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Overwintering pests are pests that try to take shelter before winter. Although they can find shelter elsewhere, they often try to enter homes. They often use attics and wall voids to stay warm during the cold months.
Overwintering Pest Types
In our service area, our clients will encounter a handful of overwintering pests. These insects are generally more active in the late fall right before winter is ready to kick in. You’ll find out about the most common pantry pests below.
First and foremost, you may encounter this garden pest. When it is warm outside, boxelder bugs will stay outside and feed on seeds of certain trees. When the cold temperatures arrive, they’re going to sneak into your home. They’re roughly half an inch in length so they can slide through small cracks and gaps. Boxelder bugs are not going to sting or transmit illnesses so they’re not dangerous. Furthermore, they won’t damage your home. Don’t crush them though. If you do, your home will stink.
You’ll also have to worry about Asian Ladybugs or Asian Lady Beetles. These overwintering pests can slip into your home before winter. They rarely bite, but it does happen. Another thing to note is that you’ll want to avoid crushing them. As with boxelder bugs, Asian ladybugs will release a foul odor.
Cluster flies prefer staying outside. These flies start life as parasites in earthworms. Once they emerge, they’re going to spend most of their life outside. The only time they’ll go inside is when they want to hide from the cold weather. Cluster flies can also hide behind wood planks and tree bark. They cluster together. When it gets warm outside, cluster flies will learn your home in groups. Once this happens, you’ll have a mess to clean up. You’ll also want to take steps to prevent them from returning.
Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bugs
It is hard to ignore leaf-footed pine seed bugs because they’re so large. They’re roughly three-quarters of an inch and dull brown. During the summer months, these pests feed on pine cones and pine cone seeds. When it gets cold outside, adult bugs will enter homes to take shelter. They can also shelter behind the bark of certain trees. Once it gets warm outside, they’ll want to return outside. You won’t be able to ignore their presence, but they’re not dangerous. You don’t have to worry about that.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
Stink bugs are roughly half an inch. They’re new to the United States but they’re quickly growing. Today, they can be found in most states across the country. These bugs are native to Asia. They stay outside when it is warm so they can consume vegetable and fruit plants. If they’re not addressed, they can destroy your entire crop. When it gets cold, they’ll sneak into your home. Although they’re not dangerous, they can create other problems. For instance, they’ll release a foul odor when they’re stressed. Using a vacuum is a good way to remove them from your home.
Signs Of Overwintering Pests
Are you worried that you have overwintering pests in your home? Unfortunately, it’ll be difficult to know for certain until it gets warm outside. These bugs hide exceptionally well. As a result, you may not realize what is going on until it is too late. Once it gets warm outside, the bugs will emerge from hiding. Then, they’ll try to return outside. If you want to identify an infestation, you should try turning your HVAC system higher. Doing so can help convince the bugs to come out of hiding.
Stopping Overwintering Pests
To prevent an overwintering pest problem, start by defending your home. Take steps to ensure that the pests cannot enter your home through any cracks or gaps. You can seal the gaps using pest-proofing products. Doing this will prevent pests from invading your home.
Repair Or Replace Damaged Screens
- Damaged screen doors and windows are access points for overwintering pests
Treatment For Exterior Barriers
- A waterproof sealant should be utilized to seal damaged exterior barriers around crawlspaces, basements, and foundations
- Industrial-strength protective formulas should be utilized to repair damaged siding, soffit, and eaves
- Exterior barrier sealants offer extended longevity in all weather conditions
How Overwintering Pests Access Buildings?
Mortar is utilized to hold bricks together around buildings and other free-standing structures. It is crucial to inspect the joints several times a year. Repair damaged and missing mortar joints with an approved silicone or another sealant.
Small overwintering pests can enter tiny crevices in the mortar joints to infiltrate your home. Do not ignore these openings because they will leave your home exposed to the elements and insects.
Window And Door Frames
Daily wear and tear causes frames around windows and doors to weaken over time. Inspect these carefully at least twice a year. Fill in openings with sealant whenever needed to keep small overwintering pests out of your home.
Exposed wood clapboard is a common overwintering pest access point into homes. Utilize foam insulation to fill in gaps to keep birds, bats, and flying insects outside where they belong.
Attic And Basement Vents
Insects and rodents utilize openings around your basement, crawlspace, and attic vents to infiltrate homes. It is crucial to keep these components in good condition year-round. We suggest routine visual inspections, followed up any necessary repairs.
Replace vents that are beyond repair.
Plumbing Pipe Openings
Water, sewage, gas, and air conditioning ductwork utilizes large openings to bring utilities into the home. Homebuilders generally do not bother sealing these holes. They close the exterior opening but leave the rest exposed to the elements and insects. We suggest customized plywood or metal sheeting fill-in plumbing pipe openings, followed by a waterproof sealant to create a solid seal.
To keep out mice, rats, and other rodents, we suggest stuffing small holes with metal pot scrubbers. Rodents will gnaw through just about any material, excluding metal. Stuff the metal material inside the holes and follow up with a sealant to ensure the best results.
Remember, our exterminators are on standby waiting to process your professional pest control service request. We offer free in-home pest inspections and consultations via appointment only.
How Can I Seal Overwintering Pest Access Points?
It is crucial to utilize a waterproof sealant to fill in exterior-to-interior holes. We highly recommend sealing all openings as soon as they are discovered. Large openings will need a more aggressive approach, utilizing plywood or metal sheeting.
Make The Perfect Match – Utilizing The Right Materials!
- A waterproof sealant, such as caulk or silicone works great for brick
- Joint sealants also work for brick, as well as wood and aluminum siding
Other Sealant Recommendations
- Foam Insulation – Fill in medium-sized crevices in discrete areas
- Metal Screen – Great for damaged attic and basement vents
- Industrial-Strength Hardware Material – Ideal for damaged soffit and other materials
- Metal Dish Scrubbers – Fill in openings around plumbing pipes, air conditioning ductwork, and other utility lines
Overwintering pests are more active in the late fall than any other time of the year. When they begin to make their presence do not hesitate to reach out to our Cleveland-based exterminators. We work extended schedules to offer speedy responses to all overwintering pest inspection requests.