Most people know the warning signs of cockroaches, bed bugs, and termites. But what about when strange insects strike, such as centipedes, earwigs, and silverfish?How can you prevent occasional invaders in Maryland, and where do they come from? Read this guide on occasional invaders in Maryland to find out more.  

What Are Occasional Invaders?

Occasional invaders are a group of bugs in Maryland that occasionally or intermittently enter homes and other structures throughout the year. These insects usually gather together and enter homes in large numbers when the weather becomes too cold, hot, wet, or dry for them to live comfortably outdoors.

Some of the most common occasional invaders found in Maryland are centipedes, earwigs, and silverfish.


Centipedes in Maryland exhibit a diverse range of sizes and colors, often found from yellow to dark brown. Their unique body structure, with a pair of legs for each segmented section, contributes to their agility and speed. 

These arthropods use their venomous forcipules, a modified first pair of legs, to hunt and immobilize their prey effectively. Their diet mainly consists of small insects and spiders, making them natural pest controllers. Centipedes, while appearing intimidating, generally pose little threat to humans and are an intriguing part of Maryland’s ecosystem.


Earwigs have long, smooth bodies that are dark brown or reddish-brown in color. Extending off their abdomen is a pair of pincer-like appendages (cerci).

These cerci are multifunctional, serving as defensive tools and, in certain species, as instruments for capturing prey. Despite their somewhat daunting appearance, earwigs are predominantly harmless to humans and play a role in the ecological balance by feeding on various organic materials.

Earwigs are also commonly referred to as “pincher-bugs.”


Silverfish have elongated, teardrop-shaped bodies that are covered in bluish-brown scales. They also have long antennae and three long, bristle-like appendages that extend off their back ends. 

Silverfish are a common sight in Maryland homes as they tend to indulge in the moist, humid environment found near the coastal region. Silverfish are often found in areas like basements and bathrooms. They primarily feed on carbohydrates, including sugars and starches, which can lead them to consume household items, such as wallpaper, books, and clothing. 

Are Occasional Invaders Dangerous?

While they may seem daunting, occasional invaders like centipedes, earwigs, and silverfish generally pose no serious threat to people or property. Centipede bites can be painful but are not dangerous. Earwigs and silverfish, despite their menacing appearance, are merely nuisance pests.

Why Do I Have an Occasional Invader Problem?

Centipedes, earwigs, and silverfish are all moisture-seeking pests that tend to move inside homes when the weather outside becomes too hot and dry for them to live comfortably. You may also spot some of these pests after periods of heavy rains. 

For this reason, occasional invaders typically migrate inside homes and other buildings in the late fall or winter months when the weather becomes colder. 

The presence of centipedes, silverfish, or earwigs does not mean you have a dirty house; rather, there may be openings in your exterior that occasional invaders exploit to make their way inside your home. Be sure to check for cracks and crevices in exterior walls or foundations, gaps around windows and doors, and spaces found around chimneys or rooflines.

Finding Occasional Invaders

Outside, occasional invaders like earwigs, centipedes, and silverfish hide in dark, damp places, such as under mulch, in dense vegetation, in wood piles, under landscaping ties, under rocks, and in landscaped areas.

When they move inside, these pests reside in environments that mimic their outdoor hiding spots. They prefer out-of-the-way, dark, humid areas, such as attics, wall voids, crawl spaces, basements, bathrooms, and laundry rooms where they can overwinter.

Preventing and Controlling Occasional Invaders

Preventing problems with occasional invading pests can be tricky. Here are several things you can do in and around your home to deter their presence:

  • Put into place a professional residential pest control program from Pest Czar.
  • Reduce humidity levels in the basement and storage areas by using dehumidifiers.
  • Make sure crawl spaces are properly ventilated.
  • Remove sources of water around your property.
  • Remove overgrown vegetation, shrubs, wood piles, and debris piles from your property.
  • Seal cracks or gaps in your home’s foundation, along exterior walls, or along the roofline.
  • Place weather stripping around all windows and doors.
  • Leave a stone barrier between any grass, soil, or mulch and your foundation.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control Measures

Rather than resorting to chemical-laden solutions, homeowners can focus on preventative measures and natural remedies using professional or DIY pest control

To deter earwigs, maintain a well-drained garden and reduce excess moisture around the house, as earwigs thrive in damp conditions. 

For centipedes, sealing cracks and crevices in the home, eliminating clutter, and practicing regular cleaning are crucial steps. Silverfish can be deterred by reducing humidity levels indoors, fixing leaks promptly, and using natural repellents like cedarwood. 

Additionally, introducing beneficial insects such as ladybugs or using diatomaceous earth can eliminate these pests without harming the environment. Pest Czar uses organic pesticides to help deter and eliminate active pest infestations. 

How to Get Rid of Occasional Invaders?

The first step to eliminating occasional invaders from homes in Maryland is to understand their behavior and implement prevention tips. 

When prevention fails to deter these pests, it’s always a smart idea to turn to the experts. Companies like Pest Czar use eco-friendly pesticides that kill occasional invaders quickly and prevent them from returning. Pest Czar also offers a year-round prevention package, Czar Guard, which protects homes and businesses from over 40 species of pests, including earwigs, centipedes, and silverfish. 

For exceptional, eco-friendly, occasional invader control services in the Baltimore Metro area of Maryland, call Pest Czar!

FAQs: Occasional Invaders in Maryland

What attracts earwigs, centipedes, and silverfish?

Earwigs are attracted to damp and dark areas, especially if there is decaying organic matter. Centipedes seek out places with high moisture levels and are often found in cluttered spaces. Silverfish are drawn to humidity and are commonly found in areas with poor ventilation.

Are chemical pesticides necessary for effective pest control?

No, chemical pesticides are not always necessary, as there are a number of organic pest control solutions available. Eco-friendly alternatives, such as sealing entry points, reducing moisture, and using natural repellents, can effectively control pests without resorting to harmful chemicals. These methods are not only safer for the environment but also promote long-term pest prevention.

How can I maintain a pest-resistant garden?

Choose plants that are naturally resistant to pests, such as Marigolds, Chrysanthemums, and natural herbs. Likewise, practice good garden hygiene by removing debris and using organic mulch. 

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