Occasional Invader Identification & Prevention Guide

What are occasional invaders?

Occasional invaders are those insects that sporadically enter your home throughout the year. They tend to live and reproduce outside but sometimes move indoors to escape harsh weather conditions or in search of food. Occasional invaders are a nuisance and potentially dangerous to deal with, and they can be a challenge to control and eliminate.

a spider mite crawling on a wood pile outside of a home in round rock texas

Listed below are four of the most common species of pests that occasionally invade homes throughout our area of Greater Austin, Texas:

Chiggers
Chiggers are the immature stage of certain mites. Chiggers feed on the skin cells of warm-blooded mammals, including people, and their bites cause a raised, red rash that is extremely itchy.

Crickets
Crickets have rounded heads, long antennae, cylindrical bodies, and strong hind legs. These pests range in color from black, brown, or yellow.

Kissing bugs
Kissing bugs are insects with long, oval-shaped bodies that are light brown or black and range in length from 3/4 to 1-1/4 inch. They also have distinctive orange or red-striped markings. These bugs get their name from their habit of sucking blood from their victim’s mouth.

Millipedes
Millipedes have rigid, worm-like bodies that they curl into tight balls to defend themselves. They are usually black or brown, and some species may have red or orange mottled patterns on their bodies. Despite having two pairs of legs on each body segment, these insects move slowly.

Stored product pests
Stored product pests are species of beetles or moths that infest grains and processed foods. They are a common problem inside homes, restaurants, grocery stores, and other places that store food.

Are occasional invaders dangerous?

In most cases, occasional invaders are nuisance pests that are difficult to control and an annoyance to have on your property. Crickets, millipedes, and stored product pests are all nuisance pests. These insects should be kept out of your home or business because they contaminate food and damage fabrics, papers, and other personal items.

The kissing bug is a dangerous species of occasional invaders that bite people on and around their lips to feed on our blood. Kissing bugs carry a parasite in their feces that transmits Chagas disease, symptoms of which include body aches, fatigue, fever, swelling around the eyes, and sometimes cardiac issues. Chiggers are not dangerous in the sense that they transmit disease, but their feeding habits cause an uncomfortable and itchy rash, which may lead to a secondary infection that requires medical attention.

Why do I have an occasional invader problem?

Occasional invaders live and breed outside throughout most of the year. Some occasional invaders move indoors to escape unfavorable weather conditions, most often finding their way in through cracks and crevices in the exterior walls or foundation. Some occasional invaders get into our homes accidentally inside boxes, potted plants, or on furniture that was recently stored outside. Stored pantry pests often come into homes inside of dry goods purchased from the store that are infested with their eggs or larvae.

Where will I find occasional invaders?

Crickets and millipedes both live outside in dark, damp places such as in gardens, under mulch, under landscaping ties, in rock piles, and under woodpiles. When indoors, they take up residence in dark, damp areas like basements, bathrooms, crawlspaces, and areas under sinks. Stored pantry pest larvae and eggs live inside dry goods like grains, cereals, dry pastas, chocolate, pet food, seeds, and spices. Kissing bugs live outside in hollow trees, dense vegetation, and densely wooded areas where wild animals serve as their hosts. Exterior lights attract kissing bugs to houses where they’ll often find their way in through spaces around windows, torn screens, and spaces under doors. 

How do I get rid of occasional invaders?

At Roberts Termite & Pest Control, we have been providing high-quality pest control here in Austin, TX for over 55 years. Our technicians use environmentally friendly products and advanced techniques to get rid of occasional invaders and other common pests. Through quality customer service and flexible scheduling, we work with you to meet your unique pest control needs. Learn more about our pest control services or schedule a free consultation by reaching out to Roberts Pest Control today!

How can I prevent occasional invaders in the future?

In addition to our professional services, these prevention tips will help you to prevent problems with occasional invaders at your Greater Austin property:

  • Leave a barrier of stone or crushed rock between your foundation and any mulch or soil.

  • Seal up cracks in your foundation and the exterior walls of your home or business.

  • Make sure there is weatherstripping around windows and doors.

  • Trim back overgrown vegetation from your home’s exterior.

  • Remove tree stumps, fallen trees, and woodpiles from your property.

  • Replace torn window and doors screens and install door sweeps on exterior doors.

  • Replace white outdoor lighting with yellow outdoor lights or LED lights that are less attractive to insects.

 

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