4 Pests Eager to Move Into Your Home This Winter
Once the temperature outside starts to drop, and fall has turned into winter, we all long to be indoors safe from the elements. Unfortunately, many species of icky crawly bugs longing to escape the winter elements, just like all of us! If you’re not proactive, you could end up spending the winter with some creepy new friends. While the list of pest roommates looking for a place to live this winter, there are four you want to watch.
- Ladybugs: One of the cutest bugs in the pack is also one of the most annoying. Ladybugs are the number one offender on this list. They will invade your home during the winter months and refuse to leave until spring. They are a member of the beetle family, and they enjoy spending their winters sleeping in with their family members keeping warm and cozy in your house. They can be found in large groups somewhere warm in your home, hibernating. Ladybugs are more of a pest than a serious problem. They will not harm you or your home, but if they are accidentally crushed underfoot or die, their body produces a very unpleasant odor that you wouldn’t want to permeate throughout your home. If too many are crushed, their bodily fluids will stain your floors, walls, or fabrics. Because ladybugs are generally harmless, they can be vacuumed and released somewhere outdoors.
- Stinkbugs: These little guys, like ladybugs, are members of the beetle family, and they too smell terrible when crushed. Stinkbugs also get their name because they can use their odor as a weapon, similar to a skunk. When they are frightened, stinkbugs will emit a malodorous scent to ward off danger. They pose no real threat to humans. However, they are plant eaters, so if you have houseplants, you may want to take note. These interlopers are difficult to find once they’ve invaded your home, but on a positive note, they will not stay long after the beginning of spring. They have to move outdoors to survive after their long nap. Like their ladybug friends, the stink bug should never be crushed. They should be removed delicately using a broom or vacuum and relocated outdoor.
- Box Elder Bugs: These black, red, and flat bugs are known for their shape and ability to squeeze into small crevices. If they decide to move in with you this winter, it will be because they enter into your home through an insecure spot in your home’s exterior. Box elders are not the only bug from their true bug order Hemiptera likely to invade your home seeking refuge this winter. Other true bugs like aphids, bed bugs, and cicadas find hiding places to endure cold, but the box elder is the only bug likely to retreat indoors. The box elder gets its name from the box elder tree they enjoy eating, but they also eat other tree and plant species. If you kill these bugs in an attempt to rid them from your home, be careful. They excrete a substance similar to blood that stains floors and walls.
- Hitchhikers in Firewood: Winter evenings sitting by the fireplace reading a book or cozying with loved ones on a sofa are lovely seasonal images we have all likely enjoy. If your fireplace isn’t natural gas and burns actual wood, be careful that you aren’t bringing bugs in along with your firewood. If you cut firewood and store it for the winter, you should inspect your stack of wood to ensure you haven’t inadvertently opened a bug and pest buffet. Spiders, beetles, and termites all love to eat or dine on wood, so if you grab a big bundle of firewood to transport indoors, it could have an unwanted guest tagging alone. One bright spot is that you will not likely cause an infestation this way if you bring in one spider or termite, but why take the risk, right? Inspect your firewood regularly for critters and pests.
Preventative Maintenance and Avoiding an Infestation this Winter
Preventative maintenance is an important step to reduce the chances your home is invaded by critters and bugs this winter. Household pests will take advantage of any opportunity they can to get inside your home. Their survival instinct leads them to seek shelter in a warm and cozy place. You don’t want your home to be the hottest ticket in town for winter pests heading into next year.
You can follow a few easy steps to ensure you are ready to fight the invasion.
- Add screens to vents that lead outdoors or to unsecured spaces.
- Inspect your exterior entry points for weaknesses. Your window and doors may have gaps. These are invitations for pests.
- If you have firewood stored outdoors for the winter, you should inspect it regularly, cover it with weather-resistant plastic, and put it on a raised surface.
If you are worried about a winter invasion of bugs and critters, don’t wait! Call us today to schedule an inspection. Our specialist will help you devise a plan to keep the bugs out of your home.
If you need pest control services to treat an infestation or have questions about our services, call us now at (972) 846-6484 for more information about how we can help!