What Kind of Insect Invaders are in my home?
Identifying Insect Invaders
Earwigs received their name from the myth that they crawl into sleeping people's ears and tunnel into their brains. The long cerci, or clippers, on their backsides easily identify an earwig. There are several species of earwig. Common earwigs are wingless insects, and adults may vary in size from 3/8 of an inch to 5/8 of an inch. They have nymphal stages similar to the adult stages. They may vary in color, but have the same distinguishing characteristic pincher-like appendages, which are more distinctive in the adult stage.
Earwig problems are mostly found outdoors, but can invade structures, especially if the conditions outside are optimum for their development. Earwig infestations are found in mulch, in gardens and along foundations, feeding on decaying vegetation. Moisture is the most important ingredient in their development.
House dust mites have received much attention in the early 1990s and again recently. The house dust mite is nearly impossible to see without magnification and is named for the fact that they feed on dead skin shed by humans as well as other protein materials.
The most common area for finding house dust mite problems is in the bed due to abundance of dander. House dust mite infestations may also be found in living areas especially carpet, furniture, and clothing. Several home test kits are available to test for dust mites.
The indian meal moth was given its name after an insect scientist found it feeding on corn meal, also known as Indian meal. From wing tip to wing tip, adult Indian meal moths measure from five-eighths of an inch to three-fourths of an inch long.
Larvae are small, cream-colored caterpillars, known as “wax worms”. Indian meal moth infestations occur in a variety of stored food products, including nuts and chocolate, as well as dried flowers and seed arrangements. They can infest pet food and bird seed as well. The larvae will move away from the food source, if possible, and pupate along ceiling and cabinetry edges in small cocoons. Webbing from larvae can be seen in stored food products.
This pest is the only crustacean that has become completely adapted to spending its life on land. Pillbugs have oval bodies and seven pairs of legs. They are easily recognized by their back, which is made up of seven hard individual plates. Pillbugs are sometimes referred to as rollie-pollies.
Pillbugs/Sow bug infestations feed on decaying vegetable material and are most active at night. They are known for their ability to roll into a ball. Pillbugs/Sow bug infestations live in moist locations. They are found under damp objects or under vegetable debris.
This insect, notorious for its “smelly” reputation, earned its name from its tendency to release an odor when disturbed or when crushed. Most stink bugs are herbivorous and use their piercing and sucking mouthparts to feed on plant juices.
Most species of stink bugs are innocuous, only feeding on their host plants, and are seldom encountered by humans. However, one species introduced into the United States (Marminated stink bug pictured here) is getting a bad reputation because it overwinters inside structures. Similar to other insects that do this, they become a nuisance pest. Stink bug infestations appear in the spring from hibernation, they will spot curtains and window sills.
Call Wildlife Management Services to Get Rid of Insect Invaders
Wildlife Management Services has the knowledge, equipment, and skills to take care of all your problems with insect invaders and will show you how to get rid of them for good! Wildlife Management EcoWise Pest Control Services are available throughout the United States and Canada. If you are not in the Minneapolis area, please call 1.800.274.8837 to find an office near you.
We have the professional wildlife management solutions you need!