Why are bugs so bad in the fall?

October 20, 2021

Fall in the northeast is beautiful. The sun is still warm, and the skies are clear. Unfortunately, as humans, we hold on to the warmth, and so do pests. They, too, are looking for a warm environment indoors as the outdoor temperatures fall.

According to Thoughtco.com,

Different insects have different ways of surviving the winter. Many adult insects die off when frost arrives but leave eggs behind to start next year’s population. Some migrate to warmer climates. Others burrow in the leaf litter or hide under loose bark for protection from the cold. Unfortunately, your warm home may be irresistible to insects seeking shelter from the cold.

In the fall, you may see aggregations of insects on sunny sides of your home. As we lose the heat of summer, insects actively seek warmer places to spend their days. Boxelder bugs, Asian multicolored lady beetles, and brown marmorated stink bugs are well known for this sun-seeking behavior.

If your home has vinyl siding, insects may gather underneath the siding, where they are protected from the elements and warmed by your home’s heating. Any crack or crevice large enough for an insect to crawl through is an open invitation to come indoors. You may find them gathered around windows, as poorly caulked window frames allow easy entry into your home. Usually, home-invading insects stay inside your home’s walls during the winter. But on the occasional sunny winter day, they may make their presence known by gathering on your walls or windows.

Three fall pests and insects

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Stink bug on a window glass surface in sunlight

Depending on your home location and the sun exposure it receives, you may find an alarming number of insects indoors over these next few weeks.

Boxelders. Boxelder bugs are nuisance pests found predominately on boxelder trees and often maple trees. These bugs are about 1/4 inch long with black and orange markings, precisely three stripes right behind their heads. The wings overlap to form an X. Boxelders are in the same family as stinkbugs and cicadas. They have powerful sucking mouths and release a stinky order when you crush them. Boxelders do not sting or bite and are no threat of carrying disease.

Asian Ladybugs. Fall sightings of ladybugs are a sign of winter’s appearance. Ladybugs come out in the spring and bask in the warmth of the sun all summer long. As the temperatures begin to cool, you may find ladybugs inside the warmest, sun-filled areas of your home. We have one customer who sees them on the windowsills of the southwest corner of her home.

Ladybugs do not eat or chew on furniture or clothing. But ladybugs can be destructive and can appear in large numbers when searching for a hibernation spot. If the ladybugs feel threatened, they can secrete a yellow liquid that may stain light-colored surfaces. Homeowners complain about these stains on drapery, blinds, and windowsills.

 Brown marmorated stink bugs. Stink bugs get their name from the very unpleasant odor they release when they are threatened or crushed. It may be a defense mechanism to ward off predators, but to homeowners, it is a nasty side effect of swatting them.

These pesky creatures appear both oval-shaped and shield-shaped and appear as a grayish-brown color. Stink bugs have six legs and antennae and can be ¾” in length. Stink bugs do not bite, yet their mouths are used for piercing and sucking the moisture and food from leaves, plants, and gardens. They do not bite people or pests.

Fall Pest Control Tips

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Keeping your home, garage, attic, and basement pest-free requires diligence and a little time snooping around your house, regardless of the season.

Tight as a drum! Walk around your home on a sunny afternoon and take the time to look closely at your home. For example, examine the structure for a broken attic window, a gap in the garage door seal, or signs of an infestation from pests. Inside your home, feel along windows and doors for drafts. It only takes a sliver of space for these pests to enter your home.

Close the garage door. We know for a fact that your garage may be the gateway to your home. An open garage door invites pests and nuisance wildlife to take refuge in a warm, dry place. Inspect the sealing around the garage door base for tears or gaps; the same holds for garage windows.

Trim bushes and tree branches away from your home. Overhanging trees that drape onto your roof are a welcome sight to squirrels and other pests such as carpenter antsstink bugscluster flies, and ladybugsTree branches, overgrown bushes, and plants serve as a ladder to these pests and nuisance wildlife. Once on your roof, they have a bird’s eye view and access to your eaves, soffits, windows, and screens. They do not need a lot of space to wiggle indoors.

Need help preparing your home for the winter?

Accurate Pest Control offers a comprehensive range of services, from interior and exterior treatments to our AccuShield exclusion services. The Accurate Pest Control experts will evaluate the structure and locate areas where pests and nuisance wildlife can enter. Then, a complete evaluation is performed and reviewed with the homeowner or business owner, and a course of action is determined.

Welcome the fall, don’t dread it! Contact us for a home inspection today.

Resources: Hadley, Debbie. “Why Insects Invade Your Home in Cold Weather.” ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/why-do-insects-come-in-my-house-in-the-fall-1968426.

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