Occasional Invaders

Occasional invaders include insects like ladybugs and stink bugs that occasionally enter homes.

What are occasional invaders?

Most of the time occasional invaders live happily outside away from people, and will only occasionally enter into homes or other buildings. These occasional invaders usually make their way inside when the weather outside becomes unsuitable for them to live comfortably. If the weather is too hot, too cold, too dry, or too wet they'll look for a new place to live. Examples of occasional invaders that live in our area of northeastern Texas include centipedes, crickets, millipedes, powder post beetles, and scorpions.

Are occasional invaders dangerous?

Most occasional invaders are not dangerous and pose no significant threat to people or their properties. However, there are threats that some species of occasional invaders pose which are important to be aware of. The centipede, for example, has the potential to inflict painful bites if they are being directly handled, but their venom is not strong enough to cause any serious issues for people. Crickets can cause some damage to clothing, upholstery, and other fabrics by chewing through them. Powder post beetles pose no significant risks to people but do cause significant damage to items made of hardwood, including flooring and furniture. Scorpions are considered dangerous as they are known to deliver painful stings, and some possess venom that is strong enough to cause serious health problems in both people and pets.

Why do I have an occasional invader problem?

Occasional invaders typically move inside homes or commercial buildings to take advantage of their safe, temperature-controlled environments. In other instances, occasional invaders can be accidentally introduced inside homes by way of boxes, furniture, hardwood flooring, or potted plants.

Where will I find occasional invaders?

Occasional invaders living outside are usually found in dark, damp places such as under mulch, in gardens, under landscaping ties, and in rock piles. Inside, these pests take up residence in dark, humid, and hard-to-reach areas of a home. Attics, walls void, basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms can all become hideouts for occasional invaders.

  • Centipedes are found living outside in very moist locations such as behind tree bark, in mulch, in piles of leaves, under rotting logs, or under trash cans. When living inside, they usually take up residence in basements, bathrooms, crawlspaces, and will sometimes invade potted plants.

  • Crickets are found living outside around garbage dumps, under fallen trees, and under mulch. Inside, they take up residence in basements, crawlspaces, and laundry rooms.

  • Millipedes prefer to live in and around areas of decaying vegetation like around compost areas, in leaf piles, under mulch, and under trash. Millipedes require a lot of moisture and are usually found in basements or crawlspaces that are very damp.

  • Powder post beetles are destructive, wood-boring insects. They most often attack hardwoods and are common invaders of antique furniture, barn wood, building timbers, and hardwood floors.

  • Scorpions prefer to live in cool, dry areas and are found burrowing in the soil underneath logs, rocks, or fallen trees. Inside, they are found in attics and cool, dry basements.

When are occasional invaders most active?

Most occasional invaders in McKinney, Texas are considered to be nocturnal pests. Some pests that are most active during spring and summer are centipedes, millipedes, powder post beetles, and scorpions. Centipedes emerge from their hiding spots at night to hunt for prey. Adults spend the coolest parts of the winter months dormant in protected areas. Millipedes feed on decaying plants and insects throughout the night. They overwinter as adults, emerging in early spring to lay their eggs in the soil. Powder post beetles are highly attracted to lights. Mature adults create holes and emerge from the wood they have developed when temperatures are warm. Their larvae develop inside of infested wood throughout the year as long as climate and moisture needs are met. Scorpions living throughout northeastern Texas hunt for their prey all through the night.

In Texas, most areas see large numbers of cricket infestations in the late summer and fall seasons. This is the time of year when young crickets have matured into active adults and are out breeding and feeding in large numbers. On a day to day basis, crickets tend to be most active from dusk to dawn when temperatures are cool.

Interesting facts about occasional invaders

1. Centipedes are known for having long lifespans; some have been known to live for 5-6 years. Additionally, centipedes will always have an odd number of pairs of legs.

2. Crickets are known for the chirping sounds they create, but not all species chirp. Males rub their wings together to make their unique sounds, which attract females.

3. There are over 1,000 species of millipedes living in the United States. Even though their name means “thousand-leggers,” most species only have between 30- 300 pairs of legs.

4. Despite many people having never heard of powder post beetles, they are considered second only to termites in the amount of damage they cause to structures in the U.S.

5. Scorpions have excellent hearing but poor eyesight. They rely heavily on their sense of touch to move around and find prey. There are 18 species of scorpions living in Texas; the striped bark scorpion is the most common.

How do I get rid of occasional invaders?

To eliminate and/or prevent occasional invader infestations, partner with Around The Block Pest Control. Our friendly and highly trained professionals deliver modern and effective pest control solutions. We will work closely with you to eliminate occasional invaders and stop future pests from making themselves at home in your Texas building.

Around The Block Pest Control offers a variety of residential and commercial pest control services, including general pest coverage, organic services, bed bug control, fire ant control, mosquito control, and rodent control. For information about the occasional invader control services we offer throughout northeast Texas, contact Around The Block!

How can I prevent occasional invaders in the future?

In addition to our professional services, the following tips can help to prevent problems with occasional invaders of your property in northeastern Texas and surrounding areas:

  • Reduce humidity levels in your home by using dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and ventilated fans.

  • Seal cracks or gaps in the foundation, exterior walls, or roofline of your property.

  • Cut back overgrown shrubs and bushes away from the outside of your home.

  • Install door sweeps on all exterior doors to eliminate potential entry points.

  • Inside, keep storage areas free of clutter as much as possible.

  • Place weather-stripping around exterior windows and doors.

  • Leave a stone barrier between any grass, soil, or mulch and the foundation of your home.

  • Inspect wooden flooring, antique wooden furniture, and other wooden items for signs of powder post beetle damage before bringing them inside.