Types of Bedbugs — Bed Bug Types, List of Bedbug Species

Types of Bed Bugs

The common or household bed bug (Cimex lectularius) is found worldwide. These insects adapt well to human environments and typically live in temperate climates. A number of other related pests resemble bed bugs in habits and appearance. Proper identification usually requires magnification and experience with distinguishing the different species.

The tropical bedbug (Cimex hemipterus) also feeds on humans but prefers more tropical regions such as Florida.

Bat bugs (Cimex adjunctus) have also been observed in tropical regions as well as more temperate areas. This species feeds primarily on bats, although they do sometimes feed on human hosts, especially if the preferred source is no longer present.

Located primarily in North America, the Mexican chicken bug (Haematosiphon inodora) also closely resembles the common bed bug. However, these insects are typically found on poultry farms and choose bird species and domestic fowl as hosts.

Barn swallow bugs resemble bed bugs as well. Although barn swallow bugs feed primarily on cliff swallows and live in swallow nests, they have been known to enter human dwellings when bird migration occurs.

It is important to accurately identify bed bugs before beginning treatment of an infestation. Incorrect control methods will prove ineffective and may be harmful. Contact your local pest control experts to arrange an inspection and consultation.

Bed Bug Control

Cimex lectularius L.

Learn what Bed Bugs look like, and how to detect if you have a Bed Bug Infestation.

Find out how Bed Bugs infiltrate your home and where they are attracted to.

Learn about Bed Bug bites. their feces and how they can impact your health.

Learn how Orkin handles Bed Bugs, homeopathic cures and the cost of Bed Bug extermination services.


Pantry pests: Insects found in stored food

Quick facts

Insects infesting stored foods such as flour, cereal and other dried goods, is one of the most common household insect problems. The many different kinds of insects that infest dried foods are often called «pantry pests.»

  • You can find pantry pests when they leave infested foods to crawl or fly around the house.
  • They often gather in pots, pans or dishes or on window sills.
  • They do not bite or sting people or pets and they do not feed on or damage buildings.
  • Pantry pests contaminate more food than they eat.
  • Throwing away contaminated food and thoroughly cleaning cupboards and surfaces where the food was stored are the best ways to get rid of these insects.

Most dried food products can be infested by insects

Other items that may be infested include birdseed, dry pet food, ornamental corn, dried flowers and plants, garden seeds, potpourri and rodent baits.

Pantry pests are most likely to infest products that have been opened but they also can get into unopened paper, thin cardboard, and plastic, foil or cellophane-wrapped packages. They may chew their way into packages or crawl in through folds and seams.

Insects inside an infested package multiply and can spread to other stored foods not only in the same area but in other rooms in a home.

All insect stages (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) may be present at the same time in infested products.

Where do they come from?

A stored food product can become infested from production until it arrives in your home. But stored food is most likely to become infested in the grocery store or in homes. Most pantry pests also infest stored grain and may be found outdoors.

Food products that are left in storage for a long time are prone to infestation. But foods of any age can become infested.

Control and prevent pantry pests

How to keep insects from getting into your food

  • Buy dried foods in quantities small enough to be used up in a short period of time (two to four months).
  • Use oldest products before newer ones, and opened packages before unopened ones.
  • Inspect packages or bulk products before buying.
    • Packages should be sealed and unbroken.
    • Check the freshness packaging date.
    • Look for evidence of insects including holes in the packaging or wrapping.
  • Store insect-free foods in tightly closed glass, metal or heavy plastic containers. You can also store foods in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Keep food storage areas clean. Clean up crumbs or spilled food immediately.
  • Throw away old, unused products.
  • Thoroughly clean cracks and corners of cupboards with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Check and clean areas where pet food and birdseed are stored.

Washing areas with detergents, ammonia, or bleach will not prevent insect infestation. There is no evidence that placing bay leaves or sticks of spearmint gum in a cupboard will prevent or get rid of stored food insect pests.

How do to be sure you have a pantry pest infestation

Signs you may have a problem:

  • Small beetles in dried food products.
  • Beetles on counters and in cupboards.
  • Beetles found around windows.
  • Indianmeal moths flying around kitchens and other rooms.
  • Caterpillars on walls and ceilings in rooms next to infestations.
  • Caterpillars and silk webbing inside infested food packages.

Not all small beetles or moths found indoors are pantry pests. If there is not a direct association with food, be sure the insects are identified correctly by an expert to determine whether they are a stored product food insect.

When you know a stored product problem is present, be sure to examine all susceptible food as there could be more than one infested source. When inspecting, look at the top surface of products with a flashlight or pour the package contents onto a cookie sheet.

How to get rid of pantry pests

When you find food that is infested, throw it away.

Use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean cabinets and shelves, especially in cracks and corners. This will pick up crawling insects and spilled or infested material. Empty the vacuum cleaner or discard the vacuum cleaner bag after use to prevent re-infestation.

Washing shelves with detergent, bleach, ammonia, or disinfectants will not keep pantry pests from returning and could be dangerous if the chemicals come in contact with food.

To prevent re-infestation, store foods in sealable glass, metal, or heavy plastic containers or in the freezer or refrigerator until you are sure the infestation is gone.

It is not unusual to see an Indianmeal moth flying for up to three weeks after the infested food has been thrown out. However, if you continue to see Indianmeal moths after three weeks, that means there is an infested food source that you haven’t found yet.

If you have older food products and you are not sure if they are infested, you can put them in the freezer at 0 degrees for at least four days or in shallow cookie sheets or pans in an oven at 130 degrees for at least 30 minutes. These temperatures will kill any eggs or insects.

See also:  Bedbugs: They re On The Increase and They Want to Feed on You! What You Can Do About Bed Bugs!

If insects are infesting ornaments or decorations made with plant products or seeds, place the items in a freezer for at least four days.


  • Insecticides are not recommended for controlling insects in stored food cupboards.
  • Household insecticides have no effect on insects inside food packages.
  • Any control of insects outside of packaging is temporary unless you find and get rid of the source of the infestation.
  • Any food that comes in contact with insecticide must be thrown away and cupboards, containers and dishes must be thoroughly washed and dried before being used again.

How to identify common pantry pests

Indianmeal moths

Plodia interpunctella are the most common moths infesting food in homes. These moths have a wingspan of 1/2 to 5/8 inch. When at rest, they fold their wings behind themselves, over their bodies. The base of the front wing is pale gray or tan and the rest is reddish-brown with a coppery luster. The wing markings are distinctive, but may be less clear if the scales have been rubbed from the wings.

Indianmeal moths may be found inside infested products or flying around homes. The larvae are whitish worms with shades of yellow, pink, green or brown and grow to 1/2 inch long. Only the larvae feed in stored products, which can be any dry stored food or whole grain. Foods infested with these insects will have silk webbing present on the surface of the product.

Larvae often leave the food when mature and may move long distances before spinning a cocoon. It is common to find caterpillars and cocoons on ceilings and walls. Adult moths may be seen up to several weeks after the food source has been removed.

Meal moths

Pyralis farinalis have a wingspan of about 3/4-1 inch. Their forewings have a dark reddish-brown band across the top and bottom of the wings with an olive or yellowish-green band, outlined by wavy white lines in the center. Their abdomen is curved up at a 90-degree angle when at rest.

Larvae have a black head and whitish body with some orange at the end of the body.

Meal moths feed on a variety of flour and grain products and seeds. These moths are not common in homes.


Tree pests and diseases

Identify, report, prevent and minimise the introduction, spread and impacts of tree pests and diseases in the UK.

There are many things you can do to prevent or minimise the introduction, establishment, spread and impacts of tree pests and diseases, including:

  • learning to recognise and report pests and diseases of concern
  • adopting good biosecurity practice to avoid the spread of organisms from place to place
  • not bringing soil or plants back from holidays abroad

Understand the threat to our trees

The damage to our trees, woods and forests from insect pests and organisms such as bacteria and fungi is significant. The rapid increase in movements of goods and people between countries has increased the risk of spreading pests and diseases. They can travel hidden in plants, plant products, packaging, wood, vehicles and holidaymakers’ luggage — even in the soil carried on shoes.

Some of these pests and diseases do little harm in their native environments, where predators, environmental factors and co-evolution with their host plants keep them in check. However, they can cause significant damage to trees and plants in other countries where those limiting factors are not present. Some single species of insect, fungus or bacterium can damage or kill dozens of different plant species, including trees. As well as causing economic losses for the forestry, timber and plant-based industries, they can disrupt other sectors, such as tourism, and threaten woodland biodiversity, ecosystems and native species.

Get notifications about tree pests and diseases

Sign up for, and read previous editions of, the Forestry Commission’s Tree Health News newsletter.


Pests and diseases

This page is intended to provide information about general approaches to pest and disease control (emphasising organic or low-toxic techniques) plus some information about some types of common pests and diseases of garden plants in Queensland.

For information on particular plants, go to the part of the site dealing with that plant or group. See: List of Plants

Cities scale up pest attack

Recent research recording the incidence in several American cities of a debilitating scale on a species of maple tree predicted larger insect populations in the warmer south than the cooler north. Instead, they found the amount of impervious concrete and asphalt in the vicinity of the tree was more strongly correlated with infestation levels than temperature. Source: Dying Trees in Cities? Blame It on the Concrete (March, 2019)

Older news at bottom of page.

Suppliers of garden pest or disease control products & equipment to Qld

Most garden centres will carry a range of pest control products for common garden problems in your area. Specialist nurseries might carry products particularly suited to the types of plants they carry. Check the appopriate page for a specialist nursery (List of Plants).

If you require a contractor to treat pest or disease problems in the garden, try Gardeners / Maintenance Services, Lawnmowing Services, Turf Specialists or Arborists

Fruit Fly Attractant

Wild May Essential Oils
P.O. Box 5032
Mt Gravatt East, Qld 4122
Ph: (07) 3843 6629
[email protected]
wildmay.com The Wild May fruit fly control system uses a special lure to the trap the male Queensland fruit fly (including immature males), thereby interrupting the reproductive cycle without sprays.

Wild May is easy to use and suitable for the home garden as well as on farms. It’s pesticide free and BFA registered, so it’s allowable in organic systems.

Ask for Wild May Fruit Fly Attractant at garden centres and produce agents throughout Queensland.

For the most up-to-date information on opening hours, items in stock, prices etc, be sure to contact the business directly. The above list may include online retailers and mail order suppliers.

If you sell items to help Qlders with garden pests and you would like to advertise on this page, go to: Advertising information.

More Online Information


Controlling Pests & Diseases — General

Some common types of pests & diseases

You might find more information regarding specific plants by checking the page dealing with that group. List of Plants

Older News

A wild defence

Wild tomatoes have some way of discouraging whitefly from settling on the surface of the plant, a study has shown. When pest was given a choice, they were 80% more likely to settle on the commercial variety ‘Elegance’ than wild type Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium. Such resistance is part of reason for popularity of wild and heritage varieties amongst home gardeners, but yields are too low for large-scale production. Researchers suggest returning some of these genes back into commercial varieties and emphasis the importance of preserving wild species. Source: Breeding wildness back into our fruit and veggies (February, 2016)

Clay sprays have potential

Kaolin (aluminosilicate clay) has been shown to have insecticidal properties in temperate regions, but this was largely untested in the tropics until Columbian researchers studied greenhouse whitefly on bean. They found that kaolin treatment was nearly as effective as synthetic chemical insecticides, Furthermore, a high application rate reduced transpiration and increased chlorophyll content compared to untreated plants, which could also make it useful in times of drought stress. Source: Kaolin effectively controls whitefly in beans (January, 2016)

Fighting plant disease with nanoparticles

Silver nanoparticles are an emerging new anti-fungal treatment for plants. Researchers in the USA have found that silver nanoparticles prepared with an extract of wormwood (Artemisia sp.) are effective against Phytophthora. They say that it works on all stages of the pathogen’s life cycle without affecting plant growth. The multiple modes of action means development of resistance is unlikely. Source: Researchers Find a «Silver Bullet» to Kill a Fungus That Affects More Than 400 Plants and Trees. (May, 2015)

Sound as pest control

Test plants exposed to recordings of feeding vibrations later showed greater production of mustard oils when fed on by actual caterpillars. Other types of vibrations did not increase these chemical defences. Besides revealing new ways that plants interact with their environment, the research points to ways that natural defences might be stimulated by growers. Source: Plants Respond to Leaf Vibrations Caused by Insects’ Chewing, MU Study Finds (July 2014)


Exposed complex mixture of plant aromas in a greenhouse of tomato plants, confused whitefly had trouble feeding in a UK study. The effect was temporary (no more than 15 hours), but could point to ways to delay attack until plant defenses can be activated. Source: Whitefly confused by cacophony of smells (April 2014)

Tarantula venom insecticide potential

University of Queensland (UQ) researchers have found a component of Australian tarantula venom that’s highly toxic to some insect pests including cotton bollworm and termites. It’s possible that new environmentally-friendly insecticides could be based on the discovery. Source: Spider venom to target insect pests (September 2013)

Study shows imidacloprid effects on honeybee larvae

An English study has shown that «a very low exposure» to imidacloprid (one of the neonicotinoid insecticides recently restricted in Europe) affects activity of some honeybee genes. The changes observed in larvae could reduce their ability to survive when additional stresses like disease or bad weather occur. Similar changes in gene activity reduce the life span of the well-studied fruit fly. Source: Insecticide causes changes in honeybee genes, research finds (July 2013)

APVMA response to European neonicotinoid ban

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has published an updated (May 2013) outline of their review of these chemicals currently underway. Read it here: Neonicotinoids and honey bee health in Australia. A draft report for consultation is «mid-2013». (For more on the European ban, see news item below.)

Attracting predators with Alyssum

A Washington State University study in which sweet alyssum was grown near apple trees has shown a reduced incidence of wooly apple aphid due to the enhanced predator populations. Six different flowers including marigolds and zinnia were considered for the study, but alyssum was chosen because it attracted the most syrphids (hoverflies), the larvae of which feed on aphids. However, during the study few hoverfly larvae were found. rather, a diverse array of spiders and predactory insects appeared responsible for most of the aphid decline. Protein markers sprayed on the flowers and later identified on predators indicated they had indeed visited the flowers and so were presumably attracted by them. Source: Flower power fights orchard pests (May 2013)

Fire ant detection by air

From 1st May 2013, helicopters fitted with special remote-sensing cameras will recommence fire ant surveillance in the Brisbane region. With the help of computer analysis, the cameras use near-infrared and thermal imaging to locate nests from 500 feet. The work is done in the cooler months of the year, when the heat of nests can be most easily detected (Fire ants have no where to hide). Check the Aerial survey flight schedule 2013 online to see if there are upcoming flights in your area.

Europe to move on neonicotinoid ban

The European Commission looks set to proceeed with a controversial proposal to severely restrict the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides, on the basis of a threat to bees. Included in the group is imidacloprid, formulations of which are popular with home gardeners in Australia. According to the European proposal, home gardeners will not be able to use the chemicals at all. The proposal will be reviewed within two years. More information:
Bees & Pesticides: Commission to proceed with plan to better protect bees European Commssion media release
Bee deaths: EU to ban neonicotinoid pesticides BBC
Bees and the European neonicotinoids pesticide ban: Q&A The Guardian, UK
(April 2013)

Giant African Snail in Brisbane

A snail the size of a cricket ball was spotted at a Brisbane container yard and identified by Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) as a Giant African Snail. No evidence of other snails or eggs but follow-up surveillence will be conducted. These snails have the potential to wreck much damage if they establish in Australia, growing up to a kilogram in weight and able to attack hundreds of plant species. Source: Caught trying to escape at snail’s pace (March 2013)

Beetle and bug battle baddie

A new biocontrol agent to fight cat’s claw creeper is to be released in Queensland. Larvae of the the leaf-mining jewel beetle (Hylaeogena jureceki) from South America eat the plant’s leaves. This species joins the leaf-sucking tingid bug in the fight against this Weed of National Significance. Source: Fighting nature with nature (October 2012)

Ladybirds aren’t bluffing

The colour of ladybirds acts a warning to birds that they aren’t good to eat. An Australian-UK collaboration has confirmed that there is indeed a relationship between the intensity of the red coloration and the toxicity of the insect, proving a definite incentive for predators to avoid the most brightly coloured individuals. Furthermore, producing the colour and taste comes at a cost to the ladybird and is affected by the quality of its diet. Source: I’m bright red and I taste foul — the message behind colour and the ladybird’s spots (June 2012)

New fire ant incursion thwarted
A nest of fire ants in crated mining equipment imported from Houston, Texas has hopefully been prevented from turning into a new fire ant outbreak. Biosecurity Queensland has praised the detection and prompt reporting of the suspect ants by vigilant employees of a Roma mining company. The nest was quickly dealt with and will be followed up with preventative bait treatments and an investigation. The equipment was due to be shipped to Perth. Source: Quick notification saves potential fire ant threat to Roma (November 2011)

Myrtle rust detected in North Qld again
The disease has been detected in nurseries in Cairns and Townsville. Source: North Queensland residents on call after myrtle rust detection (August 2011)

CSIRO unzips plant virus mystery
Insight into how plant viruses can target their hosts so specifically has been gained in Australian research. It has been found that genes held in a satellite particle must match genes in the plant for Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV) for infection to occur. Complimentary sections «zip» together, interrupting the normal functioning of the plant gene. CMV interferes with a gene involved in chlorophyll synthesis, hence the symptoms of yellowing. Searching for matching DNA sequences may help scientists pinpoint the mechanism of other plant virus diseases and lead to ways to engineer resistance into plants. Source: Major breakthrough on how viruses infect plants (July 2011)

Sprays can be counterproductive
A German study of sprayed and unsprayed Triticale (a wheat x rye cross) has shown applying insecticides to prevent aphids had a short-term effect, but after four weeks treated fields had more aphids than the untreated ones. It is possible that the spray killed beneficial insects, or they left after the intial aphid kill deprived them of food. Source: Fewer aphids in organic crop fields (July 2011)

Ginger could be new weapon against fruit fly
With chemicals dimethoate and fenthion under review by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are looking for alternative ways to control Queensland fruit fly. One potential method involves using an extract of ginger called zingerone to lure male fruit flies into traps. Source: Qld fruit fly scientists in race against time (June 2011)

Fire ants in Lockyer Valley
The first detection of a fire ant nest in the Lockyer Valley has occurred in Mulgowie (Prompt response to fire ant find to protect Lockyer Valley food bowl) Residents of the region are urged to be vigilent and report any suspect ants. More information at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au

Mrytle rust in Roma Street Parklands
Brisbane residents are being asked to look out for the rust as the number of sightings increases through the region. The curator of Roma Street Parklands assures visitors that appropriate action has been taken after rust was found on a single plant. (Be on the lookout for myrtle rust in Brisbane May 2011) However, Biosecurity Queensland advise that anyone who does come into contact with myrtle rust should clean clothing and shoes to avoid spreading the disease. More information and advice at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au.

Natural disease suppression a complex process
Scientists from Dutch and American laboratories have found 17 microorganisms working together in soil from a sugar beet field that suppresses the root pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. This relationship, discovered with the help of DNA technology, is much more complex than found in past studies of disease-suppressive soils. The plant also plays its part by releasing food for the microbes through its roots. Source: It Takes a Community of Soil Microbes to Protect Plants From Disease (May 2011)

Where did those pesky fire ants come from?
Genetic research indicates that recent invasions of fire ants in Australia, New Zealand and Asia started in the United States, even though the pest is native to South America. It established in the U.S. in the 1930s. Scientists hope that improved knowledge of the ants’ lineage will help them identify effective biocontrol agents. Source: UF study traces global red imported fire ant invasions to southern US (February 2011)

Myrtle Rust in Cairns
The disease has been found in a retail nursery in Cairns, but not before several plants from the same consignment had already been sold. Media release: Myrtle rust confirmed in Cairns nursery (23 February, 2011)

Myrtle Rust spreads in Qld
According to the 16th February update, MR has been confirmed on 34 sites including private residences. For more information go to www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au

Myrtle Rust reaches Sunshine Coast
Infected plants have been found in a park at Noosaville. Media release: Myrtle rust confirmed in parkland in Queensland (8th February 2011).

ALERT: Myrtle Rust found in SE QLD
First found in Australia in NSW last year, the disease has recently been identified in three plant nurseries in Qld (Myrtle rust confirmed in South East Queensland, 05 January, 2011). Appropriate measures have been taken to contain the infections, but other nurseries are urged to monitor plants. Members of the plant family Myrtaceae, which includes Callistemon and Syzygium, are hosts or potential host of this disease and anyone who has recently purchased such a plant from from a nursery in SE Qld should also check for symptoms. More information and images at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au. Report any suspect plants to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Gums should recover from caterpillar outbreak
Agri-Science Queensland has assured residents of the Boonah, Beaudesert, Lockyer Valley and Brisbane/Esk Valley regions that local gum trees attacked by a recent outbreak of caterpillars will recover. The gum leaf skeletoniser (Uraba lugens) can leave trees with a «bronzed» or «scorched» appearence. The large numbers have probably resulted from the weather conditions this winter and spring. Hotter temperatures should see numbers decrease. In the meantime, residents should avoid contact with the caterpillars, which can cause skin irritation. More from the DEEDI here: Caterpillar culprit of gum tree ‘bronzing’ (December, 2010)

Myrtle Rust a threat to Australian favourites
Uredo rangelii is a rust fungus that attacks the plant family Myrtaceae. It’s been detected in NSW and is of great concern given the prevalence of this family in the Australian flora. Plants on which the rust have been detected so far include members of Callistemon, Syzygium, Leptospermum and Austromyrtus. Strict quarantine measures have been implemented in order to contain the outbreak. Nurseries, gardeners and florists should take care that sourcing and movement of plant material complies with regulations, and be on the lookout for signs of rust infection on myrtaceous plants in their area. Photos, information and updates available at the Myrtle Rust website (NSW Department of Primary Industries). See also Myrtle Rust National Management Group (Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Myrtle rust (Qld Department of Environment and Resource Management) or check with the relevant department in your state or territory (September 2010)

The dingo may be forestry’s best friend
Researchers at Curtin University of Technology and Chemistry Centre WA may have found a new way to help protect reforestation areas from kangarros, wallabies and possums — fresh dingo urine. Presumably warning the animals that a predator is nearby (aged urine had no effect), the active chemicals could be used to develop wildlife-friendly deterrents and alternatives to the controversial 1080 poison used by the logging industry in Tasmania. Unfortunately for gardeners, trials suggested that the Brushtail Possum may be less susceptible than the other marsupials studied. More information Curtin University of Technology here: Dingo urine offers humane solution to kangaroo cull (June 2008)

Blow-up man at work in Sydney’s Botanic Gardens
An air-powered windsock is being used in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens to deter flying foxes from roosting in vulnerable trees. The «inflatable man» is a temporary measure until the animals can be relocated. While there is no intention to stop the animals feeding, roosting has proven to be a big problem. Some of the trees that have already been damaged are the among the oldest and most significant in the Gardens. More from Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney, available here. (July 2008)

Canada gets greener
With residential use already banned in many Canadian municipalities, retail chain The Home Depot® has decided to phase out «traditional» pesticides in all its Canadian stores. This includes fungicides, insecticides, herbicides and slug baits. More environmentally friendly alternatives will compliment the range of other «green» products and programs offerrd by the company. Media release here: Home Depot Canada Voluntarily Phases Out Pesticides Across Canada and Provides Consumers Over 50 Options in Natural Lawn Care (April 2008)


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