Insect Identifiers

Bed Bugs

Bedbugs are small, flat, wingless insects with six legs that feed on blood from animals or people. They range in color from almost white to brown, but they turn rusty red after feeding. Bed bugs do not fly, but they can move quickly over floor, walls, and ceilings. Female bedbugs may lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. Bedbugs may enter your home undetected through luggage, used bed/furniture, clothing, and a number of other items. Their bodies make it possible for them to fit into tiny spaces. Common hiding spots for bedbugs are typically in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, and headboards. If one is prone to sleeping on their couch the bed bugs will infest there as well. Without the proper treatment, over time they could scatter throughout the bedroom and into a new location of the house. If you live in a multi-unit complex they could even make it to a neighboring unit. . Bed bugs are mainly active at night and usually bit people while they are sleeping. They pierce the skin and withdraw blood through their elongated beak. The bed bug will feed on their human meal ticket anywhere from 3 min to 10 min.


Bees are flying insects closely related to wasps and ants. Bees are known for their role in pollination, as well as, for producing honey and beeswax. There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families, though many are undescribed and the actual number of species is probably higher. Bees are found on every continent with the exception of Antarctica and in every habitat on the planet that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants.

Black Widows

Black widows are notorious spiders identified by the colored, hourglass-shaped mark on their abdomens. Several species answer to the name, and they are found in temperate regions around the world.

This spider's bite is much feared because its venom is reported to be 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake's. In humans, bites produce muscle aches, nausea, and a paralysis of the diaphragm that can make breathing difficult; however, contrary to popular belief, most people who are bitten suffer no serious damage-let alone death. But bites can be fatal-usually to small children, the elderly, or the infirm.

Boxelders Bugs

Boxelder bugs are a nuisance in and around homes from fall through early spring. The bug overwinters as an adult in protected places such as, but not limited to, houses or office buildings. Removing female boxelder trees is the most permanent solution to the problem, although this option may not be practical or desirable. Additionally, laundry detergents offer safe, effective control when applied directly to the insects

For most people, the boxelder bug needs no introduction. This bug is about 1/2 inch long as an adult, black, will display three red lines on the thorax (the part just behind the head), a red line along each side, and a diagonal red line on each wing. Their immature forms are smaller, they are easily distinguished from the adults by their red abdomens and lack of wings.

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown recluse spiders are not typical to Western Montana.

Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants are a social species of insect that live in large colonies and work together to excavate wood and create neat tunnels and nesting areas within the wood. It is important to note that carpenter ants do not eat the wood that they excavate. These ants are generally black in color, but can be red, black or a combination of both. These ants are about 1/4 of inch in length with a queen being 3/4 of inch in length. Carpenter ants are not considered to be dangerous to people and they generally do not bite. However, carpenter ants are dangerous to the structure of homes. The tunnels that they excavate throughout the wood in a house can weaken its structural integrity and be quite expensive to repair.


Centipedes kill and eat a variety of things, like bedbugs, termites, silverfish, spiders, and even roaches. So if you have centipedes around your home or office you have a much larger problem than just centipedes. Odds are you have up to 5 other types of insects that are food sources for aid centipede.


In a season, females reproduce up to 20-60 eggs laid in burrows (called chambers), 2 to 3 inches beneath the soil. Usually only removed by a professional exterminator.

Hobo Spiders

There is no difference in size between male and female Hobo Spiders. The male Hobo Spider is responsible for most bites, as it enters homes in search of females.


Roly-poly bugs are a pest category of occasional invaders. They are crustaceans closely related to crayfish & shrimp, more so than to that of insects. A pill-bug has the ability to roll its body into a ball resembling a small pill. They prefer damp areas, which is why they are often found invading homes through openings close to patio doors, laundry rooms, and basements.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are classed as a type of arachnid. Additionally, spider mites are related to a number of other insects that include: spiders, ticks, daddy-longlegs, and scorpions. Spider mites are small and often difficult to see with the unaided eye. Their colors range from red and brown to yellow and green. The change of appearance will vary from the species of spider mite and seasonal changes.

Many spider mites produce webbing, particularly when they occur in high populations. This webbing gives the mites and their eggs some protection from natural enemies and environmental fluctuations. Webbing produced by spiders, as well as fluff produced by cottonwoods, often is confused with the webbing of spider mites.

Sugar Ants

Sugar ants appear in different forms, varying from 5 to 15 millimeters in length. Sugar ant colonies have two types of workers: minor workers and major workers that have different size ranges. The two can be identified easily, due to the workers being smaller and slender, while the soldiers are larger and more robust. Nests are found in a variety of sites, examples being holes in wood, roots of plants, twigs of trees, shrubs, between rocks, in the soil, and under paving stones. Sometimes, sugar ant colonies form small mounds. The banded sugar ant is considered a household pest and is occasionally seen in houses at night. They are capable of damaging furniture and fittings by chewing the wood. These ants do not pose any threat to humans, as they are incapable of stinging and can only spray formic acid. However, the larger soldiers are capable of inflicting a painful bite with their powerful jaws, and the formic acid they spray is corrosive to human skin.


The various species of wasps fall into one of two main categories: solitary wasps and social wasps. Adult solitary wasps live and operate alone. Most do not construct nests. All adult solitary wasps are fertile. By contrast, social wasps exist in colonies numbering up to several thousand strong and build nests. However in some cases not all of the colonies wasps can reproduce. In the more advanced species, just the wasp queen and male wasps can mate, whilst the majority of the colony is made up of sterile female workers.

Rodent Identifiers


A mouse is a small rodent characteristically having a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse. They are known to invade homes for food and shelter. Mice, in certain contexts, can be considered vermin which are a major source of damage. They cause structural damage and can spread diseases through their parasites and feces. The most common disease is the Hantavirus. Hantavirus is a virus that is found in the urine, saliva, or droppings of infected deer mice and some other wild rodents (cotton rats, rice rats in the southeastern Unites States and the white-footed mouse and the red-backed vole). It causes a rare but serious lung disease called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome(HPS).


Packrats have a rat-like appearance with long tails, large ears, and large black eyes. Compared to deer mice, harvest mice and grasshopper mice, packrats are noticeably larger and are usually somewhat larger than cotton rats. Each are nest builders. They are particularly fond of shiny objects. Their diet is primarily on green vegetation, twigs, and shoots. Pack rat diseases are similar to those carried by other rodents. One of the more serious is the plague. Exposure to the pack rat diseases typically occurs when the pests get inside of buildings or homes.

Pocket Gopher

The pocket gopher ,predominantly located in North and Central America. These rodents are named for their large, fur-lined cheek pouches. The "pockets" open externally on each side of the mouth and extend from the face to the shoulders.. Pocket gophers rang in size but are approximately 12 to 35 cm in body length. They have very powerful digging claws and have a short sparsely haired tail. Pocket gophers do not hibernate. Their breeding season is predominantly in the spring, but can go into early summer. Pocket gopher damage occurs from their earth digging activities. The key to a pocket gopher survival is their below-ground burrows . These under-ground burrows provide shelter, a supply of food, and protection.


Rats are some of the most troublesome and damaging rodents in the United States. They consume and contaminate food, damage structures and property. They transmit parasites and diseases to other animals and humans. Rats live and thrive under a wide variety of climates and conditions. They are often found in and around homes, other types of buildings, farms, gardens, and open fields. Rats can carry a multitude of diseases. Leptospirosis also called Weil's disease, is a bacteria that many rats carry without showing symptoms of infection. Humans become infected when contaminated rat urine or feces comes in contact with mucous membranes. Symptoms in people include headache, fever, vomiting, rash and muscle aches.


Squirrels belong to a large family of small or medium-sized rodents called the Sciuridae. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, woodchucks, flying squirrels, and prairie dogs.Squirrels breed once, maybe twice a year, and will give birth to a varying number of young after three to six weeks(depending on the species). The young are born naked, toothless, helpless, and blind. In almost all species, only the female will look after the young, which are weaned at around six to ten weeks of age, then will become sexually mature at the end of their first year. Squirrels carry many diseases communicable to humans. Though different species are capable of transmitting different diseases, some of the common illnesses passed on by squirrels include; plague, Colorado tick fever, encephalitis, tularemia, and louse-borne typhus.


A vole is a small rodent resembling a mouse but with a stouter body, a shorter, hairy tail, a slightly rounder head, smaller ears and eyes. There are approximately 155 species of voles. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America. Voles are small and only grow to 3-9 inches. However small they may be, they do cause extreme damage to lawns and agriculture. Voles will often eat root systems and burrow under plants. Voles can disrupt the root system of shrubs and even trees. Their burrows can resemble lighting bolts in the sky but transition that image to your lawn. Voles breed throughout the year. The nest is made on or just under the surface of the ground.