Fall Invasion: How To Spot and Keep Out Fall Pests
- November 23, 2020
With winter fast approaching it’s time to get outside and finish up your fall chores. But fall is about more than just raking leaves. It’s also a great time to do any repairs to your home that you have been putting off. Around this time of year insects and rodents are looking for places to hide out during the winter. If your house is full of holes and cracks you might find that you have some company this winter. Here is a list of the most common fall pests in Tennessee and what you can do to keep them out.
Stink bugs are flat grey beetles with a stripe running from shoulders to the abdomen. In the fall they start to enter homes looking for a place to overwinter. When startled or squashed, stink bugs emit a foul odor. A good tip is to use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up and then dispose of the bag outside in case they try to escape.
If there’s one there’s probably more. In the fall, boxelder bugs climb down from boxelder trees in search of a warm place to spend the winter. They have long slender black bodies with a red stripe outlining its wings. Despite their appearance, boxelder bugs do not bite.
Don’t be fooled by their cute appearance. These imposters are not ladybugs. They are a species imported from Asia to control the aphid populations on farms. In the fall they begin to gather on the warm sides of buildings. If your windows and screens are fully protected, they could make their way inside and into your walls where they will wait and surprise you again in the spring.
In the fall your home will be under assault from all sides by fall pests looking for a cozy place to spend the winter. Here are some places to check around your home to make sure you and your family are protected this winter.
Over time doors warp and change size from the changing temperatures and humidity. It’s common for older homes for doors to not fit properly which means large cracks for pests to enter. You can fix this by either replacing the door or getting a door sweep for the bottom to keep pests from crawling under.
Who doesn’t like keeping the windows open in the fall? Pests love it, especially when your screens have seen better days. Screens can easily become ripped, frayed, or even chewed through by rodents, grasshoppers, and wasps. Upgrading your screens to a heavy-duty mesh will keep pets from chewing through them.
Your gutters can become clogged very easily in the fall. When gutters clog it fails to properly move water away from your house which can lead to leaks, erosion, and foundation problems. It can also be a great place for pests like mosquitoes to thrive. In the fall, gutters clogged with leaves make a perfect home for mice and squirrels who are just inches away from entering your home.
Other common places fall pests like to overwinter in are piles of leaf litter, grass clippings, and firewood. You want to make sure none of these things are within twenty feet of your home. As for the firewood, don’t bring it inside unless you plan to toss it directly into the fire. Setting it near the fire will only warm up the insects inside and set them free in your home.
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