The weather is starting to cool off again, which means we have the pleasure of dealing with a whole new variety of fall insects looking to hibernate in your home. It leaves us all wondering, where do insects like Asian lady beetles, box elder bugs, and cluster flies come from and why are they so popular this time of year?
We’re here to answer some commonly asked fall pest questions and offer our tips for prevention:
Where do Asian lady beetles come from?
Believe it or not, the Asian lady beetle (sometimes called “ladybug”) is fairly new to the United States, originating from Asia, as you could’ve guessed. They were introduced during the 1960’s in order to control agricultural pests in southern states, and have migrated to the rest of the United States, even reaching Canada.
During the fall months, Asian lady beetles congregate together in order to hibernate and stay warm – that’s why you’ll often find more than one if they’re in your home. They are especially attracted to older, light-colored houses that reflect heat. Be sure to seal cracks and windows during the summer months to prevent these pests from entering.
Why are box elder bugs on my house?
By the end of summer and early fall, the box elder population is at its peak. That’s why they look to enter structures in the fall to establish shelter for the winter. They will often hang out on the sunny side of the outside of your home to stay warm (usually the south/west parts of the home), so pay attention to possible entrances here.
In terms of prevention, the best prevention is to eliminate plants that attract box elder bug such as box elder trees.
What attracts cluster flies?
Cluster flies are most active during spring and summer months and feed on flowers and fruit. Once the cooler weather starts to approach, like box elder bugs and Asian lady beetles, cluster flies will begin to seek shelter and enter through small cracks and crevices. Once inside, they will hibernate together in dark places such as wall voids, underneath furniture, baseboards and inside door or window casings.
Cluster flies are unique because they appear to be dead when you find them during the winter months – but they are actually just sleeping! Even on warm February or March days, you may find them reawaken and attempt to travel back outside.
What can you do if you see these pests on the exterior of your home? Well, make sure you follow the prevention tips above and then consider getting an exterior barrier treatment, which will kill these insects when they land on you as they search for entrances. What happens if you find these pests inside your home? Well, one of the most effective ways is to simply vacuum them up. However, this can be tricky depending on where they are hiding, and while it remedies a symptom, it doesn’t actually solve the root cause of the infestation.
Now is the time to take preventative measures before these pests are in your home all winter. The experts at Wil-Kil Pest Control can help find potential entrance points to your home and provide effective pest management that is safe for you and your family.