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Household Insects

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Termites swarming on this decaying tree stump are a healthy part of nature, but homeowners must take steps to make sure they do not infest houses. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Linda Breazeale)
June 7, 2017 - Filed Under: Household Insects, Termites, Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service judged that the most economically important insects in the state should have their own website.

The site, https://extension.msstate.edu/termites, is the go-to place for information on termite biology, identification and control. The site describes the different species of termites found in the state and provides answers to common questions about the pests.

Leaving dirty dishes in the sink provides a feast for pests. Integrated pest management emphasizes practical, cost-efficient strategies for keeping rodents and insects out of the home. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
May 1, 2017 - Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Household Insects, Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Spring has begun, and while that means warmer weather and blooming flowers, it may mean more pests infiltrating your home.

David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, explained the importance of integrated pest management and the steps that make up the IPM process. He said IPM focuses on common-sense activities around the house, with an emphasis on environmentally friendly and affordable practices over regular application of insecticide.

The dark, fiddle-shaped pattern on the back of the brown recluse helps distinguish it from other spiders. Because of their reclusive nature, watch out for these venomous spiders in dark, neglected areas. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
June 10, 2016 - Filed Under: Insects, Household Insects, Insect Identification, Insects-Home Lawns

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Warmer days motivate many people to tackle cluttered closets, disorganized garages and idle storage buildings. But before pulling out neglected boxes of junk, consider who -- or what -- might have taken up residence in the dark, undisturbed piles.

Termites swarm when they are looking for new places to begin colonies. Left uncontrolled, these pests can cause extensive damage to houses and other buildings. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
June 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Insects, Household Insects, Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University entomologist John Guyton actually wears them on special occasions in a tie, and some people collect them for science experiments, but homeowners typically want nothing to do with termites.

Termites are estimated to cause $40 billion in damage to wooden structures every year. In the U.S., that figure is $2 billion to $3 billion, and several million dollars are lost to termites each year in Mississippi.

Indian mealworm caterpillars are stored-food pests commonly found in cornmeal and flour. Cooks can avoid heavy infestations of these pests by including the kitchen pantry in the spring-cleaning routine. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Jonathan Parrish)
March 3, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Insects, Household Insects, Insects-Pests

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The kitchen pantry is a prime target for pests looking for an easy meal, but a little spring-cleaning can stop them in their tracks.

“It’s a good idea for cooks to empty the pantry at least once a year and check items that have gotten pushed to the back of the cabinet,” said Natasha Haynes, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent and host of “The Food Factor.” “Throw out any expired food or food that has been open for several months.”

Haynes recommended storing any opened food items in airtight glass or plastic containers.

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Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and