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What Are Overwintering Pests
In the mid-western United States, most insects will overwinter during the winter. When pests overwinter, they take shelter to survive the cold temperatures, frost, and snow. Some pests will attempt to enter your attic and wall voids so they can survive during the winter months.
Which Pests Overwinter?
This minor garden pest can become a significant problem for homeowners during the winter. During the summer months, they’ll eat seeds belonging to the boxelder and other maple trees. When winter arrives, they’ll become a nuisance as they attempt to enter your home and find shelter from the cold. Most boxelder bugs are ½ an inch in length with black and red markings. They can slip through small cracks in your walls.
You’ll also have to worry about ladybugs seeking shelter in your home during the winter. Asian Lady Beetles will attempt to enter your home and stay until winter passes. Unfortunately, these overwintering pests can bite and release a foul odor. Suffice to say, you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Cluster flies prefer living outside. They begin life as a parasite within earthworms. After the larvae emerge, cluster flies will begin living outdoors. When it gets cold, Cluster Flies are going to try to enter your home so they can stay away from the elements. In some cases, they’ll hide behind loose tree bark. Alternatively, they may hide behind the wood planks of your building. If they’ve made their way into your home, you’ll find a lot of them leaving in the summer.
Pine Seed Bugs
Leaf-footed Pine Seed Bugs will prove to be one of the worst overwintering pests. They tend to be 3/4” in length and they’ll produce a new generation each year. During the summer months, these bugs are going to feed on pine cones and pine cone seeds. Once it gets cold outside, they’re going to try to enter homes and take shelter. They’ll enter your home through small gaps, cracks, and openings. When it gets warm again, these bugs are going to emerge and try to return outside.
Adult brown marmorated stink bugs measure roughly ½” in length. They have a back shaped like a shield. These bugs came from Asia and have quickly become a problem in the United States. During the summer, they’ll leave you alone. They’ll stay outside and eat vegetable crops or fruit trees. When it gets cold they’ll try to enter your home and find shelter. It is difficult to get rid of stink bugs because they release a bad odor when they’re scared or crushed.
How Can I Tell If I Have An Overwintering Pest Problem?
Once spring or summer arrives, most overwintering pests are going to leave and go back outside. You’ll be able to find countless pests leaving your property. When it gets cold again, they’ll try to enter the home through small cracks, crevices, and holes. If your property is overflowing with stink bugs, pine seed bugs, or cluster flies during spring, there is a good chance that you had an overwintering problem during the winter.
Can I Stop Overwintering Pests?
If you want to stop overwintering pests, you need to stop them from entering your home near the end of fall. First and foremost, you should check your home carefully. You need to look for cracks, gaps, and crevices around your home. The bugs will use these openings to enter your home and turn your life upside down. With that being said, you should do your best to seal these gaps.
Seal All Gaps
You need to eliminate all entry points to stop pests from entering your home. By sealing all gaps, you’ll decrease the likelihood that you’re going to have a pest problem in the future.
Trying Protective Barrier Treatment
Using a residual exterior treatment is one of the most successful ways to stop insects from entering your property. You’ll need to use professional treatments and industrial-strength products to tackle this problem. Professional products have a longer shelf-life so they’ll be able to keep the bugs away from your property much longer.
Where Do Overwintering Pests Enter?
Overwintering pests can enter your home through brick and mortar joints. If there are gaps between the bricks, you need to seal those gaps. Otherwise, pests are going to use the gaps to enter your attic. You can seal these gaps using a sealant to keep overwintering pests out.
You’ll also need to check under your window frames. Most window frames have been sealed at the top and sides to prevent water from getting inside. However, the bottom might be left untreated. If this is the case, you’ll want to seal the bottom of the frame with caulk immediately.
Fascia & Clapboard
Check the space between your fascia and clapboard. Have you found a gap here? If so, you need to seal the gap immediately.
Attic Vents & Soffit
You’ll need to spend some time checking your soffit and attic vents. Make sure that the screens do not have any holes or gaps. Otherwise, bugs and rodents will be able to squeeze through the gaps.
Finally, you need to inspect all utility openings. Be sure to check around vents, cables, pipes, and other utility openings. If you’ve found any cracks or holes here, you need to seal them immediately. Doing so will stop bugs from entering your home. You can likely seal these gaps using silicone sealant or something similar. In addition to this, you’ll want to use our services. We offer comprehensive pest inspections for free.
We can help you determine what could go wrong so we can tackle and fix the problem before it happens.
What Do I Use To Seal The Gaps?
Using Exclusion Materials
Using exclusion materials is one of the best ways to stop pests from entering your home. These products are often available in the form of pest-proofing products. They help prevent overwintering pests from entering your home. In addition to this, they’ll keep other pests out during the spring and summer.
Using Appropriate Sealants
Remember to use the right sealants when sealing gaps. Caulk is best for joints and gaps that won’t move. Alternatively, you’ll need to use flexible sealants for gaps and cracks that are going to expand due to temperature changes.
Foam – Using foam insulation can help block long gaps. Foam spray insulation is helpful, but it’ll be difficult to remove later.
Aluminum – Using aluminum screening is a cost-effective way to stop pests from entering your home.
Hardware Cloth – You can use this as a heavy-duty screen to keep pests out.
Pot Scrubbers – If you have a few pot scrubbers sitting around, you should use them to fill small gaps.