Kids are heading back to school, summer is winding down, and the official start of autumn is just weeks away. As we are saying goodbye to another beautiful summer in the St. Louis area, unfortunately it’s time to start thinking about and preparing for fall pests – and how to keep those unwanted guests from our homes. Below we have listed 7 of the most prominent “fall invaders” that tend to infest Missouri and Illinois homes right when the beautiful fall weather shows up.
The cooler temperatures of autumn often leads to homeowners experiencing a rodent invasion, as these animals seek a warm place to over winter. Breeding season is at it’s peak by late summer and pregnant females must establish a secure nesting site, a reliable food source and a safe haven from predators, as the winter months ensue.
Signs of a rodent infestation in a home include hearing rustling noises in attics or walls, noticing foul odors from urine and seeing feces on floors near baseboards or in a kitchen pantry. Inspect the perimeter of your garage and the outside of your home for signs of knawing or entry points. Caulk void areas, especially around your air conditioning lines. Remove as much debris and firewood from around your building as possible.
There are numerous species of flies in the Missouri and Illinois areas that will invade homes to survive cold weather. Flies are annoying because the insects often buzz or try to bite humans and family pets. Flies also transmit pathogens such as salmonella, which is collected on their legs and mouthparts, as they settle on garbage or animal feces. The insects then land on objects in a home that are used on a daily basis like, cutlery, food preparation areas, and dishes and glassware. The resulting transference of pathogens may cause health problems to humans.
Tell-tale signs that there may be an infestation of flies in or around your home are seeing many insects swarming in the kitchen, near sewer lines in the basement, or trash cans outside. Make sure pet waste is removed from your yard on a regular basis, use bleach and a good nozzle on your garden hose to wash out trash cans at least once every three months. Completely fill all sinks and bath tubs, let the water out at once in order to completely flush interior plumbing lines.
An ordinary house fly can lay up to 300,000 eggs in a year and have an average lifespan of 14 to 28 days. If these odds seem overwhelming, call the professionals at Bugs by Brian.
3. Stinging Insects
An invasion of stinging insects in a home is dangerous, especially for anyone allergic to stings from bees. Accidentally stumbling onto a nest and disturbing an active hive will most assuredly send that person the nearest emergency room. Not to mention the subsequent pain and discomfort one must endure over the next 10 days to two weeks, resulting from multiple stings.
There are several varieties of stinging insects, including wasps, hornets or bees. Signs of hives or nests in a home may come from hearing buzzing noises inside the walls or seeing stinging insects inside various rooms of the house. With a careful examination on the exterior of a building, a homeowner may notice the insects hovering near an opening around a utility line or electric box, under a gutter, an eve along a roofline, behind a wall mounted light fixture, near a chimney or at the peak of a roof. In-ground hornets may be discovered as insects are seen flying in and out of the nest, which can be located in the yard, landscape beds, flower pots or in tree trunks.
A new press release from the department of labor cites bee attacks as the leading cause of death among workers (52 last year) and suggests fatalities from bee stings outnumber deaths from other insects by a margin of nearly two to one (and that is counting all other insects combined). When stinging insects present a problem to you or your family, more than likely, you will want to call Bugs by Brian for help in eliminating the threat posed by this insect.
There are hundreds of ant species that live in Illinois and Missouri that will seek a warm shelter and a food source during the winter months. Seeking a safe haven necessary to the survival of the colony is perfectly fine, as long as that location is not in the structure occupied by you and your family. Nobody wants ants in their kitchen or home, during any time of year.
Ants live in colonies with individual members numbering in the thousands, and can be found in landscape beds or inside timber located near your home. Ant colonies are divided into three catogories, the workers are usually the ones a homeowner finds in their kitchen as they forage for food. The species of ant known as a carpenter ant will make it’s nest in various structures inside your home. They will “galley out” wood in order to lay their eggs, and can potentially cause the same damage as a termite. These insects, whether they are just a nuisance or are the species which can cause serious damage to the wooden frame work of a building, are at best, annoying to a homeowner. Call Bugs by Brian to help rid your home or office of any unwanted insect pests, especially ants.
Stinkbugs are an invasive insect, which were accidentally introduced from Asia, and are now proliferating in the United States. There are several species of stinkbugs, however all have one thing in common, they create a really horrible odor when smashed or crushed. This feature accurately lends itself to its descriptive name, stinkbug.
Stinkbugs enjoy sunlight and warmth, causing it to invade certain walls located on the sunny sides of homes. This insect attempts to enter interior spaces through small gaps located around windows and doorways. Hoards of stinkbugs can live inside wall voids of a home until the following spring season. As this next generation begins its reproductive cycle, a foul oder resulting from the normal activity of this insect in your home can be left behind. This foul odor can be extremely difficult for a homeowner to eliminate because it’s emanating from deep in a wall void.
Regular pest control treatments can prevent this and any other insect from infesting your home. Let the pest professionals at Bugs by Brian design a program which best suits your needs.
6. Box-Elder Bugs
Homeowners commonly see box-elder bugs on trees and shrubs in the environment outside their homes. Box-elder bugs hatch on Box Elder trees, which can be located randomly in neighborhoods (they don’t have to be in your own yard) and the resulting insects migrate to nearby residential and commercial buildings.
However, this insect will invade homes in Missouri and Illinois in the fall season of the year. They like the warmth created by the sun against the side of a building. Box-elder bugs lay their eggs under siding, around window frames and under gutters along the roofline. The next generation of insects will emerge the following spring, from the eggs which were left behind the previous fall. If their population is left unchecked, your home will serve as a continual fall to spring breeding ground for this insect.
Box-elder bugs are particularly annoying to home owners because sightings usually occur in extremely large numbers. The side of your home or office on which the infestation occurs can actually look like it’s moving. The best way to eliminate box-elder bugs, once they gain entry into your home, is by vacuuming. You will avoid possibly crushing the insects and distributing thier scent glands and you won’t rupture the dye sacs containing a red enzyme released by this insect, as part of it’s defense mechanism.
Most people are familiar with the colorful red and black ladybugs we find in the spring and summer. Kids love to play with them and they have been the subject of many a nursery rhyme. This insect has other color variations such as yellow and orange with black appendages.
Of the seven common fall invaders, this is possibly the least offensive insect on the list. Ladybugs are actually beetles, primarily found on crops and vegetation. The major benefit to the ecosystem a ladybug serves is that they seek another harmful insect called an aphid as their primary food source. They devour an insect which can be potentially devastating to expensive landscape plants around your home or office.
However, this insect also occurs in large numbers in the fall season and as a result can enter your home in large numbers as well. (Bugs outside vs. bugs in your house changes everything.) Many people can even experience allergic reactions such as respiratory distress or eye irritation from the debris left behind by ladybugs.
Any insect occurring in large numbers will have a greater probability of entering your living space. And when they do, no matter what the species, they become a nuisance pest. No one wants to live with swarms of unwanted insect pests, so call us to design a pest control program which best suits your needs.
Are you starting to see signs of one of these “fall invaders” in your home or business? Want to prevent fall pest infestations before they start? Email Bugs by Brian or call us at (636) 394-0101 to make an appointment.