Overwintering is a term used to refer to insects that take shelter in protected areas to hide away from biting frost and snow. Your home's wall voids and attic spaces provide ideal overwintering sites for several pests during the colder months.
5 Common overwintering pests in Charlotte NC
• Boxelder bugs-During the summer, the Boxelder Bugs thrives in lush gardens. These insects feed on Boxelder and other types of maple trees. However, in colder months, they take refuge in homes to become a nuisance. Although they don't sting, bite, or transmit any disease, these pests emit a strong odor and stain that makes your living space uncomfortable.
• Leaf-footed seed bugs-In summer, these insects spend their time outdoor feeding on pine cones and their seeds. However, as soon as winter sets in, the insects naturally take shelter in homes and structures. When your home becomes warmer, you may be shocked to notice the pests suddenly appearing in mass numbers. Leaf-footed seed bugs can cause damage to home structures, sting, bite and emit a foul smell.
• Multicolored Asian ladybugs- For the untrained eye, this pest looks like the native Ladybug, however, they are a different species altogether. Asian bugs are pesky pests that will quickly find their way into your home when they sense the approaching winter. These insects are known to bite and emit a terrible odor that makes your home a living hell. Dead Asian ladybugs also attract other unwelcome pests that feed on them.
• Cluster flies-Cluster flies naturally live outdoors during warmer days. However, once colder temperatures set in, these insects will seek shelter in your homes and away from the elements. Although cluster flies don't bite and are not known to carry any disease, their presence in sensitive spaces like hospitals and food processing areas creates health and liability concerns. Besides, dead cluster flies inside cracks, crevices, and walls usually trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
• Brown marmorated stink bugs-This pests present a growing nuisance in Charlotte, NC, and other parts of the country. During summertime, the insects are perfect garden pests that feed on vegetable crops, fruits, trees, and ornamental plants. But as colder months set in, they rush to homes and structures to seek shelter. They make their presence known thanks to their nasty odors. They will also suddenly appear from their hideouts when the sun or the HVAC system warms their winter habitats.
Tips for dealing with overwintering pests
The best way to deal with an overwintering pest problem is by prevention. Use the following tips to prevent pest infestation in your home this winter:
Seal home openings
You should identify and seal voids, gaps, and other entry points that pests use to access your property. Although complete sealing of the pests off your home may not be practical, sealing will reduce their population. Ensure you seal off-screen openings, gaps, crevices, and other small entry sites so that pests won't have easy access to your property
Treat the exterior
You should also treat the exterior of your property with ideal pest repelling chemicals. Professional treatments make use of industrial-strength chemicals that are formulated specifically to eliminate pests. When buying treatment products, ensure you go for the ones that have a longer residual life to guarantee your property is protected for more extended periods
Use insecticide dust on hard to reach areas
In addition to spraying liquid insecticide to interior areas prone to pest infestation, you can also use insecticide dust around your home and in hard to reach spots. These areas include cracks, crevices, and around door and window frames. You can also dust the areas where cables and pipes enter your home. Other places to dust include:
• Areas below sinks
• Areas where pipes enter the wall
• In-wall voids and behind outlets
• Around soffits and eaves
Create a barrier zone
You should also take immediate steps to create a barrier zone around your home. Ensure you sweep all the leaves, mulch, and other debris 6 inches away from the foundation of your home. You should also cut the lawn grass short and trim tree leaves and shrubs in the compound. Other helpful steps to keep overwintering pest out of your home include:
• Regular vacuuming to keep your home free of crumbs
• Repair or replacement of torn window screens
• Adding steel mesh in areas where utilities enter your property
• Cleaning gutters regularly to remove debris
• Adding door sweeps to external doors
During winter, you may not notice you are hosting unwelcome pests in your home until the temperatures warm up to allow the insects to emerge from their hiding spots. In essence, the best way to treat overwintering pests is by denying them access to your home. However, if they do make their way inside and you feel overwhelmed by them, you can call in a professional pest control company to effectively handle the issue.
At Thomas Pest Control, we are a premier pest control company serving Charlotte, NC. Our pest control solutions are not only effective but are also designed to meet individual needs. Get in touch with us today, and let's discuss which of our solutions is best tailored for your pest problem.