Biting, Stinging, and Health-Related Insects
Africanized Honey Bee
Africanized honey bees, sometimes called “killer bees,” were detected in Utah for
the first time in 2008. These bees are more aggressive and will defend the nest in
greater numbers compared to domesticated honey bees in the United States; their sting
is not more painful or venomous than other honey bees
Bed Bugs: For Homeowners
Bed bugs are one of the most difficult indoor pests to eradicate; hiring a pest control
company is highly recommended. Bed bug control is intensive, and two or more visits
from your pest control company are likely necessary to achieve control.
Bed Bugs: For Pest Control Operators
Bed bugs are one of the most difficult indoor pests to eradicate; standard insect
control tactics will not eliminate an infestation. Bed bug control is intensive, and
a minimum of two visits 10 to 14 days apart is mandatory.
Carpenter bees cause damage to structural timbers and other wood products such as
fence posts, utility poles, firewood, arbors, and lawn furniture. They avoid wood
that is painted or covered with bark.
Centipedes are predatory relatives of the insects, and are considered beneficial.
Occasionally, centipedes enter homes and become a nuisance, but management options
Adult fleas feed on blood, but larvae feed on skin, feathers and hair. Although not
common in Utah, regular grooming and sanitation will help monitor for fleas on household
pets, and topical insecticides are very effective if needed.
Hobo spiders and related spiders build funnel-webs to catch prey. In Utah, hobo spiders
are frequently found indoors from August through October. Recent scientific evidence
suggests that hobo spiders do not have a necrotic bite.
6-12 million people in the United States get infested with head lice every year. Although
lice cannot jump or fly, they are very contagious and are spread by close human contact
Very few insects are considered pests, and even fewer are actually parasites of humans.
If you believe your body is infested with insects or other parasites, consult a physician
immediately. Never try to remove parasites or treat yourself.
Key to Common Spiders of Utah
This key is intended as an identification aid for spider specimens commonly collected
from indoor situations in Utah. It is not all-inclusive and will not correctly identify
all spiders. However, the key does include groups that comprise about 90% of the specimens
that are submitted from household situations in Utah, and about 80% of spiders submitted
from all situations.
New European Wasp
The European wasp has a native range from Europe to China. As a group, these wasps
have a high rate of reproductive increase and are excellent invaders.
Scorpions are most active at night, and hide under boards, rubbish, bricks, and in
wood piles. Although all scorpions have venom, only one species in the United States
is considered to have a potentially life threatening sting.
Spiders are beneficial predators that feed on pest and non-pest insects. The major
spider of medical concern in Utah is the black widow. Brown recluse spiders do not
occur in Utah.
Ticks and Tickborne Diseases of Utah
Ticks occasionally attach to humans and pets in Utah. This fact sheet discusses the
commonly encountered ticks of Utah and the diseases they can vector.
West Nile Virus in Utah
West Nile Virus was first detected in North America in 1999 and is a relatively new
concern in Utah. West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. Horses, humans and
some birds are particularly sensitive to developing West Nile Virus symptoms compared
to other mammals.
Yellow Sac Spiders
The yellow sac spider has a necrotic bite and is of concern in Utah. These spiders
are bright-yellow to bright-green in color with darkened “feet.” Yellow sac spiders
are nocturnal, and spend the day in white, flattened sacs; indoors they can be found
in the corners of walls and ceilings.
Yellowjackets, Hornets, and Paper Wasps
Yellowjackets, hornets and wasps are closely-related social wasps commonly found in
Utah. All social wasps are capable of repeatedly stinging without dying if they feel
threatened. Bees are often blamed for most stings, but about 90% of all stings are
likely caused by yellowjackets.