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Charlottesville, Virginia experiences all four seasons. Therefore, it is going to get hot during the summer and cold during winter. You can’t stop this from happening, but you can prevent overwintering pests from entering your home. Remember that these pests need to hide in your home to survive winter. Take steps to make it harder for these pests to enter your home and you’ll be glad you did. Below, readers will learn more about the overwintering pests in Charlottesville.
Which Overwintering Pests Are In Charlottesville VA?
Boxelder bugs are often found in our area. These pests tend to target gardens during the warm months. They feed on the seeds of certain trees especially boxelder trees. When the cold weather arrives, they’re going to find a way to invade residential structures. They can hide elsewhere but your home is a good hiding place. They will hide in homes and other buildings until winter has ended. Boxelder bugs are only half an inch. They’re small, black, and have red lines on their wings. Thanks to their small size, they can easily slip through small crevices, holes, and gaps.
Although they’re a nuisance, these pests are not dangerous. They’re not known to bite, transmit illness, or damage structures. When they’re crushed, they’ll release a foul odor and leave a stain on your furniture.
Asian Lady Beetles
Charlottesville is home to multi-colored Asian ladybugs or Asian lady beetles. They are similar to the native ladybugs in our area but their behaviors are unique. When they can find a way to enter your home, they’ll do so before winter arrives. These pests can bite but they won’t cause any serious damage. They’re known to release a foul odor when they’re crushed.
You may encounter cluster flies since they are common overwintering pests in our area. These pests tend to spend their entire life cycle outside. They begin life as parasites in earthworms. Once they transform into larvae, they’ll be ready to leave the earthworm and begin living outside. Although they want to be outside, they cannot get trapped outside in winter. They often take shelter behind loose wood planks and tree bark. However, they can sometimes enter residential structures too. They’re called cluster flies for a reason. When they enter and exit your home, you’ll find large clusters of them.
The large group will scare you, but rest assured knowing they’re not dangerous. Deal with the mess they’ve left behind and prevent them from entering your home next year.
Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bugs
Leaf-footed pine seed bugs are one of the largest overwintering pests in our area. They’re efficient breeders and can produce a new generation every year. These overwintering pests are dull-brown with the largest adults reaching three-quarters of an inch. When it is warm outside, leaf-footed pine seed bugs will stay outside and consume pine cones. Since they’re so large, they’re going to scare you. However, you shouldn’t let them because they’re not dangerous. Just before winter, leaf-footed pine seed bugs will attempt to find suitable shelter.
They can hide behind loose tree bark but they can enter homes too. They’ll squeeze through small gaps and cracks around your home. Once they’ve entered, they’ll remain in your home until the temperatures increase. Whether you turn up the HVAC unit or the weather gets warmer, these pests will go back outside. When this happens, you’ll see a lot of leaf-footed pine seed bugs together. Don’t worry too much about them since they’re not dangerous.
Make sure you take steps to keep them out of your home next winter.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs
Don’t forget about brown marmorated stink bugs because they’re common found in Charlottesville. These pests are only half an inch and their back has a shield-like back. They’re called brown marmorated stink bugs because they have a marble pattern. These pests have been in the United States since 1996 when they were first found in Allentown, Pennsylvania. They came from Asia and have quickly spread across the United States. When the city is warm, stink bugs are going to stay outside and consume plants and fruit trees. Once the cold weather arrives, they’re going to find a way to stay warm.
While they can hide elsewhere, they’ll often enter residential structures. They’re small enough to enter through small gaps. Thankfully, stink bugs are not dangerous or destructive. If you crush them, they’re going to release a terrible odor. When you find a few stink bugs in your home, grab your vacuum cleaner and suck them up. Once you’ve done that, you can dispose of them far away from your home.
Pinpointing An Overwintering Pest Infestation
Take time to find out how to identify overwintering pests because you may encounter them at some point. If you know how to identify an infestation, you’ll find out sooner and fix the problem before it worsens. In general, overwintering pests remain hidden until the temperatures increase. When your heating unit or the sun increases your home’s temperatures, the pests are going to come out of hiding. They’ll think it is spring so they’ll come out and find a way to go back outside. Remember that overwintering pests don’t want to be inside when it is warm outside. Make sure they find a way out and they’ll leave on their own.
Preventing Overwintering Pest Invasions
If overwintering pests can enter your home, they’ll return year after year. Therefore, you cannot let this happens. You need to make it hard for these pests to enter your home. Once you’ve done that, you’ll decrease the likelihood that these pests are going to enter your home and turn your life upside down. Take preventative measures in spring and summer to ensure that they don’t invade your home this fall and winter. It is unrealistic to think that you can stop all pests from entering your home. Nevertheless, you can reduce the risk that overwintering pests are going to find a way in.
Use the advice below to keep overwintering pests out.
Sealing Small Entry Points
Be sure to seal all small entry points around your home. Once you’ve eliminated possible entry points, it’ll be harder for these pests to enter your home. Doing this will prevent overwintering pests from entering your home. It’ll keep other pests out too.
Installing A Protective Exterior Barrier
A professional exterminator can help you install a protective barrier around your home. The residual treatment can help keep overwintering pests away from your home. Working with a professional ensures you’ll rely on industrial-strength chemicals. They’ll provide more effective results with improved longevity.
Common Spots To Check For Gaps
Bricks And Mortar
Brick homes are likely going to have small gaps between two bricks. A small gap can be found where the mortar touches the siding or molding. The brick and mortar are uneven so it will leave a small hole here. It is pertinent to take steps to fill in this gap immediately. Small pests can slip through the gap and enter your attic. A sealant will help block this entry point.
When windows are installed, they should be caulked thoroughly. However, many installers only caulk the top and sides. Unfortunately, this means that the bottom is going to be left open. Pests will be able to slip through the small gap and enter the dwelling. Spiders, insects, and some overwintering pests can enter through this hole. Seal it with caulk to keep them out.
Fascia & Clapboard
Your clapboard has an uneven surface that will lead to gaps. The gap has to be sealed quickly. Using a caulk will work, but it is best to use a foam insulating cord.
Attics & Soffit Vents
You’ll notice vents around your attic. They help reduce humidity in your attic. It is pertinent to make sure these vents are covered by durable screens. If the screens have been damaged, they may have small holes and gaps that allow pests to enter. Replace it to prevent overwintering pests from entering your home through these holes.
Utility & Plumbing Openings
Plumbing pipes and utility cables have to enter your home at some point. If you look around these openings, you’ll likely find small gaps around them. Unfortunately, some of the smallest overwintering pests can enter through these holes. You have to seal them effectively to prevent this from happening. One way to do that is by using an old put scrubber. Since it has been used, you’ll have no trouble pushing it into the small hole. Plus, it won’t rust later. Ultimately, one of the best ways to resolve the problem is by working with a qualified exterminator.
Call our Charlottesville office so we can help. We’ll check your home for entry points and give you advice for keeping these pests out.
Sealing Your Home With The Right Materials
Make sure that you’re sealing your home with the right exclusion materials. Products that are used to stop pests from entering your home are called pest-proofing products or exclusion materials. They’re going to deliver immense benefits since they’ll block overwintering pests and other pests from entering your home. Install them correctly and you’ll maintain a pest-free home all year.
Caulks And Sealants
It is wise to learn more about caulks and sealants. Both are great exclusion materials. If the surface is going to remain the same throughout the year, use a caulk. If the surface will expand or shrink due to temperature changes, use a sealant.
Other Products To Use
- Using foam insulation is wise for filling long gaps. It is flexible and easy to use to fill long gaps. It is best to avoid spray foam insulation because it is difficult to eliminate once it has dried.
- You can fill small holes using aluminum screening. It is inexpensive and lasts a long time. You can roll it and use it to fill gaps of various sizes.
- When you need a durable screen, be sure to use hardware cloth.
- Take advantage of used pot scrubbers to fill small holes and gaps.
These materials can help, but overwintering pests can still enter your home. When they do, contact us and we’ll take care of it.