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Overwintering Pests

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Just from the name, most people think they have a good understanding of overwintering pests. Yeah, you can look at the name “overwinter” and likely concluded that these pests only enter homes and buildings looking to ride out the winter months. This is completely understandable, but it doesn’t mean you know everything about these bugs. Chances are, in Rochester, you’ll encounter some species of overwintering pests. The more you understand, the better you’ll be at fighting off the infestation. With the right information, you might be able to prevent an infestation altogether. That’s the point to where we want to get our customers. Let’s get started with the basics

Learning To Identify Overwintering Insects

In Rochester, you might be surprised to learn that most insects overwinter. This means when the winter starts approaching, they’ll run indoors, seeking warmth and shelter from the upcoming months. As it turns out, wall voids, attics, and basements make the perfect cover from the upcoming frost and snow conditions that are likely to hit the area. While several pests take on this behavior, their habits are completely different, meaning getting rid of them is going to take different tactics and methods. Learning to identify these pests will be the best place to start. When you do this, you’ll then be able to formulate a plan of attack for elimination.

Boxelder Bugs

One of the most well-known overwinter insects in Rochester is the boxelder bug. They are one of the most well-known because they are so distinctive from the others. Their appearance makes them stand out amongst the crowd. While they might just be a garden pest during the hot, summer months, they’ll become a major nuisance during the cold, winter months, taking up residence in your walls, attics, and basements. These bugs are easily identifiable with their flat wings, black bodies, and red wings.

They are only ½ inch in length and can easily slip through cracks and crevices of mots surfaces. They don’t bite, sting, or transmit diseases, but they can emit odors and stains when crushed.

The Asian Lady Beetle

The Asian Lady Beetle could easily be mistaken for a standard ladybug, but these two are nothing alike when you get right down to it. These critters have been known to bite, but they don’t transmit diseases or spread pathogens, but they will take up refuge on your property. They also emit foul odors and stains when crushed.

Cluster Flies

The cluster fly would choose to live its entire life outdoor. Unfortunately, this is impossible because of the snow and frost. These critters emerge from the earthworm and will even go as far as to seek to shelter outdoors before moving into the home. They’ll try to hide behind tree bark and wood planks until the weather just becomes too unbearable. 

You can probably already tell from the name that these critters like to cluster, and this is just of the many things that can make them a major nuisance. When your house is warmed by the sun, you’ll likely start to notice these critters in and around the home. They are coming out of hibernation and trying to make their way back outdoors.

Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bug

The leaf-footed pine seed bug isn’t that popular or well-known in Rochester, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a major problem. At least, it can be a major problem n the right circumstances. These bugs have dull-brownish bodies and can grow to be near a whole inch, and like to feed on pine cones during the summer months. These bugs will also try to survive outside behind the bark of pine and conifer trees before moving indoors. They don’t sting, bite, or transmit diseases, but you’ll want to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Brown Marmorated Bugs (Stink Bugs)

What resident in Rochester hasn’t battled a stink bug? Especially not as of late. These bugs have been everywhere lately, and highly stand out for their ability to produce offensive odors when crushed or threatened. While these bugs didn’t migrate in the United States, their population has soared exponentially in the past several years. Part of this is because of their unique ability to learn to survive. These bugs are usually about ½ inch in length and have a back that is shaped like a shield with a brown marbled pattern, hence the marmorated name.

Spotting The Early Warning Signs

In Rochester, you’ll start to see these pests in the early spring. When the sun or the HVAC system heats the home, they’ll become even more active. When this happens, it makes them think the winter is over and they want to get back outside. While this is a good thing, it can also be a bad thing because some of them get turned around or lost. These are the ones you’ll see. Most people just vacuum them up or give them a helping hand back outside.

These bugs usually enter the home through cracks and crevices or windows and doors, but much rather prefer to be outdoors. If you find them wandering the home, there is a good chance they are trying to make it back outdoors. Simply giving them a helping hand back outside might seem easy enough, but you have to remember, a lot of these bugs secrete offensive smells and stains when crushed. Accidentally crushing the bugs while trying to remove them from the property could be a possibility. If you see one or two of these pests roaming around the home, there is a good chance you have an infestation on your hands.

How Can I Prevent Overwintering Pests?

It is always best to prevent an infestation before it starts. This will not only say you money and time, but it’ll save you a whole lot of headache in the process. The first step is to start by identifying all possible entry points. This could include gaps, cracks, crevices, open doors, windows, and anywhere else that provides access to the outdoors. Start by sealing these off and you’ll be well on your way to preventing an infestation. Given the possible number of entry points to the home, it pays if you know where to look for intrusions.

Our techs know all the potential entry points and this is one of the things that make us the premier pest management company in Rochester. We also know how to plug and stop these entry points. This is something we are always more than willing to help with. Here are some entry points you’ll want to keep an eye on.

Bricks And Mortar Joints

Brick is a beautiful building material that has been used on the outside of many buildings and will continue to be used for years. This is because, besides its beauty, it is durable with an ever-lasting quality. However, you’ve likely noticed that when bricks are put together they require a mortar or sealing material. Nothing wrong with this it is just the way things are. The only problem is when you like the molding of the fascia board over the brick it creates a gap because the boards don’t sit flush. They sit flush against the brick, but not the mortar because it sinks back in.

If you are going to be installing molding or fascia board over brick, you’ll need to seal the gap that is created therein.

Window Seals

Windows are great. The soul to every home. Homes provide natural light and every home will have them. You’ll likely notice that when they are installed they are caulked on the top and sides. This prevents water from seeping in. They are, however, not caulked or sealed on the bottom because there is no threat of water running back up. Water can’t run up. However, this doesn’t mean insects can’t crawl up walls and enter the home through these openings. They do and they will!

Fascia Board Over Wooden Clapboard

When fascia board is installed over wooden clapboard it creates a similar effect to that of what was described with the brick. These openings and gaps will also need to be sealing with the proper materials. That being said, these gaps are much larger than the gaps you’ll face with the brick. Meaning, it is just much easier to stuff these gaps with foam material. There is also a spray-in foam, but it is more permanent and a bit messier.

Soffit And Attic Vents

Soffits and vents are necessary for a home or building. They provide the proper ventilation to help keep moisture at bay. While they left air into the home, they can also let critters into the home. And, they will if not sealed with the proper materials. Soffit vents and attic fans should be backed with screening materials to prevent bugs from entering. You’ll want to make sure there are no gaps, tears, or rips on this screening. Any gaps and rodents or insects will be able to squeeze through.

Utility Openings

Every home or building is going to have utility access. This usually provides openings to pipes, wires, vents, and other home or building necessities. Bugs can find their way into the smallest of openings, and they will. An old green pot scrubber is one of the best ways to prevent access to critters via these openings. Just remember that these entrances will need to be accessed later so you cannot seal them off permanently.

Utilizing The Right Materials To Keep Pests Out

In the pest management world, we call the materials used to prevent pests from entering the home exclusion materials. While it is extremely important to seal gaps and openings, it is just as important to make sure you seal them with the right exclusion materials. This is where things can sometimes get a bit tricky. Of course, our pros know all this by heart, but this not something a lot of building owners are familiar with. This is where we’ll help you.

Caulking: Caulking is be utilized for joints where there are going to be movement (Brick)

Sealant: these materials are best utilized when there are going to be variations in width over the seasons (aluminum and wood)

Foam Insulation: this material is extremely flexible and can be stuffed into long gaps. This material is best utilized when there are large openings or gaps

Aluminum Screening: cheap and inexpensive, yet highly effective in the right situations. This material is best utilized when there is a need for airflow. It is long-lasting and can be rolled up and stapled

Hardware Cloth: this material just acts like a heavy-duty screen

Pot Scrubbers: perfect for small gaps. It fits in nicely and can be shoved to fill a variety of spaces

Overwintering pests might not be dangerous or even pose a threat to your property, but you’ll want to get them out of the home as soon and quickly as possible. Their appearance alone can be enough to drive some people up the wall. Prevention is just as important as successful elimination, and this is something we are willing to help you with. All you have to do is reach out to our Rochester offices. Whether you have questions, concerns, or just want to talk about pest management, give our Rochester offices a ring. We always have someone standing by. We even have emergency services available if and when they are needed.

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