Occasional Invaders in the Spring

Spring brings with it many insects emerging from their winter hibernation. The multi-colored asian lady bug, or ladybird beetle, the boxelder bug, and the cluster fly are all common invaders in the early spring. The life cycle of each of these pests depends upon overwintering in a sheltered location during the winter. That sheltered location usually ends up being the walls of a residential home.

The life cycle and appearance of these insects is very different from one another. Lady bugs are beetles that undergo complete metamorphosis and are usually beneficial insects, until they invade our homes. Boxelder bugs are true bugs with gradual metamorphosis. Boxelder bugs suck the sap from boxelder trees and related species (maple family among others) during the spring and summer months. Their bright red nymphs can often be seen at the base of trees during the late spring and early summer months. Cluster flies are a particularly annoying pest. Cluster flies are very similar in appearance to house flies, but their life cycle is very different. Cluster flies are parasites of earthworms until they have reached adulthood. Cluster flies tend to cause the greatest distress in homeowners when they appear indoors in large numbers. These disparate insects have one thing in common, each of them will invade the walls of a home in order to overwinter.

These pests will overwinter in a southern exposure (sunny side) inside the walls of a home. They will emerge when the temperatures hover in the 60’s or higher for several days in a row. In a perfect world, these insects would always find their way back outside, but, unfortunately, individuals end up getting lost and find their way to the interior of the home. Window and door frames, baseboard cracks, and vents are common places for these insects to emerge inside.

Control efforts are usually confined to crack and crevice treatments around their emergence points. Dusts, sprays, or aerosols can be used to prevent more insects from entering from those locations. Individuals on the interior are best controlled with a vacuum.

On the exterior, these insects will often congregate in large numbers at the foundation, and around doors and windows. A residual spray applied to these locations will usually take care of the problem, however, more than one treatment may be necessary when large numbers are present.

Northwest Exterminating
830 Kennesaw Ave MariettaGA30060 USA 
 • 888-466-7849

Mosquito Control

Many issues contribute to a mosquito problem; landscaping with heavy vegetation, containers left out in the open to collect rain, and nearby water sources all are potential mosquito breeding sites or are attractive habit for mosquitoes. Our most persistent and annoying mosquito species are container breeders. Any item left out that can collect water becomes a potential breeding site for these species. The Asian Tiger mosquito is an example of a container breeder.

Homeowners should be aware of items and locations where water collects after a rain. Toys, birdbaths, tarps, and many other locations can hold water long enough for mosquitoes to develop. These items should be emptied of water and allowed to dry out after a rainfall.

A comprehensive mosquito control program should take into account the life cycle of mosquitoes and target vulnerable life stages to eliminate the population. Breeding sites should be eliminated whenever possible, and mosquito larvae must be treated with a larvacide to prevent adult mosquitoes from developing. Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest under heavy vegetative cover during daylight hours. These areas can be treated with residual or contact insecticides to eliminate adult mosquitoes.

Mosquito control is evolving as our tools and techniques improve. You can still see government trucks out at dusk in some communities, fogging the streets. Usually these trucks are traveling to fast to properly apply the fog, and this application fails to treat the breeding sites that are the source of mosquito problems. Mist dispensers have become popular in recent years, but these products are expensive and require large containers of pesticide on the property, and likewise fail to address the breeding sites that generate the mosquitoes.