Arthropod pest issues become particularly common during the late summer and early fall. It is during this time that many arthropod pest species reach their peak population levels, and the dropping outdoor temperatures prompt many arthropod pest species to invade homes in order to avoid the coming winter cold. These insects include yellow jackets, fruit flies, stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, and boxelder bugs, just to name a few. Taking time to seal foundation cracks and other small access points on the external walls of a home is a good way to prevent common fall pests from gaining access indoors.
Yellow jackets can be found in urban, suburban and rural areas all spring and summer where they feed on insects and nest below the ground on residential lawns. Some yellow jacket species often build carton nests that can be found in trees, shrubs or attached to houses and patios. In response to declining insect food sources come September, yellow jackets search for human food scraps within trash, homes and cookouts in residential areas. Unsurprisingly, most yellow jacket sting attacks occur on residential properties during the early summer and late fall, so it is important to keep an eye out for nests on properties and swarms around garbage areas.
The brown marmorated stink bug has only existed in the United States for a little more than 20 years, but many residents have already come to expect major stink bug issues in and around their home each fall. Stink bugs are relatively large at 1 inch in length, but their flat bodies allow them to squeeze through tiny cracks and narrow openings that lead into homes. Once indoors, numerous stink bugs will gather within wall voids and other hard-to-access areas, and they are notorious for emitting a foul stench when they become distrubed or crushed.
Asian lady beetles, western conifer seed bugs and boxelder bugs invade homes each fall for the same reason and in the same manner as brown marmorated stink bugs. However, Asian lady beetles and western conifer seed bugs are capable of biting humans. Asian lady beetles also emit a foul defensive odor from their leg joints, and while all of the above named insects will invade homes during the fall in order to overwinter, western conifer seed bugs and brown marmorated stink bugs will likely survive the winter within wall voids before swarming back outdoors come spring. On unusually mild winter days, these insects will emerge from their indoor hiding places and swarm indoors, causing repeated nuisances throughout the winter season.
Have you ever smell the presence of indoor insects?