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What Are Overwintering Pests?

Many pests can’t handle the cold, harsh winter weather. While some bugs migrate, others seek warm places to hide until temperatures warm. These overwintering pests often sneak into homes. We’ve gathered information to help you identify common overwintering pests.

What Are Overwintering Pests?

In the fall, overwintering pests begin seeking shelter. Unfortunately, your home provides them with the perfect hiding spot. While some pests can sneak in unnoticed, others gather on the side of your house before slipping inside. Overwintering pests typically stay hidden during the cold months, but they will emerge in homes when temperatures rise. The most common overwintering pests include Asian lady beetles, boxelder bugs, cluster flies, and stink bugs.

Asian Lady Beetles

Asian lady beetle on leaf

These polka-dotted bugs may look friendly, but they can be a nuisance.

What Do Asian Lady Beetles Look Like?

Asian lady beetles are similar in appearance to native ladybugs. However, they’re larger, growing up to 1/3ʺ. They have a red, orange, or yellow body. Many have spots, but not all will have them. These lady beetles have a marking on their head shaped like an M.

Why Are Asian Lady Beetles in My Home?

These pests need a warm place to spend the winter months. They gravitate to the sunny side of homes. They are attracted to homes with a light paint color. Asian lady beetles are often found near fields and wooded areas.

Are Asian Lady Beetles Dangerous?

Asian lady beetles can bite when threatened. When crushed or startled, these pests release a yellow liquid. It has an unpleasant odor and can stain fabric and walls. Asian lady beetles also infest in large numbers. These pests release pheromones that alert other lady beetles to their location.

How to Prevent Asian Lady Beetles

The best way to prevent Asian lady beetles is to seal possible entry points. Pay special attention to areas near doors and windows. Make sure window and door seals aren’t worn and are in good condition. These pests are attracted to fruit, so remove any that has fallen in your yard.

Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bug on leaf

Another pest that finds your house warm and cozy is the boxelder bug.

What Do Boxelder Bugs Look Like?

These pests are black with reddish-orange markings. They are flat and have an oval-shaped body. Boxelder bugs are about 1/2ʺ in length. These pests have wings that allow them to fly longer distances.

Why Are Boxelder Bugs in My Home?

Like Asian lady beetles, boxelder bugs enter homes looking for shelter. It’s common to find them in garages and sheds. They are attracted to boxelder trees since this is their preferred food source.

Are Boxelder Bugs Dangerous?

Boxelder bugs rarely bite and are more of a nuisance than a threat. They congregate in large numbers before entering houses. Their droppings can stain fabric and furniture. If threatened or crushed, they release an unpleasant odor.

How to Prevent Boxelder Bugs

If you have boxelder trees in your yard, you’ll want to remove any seeds that fall. Seal cracks and gaps, repair or replace torn screens, and remove yard debris to help deter boxelder bug activity.

Cluster Flies

Cluster fly

As their name suggests, these flies like to gather in large groups.

What Do Cluster Flies Look Like?

Cluster flies are about 5/16ʺ in length. These flies have a dark gray body with golden hair. They have a checkered pattern on their abdomen. Cluster flies stand out from other flies because of their slow flying speed.

Why Are Cluster Flies in My Home?

Cluster flies seek dark and protected areas in homes. They usually end up in attics or wall voids. They gather on the sunny and warm side of your house. These flies are also attracted to natural and artificial light.

Are Cluster Flies Dangerous?

Thankfully, these flies don’t bite. They can invade in large numbers, especially since they release pheromones that lead other cluster flies to their location. Their droppings can stain surfaces. Carpenter ants and beetles are attracted to dead cluster flies, which could be a problem.

How to Prevent Cluster Flies

Like other pests on this list, preventing cluster flies begins with sealing holes. Make sure to check near electrical outlets, since they often enter there. If you spot one in your home, you can use a vacuum to remove it. This will help prevent them from attracting other pests.

Stink Bugs

Stink bug

With a name like stink bug, you know you’re going to want to avoid these pests. Though there are many species of stink bugs, the most common invader is the brown marmorated stink bug.

What Do Stink Bugs Look Like?

Stink bugs can be brown, gray, or green. They range in size but can reach about 5/8ʺ. Stink bugs have a shield-shaped body. The brown marmorated stink bug has a grayish-brown, speckled body.

Why Are Stink Bugs in My Home?

Stink bugs often invade attics and walls while waiting for winter to pass. These pests are attracted to moisture and lights. Stink bugs feed on ornamental plants, fruit, and vegetables, which can lure them to your yard.

Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?

Stink bugs don’t bite, so they don’t pose a threat to humans. The main concern with stink bugs is the size of their infestation. When threatened or crushed, they release an unpleasant odor. They also secrete a chemical that can stain household items. If these pests feed on plants, they can damage them.

How to Prevent Stink Bugs

When checking for cracks and gaps, it’s important to pay attention to door and window frames. Eliminate moisture build-up in your home. Storing produce in the refrigerator can also help to avoid attracting these pests.

Yard Bug Spray

Though pests may like your warm and cozy house, you don’t have to share it with them this winter. If overwintering pests are invading your space, we have your back! Our plant-based Yard Bug Spray will kill and repel pests. Applying it to the perimeter of your yard and home will create a protective barrier that helps to keep these pests out. 

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