Non-Insectan Arthropods

Pest Management In and Around Structures May 30, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF
Management of Pest Insects

in and Around the Home


Non-Insectan Arthropods

House centipedes (Class Chilopoda: Order Scutigeromorpha: Scutigeridae:
Scutigera coleoptrata): Fast-crawling, long-legged, with alternating light and
dark gray bands on the legs. A non-insect arthropod with one pair of legs per
segment. Long, slender antennae. Habits: Predatory. Feeds on small insects and
other invertebrate prey. Found in sheds, garages, log piles, basements, and other
undisturbed, humid areas indoors. May bite if handled. Interventions: These
predators are found where their food source or prey insects are found. Therefore,
reduce prey numbers by following suggestions under section titled Proactive
Pest Management. It is especially important to eliminate harborage and install
doorsweeps. If desired, apply a spot treatment with an appropriately labeled residual
spray where centipedes are found. For more information see University of Georgia
Extension circular #1088, Millipedes and Centipedes, at caes.uga.edu/publications.
Might Be Confused With: millipedes.

Millipedes (Class Diplopoda): Slow-moving, non-insect arthropod, 1 inch, with
two pairs of legs per segment. Top of each segment glossy brown, white underneath.
Habits: General feeder on detritus, mold, fungi, etc. Releases noxious smell
when threatened or handled. Often coils when threatened. Because millipedes are
desiccation-susceptible, they are found primarily and associated with wet to overly
moist conditions. Found outdoors especially under items lying flat on the ground
where microhabitats high in humidity are created. Also found in heavily mulched
areas. Quickly desiccates and dies in low moisture conditions, such as indoors.
Interventions: It is especially important to eliminate harborage (even those far away
from the building), dry out the environment, and install doorsweeps. If desired, apply
a spot treatment with an appropriately labeled residual spray to millipede harborage
sites (spray only outdoors). For more information see University of Georgia
Extension circular #1088, Millipedes and Centipedes, at caes.uga.edu/publications.
Might Be Confused With: earthworms, centipedes.

Daddy-longlegs (Class Arachnida: Order Phalangida): Also referred to as
harvestmen. Daddy-longlegs are not spiders. They appear spider-like with eight
long, thin legs and three body parts fused into one body part, unlike spiders. Each
body part is segmented, also unlike spiders. Habits: Predatory and omnivorous/
scavengers. Daddy-longlegs cannot bite and are harmless. Internet myths suggesting
otherwise are not correct. For discussion on this topic, see the website spiders.ucr.edu.
Interventions: Because they are harmless, no control is necessary. Keep vegetation
away from house, keep window screens in good repair, and install doorsweeps to limit
access to the interior. Might Be Confused With: multiple spider species.

Velvet mites (Class Arachnida: Order Trombidiformes): A large mite, up to 1/16
inch, with 8 legs and a bright red-colored body covered with fine hairs, giving it a
velvety appearance. Constantly crawling; rarely, if ever, at rest. Commonly found
on brick or concrete surfaces, often in large numbers, during the hottest part of the
Summer in Georgia. Adult mites, with 8 legs like other arachnids, are very small
(microscopic), oval-shaped with a pair of long legs pointing forward that are often
mistaken for antennae. Acarine larvae normally have 6 legs rather than 8. Habits:
Beneficial (feed on other mites and tiny insects and their eggs), seasonal, do not
bite. Interventions: Keeping doors and windows tightly sealed can be effective in
preventing mite entry into the house. Weatherproof windows and doors where mites
may be entering. Live mites are easily crushed but will stain walls, carpet and drapes.
If desired, apply a spot treatment of an appropriately labeled residual spray to walls
and other outdoor surfaces where mites are most commonly found. Indoor insecticide
applications are not recommended because it will not provide relief beyond what
vacuuming can accomplish. Might Be Confused With: larval ticks (referred to as
seed ticks).

Scorpions (Class Arachnida: Order Scorpionida): Large (1.25 to 1.5 inches), noninsect
arthropod with forward pinchers and a long, strongly-segmented tail tipped
with a sting. Habits: Scorpions sting, so should be handled with care. Scorpions feed
on insects and other arthropods and are found outdoors in wood piles and under
flat items (such as boards, rock piles, etc.) lying on the ground. Sometimes found
under tree bark. May be found in homes, often with numerous cracks and crevices
to hide, that have gone un-inhabited for long periods—i.e., buildings that are only
intermittently heated or occupied (hunting cabins, second homes, etc.). Scorpions
are secretive. Interventions: The best remedy is to crush individual scorpions. Also,
follow suggestions under section Proactive Pest Management. Install doorsweeps on all
exterior doors. It is especially important to eliminate harborage for scorpions and their
insect prey. On the rare occasion when scorpions are so numerous that their presence
requires a chemical intervention, spray them directly or apply a spot treatment with
an appropriately labeled residual spray to areas where scorpions are found. For more
information see University of Georgia Extension circular #782, Stinging and Biting
Pests, at caes.uga.edu/publications. Might Be Confused With: cockroaches.

Ticks (Class Arachnida: Order Ixodida): Oblong to oval, 1/8 to 3/16 inch, sixlegged
(larvae) or eight-legged (nymphs and adults), black- to brown- to cherrycolored,
slow-moving, non-insect arthropod. Some species with distinct markings
on their back. The term seed tick refers to a first instar larval tick just hatched from
the egg; seed ticks are barely visible to the naked eye and often encountered in large
numbers. Habits: Ticks are obligate parasites that suck blood that is needed for egg
production. In nature, ticks are common parasites of warm-blooded animals (e.g., deer,
raccoons, coyotes, etc.). Some species attach to and feed on humans. Some species
transmit disease, with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever being much more common
than Lyme Disease in Georgia; Lyme Disease is not common in Georgia. Like other
blood-feeding arthropods (bed bugs, fleas, and mosquitoes), ticks are attracted to
carbon dioxide, as it is indicative of a warm-blooded host. Interventions: Keep grass
cut low. To avoid tick bites: (a) use an EPA registered repellent (see cfpub.epa.gov/
oppref/insect), (b) wear protective clothing (e.g., tuck pant legs into socks when in
tick-infested habitat), (c) perform tick checks following outdoor activities in tick-infested habitat, and (d) if possible, shower soon after returning from tick-infested
habitat. If desired, apply a spot treatment with an appropriately labeled residual
spray to areas where ticks are found. For more information see University of Georgia
Extension circulars #937, Protect Yourself from Ticks, and #782, Stinging and Biting
Pests, at caes.uga.edu/publications. Might Be Confused With: mites, chiggers.

Sowbugs & Pillbugs (Class Malacostraca: Order Isopoda): Clearly segmented,
1/4 inch, oblong, flat gray, non-insect, slow-moving arthropod. Habits: Found in
log piles, leaf litter, and under flat items, such as boards, lying on the ground. Because
these creatures are desiccation-susceptible, they are found primarily in and are
associated with wet to overly-moist conditions. Common occurrence is suggestive of
a persistently moist to wet environment. General feeder on detritus, mold, fungi, etc.
Interventions: Follow suggestions under section titled Proactive Pest Management.
It is especially important to eliminate excessive harborage, install doorsweeps, and
eliminate excessive moisture problems. In the rare case that a pesticide treatment is
needed, apply a spot treatment with an appropriately labeled residual spray (spray only
outdoors). Might Be Confused With: ground beetles.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.