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Knowing The Overwintering Pests
Although Houston is warmer than many other cities, it gets some cold weather. During the winter months, it is common for Houston residents to put on heavy jackets to stay warm. Many pests will take steps to stay warm during the cold months as well. These pests fit into a category known as overwintering pests. When it gets cold, they will sneak into your home and stay there until the temperatures rise again.
Which Pests Overwintering In Houston?
Houston, Texas is home to many overwintering pests. Below, you’ll learn more about overwintering pests that target Texas and many surrounding states.
Asian Lady Beetles
Asian lady beetles or ladybugs may look cute, but you won’t think so when hundreds of them shelter in your home. When this happens, you’ll need to work rigorously to get rid of them. Unfortunately, it won’t be easy but you can do it. Some species of ladybugs can nip your skin. Don’t crush ladybugs because they will release a terrible odor.
Boxelder bugs are a common pest that will stay outside and consume tree seeds. When the temperatures drop, the bug’s behavior changes rapidly. They will begin desperately searching for warmth. They’ll take shelter wherever they can and this includes in your home. Since they’re half an inch and small, they can slip through any small crack on your exterior wall. These bugs are black, but they have red marks on their wings.
Put your mind at ease because they don’t bite, sting, or spread dangerous diseases. Avoid stepping on them or they’ll make your home stink.
Unfortunately, flies are annoying and they can enter your home rapidly. Cluster flies are one fly species that will overwinter during the colder months. Although they normally live outside at all times, they need to find shelter during the winter. When possible, cluster flies will find a way to enter your home. As the name suggests, cluster flies will cluster together. As a result, you’ll find a large group of cluster flies in your home. When it gets hotter outside, these flies will immediately return outside. By this point, your job is to clean up the mess they’ve left behind.
Pine Seed Bugs
Leaf-footed pine seed bugs may grow up to three-quarters of an inch so they’re bigger than other overwintering pests. When a few of them emerge from your home during the summer, you’re in for a sight. Their size will cause great concern. However, you don’t need to worry about them too much since they can’t transmit diseases. When your city experiences cold weather, leaf-footed pine seed bugs will begin searching for shelter.
Your home could be the perfect hiding place for these bugs. Once they’ve entered, they’ll leave on their own when it gets hot. You’ll have a mess to deal with and you’ll want to begin preparing for the next winter.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs can reach up to half an inch when they reach adulthood. They have a unique back shaped like a shield. Stink bugs are from Asia with the first found in the United States in the mid-1990s. They’ll consume fruit trees and vegetable crops during warmer weather. When it gets cold, they’ll attempt to find shelter so they can stay warm. Depending on the conditions, they may decide to enter your home. Their size allows them to climb through small cracks and gaps.
Like other overwintering pests, stink bugs will go outside once the temperatures rise again. If you need to get rid of them, you can do so using a vacuum cleaner. Suck them up and dispose of them in a plastic bag later.
How To Know You Have An Overwintering Pest Problem
When overwintering pests find a way to break into your home, they’re going to stay there for many months. They’ll find a good hiding place so you won’t be able to find them easily. Unfortunately, you’ll likely live with overwintering pests in your home for weeks or months. Although these bugs aren’t dangerous, getting rid of them is a must. How can you know that you have overwintering pests in your home? They can live anywhere in your home, including in your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, and garage. When the temperatures increase, prepare to see overwintering pests in your home. If you find them in your home, you know your home had an overwintering pest infestation.
Stopping Overwintering Pests From Entering Your Dwelling
How can you prevent these pests from turning your life upside down? Can you keep them outside of your home? Ultimately, you may be able to stop certain overwintering pests from sneaking inside, but you likely can’t stop them all. Still, you should do what you can to stop some overwintering pests from sneaking into your home.
Look For Small Gaps
Begin by eliminating entry points around your home. Check the exterior walls of your home for small gaps and holes. Sealing these gaps will stop bugs from entering your home and increase the likelihood that you’ll maintain a pest-free home.
Residual Exterior Barrier Treatment
Call us and learn more about our exterior barrier treatment because it can keep pests away from your home. Taking advantage of this service boosts your exclusion protocols. Work with a professional because over-the-counter products are ineffective. By using commercial products, you’ll receive better and longer-lasting results.
Joints And Holes To Check
When searching your home for entry points, check around the bricks. At the top, you’ll find gaps where the bricks meet the attic. Bugs can slip through these gaps in seconds. Suffice to say, you need to stop this from happening by sealing the gaps. Although you have other options, use a sealant to block these gaps.
Check The Bottom Of Window Frames
When installing new windows, professionals rarely seal the bottom part of the window. Instead, they’ll put caulk around the top and both sides. They do this to stop water from entering the home. The only problem is that the bottom of the window frame guarantees that bugs can sneak through your home. Solve this problem by sealing the bottom of the window using a caulk.
Clapboard Near Fascia
Next, check the clapboards where they encounter fascia boards. You’ll find gaps because the clapboards are uneven. Once again, this gap allows bugs to enter your home. Sealing the gaps with caulk can help, but you’ll want to make your job easier. To do that, use a foam insulating cord to block these holes.
Now, check the home’s soffit and attic vents. These vents should be covered with screens to keep bugs outside. If the screen is damaged or torn, it is allowing bugs to slip through the gaps. Replace them immediately.
Pipe, Cable, & Wire Holes
Utility cables and plumbing pipes have to enter your home. As a result, you have to have a small hole for each of these. If the gap hasn’t been properly sealed, bugs will be able to slip through and enter your home. It is pertinent to seal these gaps properly to prevent this from happening. While you can use various exclusion materials, pot scrubbers work best. These inexpensive products can be shoved into the hole regardless of their size.
What Items Should I Use To Seal My Home?
To effectively keep overwintering pests out of your home, using the right exclusion materials is pertinent. Some products work better than others. When visiting your local hardware store, you’ll be able to purchase exclusion materials. These products are designed to defend your home from overwintering pests and other pests. Use the advice below to ensure you pick the right products for the hole or gap in question.
Caulks & Sealant
First and foremost, you should learn more about caulks and sealants. Both will work exceptionally well for people trying to stop bugs from entering their homes, but you need the right material. Some surfaces experience movement due to environmental changes. For instance, they may change depending on temperatures. If you’re dealing with a surface that may change, use a sealant. If the surface won’t move, use a caulk.
More Exclusion Materials
You’ll also want to learn more about foam insulation, hardware cloth, pot scrubbers, and aluminum screening. These materials can help fill in gaps of all shapes and sizes. Using a combination of them is the best way to defend your home from overwintering pests. If you’re going to use pot scrubbers to fill small gaps, pick old, used pot scrubbers because they’ll work better.