Most people are not aware that there are several species of bugs that begin moving into your home just as the weather starts to drop. They are nesting and keeping warm in your home – just waiting for the spring weather. Not only are they nesting, but they are probably breeding as well. You may find any one or more of these creepy crawlers inside your home this winter.
Ladybugs are just one of the many species of beetles that you might find lounging in your home this winter. These orange-red beetles with black spots like to spend their winters hibernating in large groups somewhere warm. Ladybugs won’t do any damage to the house’s structure or eat holes in any of your belongings but, they can secrete a nasty chemical if disturbed or squished. It is a yellow fluid (their blood) that can stain your walls, floors, and fabrics.
If you can avoid it, never squish a stinkbug. The smell is absolutely horrible. Stinkbugs are also a part of the beetle family. They eat your plants, hide in walls, cracks, and holes inside the home. You probably will not detect their presence until it gets warm. While they may hide in your home during the winter, they really need to get outside to survive.
Boxelder bugs are about half an inch long, black or dark brown in color, with red or orange markings across their abdomen and wings. They feed on box elder trees, along with several other trees and plants. Boxelder bugs hide out in quiet, dark spots. In early spring, they wake up looking for a way to get back outside. Like ladybugs, they can excrete a chemical that stains fabrics, walls, and floors.
Pests in Houseplants
Most plant lovers set houseplants outside during the spring, and summer, then bring them indoors once the weather turns chilly. However, when you bring the plants inside, you’re also bringing in a variety of pests, including aphids, mealybugs, spiders, spider mites, gnats, earwigs and even snails or slugs. While these pests are not harmful to humans, they can spread to other houseplants and become a nuisance.
Bugs in Firewood
Firewood that’s been stacked outside your home, and then brought inside, will often house a variety of bugs including termites, spiders, and wood beetles. Usually, there is no heavy infestation especially if you are immediately burning the firewood. But be aware that termites and wood beetles can cause damage to your home should there be an infestation.
Ways to Keep Winter Bugs Outside
You should inspect the perimeter of your home seasonally for cracks, gaps, or holes. Caulk or repair any openings. Check window and door screens for gaps or holes, and replace or repair as necessary. Screen vents that open into the attic, chimney, drains, or crawlspaces. Store firewood on a raised platform, not on the ground, and cover it with a plastic tarp. Inspect all firewood and houseplants carefully before bringing them inside your home. Hose houseplants thoroughly before bringing them in for the winter, and consider spraying them with an insecticide to kill pests.
If your home does become heavily infested with winter bugs, contact ProTech Termite and Pest Control to rid your home of the creepy crawlers before they cause damage to your home.