- Vacuuming is the best way to eliminate the insects once they are inside.
- Before the winter months approach, seal gaps around windows and doors, including garage doors. The best time for this is during the summer after pests have left their overwintering site, and before they come back for the next season.
- Look for areas where pipes and electrical or cable lines enter the building. Gaps around these areas should be sealed.
- Look for openings around soffits, eaves, attic fans, windows and vents in the attic used for ventilation. Many times these areas are not screened, allowing overwintering pests inside.
- Be sure screens on windows are in good repair and have no openings.
- Inspect chimneys. Be sure the damper is closed when not in use, and know that if you’re dealing with a wood-burning fireplace, lighting a fire may discourage the insects from using the chimney as an entry point.
- Tell customers that using “bug bombs” to treat the inside of a house can backfire — they may end up with dead insects still inside the walls, which then attract secondary pests, such as carpet beetles.
It’s that time of year when certain pests seek a warm place to overwinter and this usually means YOUR HOME! We’ve assembled some tips to prevent these critters from moving in with you.
As the weather cools down in the fall, many pests look for suitable harborages in which to spend the winter. These annoying pests do not bite or cause harm to you but they are nuisances and are best prevented using the tips in our September 15 blog. (Watch for it!)
The following pests are likely to attempt to enter your home in the fall.
Asian Lady Beetle
Also called ladybirds or lady beetles, depending on the region, the main difference between these two insects is the size of the two bugs. Asian ladybeetles are larger in size. Ladybugs have a head that is all black with little white cheeks.
They were introduced into the United States in 1988 for the purpose of reducing native aphid populations. Since 1988, they have spread throughout North America, in most places displacing the native lady beetle populations to become the dominant beetle in the insect family.
The best way to get rid of ladybugs is to remove them physically using a vacuum cleaner
The brown marmorated stink bug is more likely to invade homes in the fall than others in the family. The bug survives the winter as an adult by entering houses and structures when autumn evenings become colder, often in the thousands. In one home, more than 26,000 stinkbugs were found overwintering. Adults can live from several months to a year. They will enter under siding, into soffits, around window and door frames, chimneys, or any space which has openings big enough to fit through. Once inside the house, they will go into a state of hibernation. They wait for winter to pass, but often the warmth inside the house causes them to become active, and they may fly clumsily around light fixtures.
The stink bug's ability to emit an odor through holes in its abdomen is a defense mechanism meant to prevent it from being eaten by birds and lizards. However, simply handling the bug, injuring it, or attempting to move it can trigger it to release the odor.
Boxelder bugs get their common name from the fact that they are often found on and around boxelder trees. This species is native to the western states, but can be found from eastern Canada throughout the eastern United States, and west to eastern Nevada, wherever boxelder trees are found. Boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance pest as they enter structures, including homes, sheds and garages to overwinter.
Overwintering adult boxelder bugs emerge from hibernation in late March to early April when the boxelder buds open. During this time, the adults leave their overwintering sites to return to their host trees for the warmer months.
Cluster flies make their debut in the autumn when they fly to the sunny sides of homes in search of over-wintering sites and may be found flying about inside, often in great numbers, throughout the winter. These flies are not reproducing within the structure, but become active on warm days and crawl out of wall voids and attics in a confused attempt to go back outside.
Cluster flies will not damage your home. Occasionally, the flies may leave small dark-colored spots of excrement on windows and walls, but they are not known to carry any diseases of medical importance to humans. In addition to the ‘clustering’ on the sunny exterior of buildings in the fall, the flies will gather in large numbers at windows within the home on warm winter days. The flies are typically sluggish in flight and can be easily swatted or captured.
If you’re bugged by any of these, give us a call – 800-650-PEST.