Hibernating Pests in Your Home Are Waking Up
By Chris Williams on March 22, 2013.
Spring certainly seems to be taking its time reaching the Northeast. The colder than usual weather has slightly delayed a spring phenomenon—the march of the hibernating bugs! Yours may be one of those unfortunate households that has served as winter headquarters for outdoor pests. This is the time of year when those insects that have been hibernating in your home for the winter start to make their presence known as they look for a way back outside.
Migrating insects like the Asian lady beetle, the brown marmorated stink bug, and the western conifer seed bug, live and feed on plants outside. Because these insects are relatively new to the U.S., they have few native predators or controls. That allows them to build up to large numbers during the summer. When cool weather arrives in the fall, they leave their food plants and look for protected places to spend the winter. If your home happens to be near a large population of these pests, you can end up with hundreds or thousands of them in your attic or in wall voids, under siding, or around the foundation. They will enter your home near the foundation, or around windows or doors, or will climb or fly to find openings near the roofline.
Once inside, these fall invaders will move inside— into the attic, wall or ceiling voids, behind baseboards, or under carpet edges, into any crack or crevice that they can find. They’re almost impossible to find and control once they go into hiding. Fortunately, they’re usually pretty quiet until the first warm days of spring (or sometimes on an unusually warm, sunny day in winter) when they emerge from hiding and bumble around like they’re not yet quite awake. They often end up at windows looking for a way out.
The insects don’t bite and they don’t cause any feeding damage while in your home, but they might release a smelly defensive fluid if you handle them or threaten them. And if you accidentally squash them, they can stain fabrics. Vacuum them up carefully. Recently, researchers have discovered that the western conifer seed bug (and maybe the stink bug as well) can puncture plastic plumbing lines in homes with their stylet mouthparts, causing leaks. So far, this seems to be a rare occurrence.
If you’ve had overwintering insects in your home this winter, you will almost certainly have them again next winter. The time to address the problem is in early fall, before the insects start to move inside. At that time, we can apply a protective perimeter barrier around the exterior of your home to intercept the insects before they can move in.
We also offer pest-proofing services to seal up all the cracks, crevices, gaps, and openings that insects can use to get inside. We can do the pest-proofing at any time. Call us now and our technicians will make sure that those summer pests like millipedes, earwigs, crickets, and spiders can’t get in either. Our pest-proofing services are permanent and guaranteed.