During the fall months, insects may enter homes and buildings from the surrounding landscape looking for a nice place to overwinter. Common invaders include box elder bugs, lady beetles, kudzu bugs, spiders and millipedes.
These invaders are generally harmless to people and property. They do not feed on people, pets, houseplants, stored products or furnishings. They are merely nuisance pests, especially when they occur in large numbers. The downside of kudzu bugs are, since they are in the stink bug family, they don’t smell good if you smash one.
The preferred management for insects is prevention: stop them before they enter the house. Typical exclusion or pest proofing activities include the use of tight fitting doors and windows; sealing openings and cracks around pipes and wires, doors and chimneys; repairing or replacing window, door and vent screens; and keeping siding, eaves, and soffits in good repair.
When needed, insecticide barriers can supplement pest proofing and can be applied by a professional pest control operator.
Southern and western sides of residences are where insects are most common because that is where the afternoon sunshine hits the house. Apply the insecticide according to label directions to siding, foundation, windowsills and door thresholds, and to lawn or landscape for a distance of a few feet from the building. Insecticides must be applied before insects begin to enter buildings to be effective.
To remove insects that have already entered the home use a broom and dustpan or vacuum. A household aerosol spray or ready to use liquids labeled for indoor use containing pyrethrins, cyfluthrin, or bifenthrin will provide some control. You can also use foggers. Use insecticides sparingly indoors and carefully follow label recommendations.
For more information on pest proofing, contact EHS Pest Control.