Sow Bugs / Pill Bugs
The Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse is a brown spider with a violin shaped marking on its abdomen. They will invade houses looking for insects to feed on. They possess a powerful venom, but normally do not bother humans unless we bother them. In most cases bites are caused by unintentional contact by humans. Bites are usually painless causing soft skin necrosis up to two hours after the bite happens. These spiders can be mistaken for the common house spider, whose venom poses no threat to humans.
The Black Widow Spider
A very famous species, the black widow has a shiny black body with a red hourglass shaped marking on its underside. This marking is a warning sign as black widows contain a venom that is a powerful neurotoxin that attacks the nervous system, causing pain and serious illness in humans. Around houses they spin their webs in woodpiles, basements and crawlspaces feeding on the insects they catch in their webs. They are not aggressive arachnids, but if they are threatened or touched, usually accidentally, they will bite. Contrary to belief, the female rarely eats the male after mating.
Spiders have earned a nasty reputation due to their venom and their creepy appearance. They can be considered a pest due to the mess they make with their webs, their venom and their general creepy crawliness but most species are actually beneficial, consuming flies and mosquitos in the wild and around homes. Exterior treatments to control other insects are your best defence against spiders invading your home.
The House Centipede
The House Centipede is a very common sight throughout North America, particularly found in indoor locations that are wet or damp and most often times active at night. In warmer climates, they may be found outdoors as well as indoors. The common house centipede is an incredibly quick predacious insect.
House Centipedes are no strangers to bathtubs and will sometimes emerge from drain holes. Other house locations that they may be found in is the crawlspace, near the porch area (drawn in by porch lights) and in basin-type setups.
House Centipedes are covered with black and yellow to white coloring. Legs appear to surround the body which consists of 15 pairs of banded legs. The body itself is striped lengthwise with a dark-to-light-to-dark pattern. Large compound eyes adorn the head and males typically have very long antennae. The last pair of legs in the series on the body will typically be the longest. As hideous as these insects may appear, the House Centipede is actually super-beneficial to the under-workings of a home, assisting in keeping bigger pests such as cockroaches and moths at bay. House Centipedes move EXTREMELY fast and run with their bodies held high above the ground.
The European Earwig is the most common pest species around homes and gardens. They are black to brown, ½” to ¾” long with a flattened body featuring a pair of curved pincers on their rear end. They are nocturnal, hiding in dark cracks and crevices during the day and are active hunters and scavengers, entering buildings in search of food. They are true omnivores and damage flowers, fruits and vegetables by feeding on the shoots of these plants. They have no natural enemies other than man in North America and therefore are growing in numbers. A common myth about earwigs is that they crawl into your ears while you sleep and lay eggs in your brain. Sometimes a change of your exterior environment can be your best help.
Stink Bugs / Shield Bugs
Stink bugs are insects that are common in rural areas as they tend to infest fruit trees in orchards. They get their name from their ability to produce a rank odour when threatened. In the fall they enter homes and go into hibernation. Warm temperatures in homes may bring them out of their hibernation causing them to fly clumsily around light fixtures.