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Residents of San Antonio should learn more about overwintering pests. These pests do not like cold weather, frost, or snow. Before the cold temperatures arrive, overwintering pests will find a way to sneak into your home. They can also take shelter elsewhere, but they’re not afraid to invade residential dwellings.
Common Overwintering Pests
Some pests overwinter, but others do not. It is wise to learn more about the common overwintering pests in your area. Below, you’ll learn more about the most common overwintering pests in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and nearby areas.
During warm seasons, boxelder bugs are going to stay outside and feed on the seeds of maple trees and boxelder trees. They’re minor garden pests and usually don’t become a nuisance until it gets cold outside. Before winter, boxelder bugs will try to find shelter. They often sneak into residential dwellings. They’re only half an inch in length and slim so they can slip through small gaps. Although they won’t bite or transmit illnesses, they will create a headache for you.
Asian Lady Bugs
Multicolored Asian Lady Bugs look similar to conventional ladybugs, but they’re not. They’re pests in our area. Asian Lady Bugs will try to enter residential structures before winter. They can bite, but they usually don’t. Don’t crush these pests. If you do, they’ll release a nasty odor in your home.
Cluster flies are overwintering pests that prefer spending their time outside. They begin life as a parasite in an earthworm. Eventually, they’ll emerge as larvae. Once this happens, the cluster fly will remain outside and separate from the earthworm. When cold weather arrives, cluster flies want to be somewhere warm. In some cases, they can hide behind loose tree bark. In other cases, they’re come to sneak into residential structures. As the name implies, cluster flies are going to cluster together. When they decide to leave your home, they’ll do so in large groups. Clean up the mess and prepare to stop them next time.
Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bugs
Leaf-footed pine seed bugs are other overwintering pests that you’ll need to worry about. These pests aren’t dangerous, but they’re concerning. They’re roughly three-quarters of an inch in size so they’ll frighten you. They’re dull brown and prefer staying outside during the summer. When it is warm outside, leaf-footed pine seed bugs will consume pine cone seeds and pine cones. Right before winter, leaf-footed pine seed bugs will seek shelter from the cold temperature. In nature, they’re going to hide behind the bark of conifer and pine trees.
If they’re near your home, they’ll try to sneak inside. Once your home begins to warm, these pests will go outside. Nevertheless, they’re going to create a mess and their large size will concern you.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
Stink bugs are common overwintering pests in the United States. However, it should be noted that they’re new to the United States. These overwintering pests were first identified in the United States in the mid-1990s in Pennsylvania. They’re half an inch in length and have a shield-like shape. These pests are originally from Asia. Once they arrived in America, they’ve quickly spread across the country. Today, stink bugs can be found in many areas, including San Antonio.
When it is warm, they’ll stay outside and consume vegetable and fruit crops. These pests can easily destroy a crop quickly. Before it gets cold, they’re going to look for places to take shelter. They’ll often sneak into residential structures. When their hiding place is warmed, they’ll go outside. If these pests are crushed, they’ll release a foul odor. Using a vacuum to suck them up is wise.
Overwintering Pest Infestation Signs
It is wise to learn about the signs of overwintering pests. Once you’ve learned the signs, you’ll know how to identify an overwintering problem so you can fix it swiftly. When their shelter is warmed, they’re going to become active and try to leave your home. Their shelter can be warmed by your HVAC system or the sun. These pests can enter homes through small cracks and holes. If you find them inside and it is warm, they’re likely trying to leave. They may get confused and delve deeper into your house. If you’ve found stink bugs, boxelder bugs, cluster flies, or Asian ladybugs in your home, you had an overwintering pest problem.
Address the problem to ensure they don’t return next year.
Preventing Overwintering Pest Invasions Before Winter
Ultimately, the best way to prevent overwintering pest invasions is by stopping them from entering your home in mid-fall. You should start by carefully checking your exterior walls, windows, and doors for small cracks and holes. Overwintering pests will be able to slip through these gaps and enter your home. Sealing these gaps will prevent them from invading. With time, patience, and effort, you can keep these pests out.
Be sure to seal the holes mentioned below.
Screen Holes, Gaps, And Small Entry Points
First and foremost, you need to seal any small gaps and cracks around your home. Sealing these gaps will greatly increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to keep overwintering pests out of your home throughout the year. Plus, it’ll stop other pests from invading too.
Installing A Protective Exterior Barrier
Talk to a local exterminator about their protective exterior barrier treatment services. You might be able to install a protective barrier using over-the-counter products. However, it is best to work with a professional. Doing so ensures that you’re going to take advantage of industrial-strength chemicals. With these products, you can guarantee that they’re going to work and they’ll last longer than over-the-counter alternatives.
Spots That Need To Be Checked
It is pertinent to check the following spots to ensure that overwintering pests cannot sneak into your home.
Mortar Joints Between Bricks
Does your home have bricks? If it does, you need to check the mortar joints because they might let bugs sneak into your home. Usually, you will find a small gap at the top where the bricks meet the molding or siding. The gap will allow pests to slip through and enter the home. It is pertinent to seal the gap promptly. Use a sealant for the best results.
Bottom Of Your Window Frames
When windows are installed, the frames should be caulked. However, some installers will caulk the top and sides, but not the bottom. If this is the case, it can create pest issues. Overwintering pests and other pests will be able to enter through the gap at the bottom of the window frame. Caulk this gap to stop these pests from invading your home.
Fascia Board & Clapboard
Your clapboard has an uneven surface so it is going to create a gap near the top. It is pertinent to fill the gap to prevent pests from sneaking into your home. Although you can fix the gap using caulk, it is best to fill the gap using a foam insulating cord.
Attic & Soffit Vents
Don’t forget to check the vents around your attic and soffit. These vents help control humidity, but they might let overwintering pests enter your home. They should be covered by a high-quality screen. If the screen is damaged, replace it.
Your utilities have to enter your home at some point. Plumbing pipes and electrical cables will enter the home through a hole. You may find a small gap around the utility pipe or cable. It is pertinent to make sure that this gap is filled. Even if the opening is tiny, pests could enter. Thankfully, you can fill the gap using several materials. One of the best ways to fix the problem is by using a pot scrubber. Push a used one into the hole to prevent overwintering pests from getting inside.
Picking The Right Materials
When trying to defend your home from overwintering pests, make sure that you’re using the right materials. Exclusion materials are very beneficial since they’re designed to fulfill this purpose. These pest-proofing materials will prove to be very helpful. They can fill in gaps of all sizes and keep pests out of your home. Exclusion materials are going to block overwintering pests and other household pests from entering your home. Therefore, you’ll want to use these products to defend your dwelling.
Caulk Or Sealant? Picking The Best One
It is pertinent to choose a caulk when you’re sealing joints that won’t move. When dealing with materials that will move due to temperature changes, use a sealant.
Other Materials To Use
Finally, you should consider using other materials to stop these pests from entering. For instance, you should try using foam insulation. It is great for filling in long gaps. Aluminum screens are inexpensive and effective for blocking holes of various shapes and sizes. Don’t forget to take advantage of pot scrubbers and hardware cloth.
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