It's the time of year when you look out your window for a glance at those beautiful fall leaves—and your view might be obstructed by some creepy-crawlies.
Boxelder bugs and Asian lady beetles seem to come out of the woodwork at this time of year.
“When the weather cools, our warm homes are just as enticing to pests as they are to us,” writes Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association. “Yet, pests are unwelcome houseguests as they can pose serious health and property threats. In preparation for winter, homeowners should be proactive and vigilant in preventing pests from coming indoors.”
This is the time of year when boxelder bugsleave their summer homes in the trees and flock to sunny spots like the exteriors of homes with southern or western exposure, according to University of Minnesota entomologists Jeffrey Hahn and Mark Ascerno.
Then, as the weather cools, the bugs seek out cracks and spaces around a home, sometimes getting inside and congregating near a sunny window.
Boxelder bugs don't bite but can cause a nuisance—such as the stains their excrement can leave on surfaces.
- The University of Minnesota offers tips on dealing with boxelder bugs gathering in or outside your home.
- Boxelderbugs.net also provides tips on the best pesticides and natural solutions for bug control.
The multicolored Asian lady beetle has similar habits, according to entomologist Hahn. In its native East Asia, the ladybug-lookalike winters along cliffs and outcroppings of rocks. But since it was first spotted in Minnesota in 1994, the Asian lady beetle—which is beneficial to pest-control in agriculture—has sought out winter homes inside our homes.
- The University of Minnesota gives advice on beetle-control, including a diagram for catching bugs with a vacuum and nylons; vacuumed-up Asian lady beetles are not necessarily killed.
- The USDA provides more tips, and also links to a diagram for constructing a beetle trap.
Autumn is also the time of year that rodents tend to make an appearance inside homes. Like bugs, mice are seeking out a warm place to live for the winter. But unlike bugs, rodents pose a threat to humans in that they can spread diseases and cause damage to homes.
- The Centers for Disease Control offer information on how to seal crevices around your home to keep rodents out. Also, they provide tips on trapping rodents and cleaning up after them.