The Most Annoying Fall Pests and How to Manage Them
Fall is the season where bugs and other pests start seeking warmer areas to settle in before the cold hits—and that makes your home a popular destination. Here’s how to manage fall’s most annoying pests.
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Box-elder bugs are seldom a major problem—they’re more of an annoyance because they tend to head indoors looking for shelter as winter approaches. They push into cracks and other openings and often congregate around windows on the southern or western side of a house, where it’s warmer. While they don’t cause property damage, box-elder bugs do sometimes stain surfaces, and they can be a hassle to deal with in large numbers. As you take on pesky fall pests, note these secrets your exterminator won’t tell you.
Managing box-elder bugs
Late summer and fall are the best times to control box-elder bugs. Seal possible entry points with caulk or spray foam. Install door sweeps on exterior entry doors and a rubber seal along the bottom of garage doors. Also replace damaged window and door screens as well as those around roof and soffit vents.
To get rid of box-elder bugs, you can use an insecticide around the outside of the building when box-elder bugs start to cluster in late summer. Incidentally, if you see box-elder bugs clustering around the outside of a structure in spring, they are headed out and away from the house and there is no need to use an insecticide.
Asian lady beetles
Ladybugs might be good luck, but their lookalike cousin could be bad news. North America does have native ladybugs, but the slightly bigger Asian lady beetle was imported to the United States in 1916 in hopes of keeping other insect pest populations down, according to the USDA. Over the years, more were introduced around the country, and the pest control worked well—too well. Their populations have exploded so much that they’ve become a nuisance.
Managing Asian lady beetles
Asian lady beetles can become troublesome, as they prey on some beneficial insects. To keep them away, try using whole cloves or bay leaves as they don’t like the scent. Just place them in heavily infested areas to discourage them.
To get rid of the pests in your house without chemicals, suck them up with a HEPA filter vacuum or sweep them outside with a broom. Asian lady beetles escape the cold by crawling into homes, so sealing any cracks and making sure windows and doors close tightly will prevent more from getting in. Here’s how to get rid of the most disgusting bugs in your house.
The most common stink bug in the United States is the brown marmorated. As the name implies, it’s brownish in color, similar to the colors of a tree trunk, and its shape resembles a tiny shield. They’re about 3/4 inches in length and width and the adults can fly. These bugs are generally harmless, but they have a nasty viscous liquid in their abdomen that smells horrible and stains fabrics.
Managing stink bugs
We know, you just want to squish them and be done with them, but don’t or you’ll instantly regret it. When disturbed or crushed, stink bugs have a tendency to release a bad-smelling, bad-tasting odor from pores on the sides of their bodies, and it can linger for hours. Haul out the vacuum and suck them up instead. Empty the vacuum bag or container in the trash and place it outside or use an old sock around the attachment and dispose of it in the outside trash. If a stink bug sprayed, try these clever hacks to make everything in your home smell amazing.
Typical entry points include around door and window frames, sedges of siding, flashing, and vents. Use a good quality silicone or silicone-latex caulk to seal cracks.
Mice, squirrels, raccoons, and bats are the most common fur-covered pests that invade our homes (often when the weather starts turning cool). They really don’t mean any harm. They’re just looking for food, water, and shelter. That’s why they’re one of the pests that could be hiding in your attic.
Like all rodents, they’re looking for food and shelter as the weather gets colder. Rodents are able to enter your home in a number of ways, both from the ground and from above. You’ll want to toss out these things in your house that are attracting pests right now.
Ants are undoubtedly pesky pests. Seeing a swarm of them in your home is grounds for freaking out. But rather than be frustrated, be active! There are plenty of ways to get rid of ants. There are many different types of ants; some of the most common house-invading ones include odorous house ants, carpenter ants, and thief ants. Once you identify the type of ants you have, you’ll have a better idea for how to manage them.
A clean house is your first defense against ants. Sweep up food crumbs, wipe up spills, take out the garbage, and don’t leave dirty dishes sitting around the house. This takes away the ants’ food source. For a safe way to get rid of ants, spray vinegar mixed with water around bowls of pet food to keep ants from feasting there. Liquid bait is the best way to kill ants for many sweet-loving ants. For more ideas for how to get rid of ants, check out our expert guide.