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Pest Guide: Occassional Invaders


Boxelder Bug

(Boisea trivittata)

Boxelder Bugs commonly congregate alongside homes or trees near a female Boxelder and in full view of the sun. They are identifiable by the distinct black and red coloring on their bodies (the red appearing as stripes against the black). TIP: Boxelder bugs will secrete a staining dye when crushed. If found indoors, your best bet is to remove them with a paper towel or vacuum cleaner to avoid a mess.


(Chilopoda and Diplopoda)

Centipedes are arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda of the subphylum Myriapoda. They are elongated metameric animals with one pair of legs per body segment. Despite the name, centipedes can have a varying number of legs from under 20 to over 300. Centipedes can easily be distinguished from millipedes by counting the number of pairs of legs arising from most body segments: millipedes have two pairs, while centipedes bear one pair per segment, with the first pair of legs being modified into fangs.


(Order Dermaptera)

Earwigs got their name from the myth that they crawl into sleeping people's ears and tunnel into their brains. The long cerci, or clippers, on their backsides easily identify an earwig.

Flour Beetle

(Chilopoda and Diplopoda)

The flour beetles enjoy wheat and other grains and are adapted to survive in very dry environments. They have a voracious appetite for stored cereals and nuts, annually causing millions of dollars in damage.

Lady Bugs


A few species are considered pests in North America and Europe, but they are generally considered useful insects as many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places. Harmonia axyridis (or the Asian ladybug) was introduced into North America from Asia in 1988 to control aphids but is now the most common species as it is out-competing many of the native species.



Millipedes are arthropods that have two pairs of legs per segment (except for the first segment behind the head which does not have any appendages at all, and the next few which only have one pair of legs). Each segment that has two pairs of legs is a result of two single segments fused together as one. Most millipedes have very elongated cylindrical bodies, although some are flattened dorso-ventrally, while pill millipedes are shorter and can roll into a ball, like a pillbug. The millipede's most obvious feature is its large number of legs. Having very many short legs makes millipedes rather slow, but they are powerful burrowers.

Pill Bugs

(Armadillilium vulgare)

This pest is the only crustacean that has become completely adapted to spending its life on land. Pillbugs have oval bodies and seven pairs of legs. They are easily recognized by their back, which is made up of seven hard individual plates. Pillbugs are sometimes referred to as rollie-pollies.

Seed Bugs

(Rhyparochromis vulgaris)

Seed Bugs commonly congregate alongside homes, patios, or trees and in full view of the sun. They are identifiable by the distinct black and red coloring on their bodies (the red appearing as stripes against the black). If found indoors, your best bet is to remove them with a paper towel or vacuum cleaner to avoid a mess. These insects like to over-winter in homes and sheds and can be found in uncomfortably large numbers when they enter a structure in late Summer and early Fall and again in the Spring when they emerge.

Stink Bugs


This insect, notorious for its “smelly” reputation, earned its name from its tendency to release an odor when disturbed or when crushed. Many other insects have these same characteristics, including some species of ants, beetles and other bugs. Most stink bugs are herbivorous and use their piercing and sucking mouthparts to feed on plant juices. A few common species of stink bugs are predatory and use their mouthparts to drain fluids from caterpillars and other pest insects.



A weevil is any beetle from the Curculionidae family. They are usually small, less than 6 millimetres (0.24 in), and herbivorous. There are over 60,000 species. Some other beetles, although not closely related, bear the name "weevil", such as the biscuit weevil (Stegobium paniceum), which belongs to the family Anobiidae. Many weevils are damaging to crops. The grain or wheat weevil (Sitophilus granarius) damages stored grain. The Black Vine Weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus), which is the most common of the ‘root weevil’ group is often found in and around homes.

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