Pest Identification – Occasional Invaders

Occasional invaders aren’t the first pests you think of when dealing with pest problems in California and Nevada, but that doesn’t make them any less of a nuisance. Our moist climate and warm temperatures attract them by the thousands, and like most pests they’ll find their way indoors unless proper prevention methods have been taken. The good news is that Advanced IPM has plenty of experience with fighting this broad category of pests, and we’ll use our combined knowledge and expertise to help eliminate them permanently from your home or business.

Destructive Tendencies

Because there are many different species of occasional invader pests, there are many different problems they can cause. While only a select handful wreak havoc in local homes and businesses, they’re a major threat to the following household items:

  • Food products
  • Wooden structures
  • Clothing material

California & Nevada Pests

While they may not be as well-known as more serious pests such as bed bugs, termites, and rodents, Advanced IPM has experience with handling the following occasional invaders in California and Nevada:


Earwigs are small, skinny, odd-looking insects that can grow up to an inch in length. Some species have small wings, but they don’t fly well, if at all. The thing most people notice about earwigs is the large set of pincers protruding from the rear of their abdomens. These are used mainly for defense against predators and other insects. Earwigs are harmless to humans – they don’t bite or sting, and they’d much rather hang out in your garden than come into contact with people. They are drawn to dark and damp places, and will enter your home or business through cracks and crevices if they think they can find food, water, or shelter.


Sometimes called “snow fleas” in more temperate climates, these insects are not fleas at all. They are extremely tiny and get around by leaping through the air, which is what gives them their name (and why they’re confused with fleas). Springtails do not bite, instead preferring to feed on rotting plant matter. However, because they like to gather in large numbers around pools, air conditioning drain lines, and other areas of high moisture, they can be a big nuisance.

Lady Bugs

Lady bugs are classified as beetles, and you’ve surely scooped one up on your finger before. They’re actually a beneficial insect, as they feed on many harmful garden pests. While not destructive, they sure are disruptive. As they build their populations in preparation for the winter season, they often infest sides of buildings, and they may even find a way into attics to hibernate once the cold hits.


While both insects have long, segmented bodies with many legs, there are significant differences between centipedes and millipedes. Centipedes are lighter in color, fast-moving, and use venom to attack other insects. They will seldom bite humans, but small children and those with weak immune systems may experience more severe reactions to a bite.

Millipedes, on the other hand, are dark-colored, slow-moving, and feed primarily on decaying organic matter. They will curl into a ball as a defense mechanism, and are completely harmless to humans. Both centipedes and millipedes prefer moist, protected habitats like rotten logs, leaf piles, and sometimes unfinished basements.

Boxelder Bugs

These blue-and-orange beetles get their name from their preference for feeding on and living near boxelder trees. Boxelder bugs are a nuisance pest that like to spend the cold months inside man-made structures like homes, sheds, and garages. Every single boxelder bug you see indoors has been hiding there the whole time. They are exceptionally good at sneaking into your home or business, squeezing through the tiniest cracks in a few places:

  • Around windows and doors
  • Inside wall voids
  • In attics, cellars, or basements
  • Under porches or decks
  • In storage sheds

Advanced IPM: The Best Way to Stop Occasional Invaders

Maintaining sanitary conditions and sealing entry points is an extremely effective method for preventing pest invasions. Because there are so many types of pests out there, it’s best to let a professional handle them when they become a problem. At Advanced IPM, we’ll conduct a thorough inspection, identifying each pest and the best way to eliminate it from your property. Contact us for your free quote today!