Nuisance, Stored Food, and Structural Insects
Booklice and Their Relatives
Although some species resemble lice, booklice and their relatives are not true lice.
They feed on mold and other fungi, which are sometimes present in books. Eliminating
sources of mold will help control booklice. Mold growth can be discouraged by decreasing
humidity and increasing airflow.
Boxelder bugs are considered a nuisance pest, and rarely cause economic, aesthetic
or structural damage. Adults are commonly found on and in buildings during August
and September, especially the southern exposure. Boxelder bugs can stain carpet and
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is an invasive insect pest from eastern Asia. In
Utah, it was first detected in 2012 in Salt Lake City. Its broad host range includes
fruit, vegetable, ornamental, and field crop plants; in Utah, it has primarily infested
ornamental deciduous trees and shrubs in urban and residential landscapes.
Carpenter ants do not eat wood as termites do, but chew through it to construct pathways
and nests leaving behind a sawdust-like substance called frass. Carpenter ants can
have two or more different sizes of workers, and one to many queens within a colony.
Carpenter Ants and Control in Homes
Carpenter ants include species that are among the largest ants found in the United
States. They are social insects with a complex and well-defined caste system. The
worker ants are sterile females and may occur in different sizes (majors and minors).
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. Carpenter bees are often confused for bumble
bees because of their similar size and appearance.
Adult clothes moths or “millers” are harmless and do not cause any damage to fabrics.
Larvae can feed on wool, feathers, fur, hair, cotton and synthetic fibers. Clothes
moths prefer darkness and are weak flyers
Clover mites are not insects but are more closely related to chiggers, ticks, and
spiders. They belong to the spider mite family Tetranychidae. These mites are found
throughout the world on trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses, and agricultural crops.
There are 4 species of cockroaches that commonly infest structures in Utah. The cockroach
species infesting your home or apartment will determine your control strategy.
Crickets will eat almost anything, including fabrics, other insects (dead or alive),
food products, and furs. Occasionally crickets may enter the home or chirp near the
home, and become a nuisance. Regular sanitation around the exterior of the home will
discourage cricket infestations.
Dermestid beetle larvae are considered scavengers that feed on dead tissue; however,
they will feed on wool and dry food supplies such as flour and pasta. Regular cleaning
and inspection of food and fabrics will reduce potential dermestid damage.
Elm Seed Bug
First detected in 2014, elm seed bug is Utah’s newest nuisance pest. Elm seed bug activity peaks in mid-summer when they enter buildings through windows,
doors and other entry points. Thoroughly seal windows, doors and cracks and crevices
around buildings. Pyrethroid insecticides applied as a barrier treatment may reduce
migration into structures.
Fungus gnats require high moisture conditions and decaying material. Adults are attracted
to light and can be first seen flying near windows and doors. Plants damaged by fungus
gnats will lack vigor, have poor color, and premature leaf drop.
Hobo Spider Key
This key is intended for use with, at a minimum, a microscope with 8-35x zoom capability.
In addition to couplet choices based on anatomy, this key is accompanied by pictures
taken with a Leica EZ4D stereoscope (the same scopes given to selected Utah Extension
offices) to aid in identification.
Key to Common Indoor Spiders Found in 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.
Millipedes are related to trilobites, spiders and ticks, sowbugs, and crayfish, centipedes,
and insects. Each group represents a different class of arthropods. Millipedes or
"thousandlegged worms" include over 800 species of the class Diplopoda in North America
Pantry pests are usually brought into the home in prepackaged food products. Beetles
and moths are the most common pantry pests. Insects can feed on processed food or
broken kernels and can chew through paper, cardboard and foil.
Pseudoscorpions are harmless to people and pets. They “hitchhike” on flies and beetles,
and sometimes can accidentally enter the home. Pseudoscorpions are considered beneficial
to humans because they feed on clothes moth larvae, carpet beetle larvae, booklice,
ants, and mites.
Red Fire Bug
Red fire bugs were first discovered in North America in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2008.
These insects are seed feeders on a wide range of plants, including linden and mallow.
Springtails are small, abundant, wingless insects that live in a variety of moist
habitats. Because of their small size and micro- habitat, they are seldom observed.
Most of them live in the soil or in other concealed situations
Termites eat and digest cellulose, and are attracted to moist or decayed wood. Subterranean
termites need wood-to-soil contact and construct mud tubes to stay protected. Mature
termite colonies can have over 1 million members and consume one pound of wood per