SO, FALL-INVADING INSECTS ARE BACK INSIDE YOUR HOME?
By Zachary Ciras on November 10, 2020.
Have you seen some new and unusual, rather sluggish, insects wandering around your home lately? If you’re seeing more than one or two and they’re bugs that you’ve never seen before, you might be dealing with one of the insect groups that we often call “fall invaders.” These are insects that don’t normally live inside homes and are found inside only during the cooler weather months from fall to spring.
During the warm season, these fall-invading insects live outside where they feed on various plants or are sometimes predators on insects that feed on plants (see Why Are There Plant Bugs in My House?). Classic examples of fall invaders are stink bugs, seed bugs, elm leaf beetles, boxelder bugs, and lady beetles. When their food plants start to die off in late summer and as they weather gets cooler, these insects look for sheltered places to spend the winter.
EVEN PEST INSECTS APPRECIATE A WARM RETREAT
Typically, overwintering insects will crawl under logs or stones, hide under bark, or burrow into duff at the base of a tree. But, if there’s a nice warm house nearby and if there are some openings that will let insects inside, why not? Obviously, homes that are near crop fields or other host plants where insect populations can build up, face the highest risk of invasion. Older homes and homes with lots of cracks, crevices, and little openings are more often invaded by wandering insects (see “Hibernating” Bugs Spending the Winter in Your Home?).
YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THE CONTROL WINDOW…THIS YEAR
You’re witnessing the insects’ fall migration, probably either the beginning or the end of the event. There may be many dozens of these insects already in hiding in your home, in the attic, wall voids, or elsewhere – or there may be dozens more staging outside on sunny exterior walls, doors, or decks, waiting for the right stimulus to move inside.
Depending on where the insects enter your home (often near the roofline), you may not even see the actual migration. In fact, often homeowners don’t know that they’ve had fall-invading bugs in their home all winter until the insects become active again on warm days in the spring and emerge from hiding (see Hibernating Pests in Your Home Are Waking Up).
The time to control fall-invading insects is before they move inside because once inside, they disperse and hide in numerous places. Timing their control is the hard part since it involves putting down an insecticide barrier around the foundation before the bugs begin to congregate in early fall. We don’t always know exactly when they are going to congregate prior to “hibernating,” since that is weather-related. And we don’t know how many move-in bugs to expect since that can be seasonal and food-related; the better the crop, the bigger the resulting insect population.
LET US TAKE THE GUESS WORK OUT OF INSECT PREVENTION
Figuring out the details is one of the services that Colonial Pest offers its Preventative Maintenance Plan customers. The plan includes two semi-annual exterior treatments timed to coincide with fall and spring insect activity. If we can eliminate the insects that are trying to get into your house before they can make that move, we have also eliminated much of the need for indoor pest control.
Unfortunately, if you are seeing fall-invading insects inside your home now, it probably means that the fall perimeter treatment window has closed for your area. But that’s one of the reasons why the Plan also includes a spring exterior treatment. The insects that are quietly spending the winter in your home are going to want to get back outside and back to their food plants in the spring. And, lots of other insects that live around your home’s foundation become active in spring. Our annual plan addresses these as well, and there’s a special option that even helps to control ticks on your property.
OUR SEMI-ANNUAL PLAN PROVIDES CONTACT-LESS PEST CONTROL SERVICE FOR YOUR PROTECTION
If you’re concerned about working with contractors because of the risk of coronavirus, rest assured that our Preventative Maintenance Plan can be as hands-off as you want it to be. The heart of the service is two outside seasonal treatments designed to keep pests from ever getting inside. You don’t even have to be home when our technician services your property. All contacts, scheduling, and billing can be done remotely.
But don’t think we’re leaving you out in the cold. If you do end up with an indoor pest problem that requires our professional service, we’ll be there with full protective gear and using distancing requirements to keep you and your family safe.
Read about Colonial’s guaranteed service plans here, and then give us a call if you have any questions. Sign up now because spring will be here again before we know it!