Occasional Invader Identification

What are occasional invaders?

As their name describes, occasional invaders are those insects that invade our homes “occasionally” throughout the year. They spend most of their time outside but do move indoors when it benefits them. Some of the most common occasional invaders living throughout Maryland, Washington D.C., and Northern Virginia are silverfish, centipedes, millipedes, sowbugs, and clover mites.

a clover mite crawling in the ground outside of a home in washington dc

Silverfish
Silverfish are unique insects that have a tear-drop shaped body covered in silvery, metallic scales. They move from place to place using a wriggling fish-like motion.

Centipedes
Centipedes have an elongated, segmented body. Each body segment has one pair of legs. Their first pairs of limbs (maxillipeds) end in sharp claws and contain venom glands that they use to catch and paralyze their prey.

Millipedes
Millipedes have a rigid, segmented, worm-like body. They have two pairs of legs per body segment and, despite their many legs, are slow-moving.

Sowbugs
Sowbugs are crustaceans that live their entire life on land. They have an oval, segmented body, and two tail-like appendages that extend from their hind-end.

Clover Mites
Clover mites are related to spiders and ticks. Adults are about the size of a pinhead, their body is oval-shaped, and they have eight legs. They are usually bright red, although depending on their species or diet, they might be brown, green, or another color.

Are occasional invaders dangerous?

Occasional invaders are usually not dangerous pests and don’t pose significant threats to people or property. These insects are annoying to deal with as they tend to invade in large numbers and are difficult to eliminate. Also, depending on the species, they do cause damage to personal items, contaminate food, and even deliver painful bites (centipedes). Occasional invaders, dangerous or not, should never be ignored when inside your home.

Why do I have a occasional invader problem?

The biggest reason why occasional invaders are in your home is that it is providing them with a suitable environment for them to live comfortably. Occasional invaders move into homes through cracks in the foundation and exterior walls when the weather outside becomes too harsh. Besides coming inside on their own, some occasional invaders (centipedes, millipedes, silverfish) come in on objects like newspapers, boxes, mail, potted plants, and outdoor furniture.

Where will I find occasional invaders?

Occasional invaders tend to live in similar outdoor environments. They prefer dark, damp areas, often near the foundations of buildings. Living close to our homes is what allows these pests to find their way inside so easily. Occasional invaders hide under mulch, landscape ties, compost piles, leaf piles, compost bins, and trash cans. Clover mites are lawn pests and live in grassy areas and clover. Inside they usually choose damp, dark areas like basements, bathrooms, crawlspaces, and laundry rooms to hide.

How do I get rid of occasional invaders?

If you want to solve your occasional invader problems once and for all, turn to the local experts at Capitol Pest. Since 1936 we have been using the latest technology and most effective products to guard residential and commercial properties against occasional invaders and other pests.

At Capitol Pest, we know pests, and we know how to keep them out of Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia homes and businesses using comprehensive treatments and prevention measures. For more information about our commitment to solving your property’s pest problems, contact us today!

How can I prevent occasional invaders in the future?

For homeowners who want to keep occasional invaders out of their yards and homes, partner with the experienced professionals at Capitol Pest. With the help of our year-round, affordable pest control services and the following prevention tips, your home will become and stay free of occasional invaders!

  • Cut back tree branches, shrubs, and bushes from sides of your house to allow the soil around it to dry out. Create a stone or rock barrier between any mulch or soil and your foundation.

  • Remove things from your yard that occasional invaders can hide under such as fallen trees, tree branches, piles of leaves, woodpiles.

  • Store trash cans and compost bins up off of the ground.

  • Keep occasional invaders out of your home by sealing off any openings. Place weatherstripping around windows and doors and door sweeps on all exterior doors, including basement doors.

  • Reduce moisture levels by using dehumidifiers to keep basements dry and fixing leaky pipes. It is also important that gutters and downspouts are directing moisture away from the outside of your home.

 

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