Archive for Pests

Clover Mites

Clover mites are part of the arachnid family (along with spiders and ticks).  They feed on lawn grasses, clover, and a large variety of plants.

                              clover mite6

Did you know that:

  • A full grown clover mite is smaller than the head of a pin.
  • They are reddish to reddish-brown in color.
  • They pierce the plant and suck out the sap.
  • Feeding damage appears as a silvery streak (referred to as stippling) on the leaf.

clover mite damage

  • Clover mites do not carry diseases.
  • They seek indoor shelter during cold months.
  • They are often described as “walking dust specks”.
  • They leave a red stain when crushed.
  • They are most active in temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees.
  • Clover mite damage is commonly mistaken for winter kill.
  • Clover mites can reproduce without mating.
  • They lay bright red eggs.
  • They lay their eggs in sheltered places such as…
    • In cracks and crevices of buildings
    • Under loose tree bark
    • In foundation walls
    • Beneath siding
    • Around window frames

The feature that distinguishes the clover mite from a spider mite is their unusually large front pair of legs.  On the clover mite, this set of legs is as long as their body.

Clover mites aren’t harmful to humans, pets or the home.  They invade in large numbers, which makes them a nuisance.

Infestations are most severe where grass, weeds, shrubbery or other plants are allowed to grow adjacent to buildings.  Clover mites are also drawn to the sun exposed sides of buildings.

Damage tends to occur within 10 feet of a building, tree or other vertical object.  Clover mites climb vertical surfaces to molt and to lay eggs.

guarantee_goldCall Sterling Insect / Lawn Control (207) 767-5555

Chinch Bug

Chinch bugs like sunlight, so their damage is usually apparent in sunny areas of the lawn.  They suck the chlorophyll out of the grass, causing it to yellow and die.

chinch4                        chinch damage2


Did you know that:

  • Adult chinch bugs are about 1/8 – 1/5 of an inch in length.
  • An adult female can deposit 15-20 eggs per day, over a 2-3 week period.
  • She likes to deposit her eggs close to where the plant contacts the soil.
  • The nymphs mature in five stages over a period of about 90 days.
  • Chinch bugs like open, sunny areas.
  • They have piercing-sucking mouth parts used to suck out plant juices.
  • Thatch provides a prime habitat for chinch bugs to feed and lay their eggs.
  • Power de-thatching is a good idea to eliminate excess thatch.

The mouth parts of the chinch bug inject chemicals into the grass plant which clog the vascular system.  This is done while the chinch bugs suck the juices out of the plant.  The area around this puncture will yellow.  Destruction in the lawn will appear as yellow heat stressed spots in the yard.  These spots will enlarge as the chinch bug population increases and spreads.

Chinch bugs damaging your lawn?  Call Sterling Insect & Lawn Control today @ (207)767-5555.



Carpenter Ants

Carpenter ants can enter homes around door and window frames, eaves, vents, plumbing and utility lines, and shrub or tree branches that make contact with the house.  Once inside the home they can cause devastating damage.

wingless               winged

Did you know that:

  • Carpenter ants range in size from 1/4″ to 1/2″, often the queen is even larger.
  • They are mainly dark brown or black, but may have some slight red coloring.
  • They prefer moist, wet or decaying wood, but will nest in dry wood as well.
  • They don’t actually eat wood, but hollow out galleries to nest in.
  • Damage increases as they expand their living areas, hollowing further and further.
  • Colonies can be long lived and contain thousands of ants.
  • Winged ants are call “swarmers” and are the reproductive ants.
  • The Queen’s duty is mainly to lay eggs.
  • Males are few and short lived.
  • Workers do the foraging, caring for the queen & brood, and excavating galleries.




Signs of carpenter ant infestation can include…

  • “Frass – the sawdust like shavings which contain wood, soil and insect body parts, expelled from ant galleries.
  • Small openings in wood, used to eliminate unwanted material from the nest.
  • Rustling sounds coming from the wall as ants remove wood from their expanding nest.


Take action today and make sure these pesky little critters CAN’T move in!

Sterling Insect & Lawn Control can help keep the ants from destroying your valuable investment.

Call (207) 767-555 today to get started!