As the days in Ohio grow shorter and temperatures start to dip, you may start to notice groups of insects loitering on the outside of your doors and windows. It looks like these insects are just enjoying the warmth of the sun but that’s only the half of it. These fall pests are sneakily planning an invasion of your home where they will overwinter until spring arrives.
Once inside, these overwintering insects will find a place to stick it out through the winter. These places are usually behind pictures, between walls, in attics, and basements. It’s important to know that these pests aren’t dangerous nor do they cause damage to your home but can become annoying when you see them crawling on your walls in the middle of winter.
Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle
Not to be confused with Ohio’s official state insect, the ladybug, the multicolored Asian lady beetle is an invasive species intentionally released to control agricultural pests such as aphids. When fall arrives these bugs swarm on the outsides of houses and other buildings trying to soak up the warm sun. If your windows and doors aren’t properly sealed they can wiggle their way in and can be found crawling on windows and walls. Refrain from killing them because they emit a foul stench when squished.
Box Elder Bugs
Box elder bugs live in box elder trees during the summer but in the fall they climb down from their homes in search of a winter hiding place. They will search for wall voids, attics, and behind light switches to spend the winter. It’s when they’re seen crawling around the house that they cause a problem. Box elder bugs are about half an inch long with black bodies and red edges along their wings.
Appearing a little larger than a housefly, the cluster fly is much more sluggish and easier to hunt when they make their way inside. Cluster flies can drive a homeowner crazy when these flies seem to appear out of nowhere in the middle of winter. It’s not that they are finding some secret entrance or breeding inside your house, but they are waking up and emerging from their hiding places thinking spring has arrived.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Stink bugs are a common sight in Ohio gardens. They are a common garden pest in the summer that can cause damage to fruits and vegetables such as melons, squashes, and pumpkins. They get their name from the foul odor they produce when killed which is why when you see them in your house you should not kill them. Instead, suck them up with a vacuum and dump the bag outside in case they escape.
How to keep fall pests out
To keep overwintering insects from using your home as a winter vacation spot check the exterior of your house for cracks and gaps and seal them with caulk. Repair screens and vents that could allow insects entry and replace any rotting boards.