The Philadelphia area is home to some of the most troublesome pests in the U.S. So, that means they can be quite challenging to manage. In this informative guide, we’ll show you:
- The five hardest pests to get rid of in Philadelphia
- Why they are such a problem for most residents
- How to identify each pest
- Some quick tips for managing them
German yellowjackets are an invasive species to the U.S., and they’re one of the most vicious. That’s because their stings can cause massive swelling of the extremities in allergic people.
Here’s how to identify German yellowjackets:
- 0.5 inches long
- Equal amounts of black and yellow
- Three black dots on its face distinguishes it from other yellowjacket species
- More aggressive than most wasp species
Controlling this aggressive pest can be a bit tricky since they prefer to nest inside buildings. For that reason, it’s best to let a professional exterminator handle their removal.
Mosquitoes love the warm, humid summers in Philadelphia. So, they present an enormous challenge for local residents. It can get even worse if you live in the Penn Valley area, where lakes and standing water sources abound.
Certain mosquito species in the region don’t need much water to breed. Females lay their eggs in the leaves of chickweed, clover, and other broadleaf plants. Then, during warm spring rains, they hatch by the millions.
Personal insect repellents are still the best line of defense against mosquito bites. While products containing DEET work nicely, natural mosquito repellents are available as well.
Moles are rodents that thrive in the Philadelphia area due to the moist climate and an abundance of insect-producing soil. They dig vast tunnel systems to search for food. So, they can make a pretty huge mess of your yard over time.
Moles are difficult to control due to their wariness of anything invading their territory. Also, no single technique is proven to eliminate moles. Instead, you must use a combination of sanitation, exclusion, trapping, and baiting to drive moles out of your yard.
#2. Bed Bugs
According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, nearly 12 percent of Philadelphia residents experience bed bug problems. In addition, most reported cases are within high-rise apartment buildings, suggesting the insect’s ability to travel from one unit to the next.
However, there is no apparent correlation between property value and infestation levels. In other words, these biting pests don’t discern between the wealthy and the poor. Also, it has nothing to do with how well you clean your home, as once thought.
Bed bugs are becoming more resistant over time to certain pesticides, adding to the problem of controlling them. While there are alternative treatments available, they can be somewhat costly for both the homeowner and the exterminator.
Here are a few things you can do to help:
- Before moving luggage into your hotel room, inspect all areas with a bright flashlight
- Use bed bug traps to help monitor activity, especially when traveling overseas
- Invest in a bed bug mattress cover for added protection
- Report any bed bug activity immediately to your landlord or property manager
#1. Spotted Lanternfly
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive species originating from Southern China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Scientists first discovered it in 2014 in Berks County, PA. Since then, it has spread to 13 other counties in Pennsylvania and beyond.
Here are the other states you can find this destructive pest:
- New Jersey
- New York
Identify the spotted lanternfly by these features:
- Winged insect
- About 25 millimeters long and 12 millimeters wide
- Light gray to dark gray wings with black spots
- Crimson hindwings are hidden when not in flight
- Prefers to hop from leaf to leaf instead of fly
The spotted lanternfly is an important economic pest since it attacks several varieties of plants throughout the state. It typically eats the sap from the leaves of young foliage. It also deposits a thin film on plants that encourages other insects to infest them.
Control measures include:
- Removing host plants
- Insect traps to catch nymphs
- Limited insecticide sprays
- Encouraging residents to report infestations to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture