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Types of Occasional Invaders: Part 2

December 9, 2016

silverfish crawling in west palm beach home

There are lots of annoying little bugs that are known for being a problem only in certain months of the year, specifically, fall and winter when they try to escape the harsh weather, and any bug that fits this description is part of a designated group of pests called “Occasional Invaders.” Bugs in this group are typically harmless, but they can be quite bothersome for homeowners and some may even damage your belongings. Many different insects are considered occasional invaders, so I narrowed it down to three specific pests that are common in South Florida: silverfish, stinkbugs, and centipedes.


Appearance: Their name comes from their appearance because they have a metallic silver coloring, and their shape and movement resembles that of a fish.  Plus, they have no wings.

Habitat and Diet: In order to survive, silverfish need to live in an environment with very high humidity. If they are in your home, then they will most likely be found in and around bathrooms, basements, garages, and attics. They eat glue, paper, clothing, and even some foods such as flour.

Activity: Silverfish are able to cause a lot of damage before being discovered by the homeowner because they tend to hide from humans. On top of that, they are great at hiding because they are nocturnal and they are very fast runners.

Issues: Silverfish are not just a nuisance pest. They could contaminate your food or damage any of your belongings that are made with paper or glue, such as wallpaper and books. Some people decide to use a dehumidifier as a clever way to get rid of silverfish, but it can be more effective when combined with treatment by a professional.

Unique Features: Silverfish are one of the oldest insects in the world; they even predate the dinosaurs!


Appearance: Stinkbugs are usually brown in color and they are shaped like little shields.

Habitat and Diet: Stinkbug are foreign pests who made their way to the United States from the Far East, and now they have become abundant all across the country. The brown marmorated stinkbug is the most common species in the U.S. Stinkbugs eat fruits, leaves, and plants; the agricultural industry is vulnerable to stinkbugs because their feeding habits will destroy crops.

Behavior: They overwinter in the late fall, and become active again in the early spring. In the fall, you will see stinkbugs gathering on the exterior walls of your house; this is when they start searching for a safe place for the winter and they are trying to find cracks or crevices in the exterior walls that they could squeeze through to get inside your house. They are the most bothersome to homeowners in the spring and summer when they are more active.

Issues: They release an unpleasant odor whenever disturbed or crushed, it smells like a stinky foot. Their odor protects them by driving away possible predators.

Unique Features: They have a needle-like appendage attached to their mouths, which they use to get to the nutrients by poking a tiny hole into the seed.


Appearance: Centipedes are wormlike yellowish-brown critters with a crazy amount of legs. Centipedes have at the very least 15 pairs of legs, but some have as many as 177 pairs of legs! That’s a lot of legs!

Habitat and Diet: They can be found all across the United States, but they prefer environments that are high in moisture. They look for dark and moist spaces to hide; when living outdoors they settle in rotting logs and underneath trash piles or stones, and when living indoors they settle in basements, crawlspaces, bathrooms, etc. On the bright side, it is unlikely that they will survive for long inside the dry structure of your house. For food, centipedes mainly prey on flies and spiders.

Behavior: They are nocturnal, and they can move very fast on their long legs and will run away whenever disturbed, which makes them hard to spot and catch.

Issues: For the most part, they are considered nuisance pests and they pose very few, if any, health risks. The only physical threat is that some centipedes are known to bite.

Unique Features: They always have an odd number of pairs of legs.

If you have any questions about occasional invaders or if you are interested in our pest control services, please call one of our Nozzle Nolen representatives at (888) 685-0376.


Lupo Pest Control Expert, Lisa Jo. "Home-Invading Bugs, Beetles, and Flies." Home. About, Inc., 19 Jan. 2015. Web. <>.

"Occasional Invaders." Ehrlich. Ehrlich Pest Control, 2016. Web. <>.

"Occasional Invaders Q&A." National Pest Management Association, 2016. Web. <>.

"Fun Facts About Silverfish." Terminix. The Terminix International Company Limited Partnership., 2016. Web. <>.



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