Plant Pests Are Getting Ready to Move Into Your Home!

By Chris Williams on September 28, 2012.


There are a number of insect pests that move into our homes in the fall when the weather cools. Most of these fall invaders are insects that feed on plants, or insects that feed on insects that feed on plants (like the predatory Asian lady beetles). It all makes sense when you think about it. When the plants stop growing and producing and start to die, the food for these insects drops off and they either die or move on. For most insects, the start of cooler weather signals that it is time to find a protected place to spend the winter.

In the absence of buildings, insects that overwinter seek shelter under logs, bark, or stones, or in crevices in rocks, in old animal nests, or in leaf litter or under accumulated duff on the ground. But houses and other buildings provide a warm, sheltered place and insects will take advantage of that if they can. All it takes is a tiny opening to let them inside—the space around a water spigot or where cable enters the home, a gap under the fascia board, or, more importantly, openings around windows and doors. Some insects don’t make it all the way inside but will instead shelter on the outside of the house–under siding, or shingles, in the wood pile, or in the chimney.

The main plant pests that move indoors for the winter are the stink bug, lady beetles, the elm leaf beetle, the boxelder bug, and the western conifer seed bug. Whether or not you share your home with these pests depends on how close you live to the crops or trees that they feed on. For example, if you live across the road from a soybean field, you may soon be invaded by stink bugs. You will probably never see an elm leaf beetle or a boxelder bug unless there is an elm or boxelder tree in your yard, or your neighbor’s yard – and then you may see plenty.

2 Ways You Can Keep Invaders Out of Your Home

There are two primary ways to keep fall invaders out of your home:

1) Pest-proofing

This means sealing up or closing off all of the cracks, crevices, gaps, and openings that insects can use to get inside. Depending on the age and condition of your home, this can be a major job. But you can stop most pests with some basic caulking and installation of door thresholds.

2) Perimeter treatment

Have a pest control company apply a pesticide treatment around the outside foundation of your home. This protective barrier keeps invading insects from reaching your home and getting inside. Timing is everything, however. To be effective, the perimeter treatment must be in place before the insects start to move inside in the fall.

If you’ve had fall invading insects in the past, expect them again unless you have taken preventive measures. At Colonial Pest Control, our trained technicians do both pest-proofing and perimeter treatments. Give us a call today and find out if we service in your area, don’t delay, fall is on the way!



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