Overwintering Pests

Table of Contents

Learning To Properly Identify Overwintering Pests

It doesn’t matter what type of pest you are dealing with in Syracuse, you simply aren’t going to be able to deal with it if you can’t identify it. In Syracuse, homeowners commonly find themselves battling what are known as overwinter pests, pests that only take up shelter in the property during the winter months. These pests usually like to take up residence in the wall voids that face closest to the sun. Some will inhabit attics and basements as well, but what it comes down to is a means of survival. These pests are trying to ride out the harsh elements of the winter weather. And, your home provides the perfect shelter for that.

What Type Of Pests Overwinter?

Overwinter pests are unique in the fact that they are not just one species. They are several different species. Unfortunately, this makes elimination and control a bit more difficult because instead of dealing with just one lifestyle and mentality, you end up having to deal with two or three. This is why it is more than crucial to learn how to properly identify each of these bugs as well as how to eliminate them. So, which pests overwinter in Syracuse?

Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs are extremely distinctive thanks to their red markings. They have flat, black wings with red markings. If you’ve seen one of these bugs before it’s likely stood out in your mind. You might not have known what you were dealing with at the time, but the bug no doubt stood out thanks to its distinctive and unique features. While these bugs are just minor garden pests during the summer months, they can be a major nuisance during the winter months when they take refuge in the property to avoid the cold.

They grow to about ½ inches and can easily slip through cracks and crevices thanks to their slim and sleek body designs. All that being said, they don’t bite, they don’t sting, and they don’t transmit diseases, which is always a huge positive. They don’t even pose your property any structural damage, but they do emit a funky odor when crushed. They can also potentially leave behind stains.

The Asian Lady Beetle

If you were looking at an Asian Lady Beetle you’d probably swear up and down you were looking at a ladybug. Many Syracuse residents would be inclined to agree with you because the two are extremely similar in appearance. They are also similar in habits and mentality. These bugs oftentimes take up residence in the walls closest facing to the sun and will emit odors and stains when crushed. Other than this, they really aren’t a threat to you, your home, or your pets.

Cluster Flies

Believe it or not, the Cluster Fly is one that would choose to live its entire life outdoors. It only ventures inside when it has to. Unlike a lot of other flies, however, this is one that originates from the Earthworm. When the larvae emerge, it continues its lifecycle outdoors, away from the Earthworm. It isn’t until the cold temperatures start to sit in that the critter will make its way onto your property. That being said, this critter is so adamant about staying outdoors that it will first try to take up residence behind tree barks and wood planks before venturing into the home.

It isn’t until these locations are deemed unsuitable that the Cluster Fly will venture inside properties. When you start to see these critters in the home during the warmer months, they are more than likely trying to make their way back outside. If they haven’t made it back out it’s because they’ve likely got turned around and ended up further in the property. All in all, the Cluster Fly wants to be outside.

Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bug

With the ability to produce just one generation a year, the leaf-footed pine seed bug isn’t a prolific breeder, but it can produce enough offspring to be a hassle. It’s not something any Syracuse property owner wants to have to deal with. The adults of the species are about ¾ inches long with dull-brownish bodies. They commonly feed on pine cones and pine cone seeds when viable.

When the winter months start to sit in, the adults will take up residence in the closet property. They sometimes will choose to get behind the bark of the pine and conifer trees, but when they can venture indoors, they’ll venture inside. They enter structures via small cracks and crevices. When winter is over and the property starts to naturally warm, you’ll likely see these creatures in abundance.

The sudden appearance of them in large numbers can be quite frightening, but you have to remember they are just a nuisance pest. They don’t bite, they don’t sting, and they don’t transmit diseases. They don’t even pose your property any threats.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

With their ½ inch in length appearance and shield-shaped back, the Brown Marmorated or Stink Bug stands out quite distinctively. The bug gets its name from the fact that it has a brown marbled pattern on its back. While these bugs are just a recent addition to the United States, their numbers have grown exponentially in just a short time. And, part of this is due to the fact that they’ve learned to survive the winter months. These bugs don’t really pose much of a threat indoors as far as physical harm and disease go, but they can emit a distinctive odor when crushed.

Outside, on the other hand, they can be a major nuisance because they prefer to fend on vegetable crops, fruit trees, and ornamental plants. They can destroy an entire crop, which is a huge cause for concern. The best way to get rid of this pest along with most other overwinter pests is to vacuum them up.

Detecting The Early Warning Signs

It doesn’t matter what type of pest you are dealing with, it’s always best to hit the problem head-on early. This is something that will make the entire elimination process easier while also saving you some money at the same time. Of course, this is much easier said than done. As for overwintering pests, you’ll want to look for the presence of bugs in the home. You’ll usually start to see them when the weather turns. When the weather starts to warm, you’ll notice the bugs coming out of hiding, trying to make their way back outside. If you spot just one or two of these bugs on the property, there’s a good chance there is more just right around the corner.

All this being said, you have to remember that this bug’s appearance in the home is oftentimes accidental. Most of these overwintering pests don’t want to be indoors. They are only here to ride out the winter and if you see them inside, they are likely trying to make their way back out. Most of the time, you can just give them a helping hand back out.

How Can I Prevent Overwintering Pests

Preventing a pest problem before it becomes a problem is always the idea. Of course, this is always something much harder said than done. If it was that easy we wouldn’t be in business. That being said, this is something we are more than happy to help Syracuse residents with. Just give us a call, we’ll assess the property, and then provide you with a list of preventive measures you can take to secure your property. All in all, it mostly comes down to sealing off potential entry points. If you want to prevent these pests from entering the property, you’ll have to cut them off from the outside. That’s always the best place to start.

The Most Common Entry Points For Overwinter Pests

If you want to eliminate overwintering pests and potentially prevent them from entering the home, you are going to have to learn to identify possible entry points. Not only will you have to learn to identify these entry points, but you’ll have to learn how to properly seal them off. Not to fear because this is something we are more than willing to help with. While we’ll come out and complete the task for you, these are things that property owners can do on their own. This will help save a bit of money, as we understand pest management can be expensive. However, if you are unable to seal the entry points or just don’t want to fool with it, we’ll be more than glad to handle the task.

Bricks And Mortar Joints

Brick is a beautiful material, but it creates some unique problems. The first thing is that when two bricks are placed side by side or on top of each other there are gaps. These gaps have to be sealed with a special sealant or caulk. While there is nothing wrong with this, it creates a small opening. If you notice the sealant joints are always smaller than that of the face of the brick. The sealant joints aren’t flush with the face of the brick. When installing molding or fascia board over brick, these sealant joints create gaps. Gaps that will have to be sealed. These are some of the common entry points for overwintering pests.

The Bottom Of Window Frames

Windows are the soul of the home. They let natural light in and provide a kind of warmth that you won’t be able to obtain from anything else. That being said, they also do create some unique problems when not properly sealed. When not properly sealed, they’ll either leak or provide entry points for bugs. Most window installers will go ahead and seal the top and side of the window during the installation because these areas are susceptible to leaks. They won’t, however, seal the bottom. While the bottoms of window seals are not vulnerable to leaks, they can provide entry points for overwintering pests. Seal these areas off with the right materials and you’ll have a big portion of your overwintering pests taken care of.

Fascia Board Over Wooden Clapboard

Clapboard is another common construction material that contractors utilize all the time. Its natural beauty and unique properties make it a go-to choice for contractors. That being said, it does also create some problems when installed in specific situations. When fascia boards are installed over clapboard it creates a gap in every board. These gaps must be caulked or stuffed with insulating foam, otherwise, bugs will be able to get into them.

Soffit And Attic Vents

Soffit and attic vents are essentials components of any building. Without these items, your building won’t have the proper ventilation needed which creates moisture and humidity problems. Soffits and attic fans need to provide air openings into the home, but they need to do it in a way that also keeps out animals. This is where aluminum screening or something similar can come in handy.

Utility Openings

Every piece of property in Syracuse is going to have vent openings, pipe openings, and wire openings, also known as utility openings. These are essentially openings that provide access to essential components of the home. They can also provide openings for bugs. Unfortunately, this creates a tricky situation. These areas will later need access for maintenance and repair purposes. This virtually means you have to be careful when sealing them. You can’t permanently seal them off because they will later need revisiting.

Utilizing The Right Sealants And Caulks

You don’t have to be a pest professional or a contractor to see the importance of sealing potential entry points. That being said, as important as it is to seal entry points, it’s just as important to seal them with the right materials. Not utilizing the right materials could allow penetration or entry into the property anyway. Here’s what you need to know about the available materials:

Caulking: This material is best utilized when the joints don’t move (brick)

Sealants: Sealants are best when there is a potential for variation in the width of the joints over the different seasons (aluminum and wood)

Foam Insulation: This is a flexible material that can be stuffed into large holes or behind bigger materials (There is both a flexible and can spray foam insulation. The spray usually hardens up and best utilized in permanent situations)

Aluminum Screening: This can be rolled and twisted, but is a material that is best utilized when there is a need for airflow (Behind attic vents and soffit)

Hardware Cloth: This can act like a heavy-duty screen

Pot Scrubbers: This material is best utilized when small gaps are needing sealing

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