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!

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.