Fall has arrived with its cooler temperatures and brilliant colors. As the seasons change, you will also notice a change in the types of pests that you are seeing. Bees, mosquitos, and ants that were such nuisances during the summer months are making room for a whole slew of fall pests that will try to test your home’s defenses. With a little knowledge and preparation, you can keep these common fall pests out of your home.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Let’s face it… it stinks to have an infestation of stink bugs! Brown marmorated stink bugs are a relatively new pest in the United States. They were introduced from Asia in about 1998. As the population has exploded, stink bugs have become a major agricultural pest that destroys crops. When a stink bug gets inside your home, they like to overwinter within the walls. To make matters worse, stink bugs will leave an invisible chemical trail that will guide other stink bugs to the area. This gathering tendency makes stink bugs difficult to get rid of. The most important step is to seal the outside of your home before you have a problem. Slowly walk around the exterior and look for any holes or gaps. Fill these in with caulk and make repairs to your screens and weather stripping as needed. If you see a large population of stink bugs in or around your home or smell a strong odor similar to coriander, you may have an infestation. Consider getting professional help to quickly get them taken care of.
These little monsters aren’t necessarily specific to the Fall season, though they can be depending on the year and the popularity of vacation season. Getting a bed bug treatment is the best way to go when you discover small bites on your body or see small, oval-shaped bugs running away near your bed or mattress. Remember, just because you don’t see them for a while does not mean that they’re gone. They can survive months without feeding and will come back.
Perhaps the most common and hated of all fall pests are rodents. Mice, rats, and squirrels are rarely a problem during the summer because they have plenty of food, water, and shelter outdoors. As the weather gets colder, however, rodents are seeking a nice warm place to spend the winter. If you don’t want to share your home with mice and other rodents, now is the time to take action. When you are performing your exterior inspection, remember that mice can squeeze through seemingly impossible holes, some as small as a dime, so be diligent in sealing all holes and cracks. To prevent squirrels from getting into your attic, check your roof and soffits for holes and gaps as well. It is also helpful to remove wood piles, cardboard boxes, and other debris from your yard.
Unfortunately, cockroaches are a problem throughout the entire year, but in the fall we tend to see an uptick in cockroach activity as they too are seeking warmer shelter. The American cockroach is especially sensitive to temperature and prefers it around 70 degrees. That makes your home an ideal place. Cockroaches carry several diseases, and research has even shown a connection between cockroaches and asthma. The bottom line is that you don’t want cockroaches in your home! To avoid an infestation it is important to keep your home clean. Sweep and vacuum regularly and take out the trash daily. Cockroaches are also attracted to moisture, so fix any leaky faucets or pipes you might have. Pay special attention to under sink areas where it is dark and moist.
Box Elder Bugs
These annoying bugs get their name from their preferred living place, box elder trees. They also will live on ash, maple, or oak trees. Box Elder bugs are typically a slate gray or brown color with 3 red lines behind their head and red on their wings as well. While they are not dangerous, box elder bugs can be an annoyance because they tend to congregate in large groups. On warm fall days, you can often see huge groups of them sunning themselves on rocks, trees, or homes. Once inside a home, groups of box elder bugs can potentially stain curtains and walls. Along with sealing your exterior, it can also be helpful to remove box elder trees from the immediate area. This is a big step to take though, so you have to decide if the annoyance of the bugs is worth the effort.
These are just a few of the fall pests you might be seeing right now in the Tulsa area. No matter what pest is bugging you, Midwest Pest Control can help. Our team of experienced technicians wants to make sure that you are completely satisfied with your pest control experience. We work hard so that you will have a pest free home this fall.