As the weather turns brisk in late September and early October, beetles of all sorts look for sheltered places to burrow for the winter. If your home wasn’t in the way, beetles would snuggle into cracks and crevices of rocks, trees and bark. They can find winter nesting spots under stones and rotting branches.
When beetles come looking for a place to spend winter, be ready to send them away without entry into your living spaces. Here are three strategies to have a beetle-free home this fall.
- Get Rid of Welcome Signs
Beetles want to feel welcome. When weather gets chilly, beetles explore their environment to locate openings in nature. These openings are like flashing welcome signs, even if your home isn’t a natural overwintering spot for them.
Beetles of all types will look for welcome signs in the form of gaps and cracks in:
- Exterior siding
- Window and door caulking
- Soffit, fascia-board, and chimneys
- Gaps in log chinking or masonry
Once a single beetle finds its way into your warm, dry attic or wall space, that insect sends out pheromones to attract more beetles. Soon, hordes of beetles are gathering at a gap in a window or attic. You may notice stink bugs or lady beetles congregating on sunny exterior surfaces as they wait their turn to enter your home.
Check for holes in your attic by entering the space on a sunny day without turning on the lights (carry a flashlight for safety’s sake). Do you see sunlight coming through cracks, holes, or gaps anywhere? These gaps must be filled and sealed to remove the welcome signs from your home’s exterior.
- Screen Your Autumn Guests
Keep beetles out of your home by maintaining and repairing your screens. Insects, including boxelder bugs, stink bugs, western conifer seed bugs, and lady beetles, can easily slip through rips and tears in window screens.
This autumn, inspect, and repair all screens so there are no holes or gaps around them. Purchase fine metal mesh for use as a covering for all vents around your house.
Cut the mesh to fit completely over any:
- Open drain pipe
- Attic or crawlspace vent
- Soffit vent
- Dryer vent
- Roof plumbing vent
- Chimney vent
Secure the mesh with wire, screws, plumbing clamps, or other methods to ensure the mesh isn’t knocked loose.
- Be Discreet About Removal
Bugs, including stink bugs and Asian lady beetles, prefer to nest together to conserve warmth. If you see one beetle of these two types, there are many more beetles somewhere in your home.
You may first notice a random dead beetle or a pile of dead beetles near a window sill. In the case of stink bugs and lady beetles, their entry into your home often kills them. As they huddle together in your cozy home, they overheat themselves and die in large numbers.
Be cautious when cleaning up stink bugs or lady beetles, whether alive or dead. The beetles release an unpleasant scent when crushed. Don’t suck them into a wet-dry vacuum or standard vacuum, since this will only intensify the smell.
You can use your vacuum wand with a sheer sock or knee-high covering the end. The sock material holds onto the bugs sucked into the wand. Dump the beetles into a container of soapy water as you collect them in the covered wand.
If you can’t control a beetle invasion on your own, seek help from pest control experts. Get expert help with your autumn beetle infestation in Northern and Central Virginia by contacting PermaTreat Pest & Termite Control. We’ve helped our treasured customers solve beetle and other insect problems for over 50 years.