When it comes to household pests, we often think of common nuisances like ants, cockroaches, or spiders. However, there are several other occasional invaders that can find their way into our homes. These include creepy crawlies like millipedes, centipedes, earwigs, and pill bugs.
Millipedes, Centipedes, Earwigs, and Pill Bugs in Jacksonville
In Jacksonville, millipedes, centipedes, earwigs, and pill bugs are among these lesser-known pests that can make an appearance indoors. Below, we will explore the characteristics of each pest, the risks they pose, how to detect their presence in your home, and what to do if you discover any of them on or inside your property.
Millipede Characteristics: Millipedes are arthropods with long, segmented bodies and multiple pairs of legs. Contrary to popular belief, they do not have a thousand legs, but rather two pairs per body segment. They are typically dark brown or black in color and can grow up to several inches in length.
Risks millipedes pose: Millipedes are generally harmless to humans and do not bite or sting. However, they can become a nuisance when they invade homes in large numbers. Millipedes are attracted to moist environments, so they are commonly found in basements, crawlspaces, and areas with high humidity.
How to detect millipedes: Millipedes are most active at night and prefer dark, damp areas. If you notice an influx of millipedes in your home, especially in moist areas, it may indicate an underlying moisture issue that needs to be addressed. They are often found in clusters, so you may spot several of them together.
Characteristics of Centipedes: Centipedes are elongated arthropods with flattened bodies and numerous pairs of long legs. Unlike millipedes, centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment. They range in size from a few inches to several inches in length and are typically yellowish-brown or reddish-brown in color.
Centipede risks: Most centipede species are harmless to humans, although their appearance can be unsettling. Some larger species, however, can deliver painful bites that may cause localized swelling and discomfort. It’s important to note that centipedes are generally shy and prefer to avoid human contact.
Signs of centipedes: Centipedes are also nocturnal creatures and are often found in dark, moist areas of the home such as bathrooms and crawlspaces. They are skilled at hiding in cracks, crevices, and under debris. If you encounter a centipede in your home, it may indicate the presence of other pests, as they feed on insects and spiders.
Common earwig characteristics: Earwigs are small insects with elongated bodies and pincer-like appendages at the end of their abdomen. They vary in size but are typically around half an inch in length. Earwigs are dark brown or black in color and have a pair of wings, although they rarely fly.
Risks posed by earwigs: Earwigs are mostly nuisance pests and do not pose significant risks to humans. While they can use their pincers defensively, their pinch is generally not strong enough to break the skin. However, their presence in large numbers can be unsightly and cause concern.
Detecting earwigs: Earwigs are likewise nocturnal insects and tend to hide in dark, damp areas during the day. They can be found in bathrooms, kitchens, as well as in outdoor areas such as mulch beds. If you notice earwigs indoors, it’s important to address any moisture issues and seal potential entry points.
Characteristics of pill bugs: Pill bugs, also known as roly-polys, are small, oval-shaped crustaceans. They have segmented bodies and are usually grayish-brown in color. Pill bugs are unique among land-dwelling crustaceans as they can roll into a ball when disturbed, hence their common name.
Common pill bug risks: Pill bugs are harmless to humans and do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases. They primarily feed on decaying organic matter and play a beneficial role in breaking down dead plant material. However, in large numbers, they can damage young plants and seedlings in gardens.
Tell-tale pill bug signs: Pill bugs are typically found in damp environments such as gardens, flower beds, and similar environments. They are most active at night and prefer to hide in dark, moist areas during the day. If you notice pill bugs indoors, it may indicate excess moisture or damp conditions that need to be addressed.
As you can plainly see, occasional invaders like millipedes, centipedes, earwigs, and pill bugs can sometimes find their way into our homes here in Jacksonville. While they pose minimal risks to humans, their presence can be a nuisance and indicate underlying moisture or even other types of pest issues.
By understanding the characteristics of these pests and knowing how to detect them, homeowners can take appropriate measures to prevent infestations and maintain a comfortable, pest-free living environment. If you experience persistent or severe pest problems, it’s advisable to consult with Trad’s, a professional pest control service for effective management and prevention strategies.