Summertime months are often celebrated outdoors, with gardening being a
favorite pastime of many. But with a thriving outdoor space comes the threat of many types of pests that feed off of plants, flowers, and trees, especially those in moist environments. Combining humid temperatures with typical summer storms brings these pests to the forefront this season- both in your yard and your home.
The literal translation of millipede is “thousand legs,” and while they don’t have that many, it they certainly do have a lot. They are usually 1 to 2 inches long (but may be larger depending on the species) with between 80 and 400 legs. Black or brown in color, their bodies are rounded, similar to a worm’s, and move in an unmistakable wave-like motion. Millipedes are most prevalent after a particularly wet outdoor spell, and prefer spaces like a wet basement or damp bathroom when inside your home. Without this type of wet condition, they will eventually dry out and die. Thankfully, they do not sting, bite, or carry any disease, but they will certainly become a nuisance when entering your home in large droves.
Centipede translates to “hundred legs” and while this too is a bit of an
exaggeration (like their millipede relatives), a typical centipede will have at least 20 legs. Their size generally ranges from ⅛ of an inch to 6 inches long and their bodies are flat and usually yellowish brown in color. Like millipedes, they flourish in wet conditions and can be found in damp areas of your home. Also like millipedes, they will dry out and die without this ideal environment. While centipedes do bite (and painfully at that), they do not carry any known diseases, nor will they cause any structural damage.
A pill bug, also known as a “roly-poly,” is the only crustacea insect that is
completely adaptable to land. They are smaller bugs (usually ¼ to ⅝ of an inch), gray in color, and are well-known by their backs which are made of hard plates. They are also easily identified by their survival tactic of rolling up into a ball to protect themselves from threat or harm. Pill bugs also require a wet/ damp environment and do not last long indoors. Because of this, they are not typically seen in the home, but if you do see one, it is a definitive indicator that there is a large number of them right outside your door.
Japanese Beetles are possibly one of the more bothersome pests on this list, as they can be very destructive to a well-manicured lawn. These pests are usually ½ inch long with metallic green bodies and copper-like wings. Feeding on the roots of grass, they are most active June through August, when lawns are well kept, watered, and groomed in general. During these feeding months, females will burrow into the ground and repeatedly lay eggs until 40-60 eggs have been laid for the season. From there, larvae hatch and hibernate underground through the winter, feed on grass towards the end of spring, and emerge as adults in summer. Japanese beetles do not bite or carry disease to humans, but they can cause considerable damage to grass, flowers, and plants.
While these summertime invaders are considered to be harmless to humans, they should still be properly controlled. A couple of bothersome pests can quickly grow to an infestation, putting a damper on your summertime gardening pride and overrunning your home. To promptly eliminate these insects, contact Millette for a free consultation today!