Occasional Invaders Q&A

Friday, February 7, 2014

Slide1Q: What are occasional invaders?

A: The term occasional invaders is a catchall grouping for pests that invade homes from time to time because outside weather conditions become hostile to their survival.

Q: What types of pests fall into this group?

A: Occasional invaders include boxelder bugs, centipedes, crickets, earwigs, ladybugs, millipedes, pillbugs, scorpions, silverfish, slugs, springtails and stink bugs, to name a few.

Q: What time of year are occasional invaders most active?

A: Occasional invaders are active year-round and spend the majority of their time outdoors. However, homeowners tend to notice them more frequently inside during the fall season because they are searching for a place to overwinter.

Q: Can occasional invaders cause problems?

A: Although occasional invaders may enter structures in large numbers, they are often nothing more than an annoying nuisance. However, there are a few specific pests that can cause non health-related problems. Stink bugs are harmful to the agricultural industry because they destroy crops. Boxelder bugs and ladybugs may exude a defensive fluid when crushed that could stain curtains, drapes, clothing and other fabrics. Silverfish infest paper, particularly wallpaper, books and envelopes, so these materials could become damaged over time.

Q: What can a homeowner do to prevent an occasional invader infestation?

A: Occasional invader control should begin with the elimination of moist harborage sites around the perimeter of the home, such as leaf piles, mulch and overgrown vegetation. Homeowners should seal possible points of entry into the home with a good quality silicone caulk, paying special attention to cracks in the foundation, utility pipes and wood fascia. Damaged screens on doors and windows should also be repaired. For more information on prevention, check out these five tips to keep occasional invaders out of the home.

Q: How does one get rid of occasional invaders?

A: Spotting a stink bug on the wall or a centipede crawling across the floor is common. Homeowners can use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of these occasional invaders. The vacuum bag should be discarded when trying to get rid of stink bugs because their odor could otherwise permeate the area. It’s important to understand, however, that a pest invasion can quickly turn into an infestation if no action is taken. If you experience an influx of occasional invaders around the home, contact a licensed pest professional to properly treat the problem.