Other Annoying Bugs - How to Recognize and Manage Them - Part 2

Monday Aug 12th, 2019


Sowbugs and Pillbugs

  • Armadillo-like
  • Belong to the same class of animals as lobsters and shrimp
  • Need moist conditions to survive
  • likes to lie under rocks and debris
  • Feed on decaying organic matter


                              Sowbug                                                                   Pill bug
  • The sow bugs cannot roll into a tight ball like the pill bug.
  • The sowbug has 2 tail-like appendages that the pill bug does not have.

Millipedes and Centipedes

  • Have many body sections and many legs

House CentipedeCentipede

                  House Centipede                                                                       Millipede             
“House” Centipedes: more flattened body compared to the millipede
  • One pair of legs per section
  • Longer legs than millipede
  • Moves more quickly
  • Runs away when disturbed
  • Help to control other insect pests; like to eat spiders, bed bugs, cockroaches, silverfish, carpet beetles, and ants. Therefore can be considered beneficial indoors.
  • Like overly damp areas such as sub-floor, drains, basement, or bathroom
  • Will come indoors in the fall when the weather turns cooler
  • Will hide in cracks, crevices, under the bark of firewood stored indoors, and behind baseboards
Bite: Most are not capable to penetrate human skin. If able, the bite may not cause a reaction to a maximum similar to a mild bee sting. The sting will not cause any serious harm to a cat or dog.
  • rounded on top
  • two pairs of legs per section
  • when disturbed, will coil up
Prevention :
  • To reduce moisture retention near your foundation make certain the ground slopes away from your house
  • Remove leaf litter and decaying vegetation around the foundation of your home.
  • Move stones, boards, or boxes away from your foundation (where they tend to hide)
  • Prune and clean around plants near your foundation
  • Allow the soil to dry between waterings.
  • Repair cracks in the foundation and windows.
  • Use a dehumidifier or electric fan to dry damp areas in the basement.

Note: Centipedes, millipedes, sowbugs and pillbugs

  • Are not insects but arthropods
  • Do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases
  • Do not infest food, clothing, or wood
  • Are not harmful if found indoors
  • Mainly a nuisance
A persistant infestation of sowbugs, pillbugs, or millipedes indoors may indicate a serious moisture problem within your home, and the presence of a food source like rotting wood.

Boxelder bug (Love bugs)

  • Oval-shaped
  • Does not bite humans or spreads disease
  • Deposits eggs on host plant or anywhere they can. Recognized by small red dots
  • Can be found congregating in large masses on the sunny sides of leaves, trees, buildings and rocks


  • Cause minor damage to its preferred host plant by sucking the sap from maple leaves and seed pods causing speckling and distortion of leaf growth
  • Primarily a nuisance
  • Will seek access to warm buildings through any cracks or crevices in foundations, doors, and windows
  • Will search for hibernation sites in the fall to overwinter indoors in dry, sheltered areas; buildings, house attics
  • Repair cracks in foundation, windows and doors to keep them outside
  • Spray with soap and water when congregated

  • Shake leaves over a pail of water and dish soap



  • Parasitic insects
  • Dark brown or reddish brown
  • Have flat bodies
  • Wingless
  • Can jump
  • Peak flea season is August to early October
  • Feeds by sucking blood from mammals (humans included) and birds
  • May cause an allergic reaction; rash
  • Can transmit parasites (tapeworm) and diseases like typhus.  
  • may cause hair loss due to frequent scratching and biting
  • ​may cause anemia in extreme cases (severe reduction in red blood cells)
  • ​creates a small, hard, red and itchy spot
    -is slightly raised and swollen
    -has 1 puncture point in the middle

  • Often appear in clusters or lines.
Check your pet for fleas
  • Regularly during flea season and when in contact with other animals
  • Look for black particles the size of ground pepper on your pet’s skin near the tail
  • Inspect sleeping areas, dog houses, kennels for small worm like objects and fleas


  • Inspect your pet regularly
  • Mow and rake your lawn regularly to discourage animals that carry fleas
  • Repair window screens and places unwanted animals my use to enter your home
  • Cover sandbox when not in use
  • Use pest control products made for your pet such as flea collars or spot-on treatments
How to eliminate fleas:
To eliminate fleas you must use a combination of physical and chemical control
On your pet:
  • Use a flea comb to remove:
    -flea feces
    -dried blood 
Place fleas in hot, soapy water
  • And use:
In your home:
  • Wash pet and family bedding in hot, soapy water every 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Lift blankets by all 4 corners to avoid scattering the eggs and larvae. If an infestation is severe, replace old pet bedding.
  • Vacuum carpets and cushioned furniture daily.
  • Clean around cracks and crevices on floors and along baseboards.
  • Steam-clean carpets.
  • baseboards near sleeping quarters
  • points of entry (for example, around door and window frames)
  • small areas in the yard where pets rest or play (like dog houses)


For more pest control tips:

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