Insects Are Getting Ready to Move Inside!
Fall is around the corner and will be here before you know it and this is the time when people will start noticing that various insects are getting into their homes. We call these pests “fall invaders” or “ occasional invaders” or just simply “ overwintering pests”. When the weather gets cooler and the insects outside food source begin to disappear, it’s time for them to come inside to spend the winter.
As part of their natural cycle, many insects die in the fall, but for others, the adult insect is destined to spend the winter in hiding and mate and lay eggs in the spring. Insects look for places that are protected from the elements such as under tree bark, rotting logs, under stones, in mulch or in firewood piles in the winter. However, if there’s a house or building nearby, some insects are attracted by the structure and it’s warmth and will look for ways to get inside.
Most of the insects that invade homes in large numbers are those that are associated with their surroundings. If you live near orchards or fields you may be more likely to have brown marmorated stink bugs or Asian lady beetles. If you live near certain trees you may see boxelder bugs or western conifer seed bugs. Some of the other types of insects you may see as the weather starts to cool are camel crickets, cluster flies and wasp queens. Once inside, the insects usually hide in the attic or in wall voids and may not be seen until warm days in early spring when it is time to go outside.
The best ways to keep these pests out of your home this fall is to have an exterior pesticide treatment around your home’s foundation. This should be done soon before pests start to move in. Pest proofing your home by caulking cracks and gaps, screening vents, repairing soffits, adding door thresholds and sealing any openings where insects can enter.
Here are a few more tips for things to do on the outside of your home:
- Move woodpiles, compost piles, piles of leaves or grass clippings, stacked boards or stones away from the foundation.
- Pull mulch away from the foundation wall.
- Remove grass, weeds and ground cover plants that touch the foundation walls.
- Drain standing water around the foundation
- Reduce outside lights, especially around doorways as many pests are attracted to lights.
- Ventilate basements and crawlspaces to reduce moisture levels.
- Trim any shrubs or tree branches that touch the roof or sides of the house.
3 Common Fall Pests
Not only is it important to take preventative measures, but it also helps to know what you’re up against. These are some common pests you may deal with in the fall.
Boxelder bugs have black bodies with red accents. They cluster in groups on trees and the sunny sides of homes in the fall. Once the weather cools, they seek shelter indoors. These pests will sneak through rips in screens, cracks around doors and gaps between window frames. They’re a nuisance in the fall but are harmless to people and pets.
Stinkbugs have their name for a good reason: They stink when you crush or bother them. Sometimes they release an odor when they’re flying or crawling around in a room. Though stinkbugs usually hide until the spring, they’ll oftentimes fly around lights and crawl on the windows inside your home. When they’re outdoors, you can find them on almost any surface, from the sides of your house to trees and deck railings.
Western Conifer Seed Bugs
Western conifer seed bugs moved into the Northeast within the last 20 years. They feed on conifer seeds, which could spell trouble for the pine trees in your backyard. If you have pines, you may encounter a seed bug infestation this fall. These pests don’t cause damage to your home, but they will become a nuisance during the fall if they invade your living space.
If you believe that your home or business is experiencing pest control issues including mice & bed bugs, please contact an F&W Pest Control professional today for a free inspection and quote.