Where did the time go? It’s already September, which means fall is right around the corner, so it’s a perfect time to start getting your yard and home prepared. There are many things to check off your fall checklist, but today we are going to be talking about fall pests and how to prevent them from turning your home into a winter retreat.
As the temperatures cool off and the days start to get shorter, you might see some changes in the behavior of insects. You’ll see them congregating on the sunny sides of houses and other buildings, trying to stay warm while also looking for a place to overwinter. Many insects look for places to stay warm during the winter as fall approaches, and your home is much more appealing than some cold, rotten log.
Once they get into your home, they usually don’t cause a problem other than causing a panic. They will look for places to ride out the winter, such as behind pictures, between the walls, and in attics and basements. Here is a list of the most common bugs that will try and overwinter in your home.
As fall approaches, boxelder bugs come out of their trees where they spend the summer and search for a place to ride out the winter months. You will usually see them in the fall climbing up the inside of your windows. Adult boxelder bugs are long, flat, and narrow beetles about 1/2 inch long and 1/3 inch wide. They are dark brownish-black with three red stripes running lengthwise behind their head and reddish margins on the front wings.
Not to be confused with the house fly, cluster flies are a little bigger and much more lethargic, making them much easier to swat. These flies are known to drive homeowners crazy as they seem to appear out of nowhere. This is because they sneak into your home unnoticed in the fall and re-emerge in the spring, where you find them crawling on your windows.
Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle
The multicolored Asian lady beetle is an invasive species released by humans to curb destructive pests on farms such as aphids. These beetles love to gather around windows and doors on sunny days, looking for a way inside. They are known to emit a foul odor when squished.
Stink bugs are a common insect found throughout the midwest. They are a nuisance to gardeners because they feed on melons, fruits, and vegetables. They are also known to produce a foul-smelling odor, hence their name. In the fall, these bugs can find their way into your home in large numbers and are not as pretty to look at as an Asian lady beetle. An ideal way to dispose of stink bugs is by sucking them up with a vacuum and disposing of the contents outside.
Keeping Fall Pests Out
Before fall arrives, you must do a thorough check of your home to ensure pests cannot easily get in.
- Make sure that there is no debris around the foundation of your home.
- Ensure screens have no rips or tears.
- Check the weather stripping around your doors and windows.
- Replace rotting wood.
- Caulk and seal any cracks or holes along seams and especially around windows and doors.
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