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Overwintering Pests

Table of Contents

Identifying Overwintering Pests

The Basics

In Los Angeles, there is a good chance that you’re going to encounter overwintering pests. When a pest fits into the overwintering pest category, it means that they find suitable shelter to hide during the winter. Many overwintering pests will attempt to hide in your attics or wall voids.

Which Pests Overwinters?

There are several pests that overwinter your area. Some of the most common overwintering pests including boxelder bugs, ladybugs, cluster flies, and others. These pests will be explored in greater depth below.

Boxelder Bugs

During the summer, you’re dealing with a basic garden pest. Boxelder bugs eat the seeds belonging to boxelder and maple trees. During the winter, they’ll become a nuisance for homeowners and business owners, because they’ll try to hide in your home. These black bugs have red markings and reach roughly half an inch in length. Since they’re small and slim, they can easily slip through cracks and enter your home. Don’t crush them because they’ll release a bad smell and leave a stain.

Ladybugs

The Asian Lady Beetle is one of the worst overwintering pests. These pests will bite and release a bad odor. Before winter arrives, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep ladybugs out of your home.

Cluster Flies

Cluster flies try to spend their entire lives outside. When it gets colder outside, Cluster Flies are going to begin looking for shelter. In many cases, they’ll hide behind loose tree bark or wooden planks. They’ll use your home to survive through the cold winter. If you wait too long and see a lot of cluster flies around your home, you’ve got a real problem on your hands. There is little you can do besides cleaning up the mess.

Pine Seed Bugs

You’ll also have to worry about leaf-footed pine seed bugs. This overwintering pest will produce one new generation each year. Adults tend to be 3/4” in length. During the summer, these bugs are going to eat pine cones and pine cone seeds. When it gets colder outside, adults will look for suitable shelter. While they often hide under tree bark, they’ll also enter structures. They’ll slip through small gaps and openings in hopes of entering your home. Since they’re large, there is a good chance that their appearance is going to shock you. While they don’t cause too many problems, you’ll still need to get rid of them and clean up the mess they’ve left behind.

Stink Bugs

Stink bugs or brown marmorated stink bugs are new to North America. During the summer, these bugs are going to eat vegetable crops, ornamental plants, and fruit trees. If you have a garden, you’ll want to protect your plants from stink bugs. During the winter, you’ll need to protect your home from these bugs. If you find your house overrun with stink bugs, you’ll need to grab your vacuum cleaner. You’ll want to vacuum them up and get rid of them that way.

Signs You Have An Overwintering Pest Problem

Do you suspect you have an overwintering pest problem? You might. To find out, you’ll need to look in the small cracks and crevices around your home. Otherwise, you should wait until the temperatures begin increasing. Once this happens, you can wait for the bugs to return to their natural habitats. It won’t take long for them to leave their shelter and return outside. If you find Asian lady beetles, pine seed bugs, or cluster flies during the spring, you likely had an overwintering pest problem during winter.

Can I Stop Overwintering Pests?

You may be able to stop overwintering pests from entering your home. To get started, check the sides of your home. Make sure that you don’t have any cracks, holes, or crevices. If you do, you’ll want to seal these gaps immediately. You can’t completely stop them from entering your home, you may be able to reduce the risk. Be sure to use the following tips to prevent overwintering pests from entering your home.

Screen Openings, Gaps, And Crevices

  • Be sure to eliminate all entry points.
  • Sealing gaps and cracks will stop bugs from entering your home.

Exterior Barrier

  • You can try using a protective exterior barrier treatment to keep bugs away from your home.
  • Be sure to hire a professional because they’ll use industrial-strength products to keep bugs at bay.
  • Professional products last much longer than others.

Common Entry Points For Overwintering Pests

Bricks/Mortar Joints

You need to be careful and seal all gaps between these joints. The gaps are common where the steel plate overlaps your door. You’ll need to use a sealant to fill in the gap. Do this and you’ll be able to stop the bugs from entering your home.

Window Frames

You’ll also want to look around your window frames. Do you see any gaps under or another the frames? If so, you’ll need to seal these gaps. If these gaps haven’t been caulked, you’ll want to fix this problem immediately.

Fascia Boards

You’ll want to look at the fascia boards near the wooden clapboard. You may find gaps in every board. If this is the case, you’ll want to caulk these gaps immediately. You can also try sealing them with a foam insulating cord.

Soffit & Attic Vents

Make sure that your vents are protected by a screen. If the screen has gaps or cracks, you’ll want to replace it immediately. Otherwise, bugs will get through easily.

Opens For Utilities

Finally, you’ll need to make sure that all utility openings are properly sealed. Even if the gap is very small, there is a risk that the bugs will get through it. Stop this from happening by sealing the gaps. If you’re having a difficult time keeping bugs out of your home, you should contact us. We’re ready and eager to begin helping you. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

What Can I Use To Seal These Gaps?

When trying to seal these gaps, you’ll want to use an assortment of materials. Exclusion materials can help. These products can help prevent overwintering and other pests from entering your home. Be sure to use the following tips to prevent these pests from accessing your home.

Using The Best Materials

  • When sealing joints that won’t move, you need to use caulk.
  • If you’re using joints that may move due to temperature changes, you should use other sealants.

Other Materials

Foam

You’ll also want to use foam insulation. Foam insulation is good for sealing long gaps.

Aluminum Screens 

This inexpensive screen can be used to stop bugs from entering the home.

Hardware Cloth

Hardware cloth works similar to a heavy-duty screen.

Pot Scrubbers

They can be used to fill small gaps.

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