Many pests, such as insects, spiders, birds and mice

Occasional Invaders

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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.

European earwig.
European earwig. Photo by David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org
Leaf-footed pine seed bug.
Leaf-footed pine seed bug. Photo by R. Scott Cameron, International Paper, Bugwood.org
Multicolored asian lady beetle.
Multicolored asian lady beetle. Photo by Natasha Wright, FL Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood,org

Sow bug.
Sow bug. Photo by Gary Alpert, Env. Health and Safety, Harvard U.
Springtail.
Springtail. Photo by Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org
Wood cockroach.
Wood cockroach. Photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

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.