How to intercept occasional pest invaders

|  October 20, 2016
Photo: ©

Photo: ©

By definition, occasional invader infestations are unpredictable — they occur “occasionally.” Invaders like isopods, millipedes and ground beetles can be a real headache for technicians because, unlike cockroaches or bed bugs, they don’t breed indoors. Finding the source of the infestation, therefore, can be difficult.

In most cases, the source will be located outside of the structure. Finding it requires a pest management professional (PMP) to understand the conditions in which these pests thrive. When trying to track down solutions to infestations, finding the source and intercepting them at their entry points are the two keys to success.

The source populations for many occasional invaders can be linked to exterior areas with high moisture levels and organic debris. A careful inspection and treatment of mulch beds, woodpiles, compost areas, rock gardens, and other moisture-trapping areas around the perimeter of structures can provide clues about arthropod populations that may be increasing close to the structure. When large populations are thriving close to buildings, the likelihood of invasion increases. In structures where occasional invaders are a current or historical problem, treatment of these areas with an appropriately labeled product is warranted.

The second line of defense against invading pests is the identification of entry points. Any potential entry point should be eliminated or sealed. A perfectly pest-proofed building is very difficult to achieve, of course, especially when it comes to small arthropods. For areas that can’t be completely sealed, a crack-and-crevice or void treatment from the exterior of the structure can help control pests before they enter the building.

By identifying the source locations and interception points, technicians can begin to defend against occasional invaders before they invade — and stop customer concerns before they start.

Contributor Dr. Fredericks, VP of technical and regulatory affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), can be reached at

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