Bugs Common to the Greater Boston Area

Friday, April 22, 2016

Bugs are a nuisance for homeowners–no matter what the season. As the temperatures warm up, insects will become more prevalent. Here are a few bugs common to the greater Boston area that you should be on the lookout for inside and around your home.


Western conifer seed bugs are brownish-red in color and less than 1 inch long. They have three pairs of legs and very long antennae. These insects don’t bite or sting, but when in flight they make a loud buzzing sound that can be bothersome. When the weather turns cold, western conifer seed bugs can gain entry to houses and other structures through chimneys, open doors, and torn screens.


Considered to be the most destructive forest pests in North America, Emerald Ash Borers (EABs) have caused millions of dollars of damage nationwide. To protect trees in infested areas from these metallic green insects, environmental scientists use insecticides. Homeowners can prevent EABs from getting indoors by taking care not to stack wood from ash trees near structures.


Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles are oval-shaped, measuring about 7 mm long and 5 mm wide. They can be yellow or red and may have as many as 19 black spots on their wings. These beetles tend to congregate in attics, ceilings, and walls, as well as inside living areas. Multicolored Asian Lady Beetles can bite. They also release a foul-smelling yellow chemical that can stain walls and other surfaces. If allergic to beetles, individuals can develop sinus infections and skin irritations in response to the chemical.


House crickets earn their name by coming indoors, especially in the winter when seeking warmer temperatures. They can live inside houses indefinitely, annoying homeowners with their loud chirping. These nocturnal insects eat fabric and are particularly attracted to soiled, sweaty clothing.


Cicada Killers are large wasps that grow up to an inch and a half long. If left alone, they won’t bite. The head and thorax in the front of their bodies are rust-colored while their abdomens are black and yellow. Cicada Killers don’t require a lot of food. Adults live on nectar from flowers while larvae subsist on cicadas.


Ants are the most common household pests in the United States. Red pavement ants are particularly bothersome to homeowners because their painful, venomous sting can cause health risks to the 2% of the population that is allergic. In some cases, individuals who are stung may go into anaphylactic shock. Red pavement ants sting to defend their nest, banding together as they communicate through pheromones. Although they are primarily found outside, red pavement ants can enter the home through HVAC systems and cracks and crevices. If you have an infestation, it is best to contact a licensed pest professional to remove the nest.


Wolf spiders are different from other spiders in that they don’t spin webs to hunt their prey. Instead, Wolf spiders chase down their prey. These fast spiders are ominous looking: large, dark brown, and hairy. However, they are nuisance pests and won’t bite unless provoked. Wolf spiders prefer to live outside, but if they get inside, they will stay. They can be found at or near the floor, along walls, and under furniture.


Most millipedes have between 30-90 pairs of legs, but some have as many as 333 pairs. They are attracted to outdoor areas with high moisture and decaying vegetation such as in grass clippings, mulch, and leaf piles. When they do venture inside, they can only survive a few days without a food supply. Some species of millipede leave behind a foul-smelling fluid that can be toxic to pets and cause small blisters on the skin.

Here at Patriot Pest Management, we offer a variety of pest control service plans to keep your home bug-free all year long. Our expert team of licensed technicians is dedicated to keeping you comfortable in your home–eliminating current infestations and preventing future problems while providing superior customer service. You can count on our safe and effective solutions to protect you from:

  • Ants
  • Ground beetles
  • Spiders
  • Moths
  • Millipedes
  • And many other pests!