With the cool weather settling in, homeowners begin to retreat indoors. While many cozy up near the fire, they forget that pests are also looking for warmth. Before homeowners realize it, rodents, Asian lady beetles, spiders and other pests are nestled near the fire as well.

Many homeowners want to keep pests from entering their homes, but have questions on how to keep them out in the first place. Wil-Kil Pest Control, a regional pest management company, answers homeowners’ most common fall pest-proofing questions and offer tips on how to keep pests outside, below:

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Question #1: What are the orange and black bugs all over my home?
These are Asian lady beetles and they appear in large numbers, usually near sunny areas. When disturbed, the Asian lady beetle is known to bite and secretes a strong-smelling yellow liquid that stains certain surfaces. The best way to prevent this pest from entering homes in the first place is to seal all cracks and crevices with sealant. If they are already inside, vacuuming this pest is the best removal method, just make sure to dispose of the vacuumed contents right away.

Question #2: What is the best way to get rid of spiders?
Spiders move indoors as the weather cools and are usually found in dark, secluded areas such as closets, basements, corners of rooms and underneath furniture. Many enter homes by climbing shrubbery and entering through openings. To avoid spiders this fall, trim shrubbery and bushes away from the exterior of your home. It is also important to seal any openings around your doors and windows.

Questions #3: I think I have mice, will steel wool keep them away?
Steel wool may keep mice away for a while, but it is only a temporary fix. Mice can fit through openings as small as a dime. To make sure this pest doesn’t enter your home, seal any opening as small as the size of a dime or larger with sealant or make more permanent repairs by contacting a building contractor.

Question #4: Is it true you never have just one mouse in your house?
Yes, mice reproduce rapidly, they can have up to 150 offspring per year! To prevent an invasion, be sure to install or repair door sweeps as well as screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.

Question #5: How can I get rid of boxelder bugs?
Boxelder bugs are drawn to warmth so many enter homes through openings in screens, doors and windows. To prevent these bugs from entering, repair all holes in your screens and seal any openings around your home. Once this pest enters your home, it is best to remove them with a vacuum.

Question #6: What is that fall smell?
No, we’re not talking about the crisp air and fallen leaves; we’re talking about brown marmorated stink bugs! Relatively new to the area, this pest spent most of summer near farmland, but now is the time it begins migrating into homes for warmth. When this pest is disturbed or squished, it emits a very foul odor. To keep this pest outside your home, make sure all openings in your screens are repaired and door sweeps are installed and in good repair. Seal any cracks and crevices with a strong sealant. If this pest gets indoors, it is best to contact a pest control professional as there may be too many to remove with only a vacuum and their smell can be very overpowering.

Contact us today for controlling winter pests, and check out Wil-Kil’s Appearance on WQOW, ABC 18 in Eau Claire, WI.