What You Need To Know About Over Wintering Pests

February 13, 2017


There is always time in the year when overwintering insects are very determined to enter the home. These are pests people contend with especially when the weather changes. The significant overwintering pest threats include multicolored Asian ladybugs, boxelder bugs, western conifer seed bugs and cluster flies.

asian lady beetle on a plant inside house

The term “overwintering” is frequently used to indicate how insects or other animals spend their time over the winter. Also, it is commonly used to refer to the act of keeping or staying alive throughout winter. This has to do with the way animals spend the winter by taking up residence in a particular place.

In a bid to protect themselves from the harsh winter elements, pests often end up in homes and other available structures during their search for shelter. These damaging organisms often go unnoticed when they enter homes to overwinter. However, they reveal larger problems when the remerge and become active. 

Overwintering is used so often to describe pests and their habits. The term is used in several categories, including plants, birds, and pests. But for the sake of this discussion, reference will only be made to pests and their activities they perform to survive the cold temperatures.

In a bid to find a warm place to call home, insects can end up in your home. They consider your house as their “winter vacation home.” This is how they overwinter. Bugs will enter soil, leaves, mulch or structures to protect themselves from the low temperature.

Occasionally, they surface during the overwintering period in search of food. But the spring time is the most convenient time for them to emerge because this is when the temperatures begin to rise. No wonder, there is always an increased visibility of pests in and around the home at this time. It is important to understand that they have been present all the while; it’s only that they have not been very much active.

The most common overwintering pests include

Mice

Generally, mice do not ‘overwinter,’ however, they are generally known to be scurry indoors and active year-round to be close to food sources and to nest especially when the weather cools. Damage and even electrical fires can erupt in the home as a result of their incessant gnawing. Besides, their feces and urine can cause food poisoning and contamination thereby making them a sanitation issue.

Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs are commonly found in warm spots on buildings where they congregate before migrating into insulated crevices and cracks located indoors to overwinter. They can cause slight irritation when handled, as they occasionally bite. Also, their fecal material can stain and ruin fabrics.

Multi-colored Asian Lady Beetles

Although very little threats are associated with most species of this beetle family, however, quite a good number of them can cause allergic reactions and even aggravate asthma. They also seem to discharge a yellow, foul-smelling fluid that can discolor fabric. So when you see this harmless cute-looking little thing, make sure you take safety precautions they can cause allergic reactions and even bite you.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs spend most of their lifecycle outdoors but in course of searching for overwintering sites, they suddenly invade homes in large numbers and become a smelly nuisance. The brown marmorated stink bug from Asia is a common invasive species that has spread rapidly throughout the US.

Other overwintering insects include mosquitoes, flies, moths, crickets, caterpillars, box elders, to mention but a few. It is important to note that all stink bugs, as well as the western conifer seed bugs, emit foul odors. They are capable of staining housing materials like linens, walls, and curtains. First and foremost, your ability to prevent these pests from getting into your home is your best defense.

Overwintering Pest Control Tips

In order to protect family health, prevent structural damage, and avoid an aggravation of infections, here are a few fall pest-proofing techniques homeowners can take to prevent the invasion of pests in their homes.

  • Pay close attention to exterior light fixtures, so as to be able to determine possible pest entry points in the home.
  • Ensure to perform a thorough inspection coupled with gaps. These are common loopholes overwintering pests can follow to gain access into the home.
  • Use a good quality silicone sealant or silicon-latex caulk to seal up every entry point such as cracks and holes before the winter session.
  • Seal cracks and crevices around chimneys, utility pipes, exteriors of walls, interfaces of fascia, trim, around windows and doors.
  • Keep a clean home. Clean up spills, mop, sweep and vacuum anything that you know can attract pests to your home.
  • Install door sweeps on exterior entrances and repair every torn screen.
  • Note that most pests use built up debris to make their homes and to feed. So ensure to keep all gutters cleaned out.
  • Caulk all cracks and crevices around plumbing, electrical, siding, and foundation.
  • Use steel wool to fill holes and cracks around utilities.
  • Replace and install worn-out screens in vents and exterior attic openings.
  • Apply insecticidal dust to unsealed openings, gaps and any unsealed penetration point that leads into the home. This should be done by a pest control professional.

Other Measures

A great way to prevent overwintering pests from gaining access into your home is by getting regularly scheduled pest control. You can hire a pest control professional to treat your home if you suspect an infestation. This presents an easy and effective way to control pest problems and prevent any pest invasion.

Alliance Pest Services provides complete pest control programs for all your pest problems. 




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