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With a name like overwintering pest, you don’t need to be a professional exterminator to surmise that these are pests that enter homes and buildings seeking refuge from cold outdoor conditions. While this might be the case, it certainly does not mean that dealing with them or eliminating them from the premises will be easy. Although they are only around part of the year, they can become more than just another common nuisance. The best place to start is by learning more about the enemy.
Most Common Overwintering Pests
Depending on where you are located, you might find yourself dealing with any varying number of these pests. It should also be noted that these are not the only overwintering pests. Because of the lengthy list of potential candidates, this list will only contain the most common.
If you spot a boxelder bug in the home, you will know immediately you are looking at something different, fascinating even. These bugs feature a solid back body with orange or red markings on the wings that give off a tribal feel. These bugs feed on boxelder trees, maples, and a variety of others. They don’t bite, sting, or transmit diseases, but they can smell and stain.
Leaf-Footed Seed Bugs
These bugs are the epitome of outdoor bugs. They love the heat and being outdoors. It is only out of complete necessity that you will find them in the home. These bugs bite and can, although uncommon, smell, stain, and can cause structural damage. When the weather starts turning warm, you’ll likely notice larger populations at once.
Multicolored Asian Ladybugs
Commonly mistaken for the omnipresent ladybug, these are an entirely different species altogether. The Asian variety is quicker and more of a pest. They will emit foul odors, potentially stain pastel-colored walls and sheets, and attract other unwanted pests.
These flies don’t bite but are considered more of a threat than most pests on the list. Over the years, they have caused more than a stir with their presence in hospitals and other sensitive areas. Although they do not transmit diseases or bite, they cause health and liability concerns.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
With a name like stink bugs, you can guarantee these guys can leave behind lingering, unwanted scents. These pests are commonly found in the garden during the warmer months but will make their way indoors as the weather turns. When the weather transitions back to warmer conditions, you will likely notice a larger presence of them at one time.
Treating Overwintering Pests
Regardless of the number or type of overwintering pests, you are dealing with, you can usually eliminate them all with the same tactics. As you can see some do pose more of a threat than others. A professional exterminator is always the best approach when dealing with these pests, but there are things you can do yourself.
Seal Outdoor Openings
When dealing with any pests the best place to start is by tackling outdoor cracks and openings. These pests are getting into your home somehow and this is likely through cracks and crevices. Even the tiniest crack or missing mortar joint could be a potential opening. Along with this, these openings are also spilling out warm and cool air. Sealing these openings will do a world of wonders.
Treating The Exterior
Thanks to the reach of the online retail industry, it is now possible for common homeowners to purchase insect repellants. Make sure you invest in industrial-strength but note that you likely won’t be able to get your hands on the exact formulas the professional use. Most of the formulas the professionals use contain chemicals and ingredients that are considered illegal to the regular public. Therefore, your best and most effective solution for dealing with these pests is to contact a pro.
Creating A Barrier
If you want to safeguard something, what’s one of the best ways to do that? Do you remember ever hearing anything about people building moats around castles? People have taken common and similar approaches throughout history, and you can do the same. Creating a barrier around your home will add a layer of protection that just can’t be beaten.
The best way to do this is by keeping all leaves, mulch, and plants at least 6 inches away from the foundation of the home or building. Maintaining an acceptable grass level will also help. Cutting the lawn, raking the leaves, and keeping your plants pruned around the home is the best place to start building defenses against overwintering pests.
Other great maintenance approaches are
- Regularly vacuuming the home to ensure it is free of crumbs and debris
- Regularly replacing window screens will keep bugs out
- A steel mesh in utility vents can help keep out unwanted intruders
- Keeping your gutters clean of debris and leaves only makes sense
- Door sweeps not only help deter unwanted invaders but can add to the overall efficiency of the home