium carbonate shell. Some snails hibernate during the winter (typically October through April in the Northern Hemisphere). They may also estivate in the summer in drought conditions. To stay moist during hibernation, a snail seals its shell opening with a dry layer of mucus called an epiphragm.


Termites usually prefer to feed on dead plant material, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, or soil, and about 10% of the 4,000 odd species are economically significant as pests that can cause serious structural damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests. Termites only superficially resemble ants; their "white ant" misnomer arises from their similar size and social habits. Compared with ants, they are softer, whiter, shorter-legged, fatter and generally much slower moving. Most importantly, they are not at all closely related to ants. Termites have biting mouthparts and their soft bodies are small, rarely over 1 cm in length. They typically inhabit dark nests and tunnels, only venturing out to leave their parent company. Termites live in colonies that, at maturity, number from several hundred to several million individuals.

Ticks are external parasites, living on the blood of mammals, birds, and occasionally reptiles and amphibians. Ticks are carriers of a number of diseases, including Lyme disease. Soft ticks typically live in crevices and emerge briefly to feed, while hard ticks will attach themselves to the skin of a host for long periods of time. Ticks, like most other arachnids, typically have eight legs but may have six depending on their developmental stage. Tick bites look like mosquito bites, but can also sometimes bruise or resemble a bulls-eye. Ticks are second only to mosquitoes as vectors of human disease, both infectious and toxic.

Ticks are blood-feeding parasites that are often found in tall grass and shrubs where they will wait to attach to a passing host. Physical contact is the only method of transportation for ticks. Ticks do not jump or fly, although they may drop from their perch and fall onto a host.

Changes in temperature and day length are some of the factors signaling a tick to seek a host. Ticks can detect heat emitted or carbon dioxide respired from a nearby host. They will generally drop off the animal when full, but this may take several days. Ticks have a harpoon-like structure in their mouth area, known as a hypostome, that allows them to anchor themselves firmly in place while feeding. The hypostome has a series of barbs angled back, which is why they are so difficult to remove once they have penetrated a host.


Rats are distinguished from mice by their size; rats generally have bodies longer than 12 cm (5 inches). Rats have a normal lifespan ranging from two to five years, though three years is typical. Rats are frequently blamed for damaging food supplies and other goods. Rats living in cities may suffer from poor diets and internal parasites and mites, however do not generally spread disease to humans. Rats are excellent swimmers and can jump vertically up to 3 feet! Rats can also squeeze their entire bodies through openings as small as 1/2 inch in diameter! Rats have been known to fall from 5 story building with relatively little or no injury!


Mice are found in nearly all countries. Although they may live up to two years in the lab, the average mouse in the wild lives only about 5 months, primarily due to heavy predation. Mice can be harmful pests, damaging and eating crops and spreading diseases through their parasites and feces. In the Western United States, breathing dust that has come in contact with mouse feces has been linked to the deadly hantavirus. Mice eat grains, fruits, and seeds for a regular diet, which is the main reason they damage crops. Many mice will never venture more than 10-15 feet from their nest during their entire lives, provided they have sufficient food and water. The average gestation period is 20 days, and the average litter size is 10-12.!


Silverfish The common name derives from the animal's silvery blue color, combined with the fish-like appearance of its movements. The favorite food of silverfish is any matter that contains starch. This includes things like glue, book bindings, paper, photos, sugar, hair, dandruff, cotton, linen, silk, and synthetic fibers. In extreme cases, silverfish may live for a year without eating. Silverfish can often be found under refrigerators, beds, or around a well-heated toilet.

American Cockroach

This is the largest of all roaches and is also known as the "palmetto" bug or "wood" roach. They are reddish brown in color and are usually found in larger commercial buildings, food storage areas and basements. Both male and females have wings, but they rarely fly. They are survivalists and incredibly resilient. In a nuclear holocaust they would be the last things to die and the first things to come back. They can live up to 3 months without food and 1 month without water. They usually feed on decaying organic matter, but will eat just about anything.

German Cockroach

These are by far the most common type of roach. They are light brown with two dark stripes located on the back. They are rarely found outside, but rather tend to harborage in the dark, moist, stagnant areas of restaurants, food processing plants, grocery stores, homes, apartments, etc.; preferring the walls, corners, joints, and other tight and cramped places.

They can multiply very fast, turning a small problem into a major infestation within a short time. It has been estimated that for every german roach that can be observed at night there are at least 33 other roaches somewhere on the premises. However, since they are nocturnal, the figure jumps to 77 other roaches for every one seen in the day time.

These are also commonly known as "sewer" roaches or "water bugs." They can often be found around decaying organic matter, and in sewers, drains, damp basements, porches, and other damp locations. They can be found outside in bushes, under leaf groundcover, under mulch, and around other damp places outdoors.

In order to thrive, cockroaches need a place to hide. They prefer warm places and a relatively high humidity if possible; they also need a source of food/liquid. Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal. Oriental cockroaches can be elusive in that a casual inspection of an infested dwelling during the day may show no signs of roach activity.

Nesting Wasps

Most social wasps make nests from paper; although some tropical wasp species, use mud. Unlike yellow jackets and hornets, which can be very defensive, paper wasps will generally only attack if the nest is threatened. Since their territoriality can lead to attacks on persons, and because their stings are quite painful and can produce a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction in some individuals, nests in human-inhabited areas may present an unacceptable hazard.


Crickets are omnivores and scavengers feeding on organic materials, as well as decaying plant material, fungi, and seedling plants. Crickets mate in the spring and lay their eggs in September. The eggs hatch in the fall and they usually hatch in groups of 2,000. The house cricket, the field cricket and the camel are the pests which occasionally invade the home. They may injure clothes and other materials.

The name earwig comes from Old English eare "ear" and wicga "insect". It is fancifully related to the notion that earwigs burrow into the brains of humans through the ear and therein lay their eggs. This belief, however, is false. Nevertheless, being exploratory and omnivorous, earwigs probably do crawl into the human ear; even if they are only looking for a humid crevice in which to hide, such behavior provides a memorable basis for the name. There is no evidence that they transmit disease or otherwise harm humans or other animals, despite their nickname pincher bug.


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Simple Pest Solutions |
1660 Chicago Ave. Suite P13, Riverside, CA 92507
| 951-787-7004 | simplepestsolutions@gmail.com