Cool fall temperatures make your warm home perfect for pests
As summer ends and we turn from gardening and grills to baking and fireplaces, it’s important we don’t forget we’re not the only ones seeking indoor shelter for the coming months.
Rodents, ladybugs, boxelder bugs and cluster flies commonly try to move indoors during the fall season. Our homes are perfect nesting places for them, unless we take the time to stop them from getting in.
As the weather cools down, rats and mice start looking for a warm place to spend the winter. While you might be welcoming guests during the holidays, this is one that you don’t want to visit your home.
To prevent a rodent invasion:
- Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks or crevices.
- Seal openings with weather-resistant sealant reinforced with steel wool so rodents can’t gnaw through.
- Clean up the interior and vacuum regularly.
As the weather cools, cockroaches head into human homes, seeking warmth and shelter.
Once indoors, cockroaches will scavenge virtually anything, they also create an unsanitary situation and can spread harmful bacteria.
To stop cockroaches invading:
- Clean and vacuum regularly.
- Store food in tightly-sealed containers.
- Make sure cupboards remain dry.
- Seal crevices and openings in walls and floors.
- Fix any leaky faucets and cracks in the plumbing, and use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture.
In fall, garbage and refuse attracts earwigs, as will the inevitable piles of leaves, vegetation, and mulch. Meanwhile, damp and dark basement areas with multiple cracks in the foundation of your home provide perfect hiding places for these pests.
To prevent an earwig infestation:
- Make sure to remove any decaying vegetation around your home.
- Clear leaf piles, grass clippings, and compost.
- Fix any leaky downspouts, reroute drains, and repair any broken irrigation systems.
Cluster flies enter homes looking for somewhere to hibernate as winter approaches. West and south facing buildings, exposed to more sunlight, are especially attractive to these pests.
They do not pose a danger to humans and do not breed in the homes they invade, but they are widely regarded as a nuisance, especially as they usually hibernate en masse.s.
To prevent a mass invasion of cluster flies:
- Seal cracks and crevices in your home’s outer walls.
- Vacuum up any cluster flies you see and use insect light traps to capture them.
Asian Lady Beetles
Commonly known as Ladybugs, Asian Lady Beetles are one of the most common beetles that might enter your home this fall looking for shelter.
In the home, ladybugs are a nuisance and secrete a foul-smelling yellow liquid that can stain surfaces.
To keep ladybugs away from your home this fall:
- Seal any cracks and crevices.
- Repair any damaged door and window screens.
- Check siding, utility pipes, and chimneys for damage.
- Trim back outdoor vegetation.
In the summer, Boxelder Bugs, also known as Maple Bugs, suck the sap out of seed pods, but in the fall, they head indoors, seeking warmth inside barns and sheds, or around window casements.
To prevent boxelder bugs entering your home this fall:
- Seal any gaps around your home’s foundations.
- Repair door and window screens, and cover open vents.
- Replace any female boxelder trees you have with males.
- Vacuum up any boxelder bugs you find.
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