Fact Sheets - Biting, Stinging, and Health-Related Insects
Africanized honey bees, sometimes called “killer bees,” were detected in Utah for the first time in 2008. These bees are more aggressive and will defend the nest in greater numbers compared to domesticated honey bees in the United States; their sting is not more painful or venomous than other honey bees.
Bed bugs are one of the most difficult indoor pests to eradicate; hiring a pest control company is highly recommended. Bed bug control is intensive, and two or more visits from your pest control company are likely necessary to achieve control.
Bed bugs are one of the most difficult indoor pests to eradicate; standard insect control tactics will not eliminate an infestation. Bed bug control is intensive, and a minimum of two visits 10 to 14 days apart is mandatory.
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.
Centipedes are predatory relatives of the insects, and are considered beneficial. Occasionally, centipedes enter homes and become a nuisance, but management options are available.
Adult fleas feed on blood, but larvae feed on skin, feathers and hair. Although not common in Utah, regular grooming and sanitation will help monitor for fleas on household pets, and topical insecticides are very effective if needed.
Hobo spiders and related spiders build funnel-webs to catch prey. In Utah, hobo spiders are frequently found indoors from August through October. Recent scientific evidence suggests that hobo spiders do not have a necrotic bite.
6-12 million people in the United States get infested with head lice every year. Although lice cannot jump or fly, they are very contagious and are spread by close human contact
Very few insects are considered pests, and even fewer are actually parasites of humans. If you believe your body is infested with insects or other parasites, consult a physician immediately. Never try to remove parasites or treat yourself.
This fact sheet covers information on red and black imported fire ants, which can cause agricultural, ecological, economical, nuisance, and publich health problems.Imported fire ants are native to South America, but have invaded other countries, including the U.S. However, they are not known to occur in Utah, but parts of southern Utah may be suitable for colony establishment, particularly in areas that have accessible water from irrigation or natural sources.
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.
The European wasp has a native range from Europe to China. As a group, these wasps have a high rate of reproductive increase and are excellent invaders.
Scorpions are most active at night, and hide under boards, rubbish, bricks, and in wood piles. Although all scorpions have venom, only one species in the United States is considered to have a potentially life threatening sting.
Spiders are beneficial predators that feed on pest and non-pest insects. The major spider of medical concern in Utah is the black widow. Brown recluse spiders do not occur in Utah.
Ticks occasionally attach to humans and pets in Utah. This fact sheet discusses the commonly encountered ticks of Utah and the diseases they can vector.
West Nile Virus was first detected in North America in 1999 and is a relatively new concern in Utah. West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. Horses, humans and some birds are particularly sensitive to developing West Nile Virus symptoms compared to other mammals.
The yellow sac spider has a necrotic bite and is of concern in Utah. These spiders are bright-yellow to bright-green in color with darkened “feet.” Yellow sac spiders are nocturnal, and spend the day in white, flattened sacs; indoors they can be found in the corners of walls and ceilings.
Yellowjackets, hornets and wasps are closely-related social wasps commonly found in Utah. All social wasps are capable of repeatedly stinging without dying if they feel threatened. Bees are often blamed for most stings, but about 90% of all stings are likely caused by yellowjackets.