Pennsylvania is home to a wide range of native and non-native insects. The identification of insects is the first step towards their control. There are many non-native insects species in Pennsylvania that were initially introduced for the purpose of controlling crop pests. Over time, however, these insects have multiplied in number and have turned into nuisance for homeowners. These include the larvae and adults of the ladybird beetles.
European Fire Ant
Despite its name, the European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) is also native to the northeastern United States, including Pennsylvania. Red ants are reddish-brown in color and have shiny, heavily sculpted bodies. The ants belong to the group of stinging ant species and are also referred to as the red ants. The nests of the ants are difficult to spot because they build their homes along the roots of trees and larger plants, under rocks and in decaying wood. Red ants are also highly mobile and move their colonies regularly through the summer.
The American cockroach (Periplaneta Americana) is the largest among the native Pennsylvania cockroaches. The insect is found in the city dumps and basements and steam tunnels of bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores. Adult insects are reddish brown in color and about 2 ½ inches long with large wings that cover their entire abdomen. Although the insects are capable of flying, they rarely do so in Pennsylvania. American cockroaches feed on a wide variety of foods and prefer decaying organic matter. The adult insects can easily live for 2 to 3 months without food and about a month without water.
Aspen Leaf Beetle
The Aspen leaf beetle (Chrysomeia crotchi) frequently invades the quaking aspen trees and is native to Pennsylvania. The larvae of the beetles feed on the lower foliage surface and the adults feed on entire leaves, leading to rapid defoliation. Aspen leaf beetles are among the major defoliating beetles in Pennsylvania along with the cottonwood leaf beetle, the American aspen beetle and the gray willow leaf beetle.