- 12 – 15mm long.
- Brown with 2 dark stripes on thorax.
- The wings are as long as the body or slightly overlapping in both sexes.
- Runs and climbs (sticky pads on the feet).
- Females carry 35 – 40 eggs in an ootheca (egg case) until they are ready to hatch.
- Hatch in 1 month.
- Nymphs take between 6 weeks to 6 months to develop into adults.
- Heated buildings, often kitchens and ships. Prefers high temperatures and humidities.
- 25 – 30 mm long.
- Dark brown to black in colour.
- The wings undeveloped in female and cover ¾ length of the abdomen in the male.
- Runs rather than flies.
- Females deposit 16 eggs in an ootheca (egg case).
- Hatch in 2 months.
- Nymphs take 5 – 9 months to develop into adults.
- Buildings. Can tolerate lower temperatures than other cockroaches so can also be found outdoors, on rubbish tips etc.
Black Ant or Garden Ant
- Workers 4–5mm long.
- Queens 15mm long.
- Dark brown–black in colour.
- 1 small segment at waist point (pedicel).
- No sting present.
- Queens overwinter in soil. Eggs are laid in late spring. Larvae hatch 3–4 weeks later.
- Larvae feed on secretions from the queen’s salivary glands until the first worker ants emerge.
- Worker ants continue with larval care, nest building and food foraging.
- Fertile males are produced later in the season.
- Foraging worker ants follow well–defined trails around food sources. Sweet foods are preferred but high protein foods will also be taken.
- Swarming characteristics – mating between queens and fertile males takes place on the wing mid to late summer. Males perish after mating.
- Nest locations – often outdoors in soil and below paving slabs on the sunny side of buildings. Nest locations can be identified by the presence of finely powdered soil around nest exit holes.
- Workers 1.5–2mm long, yellow–brown with brown abdomen.
- Males 3mm long, black and winged.
- Queens 3.5–6mm long, dark red in colour with wings.
- Black eyes. 2 small segments at the pedicel.
- Multi–queen colonies.
- Swarming can take place at any time of the year.
- Winged adults seldom fly so rarely seen. Wings are soon lost after mating.
- Well–defined trails are laid which are often associated with heating systems. Feeds indoors on high protein foods — meat, fats, blood, dead insects, etc.
- Swarming characteristics — new colonies are often formed through nests that have been disturbed e.g., as a result of insecticide spray treatments. Each queen produces up to 3500 eggs in its lifetime.
- Nest locations — deep seated in cavities in heated buildings. Often found in hospitals. Associated with humid conditions. Colonies can range from a few dozen to 300,000 individuals.
- Fleas are black to brownish–black wingless insects.
- Adult fleas are 1 to 4 mm long.
- They possess a long, fine proboscis which is used to pierce the skin of their host to feed on their blood.
- They have a characteristic jumping movement.
- A female flea will lay 4 to 8 eggs after each blood meal, and can usually lay several hundred eggs during her adult life.
- The smooth, oval light–coloured eggs measuring around 0.5 mm long, are deposited on, but not firmly attached to, the body, bedding, or nest of the host.
- The adult generally emerges in a week or two after completing a larval and pupal stage, but under unfavourable conditions, the pupal period may be as long as a year.
- Fleas most often bite people around the legs and ankles, usually with 2 or 3 bites in a row. The bites are felt immediately and can be sore for as much as a week.
- Since they move from one host species to another, they present a risk of transmitting disease.
- Pulex irritans is also a vector of Yersinia pestis (plague).
- Human fleas can also be found on animals such as dogs, rats, pigs, deer and foxes.
- 2–3mm long wingless ticks.
- Flattened from side to side.
- Have long legs enabling them to jump.
- They have both genal and pronotal combs (ctenidia), differentiating them from most other fleas of domestic animals.
- Fleas pass through four stages: eggs, larva, pupa, adult. The eggs are small and white.
- These stages combined vary from two weeks to eight months.
- The adult flea is awakened by the detection of vibration of pet or human movement, pressure, heat, noise, or carbon dioxide for potential blood meals.
- A cat flea cannot complete is life–cycle feeding only on human blood.
- These fleas are often unable to determine whether a host is suitable until it has been bitten. If it is deemed unsuitable, the flea soon drops off.
- These fleas nest where the host is in its usual resting place, for example the cat basket. This is where the young drop to mature.
- 4 to 5mm long.
- Oval and flattened from back to underside, well developed legs, but wings absent.
- Mouthparts adapted to piercing and sucking.
- Red to brown in colour.
- 200 – 500 eggs laid over a 2 month period in batches of 10 to 50.
- Feed on human blood.
- Found in cracks and crevices, headboards, behind peeling wallpaper, broken plaster, light switches, under carpets and skirting boards etc.
- Bed bugs are nocturnal.