Over the weekend while I was out doing some work around the house, I noticed what looked to be a couple of stink bugs trying to make their way in. It seems they have already started the search for a location to overwinter. If you’ve had issues with stink bugs in the past, now is the time to start preparing and pest-proofing your home before they make their way in.
As you’ve probably noticed the days have been getting shorter and shorter which is the trigger for many insects including stink bugs, ladybugs, and boxelder bugs to begin searching for areas to overwinter in Great Cincinnati. Like your home or business! While treatment will help to greatly reduce the number of these over winter pests that make it into your home the best way to deal with them is prevention: pest-proofing your home to keep them from making their way in.
In the Cincinnati area, we have a great number of insects that try to make your home their overwintering hotel including the brown marmorated stink bug, Asian lady beetle, boxelder bug, and cluster flies just to name a few. Brown marmorated stink bugs are usually the first to start searching followed by the Asian lady beetle a few weeks later. If your home has had issues in the past than you should expect the same problem again this year.
You may ask, what measures should I take to prevent these overwinter pests?
Pest control treatment is a great start. At Sure Thing, we can perform a fall application to your home to prevent a large majority of the stink bugs, boxelder bugs, and other pests from making their way in. While this is a great method for greatly reducing the chances of these pests from entering your home or business some exclusions measures should also be taken to have the best results.
Another great method for stopping them before they make it into your home is to properly pest-proof your home. Here are some tips that you can do at home to reduce problems with fall insect invasions:
- Seal cracks around doors, windows, and dry vents with caulk. Cracks as small as 1/8” will allow some insects to fit through.
- Replace torn or damaged window screens.
- Seal openings around pipes and wires in the foundation and siding with caulk. For larger openings use expandable foam or other suitable materials.
- Check the seal/ weather stripping under the doors. While lying on the floor, look to see if you can see light coming from under or around the door.
- Adding a chimney cap to exclude Stink bugs and also other wildlife. Make sure to leave your damper closed when not in use.
- *Cover attic and roof vents with hardware cloth. The cloth should be 1/6 inch or smaller to exclude stink bugs*
- Remove window AC units if possible.
- Apply a residual insecticide to the exterior of the home. Treating underneath and around doors, windows, utility openings, and where there is a change of material.
What To Do Once They’re Inside
Once overwinter pests have made it inside your Cincinnati home or business, you’ll generally them in various places. They are commonly seen around chimneys, closets, window air condition units, attics, on shelves, and around windows and doors.
Once Stink bugs have already made it into your home a chemical treatment is not recommended as they are going to be in wall voids and other areas that can’t be accessed so you may still continue to find insects. Besides prevention, the best way to remove overwintering pests is simply to suck them up with a vacuum. Another great control measure in dark areas such as attics and basements is to use some variation of a light-baited/ funnel trap and soapy water traps.