Where Are These Stinkbugs Coming From?

Where Are These Stinkbugs Coming From?

As the weather warms up overwintering pests will begin to wake up and make their way outdoors. One of these is the brown marmorated stinkbug. While these household pests don’t sting, bite, or carry any diseases, they can become a nuisance when they get inside your home. In fact, once you see stinkbugs inside, it’s usually too late to do anything to keep them out.

The brown marmorated stinkbug is native to Asia but was later introduced in the United States. They prefer moist, temperate climates like those of the Eastern US and the Pacific Northwest. Stinkbugs feed on soybeans, corn, fruit, vegetables, and ornamental plants that grow close to homes. Stinkbugs spend the spring and summer seasons outdoors then will seek shelter from the winter elements indoors – often entering your home through cracks, crevices, gaps or holes in your foundation, through chimneys, air conditioning vents, or underneath siding. The prefer homes with lots of trees around and will gravitate to the upper floors of a home.

During the winter months, stinkbugs go into a phase known as diapause, which is similar to hibernation, where the bugs go inactive during the cold weather. When the stinkbugs find a spot to overwinter, they release a pheromone that attracts other stinkbugs to their location. While they typically stay dormant until spring, unusually warm spells during the winter can bring them out full force.

If you encounter stinkbugs in your home, the best way to get rid of them is to vacuum them up and immediately dispose of the bag. When stinkbugs are threatened, disturbed, or squashed, they emit a smell that has been described as anything from cilantro to rotting almonds to spoiled fruit.

The best way to control stinkbugs is to prevent them from getting into your home in the first place. Here are 9 prevention tips for keeping stinkbugs out.

  1. Seal Them Out. Carefully inspect the exterior of your home to identify potential entry points for stinkbugs. Check around siding and utility pipes, behind chimneys, and under fascia. Seal any problem spots with silicone or silicone-latex caulk. Close chimney flues when not in use.
  2. Repair. Check doors and windows for any damage. Repair or replace damaged screens. Check weatherstripping and replace if necessary. Check for loose mortar. Install door sweeps if possible.
  3. Turn Off Lights. Stinkbugs are attracted to light. Try to keep outdoor lighting to a minimum. After dark, turn porch lights off and pull down blinds in your home to reduce the amount of light spilling out from indoors.
  4. Keep It Dry. Stinkbugs, like other seasonal pests, need water to survive. Check carefully for leaking pipes and faucets and repair them immediately.
  5. Get Rid of Food. Keep food stored in airtight containers. Dispose of your garbage regularly. Wipe down countertops daily and sweep and mop often.
  6. Air It Out. Keep areas that stinkbugs can use as a harborage point (garages, crawlspaces, attics, and basements) well ventilated. Consider using a dehumidifier in these areas. Install screens over chimney and attic vents.
  7. Check It Out. Stinkbugs can hitch a ride into your home in boxes and bags. Carefully inspect any boxes you are bringing in from storage and any grocery bags before you bring them into your home.
  8. Landscaping. Keep branches and shrubbery well trimmed so they are not in contact with the house. Keep grass mowed and leaves raked. Store firewood at least 20 feet from the house and at least 5 inches off the ground.
  9. Call A Pro. If you suspect you have a problem with stinkbugs, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify any entry points the bugs may be using and help to eliminate them. They can also use a preventative spray in the late summer/early fall to help keep them out before overwintering season sets in.

 

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Deck the Halls Without Pests

Deck the Halls Without Pests

You’ve managed to fight all the early holiday decorating urges and now it’s time! Before you rush off to start decking the tree and hanging the mistletoe, follow these tips to make sure pests aren’t spending the holidays indoors with you and yours.

Check Your Tree Before Bringing It Home

  • Pests like spiders, mites, moths, squirrels, and many others have been known to make trees and wreaths their temporary home. Before bringing these items in your home, inspect for overwintering pests and thoroughly shake them to free any pests residing inside.

Even Your Old Decorations Aren’t Safe

  • Although your decorations have been stored away throughout the year, pests flock to attics, basements, and garages. They will crawl into the storage boxes you have put away. When unpacking these boxes, inspect them before bringing them into the main living areas.

Keep Warm Without Pests

  • The sudden cold weather may signal the need to utilize your fireplace and snuggle up with a cup of hot cocoa. Use caution when bringing firewood indoors, as pests such as spiders, termites, and ants can tag along. Inspect all firewood thoroughly before bringing it indoors and store firewood on a raised platform at least 20 feet from your home.

The holidays really are best enjoyed pest-free. If you find yourself dealing with uninvited holiday guests, call your licensed pest control company to schedule an inspection.

Late Fall Pests

Late Fall Pests

Cooler weather is finally here! Time for sweaters, boots, and cozy nights inside. While you and your family are spending more time inside, pests are looking to wait out the cold in your home as well. Here are a few tips you can use now before you end up with overwintering pests that overstay their welcome.

  1. Before unboxing decorations from the garage or attic, inspect the boxes thoroughly. Pests may have taken up residence inside and look to use these storage materials as an entry point into your home.
  2. Be sure to store any firewood at least 20 feet away from the exterior of your home. The firewood can act as a hiding place for pests. By moving the wood away from your home, it will reduce incident of invasions.
  3. Kitchens are huge entry points for pests. Keep counters free of crumbs and spills, utilize airtight containers to store open food, and use lids on garbage cans.
  4. Look to screen vents and chimneys, seal cracks and crevices, install door sweeps, and replace weather-stripping to cut down on pests looking to make your home their winter hideout.

With these tips you will hopefully be able to enjoy your holidays pest free. If you have an issue with pest invasions, reach out to your local pest control company to schedule an inspection.

Cold Weather Sends Roaches Indoors: 5 Tips to Prevent Them This Winter

Cold Weather Sends Roaches Indoors: 5 Tips to Prevent Them This Winter

Winter can be a difficult time for cockroaches. While they are adapted to thrive in warm temperatures, these cold-blooded pests cannot survive environments that are too hot or too cold. In fact, some species stop growing and reproducing when exposed to colder temperatures, usually consistently below 45 degrees, for extended periods of time. As temperatures drop, roaches will seek out shelter in warm places, most often in our homes and offices. These buildings provide them with everything they need to survive the winter – warmth, access to water, and an abundant supply of food.

Prevention is key when it comes to roaches. Here are 5 tips to prevent cockroaches from taking over your home this winter.

1. Clean Thoroughly.

Roaches are attracted to dirt and crumbs as a source of food Make sure to always wash dishes after a meal and put them away. Clean up any crumbs and spills immediately. Take out the garbage before going to bed. Clean any grease from your stovetop. Keep food sealed in airtight containers. Sweep, mop, and vacuum on a regular basis. Don’t leave pet food, treats, and water out overnight.

2. Declutter

Clearing out clutter gets rid of places roaches can use to hide. Keep rooms clutter free and dusted often. Use plastic storage bins with lockable lids versus cardboard boxes. Eliminate newspapers and cardboard altogether as roaches love to breed in these materials.

3. Seal It Up

Roaches get into homes under doors and through cracks. Identifying these and sealing them up helps eliminate points of entry for cockroaches and other pests. Thoroughly inspect around windows and doors, along foundations and the roof, in attics and crawlspace vents, and around holes used for utility and plumbing lines. For small holes and cracks, use caulk to seal them. For larger holes, especially around pipes, use steel wool and foam to seal. Fine mesh wire can be used to seal around attic vents and chimneys.

4. Fix Leaks

Roaches, like most pests, need water and moisture to survive. Therefore, standing water or excessive moisture can attract roaches to your home. Regularly inspect your plumbing for leaks and repair them immediately. Make sure to check faucets, sinks, refrigerators, and appliances for leaks and excessive moisture. Crawlspaces are also a common source of excess moisture in homes. Consider crawlspace enclosure to help minimize moisture under your home.

5. Call A Pro

A cockroach infestation can be extremely difficult to control. Prevention can only go so far in the battle against roaches. If you suspect you have a problem with cockroaches, contact a professional pest control company who can help identify the type of roach you have, thoroughly inspect your home to identify points of entry or food sources, and help set you up with a comprehensive roach control treatment and prevention plan.

 

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Stop the Overwintering Pest Invasions

Stop the Overwintering Pest Invasions

As temperatures start to cool off, panic can overtake pests who need to seek out shelter from the impending cold weather. They will often, unfortunately, set their sights on your warm, cozy home. Here are a few of the most common overwintering pests and what you can do to prevent them.

STINK BUGS

Stinkbug
Stink bugs flock to homes in large numbers during the fall. They position themselves on the side of your home that receives the most sunlight in an attempt to keep warm. A thorough inspection for possible entry points is key in prevention of an invasion.

BOXELDER BUGS

Boxelder
Boxelder bugs are one of the more aggressive species of overwintering pests. Like the stink bug, they will make use of the sunny side of your home and cars. They will utilize openings they find and gather by the hundreds. Crushing these pests is not recommended as their remains can attract carpet beetles.  Vacuuming should be used to remove them from the home.

LADY BUGS

Ladybug
As universally adored as they are, lady bugs are an overwintering pest that can take over your home in a matter of days. They utilize windows and door openings to enter; therefore, checking and replacing weather-stripping and sealing with silicone-based caulk can help keep them out before fall starts.

If you have an issue with overwintering pests, reach out to your local pest control company to schedule an inspection.

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