PO Box 3590
York, PA 17402

(717) 840-1966

Pest Identification

Termites vs AntsWith more than 25 years of pest identification experience, BJ Riley Pest Control in York, Pennsylvania, has specialists that can seek options to eliminate pests for good. Eliminate Insects from Your Property At BJ Riley Pest Control, we specialize in getting rid of creepy, crawling unwanted pests in your business. Our pest control professionals seek out and eliminate crawling, flying, and disease-carrying pests and rodents.

Termite Control

Your business is one of your greatest financial investments and it may be in danger from the destructive effects of termite infestation. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, subterranean termites are native to all of the 48 contiguous states and cause an estimated $750 million in damage annually.

Don’t wait until the effects are visible. Termites generally gain access to your home from access points in or near the foundation and because they attack wood from the inside out, early detection requires the skills of a trained termite inspector. Our certified termite inspectors can detect the presence of termite colonies before they have a chance to harm your building or even become visible to you.

Food industry operations are highly attractive to rodents and roaches, as well, and should be dealt with as quickly as possible to avoid any situations involving your personnel or customers. Our highly trained, certified pest control specialists will inspect your building from the ground up and provide the solution to free it of annoying and possibly dangerous pests

Common infestations are:

  • Ants
  • Fire Ants
  • Flying Insects
  • Hornets
  • Mice
  • Mosquitoes
  • Rats
  • Roaches
  • Termites
  • Wasps


CentipedThe house centipede is up to 1 ½ inches long and has 15 pairs of very long, almost thread-like, slender legs. Each leg is encircled by dark and white bands. The body is brown to grayish-yellow and has three dark stripes on top. Though house centipedes are found both indoors and outdoors it is the occasional one on the bathroom or bedroom wall, or the one accidentally trapped in the bathtub, sink or lavatory that causes the most concern. However, these locations are not where they normally originate. Centipedes prefer to live in damp portions of basements, closets, bathrooms, unexcavated areas under the house and beneath the bark of firewood stored indoors. They do not come up through the drainpipes.

House centipedes feed on small insects, insect larvae and on spiders thus, they are beneficial though most homeowners take a different point-of-view and consider them a nuisance. Technically, the house centipede could bite but it is considered harmless to people.

House centipede control consists of drying up and cleaning, as much as possible, the areas that serve as habitat and food source for centipedes. Residual insecticides can be applied to usual hiding places such as crawl spaces, dark corners in basements, baseboard cracks and crevices, openings in concrete slabs, under shelves, around stored boxes and so forth.


MillipedeMillipedes are attracted to dark, cool, moist environments, usually going unnoticed in the summer due to their nocturnal habits (activity at night) and tendency to disperse. They feed on living and decomposing vegetation and occasionally on dead snails, earthworms and insects.


FleasAdult fleas are very small insects (up to 1/8 inch), so it is difficult to see a number of the characteristics used to describe them. They are reddish brown to black, wingless insects. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts through which they obtain blood meals from their hosts. Flea larvae are tiny (up to 3/16 inch long), hairy, wormlike with a distinct, brownish head but no eyes or legs. Adult Fleas remain on their host. Females require a fresh blood meal in order to produce eggs and they can lay up to 1 per hour! The smooth eggs easily fall from the pet onto the carpet, bedding or lawn. Adult fecal matter consists of relatively undigested blood. This dried blood also falls from the pet and serves as food for the newly hatched larvae. The young fleas will hatch within 2 days and feed on dandruff, grain particles and skin flakes found on the floor around them, in addition to the fecal matter provided by adult fleas. They prefer to develop in areas protected from rainfall, irrigation and sunlight, where the relative humidity is at least 75% and the temperature is 70-90° F. The larval stage lasts 5-15 days. Larvae spin silken cocoons within carpet fibers, floor crevices or protected outdoor areas in which they will develop (pupate) into adult fleas. The cocoons are sticky and easily camouflaged by local debris. Under optimal conditions, new adults are ready to emerge within 2 weeks. They develop faster at higher temperatures, but can remain in their cocoons up to 12 months. Vibrations and/or an increase in carbon dioxide stimulate adults to emerge. Adults live 4-25 days and are the only stage that lives on the pet and feeds on fresh blood.

Boxelder Bug

Boxelder BugBoxelder bugs are familiar insects to most people. They are generally not noticed during summer but often can become an issue when they try to move into homes during fall as they search for overwintering sites.Adult boxelder bugs are about 1/2-inch long, black with orange or red markings, including three stripes on the prothorax, the area right behind the head. Their wings lay flat over their bodies, overlapping each other to form an “X”. The immature nymphs are 1/16th-inch long and bright red when they first hatch. As they grow older and become larger, they are red and black.

Boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance because they enter homes and other buildings, often in large numbers. Fortunately, they do not bite people and are essentially harmless to property. When abundant, they can stain walls, curtains and other surfaces with their excrement. Occasionally some may seek moisture and may be found around houseplants, although they rarely attack them.

Carpenter Ant

Carpenter AntCarpenter ants get their name because they excavate wood in order to build their nests. Their excavation results in smooth tunnels inside the wood. Carpenter ants range in size from one-quarter inch for a worker-ant to up to three-quarters inch for a queen. They have 6 legs and are oval and are segmented with antennae.All species mainly attack wood that is or has been wet and damaged by mold. Even though these ants first invade wet, decayed wood, they may soon begin building paths through dry, undamaged wood. They usually come into buildings through cracks around doors, windows or through holes for wires. They will also crawl along overhead wires, shrubs or tree limbs that touch the building far above the ground.

Carpenter ants build their nests outdoors in various wood sources, including tree stumps, firewood or landscaping. They need a constant water source to survive and will enter homes through wet, damaged wood. Carpenter ants damage wood through their nest building. If they gain entry to a structure, they pose a property threat.

Yellow Jacket

All wasps will defend their nests, but yellow jackets and hornets are the most aggressive. They can be distinguished from bees by their thin waist since bees are quite thick around their waists. They fold their wings lengthwise when at rest. Like all wasps, yellow jackets prey on a variety of insects and other arthropods. Yellow jackets will also forage on foods that people eat, especially sweets and meats. They usually nest in the ground, but will nest also in railroad ties, wall voids and other above ground locations.

They are considered beneficial insects, eating other insects. The yellow jacket colony will remain active for only one summer after which the queens will fly away to start more colonies. The remaining ones die at the end of the summer and the nest is not reused.

Powder Post Beetle

Powder Post BeetlePowder Post Beetles are a group of wood boring beetles in the insect subfamily Lyctidae. Items that can be infested by powder post beetles include any wooden tools or tool handles, frames, furniture, gun stocks, books, toys, bamboo, flooring, and structural timbers. You can easily recognize the work of powder post beetles. When the adults emerge, usually in June, some species leave small holes about the size of a pin in the surface of the wood; others make holes the size of pencil lead.

From these holes, a fine, powder like brood of larvae carry on their destructive feeding. Normally, these insects have a 1-year life cycle; this means that the adults will appear only once each year. And because of this habit the larvae have a feeding period of many months.

Old House Borer

The name is somewhat misleading since a large number of infestations are noticed in homes just four to seven years after construction. Old-house borers prefer seasoned softwoods, and particularly pine. An infestation of old house borers is evidenced by the presence of the adults their emergence holes, or by the larvae and larval tunnels in the wood. The black to gray beetles are 5/8 to 1 inch in length and possess long antennae.

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter BeeTheir name comes from the fact that nearly all species build their nests in burrows in dead wood, bamboo, or structural timbers. Their nests are underground and they spend most of their time traveling between the nest and the flowers from which they obtain food. It is the male carpenter bee, which is most often noticed. They hover in the vicinity of the nest and will dart after any other flying insect that ventures into their territory. The female however, is capable of stinging but seldom does. She must be extremely provoked before she will sting.

American Roaches

American RoachesAlso known as the palmetto bug or waterbug, particularly in the southern United States, is the largest species of common cockroach. The American cockroach is a scavenger that feeds on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods. It is particularly fond of fermenting foods. American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 29 °C (84 °F) and do not tolerate cold temperatures.

German Roaches

Although they have fully developed wings, they do not fly. The German cockroach is best identified by its small size and by two dark parallel lines running from the back of the head to the wings. It is usually found in kitchens (near dishwashers, stoves, and sinks) and in bathrooms of homes. German cockroaches usually prefer a moist environment with a relatively high degree of warmth. The insects are mostly scavengers and will feed on a wide variety of foods. They are especially fond of starches, sweets, grease, and meat products.

Oriental Roaches

The oriental cockroach tends to travel somewhat more slowly than other species. They are often called “waterbugs” since they prefer dark, moist places. They can often be found around decaying organic matter, and in sewers, drains, damp basements, porches, and other damp locations. Adult Oriental cockroaches are about one inch in length. Both male and female adults are very dark brown, nearly black; their bodies usually have a somewhat greasy sheen. Females have small, functionless, rudimentary wing pads and broader, heavier bodies. Males have wings that cover only about three-quarters of their abdomen. Males are unable to fly.


Its common name derives from the animal’s silvery light grey and blue color, combined with the fish-like appearance of its movements. Silverfish consume matter that contains polysaccharides, such as starches and dextrin in adhesives. These include glue, book bindings, paper, photos, sugar, coffee, hair, carpet, clothing and dandruff. Silverfish can live for two to three years, or more, and produce more than 50 offspring.

House Ants

Ants are social insects. Their nests or colonies can be found indoors and out, although some species have preferred nesting sites. A nest contains one or more queen ants laying eggs and being cared for by worker ants. Worker ants- sterile or non-reproductive female ants- tend the queen and brood (eggs, larvae and pupae) and forage for food. Foraging ants can invade households from colonies outdoors. Nests often can be located by following “trails” of foraging ants. Indoors, ants nest almost anywhere. For instance, Pharaoh ants readily nest in attics, appliances, linens, heating ducts, wall voids and light switches or fixtures.


EarwigsThe most distinguishing physical feature of the earwig is the claw-like forceps (or cerci) located on the end of the abdomen. These forceps are straight-sided on most females, but are more pincer-like on males. Earwigs use their forceps mainly as protective weapons, but they also use them to capture prey. Earwigs are active at night and hide during the day in cracks and crevices. They are mainly scavengers and occasionally feed on plants. The eggs are laid in burrows in the ground and most species overwinter as adults.

Ground Beetles

Although there is some variation in their body shape and coloring, most are shiny black or metallic and have ridged wing covers. With their large eyes, spiny powerful legs, and large jaws, Ground Beetles are formidable predators in the insect world. They live on the surface of the soil where they capture and consume a wide assortment of soil dwelling insects, including caterpillars, wireworms, maggots, ants, aphids and slugs.


About 3,000 species of spiders are found in the United States. Spiders rarely bite people, and most species found in the world are harmless. However, some people may be allergic to a spider’s bite, and a few species of spiders are known to produce bites that may have serious medical implications for humans. Two of the more medically important types are the black widow spiders, and the brown recluse spider and its relatives. These two types of spiders are rarely encountered in Pennsylvania. Although black widows can be found native in Pennsylvania, the brown recluse spiders must be introduced and cannot survive in Pennsylvania?s climate unless they remain inside heated structures.


BeeBee, common name for a winged, flower-feeding insect with branched body hairs. Bees are dependent on pollen as a protein source and on flower nectar or oils as an energy source. Many bees are black or gray, but others are bright yellow, red, or metallic green or blue. Hives include one queen, hundreds of drones, and thousands of worker bees. The worker bees are female, but they do not breed. The queen bee is female and creates all the babies for the hive. The drone bees are male and do not have stingers. The main difference is that bees provide their young with pollen and honey, while wasps eat animal food, insects, or spiders. In addition, wasps have unbranched hairs.


Forty percent of mammal species are rodents, and they are found in vast numbers on all continents other than Antarctica. Common rodents include mice, rats, squirrels, porcupines, beavers, chipmunks, guinea pigs, and voles. Rodents have sharp incisors that they use to gnaw wood, break into food, and bite predators. Most eat seeds or plants, though some have more varied diets. Rodents have two incisors in the upper as well as in the lower jaw which grow continuously and must be kept worn down by gnawing. These teeth are used for cutting wood, biting through the skin of fruit, or for defense. Nearly all rodents feed on plants, seeds in particular, but there are a few exceptions which eat insects or even fish.


Bed Bugs are temperature sensitive, wingless blood-feeding insects that are found all over the world, including the United States. Initially they begin life as a small but visible egg, about the size of a poppy seed. From that point they feed on blood and grow into juvenile or “nymph” stage bugs. As they develop into adults, brown or red (fed) bed bugs become about the size of an apple seed. Bed bugs can live up to 20 months and could go without a blood meal for 1 ½ years. The female bed bug can lay over 500 eggs in her life time, which hatch in about 10 days, given the right temperatures. [Source]

Contact us today in York, Pennsylvania, for more information about our pest identification services.