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How to Get Rid of Overwintering Pests

By DoMyOwn staff

The most common overwintering pests are stink bugs, asian lady beetles, boxelder bugs, and cluster flies. We recommend a combination of liquid and dust insecticide to eradicate these fall invaders.

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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Kara with Today, we'll be discussing types of overwintering pests, what they are, how to get rid of them, and how to prevent them from coming back.

The most common overwintering pests or fall invaders are stink bugs, boxelder bugs, asian lady beetles, and cluster flies. These pests will enter your home in the fall months to take harborage during the winter. Overwintering pests find hiding spots in the home and stay put.

Stink bugs, although they do not bite or sting, release a strong order as a defense mechanism making an infestation unpleasant. They are also known as shield bugs.

Asian lady beetles are a species of ladybug that can leave behind a stinky, sticky, substance on the wall of a home. Boxelder bugs do not bite, but leave a staining dye behind if crushed. A large amount of boxelder bugs in the home can be a nuisance, especially when they emerge from their hiding spots as temperatures warm outside. Like their name implies, cluster flies tend to cluster, or swarm around windows on warm days while they try to escape the homes they hide in to weather out the winter.

Cluster flies can be annoying especially in large numbers. The best way to treat for overwintering pests or fall invaders is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. But if they do enter your home, there are ways to control the infestation.

Keeping out occasional invaders like stink bugs, asian lady beetles, and boxelder bugs is a multi-step process. Therefore, we recommend both a liquid insecticide and a dust insecticide. Applying preventative insecticide applications around the perimeter of your home will help keep these pests out.

Add half the water needed first, then the insecticide, then the remaining water. Replace the top of sprayer and agitate to combine. Outdoors, you're going to want to spray up from the foundation of the structure 1 foot up and 1 foot out around the perimeter of your home, around doorframes and window frames, around vents and soffits, where utility pipes and wires enter the home, cracks around the foundation of your structure, and other areas listed on the product label.

Indoors, you can spray the insecticide around the cracks and crevices of your home including around the door and window frames, where utility pipes enter the home, beneath appliances and sinks, in the corners of the rooms, and where baseboards meet the wall. Keep pets and children away from the areas being sprayed until the insecticide spray is completely dried. This should take usually around 1-2 hours. Treatment should begin before the first cold snap in late summer or early fall and usually will need to continue once a month or until a hard frost.

Make sure to follow the instructions on the product label of anything you use for precise application instructions. We recommend an insecticide dust around your home in addition to a liquid insecticide to combat overwintering pests in cracks, crevices, and other hard to reach places. Dusts are a slow kill, they should be used in combination with an insecticide concentrate since it tends to work faster. To use an insecticide dust, select the dust of your choice, fill a hand duster halfway and turn it upside down when you apply. Keep in mind some dusts aren't labeled for outdoor use, so that's something to consider before applying. The dust should be applied directly to the cracks and crevices around window and doorframes, in wall voids and behind outlets, and into any cracks or gaps where pests can enter. An important note: don't apply more than 1-2 puffs of dust per application area. Too much dust will repel insects, causing them to avoid the areas where the dust is being applied - the opposite what you want.

Cluster flies are another overwintering pest that may congregate on the sunniest wall of your home and around exterior doors and windows. When it comes to these pests inside your home in the spring or the fall, you can control them with an aerosol spray, following the instructions on the spray can. Close all windows to a door or room and spray for several seconds. Leave the room for about 15 minutes. Remove any dead cluster flies after treatment with a vacuum or broom.

Fly lights are also a smart solution to cluster flies especially in rooms that are not often frequented like guest bedrooms, attics, and basements. Simply attach the glueboard to the light and plug in. Cluster flies are attracted to the light and stick to the sticky glueboard inside the light.

The best way to get rid of overwintering pests is to prevent them entirely. Simple steps can go a long way in discouraging pests from entering the home. This could include but isn't limited to general home maintenance like repairing broken screen windows, installing dust sweeps on exterior doors, vacuuming often and keeping your home free from crumbs, and cleaning gutters to remove debris. Again, we can't stress enough that label is law and you should be sure to consult the label of any insecticide you use for application instructions.

Thanks for watching! We hope with these quick tips you can eradicate fall invaders.