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Properly Identifying Overwintering Pests
When dealing with an insect, you must start back at the beginning. Starting at the beginning and learning the basics will not only make you an all-around more informed individual, but it’ll provide you with the pertinent information that you’ll need to keep your home pest-free. In Dayton, some pests overwinter. What does this mean? This means that there are specific species of pests that essentially hibernate. They travel from outdoors to indoors to wait out the upcoming frost and snow. As it turns out, your wall voids and attic spaces provide the perfect environment for overwintering insects.
Which Insect In Dayton Overwinter?
There is simply no denying that there a slew of pests in Dayton. While all of them are different with different traits, habits, and classifications, there few that overwinter. The pests that overwinter in Dayton are boxelder bugs, Asian lady beetles, cluster flies, leaf-footed pine seed bugs, and stink bugs. Learning everything you can about these pests will be essential to not only eliminating them from the home but keeping them out of the property. Here’s what you need to know about these pests.
Boxelder bugs are distinctively identifiable with their flat wings and red markings. During the summer months, they won’t be anything more than a garden nuisance, feeding on seeds of the boxelder tree and other maple trees. However, they will become a major nuisance during the winter. This is because they’ll venture into nearby properties looking for an environment where they can safely wait out the upcoming snow and frost.
They only grow to be about ½ inch in length, which only makes them harder to locate and eliminate. Their flat body design allows them to easily slip through cracks and crevices, giving them easy and quick access to most properties via foundation cracks and crevices. They don’t bite, sting, or transmit diseases, which is just one less thing you have to worry about when dealing with these bugs They do, however, emit odors and stains when crushed.
The Multi-Colored Asian Ladybug (Asian Lady Beetle)
To the commoner with the untrained eye, the Asian ladybug might just look like your ordinary ladybug. However, this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. The two are nothing alike in mentality. Interestingly enough, these bugs also emit foul odors and stains when crushed. It is said that they also taste incredibly bad, which is not something we can distinctively say is true or not.
The cluster fly is an insect that truly prefers the outdoors. They thrive outdoors and would live their entire lifecycles out there if at all possible. Unlike most other flies, these flies emerge from the Earthworm. That being said, these flies prefer to be outdoor so much that they’ll first try to find safe residences outdoors before migrating inside. If at all possible, they’ll take up residence behind loose tree bark and wood planks. If these locations fail, they’ll then move into nearby properties. One positive with this critter is, you don’t have to worry about foul odors or stains in the event they are crushed.
Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bug
This native outdoor pest is capable of producing just one generation each year. This means they aren’t prolific breeders or reproducers, which is a good thing. It’ll slow the spread of the infestation. The adults of this species can grow to reach ¾ inches in length and are dull-brownish in color. During the summer, they like to emerge to feed on pine cones and pine cone seeds. These bugs are old native outdoor critters, given that they would much rather prefer to stay outdoors.
They oftentimes seek residence outdoor behind the bark of pine and conifer trees before being forced indoors. That being said, when they do have to enter the home, they’ll do so through cracks and crevices in foundations, walls, and door frames. Because these bugs are a bit larger than the other, their presence in the home can be shocking. This is especially true when they start appearing in large numbers, which they’ll do right at that the start of summer when the weather starts to turn. Just remember they are only there to ride out the weather and don’t pose a threat. They don’t bite, they don’t nip, and they don’t transmit diseases.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
With their marbled patterned brown appearance, these bugs stand out quite distinctively. It’s the backs of the bugs that are shaped like shields. They only grow to be about ½ inch in length so they aren’t as intimidating as the leaf-footed pine seed bug. However, this doesn’t mean they won’t be just as big a problem. They might even be a bigger problem, given the offensive odors they are capable of emitting, hence their name (stink bugs).
All this being, it wasn’t just until recently that these bugs started making their presence known in the United States. Ever since, they have become a growing nuisance, especially in Dayton. During the summer months, it won’t be uncommon to find these bugs feeding on vegetable crops, fruit trees, and other ornamental plants. Don’t be fooled by their small stature because these bugs can eradicate an entire crop. Pretty impressive when you think about it.
Detecting The Early Warning Signs Of Overwintering Pests
It doesn’t matter what type of pest you are dealing with, you’ll be much better if you can spot the problem as early as possible. Early detection is always preferable, as it’ll not only make elimination easier, but it’ll save you some money in the long run. To do this, you’ll have to learn to spot the early warning signs. Lucky, the early warning signs for overwintering pests aren’t too difficult to spot. All you have to do is look for the bug. If you see one or two of them on the property, there is an extremely good chance that there are a hundred more behind.
What you have to remember is the bugs do not want to be in the home. They are only there because it is essential, which makes elimination harder. After all, it’s a means of survival. At least this is the case for the winter months. During the summer, you can just simply vacuum the bugs up and dispose of them outside. They want to be outside. If they are still in the home during the summer it’s because they’ve got turned around and pushed further into the home.
How Can I Prevent Overwinter Pests?
As was mentioned above, prevention is key when it comes to overwintering pests. While this might sound like an easy task, it is much harder than one would imagine. And, this is because there are so many possible entry points into a structure. Learning to identify and how to block off these entry points will be key for properly and effectively dealing with infestations. Here’s what you need to know:
Most Common Entry Points For Overwinter Pests
While there are tons of different ways that overwintering pests can enter the home, there are some that they will choose over others. You’ll want to seal off all these potential entry points, but these here are the ones you’ll want to start with first. Attack these first!
Bricks And Mortar Joints
Brick is a beautiful construction material with a lot of natural beauty properties. This is why a lot of contractors utilize it and will continue to utilize it for years and years to come. While it is beautiful, it does pose some unique problems in certain situations. These situations are when molding or fascia boards are installed over them. When bricks are used as a building material they must be sealed. This is just natural, but the problem comes with sealing the bricks.
Even when bricks are placed on top of each other or side by side, there are gaps. Those gaps must be sealed and there is wherein the problems lie. When these cracks and crevices are sealed it creates indented spots. The sealed joints are not flush with the face of the bricks. This is where the problem is. When you put molding, wood, or fascia board on top of brick, it creates even more gaps and uneven spots because of the indented sealed spots. These spots create openings and gaps for bugs. These are the spots that will have to be sealed to prevent overwintering pests.
Under Window Frames
Windows are another beautiful building material. Some would say they are the eyes of the home. They do let in natural light and can provide a kind of warmth, unlike what you’ll get from anything else. Regardless, these applications will need to be properly sealed. When installed the installers will usually seal the tops and sides of the windows. This is because these are the only areas that are susceptible to leaking water. While the bottom isn’t exposed to leaking water, it is exposed to overwinter pests. Overwinter pests can enter the home through here. These areas will need to be properly sealed off.
Fascia Board Over Wood Clapboard
When clapboard is utilized as a building material it creates a similar effect as that of brick. The only problem is the gaps are usually much greater. This means that they’ll not only need to be sealed off, but they’ll have to be sealed with the proper materials.
Soffits And Attic Vents
Soffits and vents are necessary. They provide the proper ventilation into a building. The only problem is they also create natural gaps and openings. These gaps and openings will need to be sealed with the proper materials.
Every home and building has pipes, tubes, wires, and vents. All of these things are essential components of the home. Where they penetrate the building, they will need to be sealed off or bugs will get in through here. However, the one thing you’ll likely have to remember is the areas will likely need accessing later for repair and maintenance purposes. You’ll want to utilize some kind of non-permanent material when sealing these areas off.
Utilizing The Right Sealant Materials
As it is important to seal off these openings, it is just as important to make sure you utilize the right sealant materials. Here are some of the common materials we utilize in the field:
Caulk – This is a material applied via a caulking gun and best used in areas where there isn’t going to be future movement (Brick)
Sealants – This one is virtually the opposite of caulking and best utilized in areas where there is going to be potential growth and expansion (Wood and aluminum)
Foam Insulation – Foam insulation comes in the form of both a spray and a rubber-like material. The rubber-like material is best utilized in non-permanent situations, whereas the foam spray will be more permanent
Aluminum Screening – This material can be rolled and folded. It is usually metal or aluminum and best used where there is still a need for airflow (Behind soffit vents and attic fans)
Hardware Cloth – This one acts as a heavy-duty screening material
Pot Scrubbers – These are best used when there is a need to fill tiny gaps
Overwintering pests can be tricky, but eliminating and preventing them can be even more difficult. Not to worry though because we are here for you. All you have to do is give us a call and we’ll get someone out to the proper with the next 24 to 48 hours. We do have emergency specialists available if and when they are needed.