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Overwintering pests are unfortunately common in our area. Since our area experiences a cold winter, you’re going to encounter these pests. Before the frigid temperatures arrive, overwintering pests are going to try your enter your home. These pests don’t want to get stuck outside during winter because they won’t survive. They can easily find a way into your home before hiding in your attic or wall void.
Overwintering Pests You’ll Encounter
Box Elder Bugs
First, you’re going to encounter boxelder bugs. These pests stay outside and destroy gardens during the warm summer months. They’ll consume seeds of certain trees, including boxelder trees and maple trees. When winter arrives, they’re going to become a nuisance as they try to sneak into your home. They’ll attempt to find a way inside so they can hide until the winter months has passed. Boxelder bugs are roughly half an inch in length. Thanks to their small size, they can slide through small cracks in homes and other structures.
Thankfully, they don’t create too many problems. They don’t bite, sting, or spread illnesses. They won’t damage your property either. Nevertheless, they’re a nuisance and will release a foul odor when they’re crushed. They can also stain your items.
Asian Lady Beetles
Asian lady beetles or multi-colored Asian ladybugs are overwintering pests that live in our area. They look like conventional ladybugs but they’re not. You’ll find that these pests want to enter your home to avoid the cold weather. These pests can sometimes bite. Plus, they’re going to release a bad odor when they’re crushed. Find a gentler way to get rid of them to avoid this.
Cluster flies generally spend their entire lives outside. They’re different than other flies since they begin life as a parasite in earthworms. As the larvae emerge, they’ll begin their lives outside. When the area begins experiencing colder temperatures, the pests will attempt to find a way to stay warm. In some places, they’re going to hide behind tree bark. Alternatively, they may hide behind wood planks or in homes. If they’re hiding in your home when the temperatures increase, these pests are going to show up in large numbers. They cluster together. Once this happens, you’ll need to work diligently to tidy up the mess they’ve made.
Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bugs
Leaf-footed pine seed bugs are often found in Los Angeles. These pests can create a new generation annually. When they reach adulthood, they can sometimes grow up to three-quarters of an inch. They have a dull brown appearance. During warm weather, they prefer staying outside and consuming pine cones and seeds. Before it gets cold, adult leaf-footed pine seed bugs will attempt to enter your home. They’ll start by trying to hide behind the bank of certain trees. If this doesn’t work, they’ll attempt to enter your home through small cracks and gaps. Once the temperatures rise, the pests will show up in large numbers as they try to leave your home. They are large so their presence is going to scare you. Thankfully, they’re not dangerous. Although they’re a nuisance, these pests are not going to bite or sting. They don’t damage structures either. You will need to clean up their mess though.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
Next, you’ll have to worry about encountering stink bugs or brown marmorated stink bugs. These pests grow up to half an inch long and they have a back that resembles a shield. They have a marbled pattern or marmorated pattern. Brown marmorated stink bugs are native to Asia. They were introduced to the United States in the mid-1990s. Since then, they’ve spread across the country swiftly. They can be found in most American states, including California. During summer, stink bugs stay outside and consume crops and plants. If they’re not dealt with, there is a risk that they’re going to destroy your entire crop.
Before the cold temperatures arrive, these pests are going to sneak into your home. They’ll do so by slipping through small gaps. Although they’re slow, they’re difficult to eliminate because they’ll release a foul odor when they’re crushed. It is often best to get rid of them by using your vacuum cleaner. Once you’ve sucked them up, dispose of them away from your home.
Signs You Have Overwintering Pests
It is pertinent to learn how to identify overwintering pests. You need to know what to look for to confirm that you have overwintering pests in your home. Again, you have to understand that overwintering pests won’t invade your home during summer. Instead, they’ll enter before winter so they can avoid cold temperatures. Once they’ve invaded your home, it is going to be difficult to notice them. They’ll find a place to hide and stay there until the temperatures increase. They can find many hiding places in your home. Unfortunately, most people do not realize that they have a problem until the temperatures increase.
When this happens, you’ll find a lot of overwintering pests in your home. Remember that these pests are trying to leave your home. Lead them in the right direction and they’ll leave your home.
Preventing Overwintering Pest Invasions
You’ll need to take steps to prevent overwintering pests from invading your home. Unfortunately, achieving this goal won’t be easy but there are ways to protect your home. For instance, you’ll want to properly seal all exterior walls so overwintering pests can’t find a way to sneak inside. Identify any small gaps around your home and seal them. If you can eliminate their entry points, you can stop them from entering your home. Be sure to seal the following entry points.
Small Entry Sites, Gaps, & Openings
First and foremost, you’ll need to seal small entry points around your home. Sealing these gaps will decrease the likelihood that these pests are going to sneak into your home. It’ll stop overwintering pests and other household pests as well.
Using A Protective Barrier Treatment
Next, you should talk to a local exterminator about protective exterior barrier treatments. These treatments will make a big difference because they’ll stop pests from reaching your home. Although you can use DIY materials, it is best to rely on a professional’s services. Doing so will ensure you’re defending your home using powerful products. In addition to this, a professional’s materials will last longer than DIY alternatives.
Where Overwintering Pests Enter Homes
Your home may have bricks as exterior walls. If this is the case, you’re going to find small gaps where the mortar connects the two bricks. The gap will be directly above the mortar and where it meets the molding or siding. Small overwintering pests can slip through this crack and enter your attic. It is wise to seal the whole using sealant. Do this and the pest will have a harder time invading your home.
Around Window Frames
You also have to understand that overwintering pests are going to enter your home through small holes around windows. When windows are installed, all sides should be properly caulked. Unfortunately, many installers will leave the bottom untouched. You’ll want to change this. Grab your caulk gun and properly seal the bottom portion of the frame to prevent these pests from entering your home.
Fascia & Clapboard
Gaps can be found around your clapboards. Since it has an uneven surface, there is a good chance that there are going to be gaps near the end of each board. It might not seem like a big deal but it could be. Seal these gaps using a foam insulating cord for the best results.
Vents In Soffit & Attics
Your attic likely has vents. Remember that your vent is an entry point into your home. It is pertinent to make sure that the vents are protected by a cover. Otherwise, pests are going to slip inside without trouble. If it already has a cover, make sure it is still in great condition. Replace any screens that have holes or tears.
Utility Line Openings
You’ll probably find small entry points near tour utility openings. For instance, you can find small gaps around the spots where pipes and cables enter your home. If you do, these gaps need to be fully sealed. Overwintering pests and other bugs can slip through the smallest holes and gaps. There are numerous ways to fill in the gaps, but using a flexible material is best. You can try using an old pot scrubber. Use an old one because it’ll be easier to force into the hole. You can try using a new one but it’ll be harder to squeeze and manipulate it.
Ultimately, overwintering pests may enter your home no matter what you do. Therefore, you should be ready to contact our office. We employ the leading pest control experts in Los Angeles. We’re confident that our experts will be able to fix the problem for you.
Materials To Use To Block The Holes
Using Exclusion Materials
Once you’ve found holes and gaps around your home, seal them using reliable exclusion materials. These products are designed to keep pests out of your home. They’re also referred to as pest-proofing materials because they’ll seal gaps and help keep unwanted guests out. Besides keeping out overwintering pests, these exclusion materials will also stop other pests from entering your home.
Caulks & Sealants
When looking for the best material, you may need to use caulks or sealants. It can be difficult to determine which is best. If the surface is going to move due to temperature changes, it is wise to use a sealant. If not, you should be okay with caulk.
Other Materials To Use
Finally, you’ll want to use a combination of other materials to keep overwintering pests out of your home.
- Foam insulation is a good choice because it can fill long cracks and holes. It is flexible and easy to work with. Avoid the spray foam because it is too difficult to remove.
- When dealing with gaps of different shapes and sizes, use an aluminum screen. It is inexpensive but it’ll provide years of protection.
- If you need to find a durable screen, use hardware cloth.
- Small gaps should be filled using pot scrubbers. Again, it is wise to fill the hole with used pot scrubbers. They’re easier to work with.