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Winter can be a wonderful time of year. Not only does it bring along joy and beautiful white landscapes, but it brings along sledding, skiing, and snowboarding, and a whole host of other fun activities. Unfortunately, wintertime is also a season that brings along the potential for unwanted invaders. These invaders are commonly referred to as overwintering pests and are pests that only invade the property right before the weather turns cooler outside. While they only come around during the cooler months, it doesn’t make dealing with them any easier.
As a matter of fact, dealing with overwintering pests can be more difficult than dealing with other species. One of the reasons for this is because you are not just dealing with one species. You are dealing with a whole handful of pests. Meaning, you must not only learn to identify and eliminate one type of pest, but you must learn how to identify and eliminate several. As you can likely imagine, this is something that’ll be nearly impossible for the average homeowner. Therefore, we are here.
Reach out to our pest management services and we’ll tackle your overwintering pest problem with the utmost efficiency and accuracy. Maybe, you want to try to do something yourself? That’s fine and that is a process that starts with learning to identify the potential overwintering pests.
Asian Lady Beetles
It might be beautiful. It might have the word lady in its name, but, unfortunately, there is nothing ladylike about this overwinter pest. It is also completely different than the common ladybug. This being said, these species are generally harmless. They can be beneficial and harmful in the garden, but once trapped inside the home, they can pose quite a threat. Not a physical threat, but a mental drain, as they leave behind a stinky, sticky substance on the walls and materials. This substance stinks, stains, and is something you must contend with when facing an Asian Lady Beetle infestation. They secrete this substance as a defensive mechanism against opposing threats.
If there is one bug that matches the Asian Lady Beetle’s beauty and uniqueness, it would be the boxelder bug. They are equal in their beauty, but they also, unfortunately, lead behind a staining dye when crushed. Get many of these pests in the home and you can likely already see the potential for problems. They usually emerge from their hiding spots when the weather turns back warmer, or the HVAC tricks them into thinking the weather has turned.
Just like the name implies, the Cluster Fly is one that clusters the home. They gather around windows on warmer days, trying to escape the home and get back outside. They will venture in during the cooler months, hibernate, and wait until the weather turns to venture back outdoors. The only problem is they are oftentimes getting turned around and lost, leading them further into the home to create and wreak havoc. While they are physically harmless, they can be mentally imposing. Especially when they show up in large numbers.
Also known as the shield bug because of its unique appearance, the Stink Bug is another one that secretes foul-smelling odors in the home. They do not bite or sting, but this strong odor they release is probably more pungent than the others mentioned here. Simply put, a large infestation would be quite unpleasant. You can vacuum these pests up, like many of the others, but you must be careful not to scare or threaten them, as this is when they will release their odors.
Useful Tools When Battling Overwinter Pests
Our local professional pest management pros can help you create a custom pest control plan specific to overwintering pests. We’ll not only help you eliminate the pests that are already on the property, but we’ll help you put plans in place to prevent future infestations. We do this by combining routine inspections, pesticides, traps, education, and extreme dedication. However, there is only so much we can do. Without your help and cooperation, we cannot fully eliminate the threat from your home.
Here are some things that we suggest homeowners doing:
- Sealing cracks and crevices around the foundation with a waterproof material like silicone or caulk
- Replacing all damaged or missing siding and soffit
- Check humidity in areas where high humidity is possible
- Dehumidifiers in prime locations like basements and crawlspaces can go a long way to keeping moisture levels at bay. Remember the moisture in the home should be more or less than 40 percent.
- Metal flashing over chimney openings can also help deter predators
- Underground drainage to reroute standing water from the property is a must
- Keeping an eye out for leaky, clogged, or dripping pipes will help in more ways than one
- Divert runoff away from your home
- Repair or replace damaged screen doors and screen window coverings
Repairing Or Replacing Screens
Overwintering pests are much more active in the late fall. As a result, you’ll want to be extremely careful and diligent about leaving doors and windows open to eliminate the HVAC system. A lot of homeowners like to bask in these cooler weather conditions, but this might be a bad idea. While it is necessary to properly ventilate the home, you’ll be much better off keeping doors and windows closed. You can open them if there are functioning screens in place. Damaged or missing screens should be replaced immediately, as doors and windows are prime entry points for overwintering invaders.
Insect Control Sprays
Commercial-strength control sprays are almost always a must for eliminating these types of pests. The only problem with this is they are only available to licensed EPA professionals. Of course, these are things we can acquire, but they can be extremely dangerous. Especially when utilized in the wrong hands. Although there are tons of over-the-counter insect sprays available, we cannot in good mind recommend them, as they are missing key ingredients.
Common Interest Points For Overwintering Pests
Learning all the interest points is a good starting place for eliminating and deterring overwintering pests. Keeping an eye on these locations and making sure they are properly functioning will go even further towards your journey. Here are some key interest areas, you’ll always want to monitor.
Mortar Joints – Any damaged mortar joint is going to create a possible entry into the home. Check between bricks and rock siding to make sure mortar joints are sufficient. Sometimes, the mortar will shrink or get damaged due to the weather. Maintaining and monitoring these areas will be key.
Fascia Boards – Fascia board can be a tricky material and when not properly installed over clapboard, it creates a gap. A gap that makes a perfect entry point for overwintering pests. These areas will need to be sealed immediately, as they’ll cause more than pest problems.
Soffit – Soffit is usually constructed of plastic or vinyl, therefore, is extremely vulnerable to the elements, high winds, and storms. It is more than crucial to routinely check soffit vents, materials, eaves, and attic vents. Check for signs of damage like large gaps or openings. Any should without a doubt be repaired.
You can see there is a whole lot to consider when it comes to overwintering pests. Too much for the average homeowner. Whether you are too busy, don’t have the means, or just don’t want to fool with the process, we are here. All you must do is get our local pest management office on the phone and we’ll get someone out on the property as soon as we can.