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What Bugs Are Most Active in Fall?

The leaves may be changing colors, but bugs aren’t ready to say goodbye just yet. Though pest populations decrease in fall, some bugs have found ways to survive. Their go-to defense mechanism is to hideout in homes. Knowing which pests are likely to sneak inside can help you prepare for their arrival. Check out which pests are most likely to bug you this fall.

Overwintering Pests

Stink bug

Several pests are known to overwinter in homes. They typically gather on the sunny parts of a house before slipping inside through cracks and crevices. Once indoors, they head to a warm place and enter diapause—a bug’s form of hibernation. Common overwintering pests include:

  • Stink Bugs: These pests have a shield-shaped body and range in color from brown to green to gray. They release a smelly odor when frightened or crushed, which is where they get their name.
  • Asian Lady Beetles: Though they look like ladybugs, Asian lady beetles aren’t as friendly. They secrete an unpleasant smelling liquid when crushed or scared. Asian lady beetles can bite if they feel threatened. These bugs come in a variety of colors and can be identified by the M-shaped marking on their head.
  • Cluster Flies: Cluster flies may be confused with houseflies because of the similarities in appearance. However, cluster flies are slightly larger. They are gray and have a checkered pattern on their abdomen.
  • Boxelder Bugs: These black and reddish-orange bugs also like to overwinter in homes. Boxelder bugs are attracted to areas with boxelder trees since they feed on the leaves and seeds. These pests have a habit of invading in large groups.

Stinging Insects

Paper wasp

Paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are often associated with summer. However, they can be more problematic in fall. As temperatures cool, stinging insects are in a crunch to prepare for winter. They have spent the summer months building their colony, and their nests are at maximum capacity. They are busy trying to find food sources and ensuring the queen will survive winter. This often makes these pests more visible and more aggressive during fall.

  • Paper Wasps: These stinging pests are brown with yellow markings. Their nests have a paper-like appearance and are brown or gray. Nests can be found in bushes, trees, and in homes.
  • Yellow Jackets: Yellow jackets are black and yellow. Like paper wasps, their nests are paper-like in appearance. Nests are often built underground with an entry point at the base of trees or cracks in pavement.
  • Hornets: Bald-faced hornets are black and white, while European hornets are reddish-brown with yellow stripes. Nests resemble teardrops and are located in trees, bushes, and in homes.


Brown Recluse Spider

Spiders don’t just stop by for the fall season. These arachnids have probably been hanging out in your home year-round. In fall, spiders leave their hiding spots and begin searching for a mate. Spiders vary in size, shape, and color depending on the species. While most spiders aren’t harmful, you don’t want black widows or brown recluse creeping around your home.

  • Black Widow Spiders: These spiders are black and have a red hourglass marking on their back. Black widow spiders gravitate to dark, protected, and dry areas. They often hide in garages, basements, and attics.
  • Brown Recluse Spiders: Brown recluse spiders are known for their violin-shaped marking. They prefer areas that are warm, dry, and dark. Their webs are irregularly shaped and often placed behind or under items in your home.



When temperatures begin to drop, crickets may start jumping into your home. These chirping bugs head indoors looking for a warm and damp hiding spot. You’re likely to find them in bathrooms and basements. House crickets are light brown and have three dark bands on their head. These pests do feed on fabrics, so clothing, carpets, and rugs could be damaged. Besides their feeding preferences and noise levels, these pests aren’t harmful.


American cockroach

Another pest that you may find scurrying through your house is the cockroach. These pests vary in size and color depending on the species. They enter homes looking for food, shelter, and warmth. You’re likely to spot these pests in your bathroom, basement, or kitchen.

American Cockroaches: These cockroaches have a yellow marking on their head and a reddish-brown body. They are about 1 1/2" in length.

German Cockroaches: German cockroaches are brown and have two stripes on their back. They range in size from 1/2" to 5/8".

Oriental Cockroaches: Oriental cockroaches have a shiny, dark body. They grow to about 1" in length.

Brown-Banded Cockroaches: These cockroaches are brown and have light bands on their wings. They are about 1/2" in length.

When the weather starts to cool, you’ll want to make sure pests don’t sneak into your home. Be prepared to pest-proof your space to ensure bugs don’t become your new roommates. If fall pests are bugging you, we’re here to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.

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