Other Common Insects
Clover Mites are about 1/64" long. Their body is oval and flattened and are often dark red. Clover mites are plant feeders only. The feed on about 200 different plant species including trees, shrubs, flowers, grass, and crops. They invade structures by enormous numbers upward around several hundred-thousand. They are more active in cooler weather and become dormant or inactive in hot weather. They can be found usually from November until May or June, with spring being when activity is highest. When crushed these pests will leave a reddish smear or stain, sometimes being a problem for wallpaper, drapes, window shades, carpet, etc.
Adult crickets are about 3/4" long with three dark bands on the head and thin antennae. Their body is yellowish-brown. They are active at night and attracted to lights. Crickets dwell beneath rocks and logs. They are omnivorous scavengers and renew soil minerals by breaking down plant materials. However, they can be a destructive presence in agricultural communities, as they feed on crops and seedlings.
Earwigs are about ¼" to 1" in length. The color varies from pale brown with dark markings to reddish brown to black, but with paler legs. They are active at night, and during the day they hide in cracks in damp areas. They live under rocks and logs, mulch, and flowerbeds. Earwigs eat plants and insects. Outdoors, Earwigs spend the winter in small burrows in the ground. Earwigs are attracted to lights. They can become a nuisance on porches and patios on summer evenings. Earwigs move into homes to find food or because of a change in weather. Homeowners often find them in areas where there is water kitchens, bathrooms, and laundries. They can also find their way into bedrooms and family rooms, and turn up in almost every part of the house.
White to brown-gray or bluish-silver in color, Silverfish are teardrop-shaped insects that measure up to 1" in length, and have three long bristles on the rear. Capable of thriving in most climates, Silverfish prefer to dwell in dark, damp areas such as basements, attics, kitchens and bathrooms. They are especially attracted to paper and damp clothing. Commonly found in stored boxes in garages, basements, and sheds.
Despite their name, Sow Bugs are not really bugs. They are land-living crustaceans. Sow Bugs are flat, oval creatures. They are about ⅜" long. They have seven pair of legs and two pair of antennae. Sow bugs are not able to retain water in their bodies, so they spend most of their time in damp places. Outdoors they hide under logs, rocks, flowerpots, and trash cans. They eat organic debris and decaying plants, so it is common to find them under mulch and in flowerbeds. To conserve moisture, they are usually active at night. They come into homes through ground-level doors and windows. Sliding glass doors seem to be a favorite entrance for them. Homeowners often find Sow Bugs in basements and other places that have a damp, humid environment. Sow bugs wander to all parts of the home, garages, and storage buildings. Since many areas in a home are too dry for Sow Bugs, they usually die after they come indoors.
Spring Tails are mostly 1/32" to 1/8" in length. Most are whitish or gray, but sometimes purple, blue, green, yellow, or orange. They mostly inhabit moist or damp areas because they can rapidly lose water. Most species occur in the soil in enormous numbers. They often invade structures in search of moisture when their habitat becomes dry. They can enter through door thresholds, around utility pipes, window screens, etc. They are often brought into a structure, such as office buildings, through potted plants. Spring Tails are attracted to lights. Inside they can be found in bathrooms, kitchens, damp crawl spaces, damp basements, etc. If mildew can be smelled, Spring Tails can become a problem. Outside they can be found in leaf litter, mulch, under debris, firewood or logs on the ground, decaying railroad ties, landscape timbers, etc.