Prevent Ladybugs, Boxelder Bugs & Stink Bugs From Overwintering in Your Home

Boxelder bugs in Eastern TN - Johnson Pest ControlHeading into winter, all sorts of pests start looking to head indoors. Overwintering is the process that many organisms go through to survive the harsh cold and the conditions that come with it. It comes in many forms depending on the organism, but the two major ways that it manifests are through hibernation and migration.

Here in Eastern TN, there are a few insects to look out for when it gets cold. Ladybugs, boxelder bugs, and stink bugs all like to spend the winter indoors, so your home could be their target in the coming weeks if it isn’t already! To learn how to prevent insects from overwintering in your home, read on for advice from the Johnson Pest Control technicians!

Fall Invaders: Who Are They?

Lady bugs, boxelder bugs, and stink bugs are all grouped in together with “fall invaders,” a list of pests that start to make their way into our homes as the temperatures drop. Let’s learn more about them:

  • Ladybugs: While these are one of the most beloved insects here in Eastern TN, when they find your home suitable for hibernation, their numbers can become overwhelming. Ladybugs often find their way in through gaps around windows and doors.
  • Boxelder bugs: For most of the year, boxelder bugs live in the bark of boxelder trees. Fitting! However, even if you don’t have a boxelder or other maple tree on your property, you could be in for a swarm of nearby boxelder bugs trying to get inside your home this winter.
  • Stink bugs: As an invasive species, stink bugs have no native predators in the region. Their numbers have been multiplying every year, and as a result, more and more homeowners in the area have dealt with stink bug infestations.

How to Prevent Bugs Overwintering in Your Home

The best way to keep pests out of your house this winter is to limit the number of access points to your home that they have. We recommend taking the following steps to keep bugs out:

  • Look for cracks in the foundation of your home, plumbing fixtures, and roofing. Seal any gaps with a silicone-based caulk.
  • Install sweeps on your doors and screens on your windows.
  • Replace any loose mortar and weather stripping.
  • Use screens on your vents and chimney openings.

Professional Help for Overwintering Pests

If you’ve tried all of our prevention strategies to no avail, it’s time to bring in a professional pest control technician to assess your situation. At Johnson Pest Control, we train our techs to complete exhaustive inspections to ensure that no vulnerability is left undiscovered. We use the safest and most effective pest control products in the industry to get rid of unwanted pests and provide our customers with top tips to prevent problems on their own going forward. If you need help today, reach out for a free quote!

Benefits of TAP Insulation

TAP Insulation in Sevierville TN - Johnson Pest ControlWhether you’re looking to upgrade your existing insulation or need to insulate a brand-new home, TAP® Insulation is a sound choice. This home insulation product is renowned for many reasons, including its energy-efficient performance and pest-resistant properties. Infused with borate, TAP works to prevent and control pest problems in the household. Because it outperforms traditional insulation, TAP is quickly becoming the go-to insulation option here in Sevierville TN and beyond. The pros at Johnson Pest Control are here to share all you need to know about this industry-leading home insulation option.

How Does TAP Insulation Control Pests?

TAP is prized for its pest control properties. The insulation is infused with a borate product that will prevent and eliminate pests. Some of the pests affected by this insulation product include:

What Are the Other Benefits of TAP Insulation?

TAP Insulation outperforms other home insulation options on several levels. Not only is it energy efficient, TAP provides superior thermal and acoustic insulation and wards off pest problems in your home. Other benefits include:

  • TAP Insulation is the only insulation registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • More cost-effective than traditional insulation, TAP is a one-time investment with no need for re-treatments.
  • TAP can be installed over existing insulation and comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • As an energy-efficient option, TAP can reduce heating and cooling costs by up to 30%.
  • TAP is environmentally friendly by using recycled paper diverted from landfills to create the product.
  • This insulation is capable of filling the nooks and crannies that are unreachable with traditional insulation.

How to Get TAP Insulation in Tennessee

Johnson Pest Control is your local leader in TAP installation. Our technicians are licensed and registered to install TAP on top of your existing insulation. To learn more about our home insulations service or to schedule an appointment, call our team today!

Boxelder Bugs

When the weather gets cool you start to see something you had not noticed before, clusters of bugs congregating around sunny spots of trees and your home. These bugs look really neat with their solid black base and red outlined trim, but what are they? They are boxelder bugs.

So what do you need to know about boxelder bugs?

What is a Boxelder Bug?

Boxelder Bugs - Insects of FallBoxelder Bugs are flat, dark brown pests that are present all throughout the year, but are mainly noticed during the fall and winter seasons. There is nothing to fret, though, because they are completely harmless.

You can easily distinguish due to their very prominent features. The Boxelder bug is a small, rather flat insect that can reach sizes up to about 1/2 inch long and about 1/3 inch wide. The easiest way to tell this bug apart from others is not its size, but rather it’s markings. The Boxelder bug is all black, apart from the red markings down its sides, ending with a red V-like shape towards the bottom of its back. Its abdomen is also a bright red color under its wings. So all in all, this insect is pretty easy to spot.

Many of you will be seeing this insect as the weather begins to change. This is due to the insect moving from its normal outside habitat to one that is indoors and sunny, typically so it can hibernate for the winter.

Does the Boxelder Bug do Any Damage?

Most of the concern surrounding this insect has to do with the sheer number of them that there could be at a time. The Boxelder bug tends to travel in a pack. Typically they live in the bark of the Boxelder tree, but as the weather begins to cool, the adult Boxelder bugs will migrate inside, searching for crevices and cracks in infrastructure, such as window casings, doors, and in walls. During the warmer days of winter, they will tend to stay on lighter painted surfaces outside and they tend to be seen on the southern and western sides of the household to soak up what little sun they can.

As far as what the Boxelder bug eats, it primarily hunts for sap from the leaves of the Boxelder tree. They are also known to eat on other vegetation, but there is nothing to fret about, because they seldom appear in any packs large enough to cause any real damage unless there is a seed producing Boxelder tree in the area.

How do I get rid of the Boxelder Bug?

Even though these bugs may not cause any harm to the vegetation in your area, you may still want to get rid of these pests. There are a few simple things you can do to prevent the Boxelder bug from coming into your home.

  • They typically feed on the female boxelder trees, so the removal of said tree is sure to reduce the number that are around your house.
  • Check around your house for any cracks in the windows or doors that could allow them easy entry to your home. Patching these holes up are sure to keep these insects away.
  • If you own a wet/dry vacuum, using a soapy water mixture is a sure way to get rid of the Boxelder bug because the insect will drown quickly in the soapy water you are using.
  • Checking the Boxelder trees during the spring and summer seasons is a sure way to find these insects. Spraying any areas where they are seen are sure to destroy these bugs before the winter. It is also helpful to spray insecticides on sidewalks, walls, and fences. Pretty much spray anywhere you think they could possibly be.
  • If the insects decide to make their way indoors, its pretty easy to take care of them. Just use a vacuum cleaner to suck them right up. Then dispose of appropriately.

5 Fall Insects To Watch Out For

Fall weather is in the air and thus begins that transition period where insects and people start to mingle together. We like to open the doors and windows of our home for the fresh air of fall. Insects start to feel the chill air and start looking for places to call home for the winter.

Boxelder Bugs - Insects of Fall

So what insects do you need to be on the lookout for this fall? Here are our 5 insects to be on the watch for this fall.

  1. Boxelder Bugs: The boxelder bug might look like a ‘lightning bug’ (firefly in some circles) until you start to see hundreds of them having a little conference together on the sunny side of your house. They have distinctive red lines on their backs which is the quickest way to identify them. The boxelder bug will not do any harm to your home but they can start to make their way into the house when needing a warmer environment.
  2. Stink bugs:  Stink bugs are a pretty interesting looking insect. They have a body structure that looks like a mid-evil shield. Thus, stink bugs are often called shield bugs. They are not a native species of insect to east Tennessee, so they are actually considered and invasive species as there are not native predators for them. If you squash they excrete a stench, thus the stink bug-naming. Stink bugs have a waxy covering which helps protect them from insecticides. To get rid of them you need to vacuum them up and dispose of them outside. They too are looking for places to hibernate for the winter, so be prepared that one or two will come into the house when you open up an outside door.
  3. Asian Ladybugs: Ladybugs are such cute insects. They feed on aphids (good for us) and are the fascination of many children. However, in fall they invade our homes in such a manner that it is darn near frightening. Ladybugs are only trying to find a spot to hibernate for the winter. They will get into your home through any crack that they can, so windows and doors are super popular spots. To get rid of them you will want to vacuum them up and release them outside. Unless you seal up the areas that the ladybugs are coming in from the outside then you will likely have recurrences through early winter months.
  4. Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes are usually at their worst in the late spring and early summer. When fall comes around you might be less inclined to be watching for ideal mosquito breeding conditions. You need to be keeping vigilant with your mosquito prevention techniques as they will continue to feed until early winter.
  5. Spiders: With new found friends invading your home comes those who like to feed on them, spiders. Spiders will go wherever their food sources are, so if your home starts to become a space that has indoor insects then they are likely to follow. Most spiders can be dealt with using traditional insecticides, however, some can be more difficult to rid the home of.

Fall is a great time of year in Tennessee, just be aware of some of the new friends that might be looking to call your house their home.