Centipedes are elongated, flattened arthropods with numerous legs – one pair per body segment. They are predaceous on many different arthropods including insects. Although all centipedes have poison glands and the means to inject their venom, bites are infrequent and normally do not cause more than temporary, localized pain.
The German cockroach is a widely distributed urban pest. It is also the most common cockroach species in houses, apartments, restaurants, hotels, and other institutions.
During late winter or early spring, swarms of the reproductive caste may be noticed in infested buildings. These black, winged termites are the stage most commonly seen, since the other castes do not willingly expose themselves to light. Winged termites are attracted to light, and when they emerge within buildings, they swarm about doors and windows. After crawling or fluttering about for a short time, the termites break off their wings and locate a mate.
Carpenter ants and termites are social insects that live in colonies and excavate wood. Because of this, homeowners may mistake one for the other. It is important to distinguish between the two because each requires different methods of control.
The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) has long been a pest – feeding on blood, causing itchy bites and generally irritating their human hosts. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all consider bed bugs a public health pest. However, unlike most public health pests, bed bugs are not known to transmit or spread disease.
Fleas are small insects (under 1/4 inch) and are dark brown in color. They lack wings and are extremely narrow side to side, which enables them to move easily through the body hairs. Their last pair of legs is modified for jumping. They have numerous spines and hairs on their body, and their mouthparts are adapted for piercing the skin and sucking blood. The whisker-like spines on and near the head are important characteristics used in the identification of fleas.
Rats are thin-tailed, medium-size rodents that originated in Asia and Australia but are now found all over the world. "True rats" are members of the genus Rattus, but other rodent genera are also referred to as rats and share many of the same characteristics. Rats differentiate from mice by being larger, with longer, thinner bodies and long legs.
Mice can be harmful pests at times, through damaging and eating crops and spreading diseases through their parasites and feces. It is because of the pest problems caused by mice, that domestic cats are thought to have been introduced into common households.