Connecticut Critters: Insects and animals

These are the most common bugs and wildlife found in Connecticut. Not all are pests, and some are beneficial to have in your area. This page should help you identify critters, and provide additional details to let you know their likelihood of being a pest.

Reproductive Termite
Reproductive Termite,
Worker Termite
Worker Termite,
Clothes Moth
Clothes Moth
3/8″ – 1/3″
Meal Moth
Indian Meal Moth,
1/2″ – 3/4″
This is the “swarmer” of the Eastern Subterranean Termite colony. Color is usually black but may be a slightly lighter brown. Note that it has four wings, all of the same length which helps to distinguish it from a flying ant who’s underwings are shorter than those on top. Their functions is to find new sites, mate, and begin new colonies. They are essentially kings and queens.
Termite Elimination

Color is almost uniformly white or cream. This is the damaging caste of the termite colony. They contain a microbe in their intestines that allows them to injest cellulose (wood) as a nutrient. They must physically receive this attribute from the queen of the colony. They then feed on wood, and, being blind, they cannot tell your house from a tree.
Termite Elimination

Body and wings are a buff to gold, with a brownish tinge. Wings are long and narrow. As the name says, the larvae of the clothes moths infest and feed mostly on woolen clothing and furs, creating holes and voids, leaving tubes and mats with fibers and feces in them. They have also been found infesting milk products. The adults do not feed.

Indian Meal Moths lay their eggs in grains, dried foods, powdered milk, seeds, candy, and dry pet foods. Abundant webbing in infested materials is characteristic of infestations. Adult Indian meal moths have a wingspan of about 3/4″. When at rest, the wings are folded together tightly against their body. They differ visibly from the clothes moth in that the clothes moth has no distinctive markings, and the wing span is only 1/4″.

Moisture Ant
Moisture Ant
1/16″ – 1/8″
Odor Ant
Odorous House Ant,
1/16″ – 1/8″
Carpenter Ant
Carpenter Ant
1/8″ – 1/2″
Bed Bug
Bed Bug
, 1/8″ – 1/4″

Color is commonly brown, although it may be a darker reddish brown approaching black. They tend to nest in areas of moist, rotting wood, damp crawl spaces, etc. They usually feed on meats and sweets, including other insects. A mostly nuisance pest, they can bring moisture into the areas of their nests, assisting the rotting of wood.
Ant Elimination

Color is brown to black. the name is due to the rotten odor given off when this ant is crushed. They can usually be found around hot water pipes and heaters, in crevices around sinks, etc. They love high protein food such as meat and cheese.
Ant Elimination

Color is usually black but occasionally appears in a reddish brown as shown above. Unlike the termite, the carpenter ant cannot digest wood, but will chew out galleries and hollow places to create nests, resulting in structural damage. They are sometimes evidenced by the appearance of a sawdust-like material with debris in it, including body parts, known as frass.
Ant Elimination

Color is rusty brown or red after blood-feed. They like to travel and will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply. They are elusive, nocturnal creatures. They can hide behind baseboards, electrical switchplates, picture frames, even wall paper. They come out at night for a blood meal. Although bedbugs can dine on any warm-blooded animal, they primarily dine on humans. Bedbugs do not transmit diseases, but their bites can become red, itchy welts.
Bed Bug Control

Carpenter Bee
Carpenter Bee,
1/2″ – 1″
Baldfaced Hornett, 3/4 “
Paper Wasp
5/8″ – 3/4″
Yellow Jacket
3/8″ – 5/8″

Resembling bumble bees, they are robust in form, but with the top surface of the abdomen mostly bare and shiny. The male has a yellow face, the female a black face. As indicated by their name, they will bore holes in wood to create galleries in which to rear their young. The male bees are aggressive when humans approach

Black with white markings, particularly on the front of the head and the tip of the abdomen. Front wings of hornets and other Vespidae are folded lengthwise when at rest. They construct grayish brown paper carton nests in trees or sides of buildings, which can be up to 3 feet long and has an entrance hole at the bottom.

Color is brownish with yellow markings, they are semi-social living in small colonies, but without a worker caste. Their presence is usually noted by a nest consisting of a single layer of paperlike comb with the cells opening downward, usually attached to a horizontal surface such as a window or door frame, soffits, eaves, and rafters.

The yellowjacket is distinctly colored with its abdomen usually banded with yellow and black. They are social and live in nests or colonies. Their biology is complex with responsibilities separated between sterile females, queens, and males. Usually ground nesting, they are noted for their sting when irritated.

Deer Ticks
Deer Ticks,
1/16″ – 1/8″

Dog Ticks
Brown Dog Ticks, 1/8″
Flea, 1/8″
Clover Mite
Clover Mite,

Color is orangish brown except for the legs, which are typically dark. The adults attach themselves to passing deer, whence comes their name. They carry the spirochaete for Lyme disease in humans in the northeast and midwest.
Tick Control

When engorged with blood, usually from dogs, these ticks increase in size up to 1/2″. These pests are almost always associated with dogs, but have been termed as vectors for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and several other diseases.
Tick Control

Color is brownish black to black, but reddish black when full of blood. Fleas are known to be vectors of disease organisms causing both plague and muring typhus. They can also serve as the intermediary host for tapeworm. They are typically found where animals sleep or frequent.

Color is usually dark red, although adults are also green or rusty brown. This is a tiny nuisance pest which sometimes invades structures by the thousands. They feed only on plants and, in the spring, are often associated with new mulch applications. When crushed , they leave a red stain behind on windowsills, drapes, furniture, etc.

American Cockroach,
1 3/8″ – 2 1/8″
German Roach
German Cockroaches,
1/2″ – 5/8″
Oriental Roach
Oriental Cockroach,
1″ – 1 1/4″
House Cricket
House Cricket

3/4″ – 7/8″

Often called a palmettobug, these cockroaches exist worldwide. Color is a reddish brown. Although they can be found in residences, they are much more common in larger commercial buildings that are involved in the food processing industry; restaurants, bakeries, etc. where they usually infest the food storage and preparation areas.

This is the most common of the cockroaches. Color is a light brown to tan except for two dark stripes on its upper back. It is not only a nuisance, it has been implicated in outbreaks of illnesses, and has caused allergenic reactions in many people.

Color is usually shiny black, but may vary to a dark, reddish brown. They typically enter buildings via door thresholds, utility pipes, and floor drains. Often found in crawl spaces, basements, and on 1st floors, they are despised for their strong, roachy odor.

Found throughout the United States. Crickets are nocturnal and usually hide in dark, warm places during the day. The familiar chirping sound is created by the male rubbing his front wings together. This is his mating call. Crickets seek moisture and tend to damage clothing be eating out large areas of the fabrics.

Ground Beetle
Ground Beetle,
1/16″ – 1 3/8″
Black Carpet Beetle
Black Carpet Beetle,
1/8″ – 1/4″
Earwig, 1/4″ – 1″
Box Bug
Box Elder Bug, 1/2″

Color is almost uniformly black and shiny. Often found under stone during the day, a few species even climb trees in search of food. They are a nuisance pest and give off a very unpleasant odor when handled or crushed.

Color is dull dark brown to black. Found throughout the United States but most commonly in the northeast. As named, they tend to attack carpeting, drapery, clothes, furs, fabric-covered furniture, and stored products, even food products such as flour and cereals.

The name comes from an old european superstition that these insects enter the ears of sleeping people and bore into the brain. They exist worldwide. Color varies from pale brown with dark markings to uniformly reddish brown to black, but with paler legs. They have a repugnant odor which is released when they are crushed. They are a pest in flour mills, meat packing plants, homes, and nurseries.

As the name reflects, this is a major pest of boxelder trees. Color is black with reddish lines on the dorsum. They are a nuisance pest because they enter structures to live through the winter weather. They may leave a red stain behind on curtains, clothing, and drapes. They can also bite, producing a red welt.

House Mouse
House Mouse,
2 1/2″ – 3 1/2″
Norway Rat
Norway Rat, 7″ – 9 1/2″
Millipede, 1/2″ – 6 1/2″
Killer Wasp
Cicada Killer Wasp,
1″ – 1 ½ “

Smooth, dusty gray fur usually adorns these small rodents, although color can vary considerably from place to place. They often nest in various materials such as insulation, and usually use the same pathways along walls, stacked merchandise etc. Mice prefer seeds or cereals for food. They have been know to spread salmonella disease.
Rodent Control

The largest of the common rodents in the temperate regions of the world, it is usually a shaggy brown with scattered black hairs. The fur is coarse with the underside gray to yellowish white. It not only damages and destroys materials by gnawing, it eats and contaminates stored food, and is a carrier of many diseases.
Rodent Control

The millipede is a segmented arthropod found in damp, moist habitats worldwide. The body of the millipede may have from 9 to over 100 individual segments, each of which bears a pair of legs. Millipedes feed on decaying vegetation and are generally harmless. When threatened or handled, they curl up in a tight ball. For defense against insect predators, millipedes rely on their stink glands, which secrete a noxious chemical substance that repels predators.

These wasps reach up to 1-½ inch in length. Except for a rusty red head and thorax, they are overall black or rusty in color, with yellow band markings on the abdominal segments. They have russet colored wings. One of the largest wasps encountered; rarely aggressive towards man or animals. Males are more aggressive; large numbers of females nesting in localized areas can be a nuisance and cause concern because of their large size, low flight and nesting activities; nest entrances are often accompanied by a pile of soil excavated from the burrow.

Sow Bugs
Sow Bug, 5/8″
House Centipede,
Up to 1 1/2″
, 1/2″ – 3/4″

These are arthropods, not insects, and exist worldwide. Color is dark to slate gray, similar to a pillbug. They are naturally addicted to moisture and can be found around areas such as under boards, rocks, flower pots, and decaying vegetation. They are scavengers and cause no damage but are considered a nuisance indoors.

Centipedes are common arthropods with long, flattened, segmented bodies with one pair of legs per segment. The house centipede 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. House centipedes are found both indoors and outdoors. They 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 drain pipes.

Also known as a bristletail, their color is a silvery satin to gun-metal gray. They are often confused with firebrats which do not have the silvery sheen. They are mostly nocturnal and can be found in tight cracks and crevices. They are paper pests, but will also feed on any meaty protein.

Color is uniformly grayish or grayish with numerous dark markings. Also called a bristletail as is the silverfish. It also has some of the same habits of the silverfish. They like moist areas that are warm and will congregate near boiler rooms, hot attics, hot water pipes, etc. They are fast runners, nocturnal, and prefer tight cracks and crevices. Food is both carbohydrates and proteins, including fabric materials.

Brown Reclusive
Brown Reclusive Spider , 3/8″
Wolf Spider
Wolf Spider , 1/2″ – 2″
Yellow Sac Spider
Yellow Sac Spider , 1/2″ – 6 1/2″
House Spider
House Spider,
3/16″ – 5/16″
Head is orange-yellow with a dark brown fiddle-shaped marking. Abdomen is dark brown. Female body is up to 3/8 inch. Found in sheltered natural habitats–brush, loose debris. Human dwellings, mainly in dark areas such as basements, attics, beneath furniture, etc. Seen in all 48 contiguous states in the U.S.A.–common in the south. Bite symptoms often develop 2 to 8 hours after the bite. Wound is usually localized; fatalities are rare. Necrosis may develop at wound site producing a large, deep area of dead cell tissue. May take months to heal.

Common household pest in the fall when they are looking for a warm place to overwinter. Found around doors, windows, house plants, basements, garages, and in almost all terrestrial habitats. They do not spin a web but roam at night to hunt for food. Wolf spiders are often confused with the brown recluse, but they lack the unmistakable violin-shaped marking behind the head. The wolf spider will run away when disturbed. They are hairy, and are typically brown to gray in color with various markings or lines. Mothers carry their large egg sacs and babies around with them. They are not poisonous, but bites may cause reactions in certain individuals.

Yellowish color with bright yellow abdomen. Body size is up to 10 millimeters. Live exclusively indoors in Europe and North America. Their bite produces sharp pain and swelling at the site, followed by localized necrosis. Wound may take several weeks to heal.

This is the spider most commonly encountered inside the house, the one that made all those webs. Their color is variable, running from a dirty white to brown, It randomly selects its web sites while looking for prey and, consequently, the webs can be found most anywhere.


New Pest Library

We will be adding a new library, containing individual pages of each species. The content will be added regularly, so please like us on facebook for regular updates.