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Occasional Invaders

Earwig Leaf-footed pine seed bug Multicolored asian ladybeetle Sow bug Springtail Wood cockroach
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What they look like
Occasional invaders come in many shapes and sizes. They’re the pests that come in through a crack, an open door, a hole in a screen, a potted plant, or a piece of firewood. They don’t often infest a home (that is, feed and breed), so are more a nuisance than anything. Common invaders are ground beetles, sow bugs, millipedes, crickets, wood cockroaches, cluster flies, lady beetles, springtails, leaf-footed bugs, hornets, wasps, and earwigs. Not to mention all the tiny night-flying insects that fit through a screen, heading toward your light.

Where they live
Usually not in your house, which is why the concern isn’t great. When they’re inside your home they’re either lost or over wintering. Lady beetle, cluster flies, leaf-footed bugs—they’re not feeding and not breeding.

What they do

They’re annoying. Other than that, not much.

How to deal with occasional invaders

Identification is the first step. Find out what your pest is and how it got in.

Once you know what you’ve got, suck ‘em up with a vacuum—or catch and release if you’re kind—and prevent further intrusion. This might mean fixing screens, closing windows at night, inspecting plants before bringing them in, sealing cracks and crevices, or installing door sweeps.

No need for pesticides here.

Learn more

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away from My Home!

Nontoxic pest management for collections and their facilities: a training manual 200k pdf file

See these Factsheets at Cornell's Insect Diagnostic Laboratory:

  • Boxelder Bug, 48k pdf file
  • Lady Beetles in Homes, 32k pdf file
  • Millipedes, Sowbugs, Pillbugs, and Centipedes Factsheet, 85k pdf file
  • Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle, 92k pdf file
  • Pseudoscorpions, 44k pdf file
  • Springtails, 52k pdf file
  • Western Conifer Seed Bugs (Leaf-footed pine seed bug), 88k pdf file


Contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office.

... and search our database of online publications.