Occasional Invaders

What are occasional invaders?

The term “occasional invaders” applies to any insect or arthropod that enter properties sporadically throughout the year. These annoying pests invade Spring, Texas homes and businesses whenever the conditions indoors are more favorable than the living conditions of their natural environments.The most common occasional invaders known to be living throughout our area of eastern Texas are centipedes, crickets, earwigs, millipedes, powder post beetles, and scorpions.

a scorpion crawling on rocks outside of a home in new caney texas

Are occasional invaders dangerous?

In most cases, occasional invaders are simply searching for somewhere that provides more favorable living conditions. They aren’t trying to bite, sting, or hurt you in any way. However, some occasional invaders can be dangerous to your health or cause damage to your property. Powder post beetles bore into the hardwood of properties to lay their eggs, which can damage the structure of your home. These small, wood-boring insects are usually found only once their holes are discovered in decks, rafters, and wooden furniture. Scorpions are capable of inflicting painful stings and, while most scorpion stings aren’t fatal, their venom can still cause disturbing side effects. Some symptoms of typical scorpion stings include itching, redness, swelling, and pain around the affected area.

Why do I have an occasional invader problem?

Occasional invaders are so called because they only invade occasionally. These pests move away from their original homes if the living conditions of their natural environments become unfavorable. Centipedes and millipedes often invade properties where they can find excess moisture. Earwigs prefer environments that are damp and dark. Scorpions are known to invade properties close to construction sites, as the loud noises and movements scare scorpions away from their normal habitats and into your lawn. From there, pests will invade through cracks, gaps, and other easy entry points around your foundation.

Where will I find occasional invaders?

There are many places occasional invaders will hide; however, there are a few factors that may encourage certain pests to live in separate areas of your property. Powder post beetles bore into hardwood structures. Scorpions prefer areas with high insect activity. Millipedes and centipedes are attracted to moisture and darkness. Earwigs and crickets thrive in cool, damp, and dark locations. All of these occasional invaders are likely to infest dark, moist areas such as basements, bathrooms, crawlspaces, and wall voids.

  • Centipedes live outside in very moist locations like behind tree bark, in piles of leaves, in trash cans, under mulch, or under rotting logs. Inside, they take up residence in places that mimic their outdoor locations such as basements, bathrooms, and crawlspaces.

  • Earwigs live outside in damp, dark areas. They are commonly seen in garden areas, in tree stumps, under landscaping ties, and under mulch. Earwigs that make their way inside to escape extremely hot and dry weather conditions are usually found in basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms.

  • Millipedes have high moisture needs and prefer to live in and around areas of decaying vegetation. Millipedes don’t usually survive for very long inside because of their high moisture needs, but when indoors they are usually found in basements and crawlspaces.

  • Crickets live around trash cans, in garden areas, in rock or woodpiles, under fallen trees, and under mulch. Inside, they take up residence in basements, crawlspaces, and laundry rooms. Crickets are often attracted to homes by outdoor lights and areas of moisture. They commonly move inside through gaps under doors, especially walk-out basement doors.

  • Powder post beetles are wood-boring insects. These wood-destroying insects attack hardwoods and are common invaders of antique furniture, barn wood, building timbers, and hardwood floors. They are often introduced into homes accidentally in infested pieces of wood and wooden structures.

  • Scorpions live in landscaping timbers, in rocks or woodpiles, in trashcans, under fallen trees, and under logs. They may move inside when the weather becomes too hot, seeking cool, moist shelter. Attics, basements, bathtubs, and sinks are all places that scorpions commonly call home.

When are occasional invaders most active?

Centipedes and millipedes are both nocturnal and are rarely seen out and about during the day. They emerge from their hiding spots at night to hunt for prey. They are most active in the spring and summers when food sources are plentiful. Scorpions are also active in Texas year-round and especially during the spring and summer seasons. They are nocturnal and hunt for their prey throughout the night.

Crickets are most active from dusk to dawn and are often found invading properties in the late summer and fall. Powder post beetle adults are active at night and are highly attracted to lights. Larvae develop throughout the year in pieces of wood that can be found in the temperature-controlled environment that our properties provide.

Interesting facts about occasional invaders

There are many different kinds of animals that make up the group known as “occasional invaders.” To help you learn more about the occasional invaders that live in our area, we want to provide you with five interesting facts.

1. Centipedes are known for having long lifespans and can live up to 5-6 years. Centipedes use their many pairs of legs to be able to move very quickly. Centipede bites are pretty rare and fairly harmless, but they are painful and feel very similar to bee stings.

2. Crickets are known for the chirping sounds they create: males rub their wings together to make chirping sounds in order to attract females. It is important to note that not all crickets are capable of making this sound. Crickets who chirp tend to do so more when the temperature is higher. These insects have compound eyes and can look in several different directions at one time.

3. The name millipede means “thousand-legger,” but most species actually have between 30 and 300 pairs of legs. Millipedes aren’t born with all of their body segments. They are born with six body segments and three pairs of legs, and they add more body segments and pairs of legs each time they molt. This molting process happens over and over again until the centipede reaches maturity.

4. Powder post beetles get their name from the fact that they can reduce wood to a fine, powder-like substance. These insects come second only to termites in the amount of wood damage they are capable of causing.

5. Scorpions have excellent hearing but poor eyesight. The striped bark scorpion is the only species living in the United States whose venom is strong enough to cause serious health problems in people and even has the potential to be fatal.

How do I get rid of occasional invaders?

There’s no effective way to remove occasional invaders without working with a licensed pest professional. Some occasional invaders may bite or sting when threatened, which can be dangerous. Kingston Pest Control offers a wide range of residential and commercial pest control options for home and business owners. Our highly-trained pest technicians are dedicated to keeping your Texas property 100% free of pests year-round. Whether you’ve run into centipedes, millipedes, earwigs, crickets, powder post beetles, or scorpions in your home, Kingston Pest Control has what it takes to remove them and make sure they never return.

Keep occasional invaders away from your residential or commercial property with the help of the professionals here at Kingston Pest Control. Our experts will provide you with the products and services required to keep occasional invaders out of your home for good. To request your free inspection, contact Kingston Pest Control today!

How can I prevent occasional invaders in the future?

Consider implementing a few of these general pest prevention tips around your eastern Texas property building to prevent occasional invaders from infesting your property:

  • Contact a pest control expert and get started with a professional pest control plan.

  • Reduce sources of excess moisture in and around your home or business that could attract these pests.

  • Properly ventilate your building to reduce excess humidity and moisture levels.

  • Repair leaking pipes to eliminate any excess moisture that could to avoid providing occasional invaders with suitable living conditions.

  • Install door sweeps on all exterior doors to keep occasional invaders from getting inside through the gaps under your doors.

  • Ensure that your window and door screens are intact and repair them if they are ripped or torn.

  • Seal any gaps and cracks found along your foundation and exterior walls with caulk.

  • Trim your grass on a regular basis and cut foliage back from your building to create less favorable conditions for pests, including occasional invaders.

 

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