As you begin preparing your home for the colder weather by cleaning out your gutters and putting away your summer patio furniture, keep in mind that the cold, icy weather is not the only threat to your home.
While you are trying to stay cozy in your home as the snow falls, the last thing you want to see is a stink bug crawling across your counter or cluster flies buzzing around your home, but as the temperature drops, your risk of an overwintering pest invasion increases.
Your winter preparation routine should also include preparing your home for the invasion of overwintering pests to keep your cozy nights by the fireplace pest-free.
What is an Overwintering Pest?
Insects who seek warmth, food, water, and shelter in your home during the winter are known as overwintering pests. You may occasionally see them when they venture out into the living spaces of your home, but in most cases, you will see them when they come out of hiding as the warmer temperatures of spring rolls around.
Jeff Phillips, President of Blue Chip Pest Services, said that overwintering pests begin to invade the home when the evening temperatures drop down to the 50s.
Types of Overwintering Pests
There are a variety of overwintering pests, but according to Phillips the most common overwintering pests in the St. Louis area include:
- Stink bugs
- Cluster flies
- Boxelder bugs
These pests will seek refuge in any area of the home where they can stay warm and out of the inclement weather such as your attic, basement, garage, or shed until the winter season has ended. This is why it may seem like you have an abundance of pests around your home in the spring and that’s because they never left your home in the first place!
Are Overwintering Pests Dangerous?
Phillips said that none of the common overwintering pests are a threat to your health or safety, but rather serve mainly as a nuisance. It can be inconvenient or disgusting to find them dead or alive in your home, especially in areas of the house, such as your kitchen. Some pests, such as the stink bug, can also leave behind a foul, unpleasant odor when they invade.
Although many people are disgusted by having bugs in their home, crawling across the counter or flying through the living room, these pests do not pose a health risk to you, your family or your pets.
How to Prevent an Overwintering Pest Invasion
If you dread the thought of having pests spending their winter vacation in your home, it is crucial to take preventative measures in September and October to help keep them out. To prepare your home for the winter invasion, you should:
- Seal cracks, holes, and crevices.
- Keep your home free of clutter, debris, and food left out, which will entice insects.
- Vacuum carpeting, sweep floors, and clean up any spills that may attract pests.
- Clean your gutters and chimney.
- Store firewood away from the home.
- Clean debris away from your home to keep pests from hiding in it.
Phillips said you can seal up cracks and crevices throughout the year, but treatment for overwintering pests typically begin in September or October.
Why DIY Pest Treatments Won’t Keep Your Home Pest Free for Long
Although it may be tempting to go to your local home improvement store and purchase pest killer, Phillips said many of these treatments might work in the short term, but they won’t last long. “If they are trying to use an over the counter spray or other products, a lot of those are oil-based, so they don’t typically remain on the surface long enough to interact with bugs,” Phillips said. He said because of this, there is not typically enough product left behind to kill the pests.
Phillips also said the placement of the pest control treatments also plays a significant role in how effective the treatment will be. Phillips said these sprays and other treatments need to be applied in crevices, cracks, behind siding and in other areas that require special equipment to reach, in order to be the most effective.
Professional Overwintering Pest Extermination Services in St. Louis
Rather than wasting your time and money trying to treat for overwintering pests, it is recommended that you contact your local pest control experts at Blue Chip Pest Services. Unlike DIY home treatments, the 365 Pest Prevention Program, offered by Blue Chip Pest Control, can provide your home with a barrier of protection to help keep overwintering insects and other pests out of your home all year round!
“Our regular service program treats the exterior of the home every couple of months to maintain that barrier, which is going to catch or kill them when they try to enter the house,” Phillips said. Their expert team will thoroughly inspect your home and take note of what you have seen. After they’ve diagnosed your pest issue, they will develop an effective plan to treat the pest issues inside and outside of the home. Additionally, Blue Chip Pest Services will remove any dead insect nests or cobwebs that can be reached.
Using a combination of expertly applied sprays and granular materials, the pest control experts at Blue Chip Pest Services will treat the entry points of the home under and behind the siding, and around all the utility entries of the house. These treatments will also be applied inside any accessible crevices or cracks to prevent pest entry.
After the home has been treated, a pest control expert will review what has been done and let you know what they found inside and outside of the house. They will also include a detailed report about how you can prevent future pest invasions as part of their comprehensive program.
Don’t share your warm and cozy home with overwintering pests this season. Contact Blue Chip Pest Services to learn more about their effective 365 Pest Prevention Program, and it can help keep your home pest-free this winter and all year round!