The Large List of Pests New Jerseyans Will Encounter in 2013.
“Death and taxes are predictable, but Nature is predictable as well in the form of the many insect and rodent species that attack property and spread disease,” says Leonard Douglen, Executive Director of the New Jersey Pest Management Association. “The Handbook of Pest Control by Arnold Mallis is an encyclopedic collection of information about pests that exceeds 1,100 pages.”
“When people think about pest control for their homes, apartments, offices and other facilities, they often begin with cockroaches,” says Douglen, “and there are a number of cockroach species common to the tri-state area. They are famed for spreading many diseases associated with food poisoning such as salmonella, but they also are known to transmit pneumonia and typhoid, are a cause for allergies, and afflict those with asthma.”
Cockroaches have been around for millions of years, reproduce at amazing rates, and pose particular problems for food establishments, hospitals, hotels and similar enterprises. “In recent years bed bugs have risen to the top of the list of people’s concerns,” says Douglen, “and the pest control profession has rapidly developed a number of techniques to find and exterminate them wherever they occur.”
“By far, the most costly among the insect species that afflict people are termites,” says Douglen, “costing millions every year for the damage they do to homes and other structures. Coming in a close second are carpenter ants because an entire colony numbering several thousand can move into a home overnight and begin to destroy parts of it. Both species are often at work for several years before their presence is noted.” Lessor known species of beetles cause damage as well.
“Though they don’t make headlines,” says Douglen, “various species of moths damage clothes, carpets, and other textiles, as well as invade pantries. Some beetle species rival moths for the damage they do. “Spiders loom large in people’s imaginations and there are some 35,000 species of spiders worldwide, but other than being scary, they do not pose much of a threat to humans.”
In New Jersey, home to many deer, the spread of Lyme Disease has been caused by a common parasite, ticks, but they are also known vectors of encephalitis, tularemia, and typhus.
There are many tick species and pet owners are familiar with dog ticks. Often mistaken for ticks are mites and gnats. Stinging insects such as wasps and Yellow Jackets pose a well-known problem, especially when their nests are disturbed. “People should call on pest control professionals to remove their nests because a do-it-yourself approach can result in multiple painful stings.”
“New Jerseyans share their suburbs with a wide variety of vertebrate pest species that include mice, rats, and voles. Squirrels can pose problems for homeowners, as do raccoons and opossum that can get into chimneys unless they have a protective device,” says Douglen. “Bats, too, have been known to invade attics and require particular care to remove as their guano can cause respiratory problems.”
While acknowledging that pest control professionals do not address the problems of larger animal species, Douglen noted that, “In recent years there has been a greater awareness of the state’s growing population of coyotes that will attack pets. Bears, too, require homeowners in more rural areas to take care to install tamper-proof garbage containers. Businesses that use dumpsters need comparable protection, The deer population poses problems in the form of auto accidents, eating ornamental foliage, and the ecological damage they do as in the case of the South Mountain reservation where culling has been necessary to ensure new tree growth.”
“Pest control professionals are on the front lines of defense against the many insect, rodent, bird and animal species that represent problems of property damage and disease,” says Douglen, “and the public should know that they are licensed and certified by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. They undergo continued training throughout each year?’
The New Jersey Pest Management Association was founded in 1941 and is affiliated with the National Pest Management Association. It provides its members with seminars on a variety of pest issues and it maintains an Internet website at www.njpma.com that provides a list of its member firms throughout the state.