Jul172015

"Over Wintering Pests"

With Fall fast approaching, pests that have wandered away to gather food and got into the mating season are now looking for safe places to hide in time for Winter. For the most part the insects that invade your home are only seeking shelter. So the Fall season now becomes “home-coming” for these overwintering pests.

Homeowners should consider undertaking measures as early as now to prevent overwintering pests from invading their homes.

The most common overwintering pests that are normally seen during this season are stink bugs, mice, asian lady beetles, boxelder bugs and winged-termites.

Insects invading your home don’t reproduce during winter. Many won’t even survive. Those that do, however, will awaken from their long winter’s nap as they encounter warmer temperatures, which is why you’ll often be surprised by scampering insects on a sunny day in the middle of winter.

Most insects have trouble regulating their body moisture, so they reside in damp places. This is why you’ll encounter many fall invaders, like elm leaf beetles, spiders, millipedes or crickets, in the basement. Keeping your basement as dry as possible will help reduce the number of pests looking for a damp spot to spend the winter.

In living quarters, you’ll often encounter moisture-craving insects in the kitchen and bathroom. It’s not uncommon to discover centipedes, ants, or earwigs in the kitchen or bathroom sink. Make sinks less appealing by wiping them out with a towel after their final nightly use.

To prevent overwintering pests this fall, the following measures are very important to accomplish as soon as possible:

  1. Inspect the house and yard for potential areas for pests to hide.

  2. Check for cracks or holes where mice and other insects can get through your house.

  3. Remove yard debris such as firewood, piles of unused construction materials, old and damaged furniture.

  4. Repair torn screens.

  5. Seal cracks with high quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk.

  6. Fill holes with cement or around utilities with steel wool and install door sweeps on exterior entrances.

  7. If you suspect an infestation, a qualified pest management professional can evaluate the problem and recommend an action plan.