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Who's Bugging You?
 
Centipedes, millipedes, crickets, sowbugs, pillbugs, box-elder bugs and clover mites make up the bulk of our miscellaneous invaders.
  • Centipedes usually live outside under stones and logs, but are sometimes found in basements and other rooms that are not continuously occupied.

  • Millipedes live outside in leaf litter and may build up in large numbers. They migrate in dry weather and may end up in basements, ground floors and window wells. They may be worse in wooded areas.

  • Crickets are mostly found out of doors where they feed on plants. Mid to late summer is when they tend to move indoors through open windows and under doors.

 

  • Sowbugs and pillbugs hide under and around objects on the ground and feed on decaying vegetation and fungi. Heavy infestations outside lead to them occasionally coming indoors.

  • Earwigs appear to be wingless, but that isn't true, some will actually fly to lights. They are most active at night and feed on plant tissue, other insects, scavenge in garbage and other moist plant material.  Earwigs are attracted to areas with high humidity, so an easy way to prevent them is to run a dehumidifier during the summer months.

  • Western conifer-seed bugs are relatively new to MI, migrating east over the past few years. They eat flowers and cones of pine trees. Females lay eggs on needles of host pine trees. They frequently invade houses and other structures in the late fall and early winter. They often congregate on south facing outside walls, basking in the sun, before moving indoors.
 
  • Box Elder Bugs seek overwintering shelter outdoors in trees and hollows, sheds, barns and houses. Like flies, the bugs find spaces under siding, around windows and door facings where they enter wall voids and rooms in houses.

  • Clover mites prefer the south facing side of buildings in the early spring and late fall. They are usually found following installations of new lawns. They also prefer well fertilized lawns.

Very often habitat modification and exclusion are all that are needed to reduce these pests to managable levels. These pest populations are often cyclic. They may be a problem inside buildings only during certain times of the year when populations are exceptionally high.

 

 

Habitat Modification;

 

 

  1. Remove leaf litter from building foundations.
  2. Caulk around door and window facings.
  3. Weather strip doors and ground level windows.
  4. Thin plantings next to foundations to allow ventilation.
  5. Keep grass mowed short.
  6. Remove  wood mulch and replace with gravel.
  7. Ventilate and dehumidify moist basements.
  8. Screen vents and chimneys.
  9. Repair soffits.