This is the time of year when many pests begin to set up camp indoors, as they look to overwinter in an area that provides food, warmth, and shelter. Here’s what to look out for.
Cluster flies are essentially harmless, but if they invade your home in large numbers, they can become a very big nuisance. and other types of flies also seek warmth to overwinter in your home. Cluster flies prefer warm areas, so you’ll often find them flying and congregating at windows. These guys are small – eight to 10 millimeters – which means they can slip through the tiniest cracks. To win the battle against cluster flies, seal all cracks and crevices and access points to the interior of your home. Keep all windows and doors closed, and make sure screens are intact.
Stink Bugs, Boxelder Bugs, Ladybugs
If you are starting to notice stink Bugs, boxelder bugs, and ladybugs, it is because this is the time of year that they are actively seeking shelter and warmth to overwinter in. Inspect the exterior of your home and surrounding areas often, so you can treat for them before they become a problem and gain access to your home. These pests are often found on the sunny sides of your home, resting on the exterior, and working their way indoors. They may get inside, so make sure all window screens and door sweeps are intact and there are no gaps in the exterior of your home.
With the end of the growing season comes the start of fruit fly season. If you leave your produce on the counter for the kids to enjoy, then know that you have increased the likelihood of a fruit fly infestation. Instead, simply do not leave produce exposed on the counter – either cover or refrigerate your produce – and cover all compost bins or garbage cans tightly. If you have an active population in your home, set up a few fruit fly traps to monitor the population while you eliminate the source of the infestation.
Yellow Jackets, Hornets, and Wasps
Populations of yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps peak in the fall. Meanwhile, the food sources these insects rely on start to become scarcer, which makes these stinging pests search out new food. They are especially attracted to sweets (soda, juice, candy, sweets, and pastries) and proteins (meat and dairy). So, keep garbage cans tightly closed, do not leave food or drinks outside or unattended, and search for a nest on your property. If you find one, do not attempt to remove it. This is a job best left to professionals. Call us instead.
When the temperature begins to drop, it is a signal to mice to seek warm shelter – which, many times, is the comfort of your home. Mice can squeeze through gaps as small a ¼-inch. To keep mice from entering your home, inspect the exterior of your home and seal all gaps and cracks with fine mesh or other material. It also helps to trim back the bushes, shrubs, and trees in your yard, because if there is little shelter in your yard to begin with, mice may move on to a yard – and home – that is more inviting.
Some species of cockroaches seek warmth in the fall and move indoors. Create a foodless environment that will be unwelcoming to cockroaches by keeping your kitchen clean and free of spills, crumbs, and grease, and by storing food properly.