North Carolina is renowned for its lush landscapes and diverse wildlife, making it a paradise for nature lovers. However, our beautiful state is also home to an array of insects, some quite surprising. While you’re likely familiar with common pests like termites, yellow jackets, and fire ants, other lesser-known bugs inhibit the Tar Heel State. In this blog, our Raleigh pest control experts will explore eight surprising North Carolina bugs, including their habitats, behaviors, and treatment options. 

Bark Lice: The Tree Dwellers

Despite their name, bark lice are not parasitic and are only distant relatives of the blood-feeding lice. These small, aphid-like insects are often found on tree bark, where they graze on algae, spores, pollen, and other organic matter. Bark lice are known for their communal living habits, often forming large groups on the bark of trees. They play an essential role in the ecosystem by helping to clean the bark and promote tree health.

About North Carolina Bugs: Bark Lice 

  • Habits and Behavior: Bark Lice exhibit parental care by guarding their eggs and spinning silk to protect them.
  • Signs of a Bark Lice Presence: Look for bark lice on the undersides of holly or camellia leaves. They may form congregations known as “tree cattle.” 
  • Treatment Options: While bark lice are generally harmless, insecticidal soaps and oils can manage their population if they become a nuisance. 

Crane Flies or Giant Mosquitoes

Their generic name, “giant mosquitoes” signifies that crane flies are large big, vicious mosquitoes. Despite their size and appearance, they are harmless and do not bite humans. Instead, crane flies primarily feed on nectar and help pollinate plants. They are a vital part of our ecosystem and a food source for many birds. They are often seen around lights at night and can be startling due to their size. But once you realize they aren’t large mosquitoes, you can rest assured knowing they are harmless.

About North Carolina Bugs: Giant Mosquitos

  • Habits and Behavior: They do not bite humans and are harmless, as they primarily feed on nectar. 
  • Signs of a Giant Mosquito Presence: Look for large, mosquito-like insects around lights at night. 
  • Treatment Options: Giant mosquitos are harmless, but if their presence is bothersome, reducing outdoor lighting can help. For other mosquito-related issues, contact Stomp Pest Control for mosquito control in the greater Raleigh area.

Kissing Bugs: The Silent Threat

Kissing bugs, also known as triatomines, are a type of blood-feeding insect that can transmit Chagas disease. They are named for their tendency to bite humans around the mouth or eyes. Kissing bugs are typically nocturnal and can be found in areas with abundant wildlife and within human dwellings, especially in rural and suburban settings. Their bites can cause severe allergic reactions in some individuals.

About North Carolina Bugs: Kissing Bugs

  • Habits and Behavior: They are typically found in areas with abundant wildlife and homes or populated locations, especially in rural and suburban areas. 
  • Signs of a Kissing Bug Presence: A kissing bug is indicated by bite marks around the mouth or eyes and by finding the bites in cracks and crevices.
  • Treatment Options: To prevent entry, seal cracks and gaps. Regular pest control treatments can help.
  • Health Risks: Kissing bugs can transmit Chagas disease, which can cause serious health issues. 

Pseudoscorpions: Tiny Hitchhikers

You probably imagine arid deserts and scorching heat when you think of scorpions. However, there is a North Carolina bug called the pseudoscorpion, a tiny arachnid that resembles a scorpion but lacks a tail and stinger. These small creatures are often found in leaf litter, under tree bark, and within soil. They are harmless to humans and beneficial in controlling mite populations. Pseudoscorpions hitch rides on larger insects, a behavior known as phoresy, to move to new locations.

About North Carolina Bugs: Pseudoscorpions

  • Habits and Behavior: Pseudoscorpions are found in leaf litter, tree bark, and soil. They hitchhike on larger insects like flies and beetles.
  • Signs of a Pseudoscorpion Presence: Due to their size, spotting them can be challenging, but they may be found in leaf litter or under stones.
  • Treatment Options: While harmless to humans, if they have become a nuisance, use standard spider treatments for safe removal indoors. 

Thrips: Tiny Invaders

Thrips are tiny North Carolina bugs, often less than 2 millimeters long, that can be found on almost any flower. They have piercing/sucking mouthparts and are known for their unique, strap-like wings with fringes of hair-like structures called setae. Thrips can cause significant damage to plants, including flowers, fruits, and vegetables, by feeding on their sap. Infested plants may exhibit discoloration, deformation, and stunted growth.

A lady bug on a leaf with thrips on the leaf. This featured image is for the blog post, "Uncommon North Carolina Bugs and Insects."

About North Carolina Bugs: Thrips

  • Habits and Behavior: Thrips undergo several pupal stages between larval and adult.
  • Signs of a Thrips Presence: Often found on flowers, infested plants may show discolored or distorted leaves.
  • Treatment Options: Regularly inspecting plants and using insecticidal soaps or oils can control their population.

Wheel Bugs: Predatory Protectors

Wheel Bugs are one of the most intriguing and beneficial predators found in North Carolina. Recognizable by the cog-like structure on their backs, they are fierce protectors of other insects. Wheel bugs benefit gardens by preying on harmful insects such as caterpillars, beetles, and aphids. Despite their beneficial role, their bite can be quite painful to humans.

About North Carolina Bugs: Wheel Bugs

  • Habits and Behavior: They are often found in gardens and wooded areas, where they prey on other insects, such as caterpillars, beetles, and aphids. 
  • Signs of a Wheel Bug Presence: Look for these bugs on the stems and leaves of plants, specifically where there are high concentrations of other insects. Their distinctive wheel-shaped thorax makes them easy to identify. 
  • Treatment Options: While Wheel Bugs are beneficial, their bite can be painful. If their presence becomes problematic, use insecticidal soaps or oils. 

Wolf Spiders: The Agile Hunters

Wolf Spiders are a common North Carolina bug known for their large size and hunting prowess. Unlike other spiders, wolf spiders do not spin webs to catch their prey. Instead, they actively hunt and chase down insects. Their excellent vision and agility make them effective nocturnal hunters. While their appearance can be intimidating, wolf spiders are generally harmless to humans.

About North Carolina Bugs: Wolf Spiders

  • Habits and Behavior: Solitary and nocturnal hunters, often seen scurrying across the ground for prey.
  • Signs of a Wolf Spider’s Presence: Look for their distinctive eye pattern, with two large eyes in the middle row and their burrows lined with silk.
  • Treatment Options: While not dangerous to humans, their presence can be unsettling especially if found in abundance. Professional spider treatments can help keep these and other spiders out of your home.

Reasons to Invest in Affordable Pest Control in Raleigh

At Stomp Pest Control in Raleigh, we stand out by providing exceptional service and innovative solutions to keep your home free from North Carolina bugs. Here’s what sets us apart:

  • Customized Solutions: We understand that every home is different. That’s why we offer customized pest control plans tailored to your needs and budget, ensuring comprehensive and long-lasting results. 
  • Effective Pest Removal Methods: We use safe treatments to eliminate existing infestations, ensuring your home is free from pests without compromising safety.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: We ensure that you are completely satisfied with our services, providing a 100% satisfaction guarantee to give you confidence in our work.

Contact Stomp Pest Control for Top-Rated Pest Control in Raleigh

Whether you want to take preventive action or exterminate a specific pest, the pest technicians at Stomp Pest Control can exterminate them and prevent them from returning. We serve several cities in the Triangle including Raleigh, Garner, Wake Forest, Durham, and beyond

Contact us at (919) 231-3292 or fill out the form below to learn more about our pest control services.

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