With winter behind us, we now relish the sunnier and warmer days of spring – but we’re not the only ones to do so. As our Virginia temperatures begin to rise, many insects shake off their long winter nap and become more active. Because of this, you may begin to see one or more of these four common pests in your home.
Cluster flies are slightly larger and darker than the common housefly and move more sluggishly. They have light and abdomens that are dark-gray checkered. Cluster flies are frequently found in attics and can congregate in large swarms, many times crawling through small openings in the walls of a structure.
More than likely, they overwintered in your home, hibernating in your attic or walls. As the weather warms, they become active as they make their way outside. You may notice them flying around the house and landing on windowsills.
While annoying, cluster flies do not cause any damage to homes.
As their name suggests, boxelder bugs live in boxelder trees, feeding off of the leaves, flowers, and seeds. Like cluster flies, they often enter homes in winter in search of a warm place to weather the cold temperatures. In the spring, they become active again and can quickly become an annoyance if an infestation occurs indoors. Like cluster flies, boxelder bugs like to hibernate in attics and inside walls.
Boxelder bugs, which are dark grey with distinctive red stripes, do not really pose a threat to you or your home. They do not bite and are not destructive, although they can stain curtains and fabrics.
Crushing boxelder bugs releases a scent that can attract several types of beetles, including carpet beetles, not to mention a red stain left behind. If you find boxelder bugs in your home, simply vacuum or sweep them up, tie the bag closed, and dispose of it outdoors. When boxelder bugs have decided to take up residence in your walls or attic, there is no way to get rid of all of them no matter how much you vacuum.
Larder beetles get their names from the place they are often found – in your larder – which is an old word for your pantry or cupboard. They are small, only about ¼” to ⅓” long, and oval-shaped, with a brown band around the midsection of their black body. The brown band typically has yellow or black spots. Like all insects, larder beetles have six legs and two jointed antennae.
Larder beetles will enter homes in the spring as they seek food sources. The adults eat meat, pet food, and even dead insects. If you’ve had another pest infestation problem, such as cluster flies or boxelder bugs, then larder beetles are going to love your home.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Originally found in East Asia, arrived in the United States in the 1990s, likely in a shipping container. They get their name from the unpleasant odor released when you crush them or when they are threatened. They are considered an invasive insect, feeding on plants such as soybeans and weeds, as well as apples, peaches, and figs. They are known for their characteristic brown “shields.”
Stink bugs can enter your home during the fall and winter through gaps in doors, cracks around windows, or any other opening. They will become more active as temperatures warm. If you see stink bugs in your home, vacuum them up and throw away the bag immediately.
What to Do if You Suspect an Infestation
If you are seeing more than a few of the above bugs, then there is a good chance you have an infestation and need the help of a professional pest control company. Our service guarantee is that you will receive friendly, effective service every time a pest solutions technician comes to your home. You’ll always receive notification prior to and after coming to your home or place of business to perform your service. If you need a scheduled appointment, we will be on time.
Our pest solutions experts can identify, eliminate, and control not only cluster flies, boxelder bugs, larder beetles, and stink bugs, but also ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, mosquitos, rats, mice, rodents, spiders, termites, wasps, yellow jackets, and more.