Occasional Invaders

From centipedes to silverfish, managing moisture is key.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

OVERVIEW:

Brown marmorated stink bugs are an invasive species from Asia that arrived in Pennsylvania in 1996 and can now be found from South Carolina to New Hampshire and west to Indiana, as well as in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

HABITS:

Adult stink bugs enter homes and other structures in the late fall to seek shelter from the winter weather. They reemerge from overwintering sites in early spring and try to exit, but sometimes enter living spaces instead. Like other overwintering insects, they often congregate en masse on the sides of buildings.

THREATS:

Stink bugs have the potential to spread throughout the country, which could be harmful to the agricultural industry, as they destroy crops. Although these smelly pests do not pose serious property or safety threats to homeowners, their tendency to invade homes in high numbers can be a nuisance.

PREVENTION TIPS:

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling fans and light switches.
  • Replace outdoor lighting with yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to stink bugs.
  • Repair damaged window screens. Also, screen attic and crawlspace vents.
  • Use a vacuum to eliminate stink bugs indoors. Seal vacuum’s contents in a plastic bag and dispose of it immediately.
  • If an infestation develops, call us right away!  (617) 332-3344
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QUICK STATS

Color icon deer miceColor:
Mottled grayish-brown

 

shieldShape:

Shield or triangle

 

Size icon-1Size:

3/4 inch long

 

Region iconRegion:

   Found in the eastern half of the U.S.

 

Centipedes

OVERVIEW:

Centipedes get their name from its many long legs. A centipede female's last pair of legs are elongated and may be twice as long as the body. The house centipede is light brown in color, with three dark longitudinal stripes down its body. Its legs are marked with alternating bands of light and dark. Female house centipedes can produce between 35 and 150 eggs during their lifetime.

HABITS:

House centipedes are skilled hunters that pray on insects and other arthropods. Like all centipedes, their front legs are modified into "poison claws" used to inject venom into their prey. Within your home, they provide efficient (and free) pest control services for you, as they feed on silverfish, cockroaches, carpet beetles, bed bugs, and other household pests.

THREATS:

Although the house centipede does possess venom, it rarely bites anything larger than itself. If you are bitten by a house centipede, you aren't likely to suffer much pain. Do take care to clean the wound to prevent a secondary infection.

PREVENTION:

  • Properly ventilate basements, crawl spaces, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, or install dehumidifiers, to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Reduce centipede food sources by installing sticky traps, also called monitors, around the house.
  • Reduce harborage by sealing cracks and crevices in concrete slabs and block walls. Seal the covers to sump pumps with screen and caulk. Install window screen in basement floor drains to prevent centipedes from entering from dry sumps.
  • Grade the soil around the building to facilitate water movement away from the foundation.
  • If you suspect an infestation, give us a call. (617) 332-3344
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QUICK STATS

Color icon honey beeColor:

Yellow-ish or brown with bands of brown striping

Shape long iconShape:

Long, flattened; elongated

 

Size icon-1Size:

1 - 1 1/2 inches long

 

Region iconRegion:

Found throughout the U.S. and the world 

 

Silverfish

OVERVIEW:

Silverfish get their name from their metallic grey-blue or silver coloring combined with their fish-like scales and movements. Their body is flattened and has an elongated, "carrot" shape. Silverfish have no wings but are able to run very fast. They tend to hide their presence, which means any damage they cause could go unnoticed for long periods of time.

HABITS:

Silverfish hide during the day, often in tight cracks or crevices. They prefer humid, moist conditions, but can be found almost anywhere in a home, including living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, attics, basements and garages. Silverfish also infest commercial structures such as offices, stores and libraries. Silverfish infest paper, particularly wallpaper, book bindings and envelopes. They readily eat linen, rayon and cotton fabrics as well. 

THREATS:

Silverfish do not pose a health threat, but they can cause damage to your home. Over time, they will cause yellow stains, small holes, notches or surface etchings along edges of infested materials.

PREVENTION:

  • Consider a dehumidifier for your home to reduce humidity.
  • Repair leaky pipes and drains and eliminate or repair any moldy or wet wood.
  • Don't keep old books or magazines in areas where silverfish are usually found such as basements, attics and garages.
  • Keep food items such as flour and sugar in tightly sealed plastic containers.
  • If you suspect a silverfish infestation, call us right away. (617) 332-3344
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QUICK STATS

Color icon mosquitoColor:

Silver to brown

 

Shape long iconShape:

Oval; elongated

 

Size icon-1Size:

3/4 inch long

 

Region iconRegion:

Found throughout the U.S. and the world