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Identifying Overwintering Pests
In our service area, many insects will overwinter pests during the colder months. When a pest overwinters, it seeks shelter and protection from the cold weather, snow, and frost. Many human structures offer excellent hiding spots. Some overwintering pests will live in attics and wall voids.
Which Pests Overwinter?
In Boston, many overwinter pests during the cold, winter months. Below, you will learn more about the most common overwintering pests in your area.
During the summer months, the boxelder bug is a garden pest that won’t create too many problems. They primarily feed on the seeds of maple trees and boxelder trees. When it gets cold outside, these bugs are going to seek shelter in your home. They’ll also try to hide from the cold by entering other structures. Boxelder bugs are usually half an inch in length and black with red markings. Thanks to their size, they can easily slip through cracks and crevices to enter a home.
The good news is that boxelder bugs are not going to sting or bite. They do not transmit disease and they won’t physically damage your home. Don’t crush boxelder bugs because doing so will cause them to release a horrible odor and leave a stain.
Asian Lady Bugs/Asian Lady Beetles
Asian Lady Bugs are a specific strain of ladybugs. When the cold weather comes, these bugs are going to enter your home and find shelter away from the cold weather. Asian Lady Beetles are problematic because they bite. Again, don’t crush these bugs because they’ll release a bad odor.
Cluster flies prefer living their lives outside, but they may enter homes at some point. These flies are unique because they begin life as parasites within earthworms. When the larvae emerge, the cluster fly’s life cycle will continue outside. When it gets colder outside, cluster flies are going to start looking for shelter. If they can’t find suitable shelter behind tree bark, they’ll check wood plants on buildings. If they’ve entered your home during the winter, you’ll know it during the spring. Cluster flies will begin showing up in your living room, kitchen, and deck. Since you waited this long, you can only clean up the mess now.
Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bugs
The leaf-footed pine seed bug is a native outdoor pest that produces a new generation annually. Males tend to grow 3/4th of an inch, and they’re dull brown. During the summer months, this bug will seed on pine cones as well as their seeds. When winter arrives, pine seed bugs are going to look for a safe place to stay. They’ll try to take shelter under the bark of trees. When this isn’t possible, they’ll attempt to enter homes through small cracks, gaps, and crevices.
Leaf-footed pine seed bugs will appear in large groups once the temperatures increase. While these bugs do not bite or sting, they will still frighten you. Clean up the mess and try to prevent this problem from happening again.
Brown marmorated stink bugs are one of the latest bugs to land in North America, and it has quickly become of the area’s biggest problems. These bugs are roughly half an inch in length with a shape that resembles a shield. These bugs aren’t going to create problems during the summer since they’ll eat fruit trees, ornamental plants, and vegetable crops. If you’re a gardener or farmer, you’ll have to worry about them since they can quickly destroy your entire crop.
When the temperatures drop, stink bugs will attempt to enter your home and stay warm. You won’t be able to ignore stink bugs because they’re large and smelly. If you scare or squash this bug, it is going to release a terrible odor. To get rid of stink bugs in your home, you should vacuum them up, place them in a plastic bag, and throw them out.
Signs Of An Overwintering Pest Problem
If you haven’t identified an overwintering pest problem before winter, you may need to wait until spring or summer. When the temperatures rise, and the sun comes out, these pests will attempt to return to their natural habitats. They’ll leave your home and travel back outside. During this time, you have to remember that these pests are trying to go back outside. Some will take a wrong turn and venture deeper into your home. If you notice any of these bugs in your home during spring or summer, you likely had an overwintering pest problem over the winter.
Can I Prevent Future Overwintering Pest Infestations?
Prevent overwintering pest infestations by stopping these pests from entering your home. Before the fall, you’ll want to seal the cracks, crevices, and holds in your home. Block these entry points to ensure that the pest cannot enter your home. Do this, and these pests will have to stay outside during the winter months.