What Are The Most Common Bugs in Richmond VA?

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Richmond Virginia nature

Virginia’s climate and vegetation make Richmond an appealing place to live, work, and play. Because of this, the same conditions allow many different bugs, some pests and some not, to feel at home as well. Although the list below is just a minute sampling of the estimated 20,000 species of bugs that call Virginia home, these are the ones that you are most likely to run into in everyday life. If you find yourself dealing with frustrating infestations, our exterminators in Richmond know how to help. 

June Bugs

June bugs are seen flying around at night from May through July. They are members of the scarab family and the 4 most common types seen in Richmond are the:

  • Green iridescent Japanese beetle
  • Green June beetle
  • Brown-and-white ten-lined June beetle
  • Brown chafer beetle

Adult June bugs feed on the leaves of trees and shrubs, mostly just leaving holes. Their larvae, known as grubs, inflict the real damage to your landscaping. Feeding ravenously on grassroots, they can quickly destroy your turf, causing it to turn brown and separate from the soil like a rug. Wildlife searching for a meal of grubs will tear up your grass looking for a feast. DIY treatments are not very effective, but professional products can quickly eliminate them. 

Lighting Bugs

Otherwise known as fireflies, these nighttime points of light are actually beetles. The flash of light you see is called bioluminescence and is caused by a chemical reaction that happens in the insect's abdomen in a special “glow organ”. Virginia’s grassy and wooded areas near bodies of water and its warm, humid weather provide an ideal lightning bug habitat. These insects are welcomed by gardeners everywhere, as their glowing larvae feed on pests, including slugs, snails, and caterpillars.

Stink Bugs

These tiny shield-shaped insects, the most common one in Virginia being the brown marmorated stink bug, are a problem both indoors and out. They get their name from the stink juice they spray from openings all over their body when frightened or if they are crushed. Originally from Asia, these pests are seen as a severe agricultural and nuisance problem. They feed on the juice of ornamental fruits and vegetables. When the weather turns, they seek shelter in warm areas, including your home. You need to remove stink bugs carefully, so as to not set off a stink bomb in your home.

Bed Bugs

The most common question folks have about bed bugs is: How did I get bed bugs in my home? Bed bugs are most often brought into the home by hitchhiking in items such as clothing, luggage, and furniture. these nocturnal insects feed on your blood while you are sleeping. Bites are in clusters of 3 or 4, and often appear in a linear or zig-zag pattern. Bed bugs are not known to transmit any diseases to humans, but the red, itchy bites are annoying and some people may have severe allergic reactions. They have been known to hide almost anywhere, so once inside, complete removal is tricky and best left to professionals. You contact RichPro if you're in need of emergency bed bug removal in Richmond. 

Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly is an agricultural threat that is quickly spreading across the United States and was accidentally introduced from Asia. The spotted lanternfly is causing significant damage to important crops, such as grapevines, hops, fruits, and vegetables. Ornamental trees are also a target. You can help in the war on this nuisance pest by:

  • Learning how to identify it during all of its development stages.
  • Inspecting your yard regularly for egg masses and insects.
  • Killing live insects and squashing egg masses when found.
  • Reporting your findings, with photos included. 

Mosquitos

Their annoying whine and itchy, red bites have ruined many backyard parties and otherwise peaceful evenings outside. These blood-thirsty pests transmit many serious diseases, including Malaria, West Nile Virus, and dog heartworm. Mosquitoes are found pretty much everywhere but need areas of standing water to breed and long grass and brush for protective cover. You can use DIY foggers for momentary relief, but these methods give short-lived protection and often contain chemicals that are harmful to your family and pets. A professional mosquito exterminator will combine eco- and family-friendly treatments with other recommendations to make your yard less hospitable to these pests. 

Kissing Bugs

The kissing bug, or triatomine bug, is aptly named for its habit of biting people on the face, especially near the mouth. Originating in Central and South America, this bug is now found in the southern United States, including Richmond Virginia. This nocturnal pest may carry a parasite in its feces, that when rubbed into bites is responsible for causing Chagas disease. Symptoms include serious heart and digestive issues and the parasite can be passed from a mother to her unborn baby. Timely medical treatment is critical for killing the parasite in the human body.

Assassin Bugs

Members of the Reduviidae family, the 160 or so species of assassin bugs found in the United States all have a curved, dagger-like mouthpart that is used to kill prey. Instead of just lying in wait for their victims, they hunt for aphids, leafhoppers, and caterpillars in vegetation. Even though these bugs are considered a gardener’s helper, they will bite humans and animals, resulting in pain and swelling at the site. For the most part, no medical attention is necessary, but like the kissing bug, some species can transmit Chagas.

Silverfish

Silverfish have scales, 6 legs, thread-like antennae, and are shaped like fish. Silverfish like damp, moist, and room temperature to warm spaces like your kitchen, basement, attic, bathroom, or even under rocks and leaves. They feed on carbohydrates, so once in your house, food crumbs, wallpaper, paper, and clothing are not off-limits. Controlling humidity is a key component to dealing with a silverfish infestation. Professional services are your best friend when dealing with this creepy-looking pest. If you're located in Richmond, we've got you covered!

Termites

In nature, termites play an important role in cleaning up dead and rotting organic matter. However, once they invade your home, their skills become misdirected and they can quickly cause thousands of dollars in damage, including to your structure. Treatment of the termites in your home is not enough, you need to also eliminate the colony and its queen. This is an endeavor best left to professionals, who will eradicate them with eco- and family-friendly products.

How Do I Protect My Home And Yard?

There are numerous steps you can take to keep bugs out. Some of the more effective actions are to seal around doors and windows and caulk all cracks and crevices that unwanted pests could use to gain access to your home. Avoid killing lightning bugs and certain species of assassin bugs by using narrow-spectrum products that only target the insect you are trying to eliminate.

When you contact a professional pest control company, such as RichPro Pest Management, our experienced and highly trained exterminators will identify the pest that is troubling you, determine the most effective treatment method, and recommend mitigation measures to help prevent future infestations. With a little bit of planning, you can keep Richmond’s bugs on the outside, where they belong. 

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