Fact Sheets - Biting, Stinging, and Health-Related Insects

For more health-related insect information reference the Common Structural and Health-Related Pests of Utah Guide

Africanized Honey Bees

African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) are native to sub-Saharan Africa and were introduced in the Americas to improve honey production in the tropics. These African honey bees were accidentally released and began to interbreed with European h

Asian Giant Hornet (a.k.a. Northern Giant Hornet)

[Update 8/2022: Northern giant hornet is the new common name for this pest.] Asian giant hornet is an invasive wasp that was detected in northwest Washington and British Columbia, Canada in fall 2019 and spring 2020; however, it is not known to be establi...

Bed Bugs: For Homeowners

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: For Pest Control Operators

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

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 long, slender arthropods in the class Chilopoda. Centipede means “hundred feet” because they appear to have many legs. Insects, millipedes and arachnids are close relatives. Centipedes should be considered beneficial because they are exclus...


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 Spider

The hobo spider, Eratigena agrestis, is a member of the funnel-web spider family Agelenidae (Fig. 1). Funnelweb spiders are long-legged, swift-running spiders that build funnel or tube-shaped retreats in turf, log piles, rock piles, and other areas aro

Human Lice

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

Human Parasites

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.

Imported Fire Ants

The red and black imported fire ants (IFA) are an invasive and aggressive pest not known to occur in Utah, but parts of southern Utah may be suitable for colony establishment. IFA can be easily distinguished from other ants in Utah by both the varying siz...

Key to Common Spiders of Utah

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 ...

New European Wasp

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 eight-legged carnivorous arthropods and belong to the class Arachnida. This class also includes ticks, spiders, and mites. There are approximately 1,300 species of scorpions worldwide and 75 species in the United States, but only 9 are recog...


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.

West Nile Virus in Utah

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 ...

Western Conenose Bug (Kissing Bug)

Western conenose bug is an insect that feeds on the blood of vertebrates and can carry the parasite that causes Chagas disease of humans. This insect is present in Utah, but is not commonly found.

Yellow Sac Spiders

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 ...

Yellowjackets, Hornets, and Paper Wasps

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 lik...