Perimeter Invaders and Miscellaneous Pests
ALLGone Services is a full-service pest control company, able to handle any pest problem that you may experience. Here are some less-common pests that occasionally become problems in the Dallas / Fort Worth, Texas Metropolitan area, but which aren’t quite troublesome enough to have their own pages on the site.
Sowbugs and Pillbugs
Sowbugs and pillbugs are really not “bugs.” In fact, they’re not even insects. They’re crustaceans.
Sowbugs and pillbugs usually live outside in moist, decaying organic matter like leaf litter, mulch, etc. They often can be found outside homes, under rocks, and in other wet areas rich in organic matter. They’re harmless scavengers, but occasionally they become an annoyance when they migrate inside (where they usually die on their own due to lack of sufficient moisture).
In most cases, no chemical control is necessary. Correcting excessive moisture conditions outside the home and removing leaf litter and organic mulches often will solve the problem by itself. But when non-chemical treatment is impractical or when the number of sowbugs or pillbugs is excessive, there are several products that we can apply which are effective at reducing sowbug and pillbug populations.
Silverfish and Firebrats
Just as sowbugs and pillbugs aren’t really bugs, silverfish aren’t really fish. Silverfish and firebrats are insects belonging to the order Thysanura. They’re commonly referred to as “bristletails” by exterminators, because of the three bristle-like appendages at their rear ends.
Silverfish favor dark, secluded, fairly damp areas such as voids around plumbing pipes and under bathtubs, gaps behind cedar shakes and roof shingles, unfinished basements and crawl spaces, manholes, and utility tunnels. They move very quickly and their bodies are very shiny and “squiggly.”
Silverfish eat things that humans don’t usually think of as food, such as wallpaper paste, mold, and even some soaps and cosmetics. Inside homes, they’re usually seen in the kitchens and bathrooms, where both their food and moisture needs can be met. They’re basically harmless, but they do gross people out. It’s also possible that they can track filth and disease organisms onto food and food preparation surfaces in kitchens.
A closely related insect known as the “firebrat” looks a lot like a silverfish, but firebrats favor warmer, dryer environments such as boiler rooms and hot mechanical spaces.
Millipedes and Centipedes
Centipedes (such as the common house centipede on the right) and millipedes are not insects. Insects, by definition, have six legs. Millipedes and centipedes have lots of legs. In fact, centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment, and millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment.
Most centipedes and millipedes are harmless, but some centipedes can inflict a “bite” with the pincers on their rear ends. Although they can be painful, the “bites” of most centipede species are not life-threatening except to people who are allergic to them.
Millipedes and centipedes and usually live outside in dark, secluded areas. Treatment generally is required only if they become indoor pests, and may consist of correcting conducive conditions, mechanical exclusion (caulking and sealing), sticky traps, and/or the use of insecticides labeled for their control.
Despite their scary appearance and their prominent pincers, earwigs actually are harmless insects that usually live outside in damp, secluded areas that are rich in decaying organic matter. Sometimes, however, they make their way inside homes — especially when there are moisture problems such as water leaks around doors or windows.
Earwigs get their name from an old wives’ tale that taught that they crawled into people’s ears at night and made them crazy. But they don’t. We suspect that the people who believed that were probably a little crazy already and just used the earwigs as an excuse. But they do occasionally crawl into homes and make a nuisance of themselves.
Earwig control may consist of correction of conducive conditions (such as moisture problems, bad grading, or organic mulches), exclusion (caulking and sealing), and/or the use of insecticides.
For more information about perimeter pest control or any of our services, please call us at 817-589-1632.
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