A common term used to describe pests and how they survive the colder temperatures is overwintering. These types of pests will often seek warmth and shelter in homes and buildings because of the comfort they offer. Overwintering pests don’t cause any harm to you or your home but can become a nuisance if they begin to infest. Here are some common overwintering pests and some easy do-it-yourself tips to keep them outside of your house.
These well-known pests are harmless and are deemed beneficial. They will often consume plant-eating insects such as aphids, mites, and scale insects, all of which can harm crops and plants in gardens; although, if you find lady bugs invading your home, they can become difficult to get rid of.
This type of overwintering pest is considered a little more aggressive than others. If they puncture your skin, it can cause a slight irritation, but nothing to worry about. Other than that, boxelder bugs are harmless, but can become a nuisance if they choose to infest.
These pests can infest homes in large numbers, especially beginning in the fall time. Stinkbugs are attracted to your home due to the warmth that it provides. They can usually find their way indoors through any exterior entry points.
Overwintering Pest Prevention
Keep your home protected this winter with these tips for preventing overwintering pests:
- Clean up your yard by raking, keeping the grass cut short, and picking up debris in the yard.
- Seal or caulk all cracks and crevices around house foundations, siding, doors, windows, electrical, and plumbing.
- Use tight-fitting insect screens on foundations and attic vents.
If you begin to see an overabundance of overwintering pests, then reach out to your local pest control company to create a customized plan of action.
Due to the moderate weather found in North Carolina, spiders are able to thrive. With many different species of spiders living in the state, only two are found to be harmful to humans. The two associated with biting humans are the black widow and the brown recluse. If not cared for correctly, a bite from these spiders can result in death. Luckily, it’s very rare to be bitten by these two arachnids. You’re bound to encounter many other species, let’s break down the popular spiders found in North Carolina.
The black widow spider is one of the most venomous spiders in North America. They have a shiny, black body with a red hourglass shape on their underside. They usually live in woodpiles, under rocks, or around homes, and are sometimes found in garages. They will, unfortunately, bite humans if they feel threatened, but luckily their venom isn’t life-threatening to most people.
This well-known venomous spider is found in most southern states and North Carolina is one of its home states. They appear light to dark brown and have a violin-shaped marking on their head. Mostly found living in woodpiles, under rocks, or around homes, they tend to stay away from people, hence their name, and prefer dimly lit areas, such as basements or attics. They are typically not aggressive and will only bite if they feel threatened.
These spiders are common here and can be found living under rocks, in tall grass, or near our homes. They are dark brown with white markings on their heads and abdomens. They are known to be one of the larger species found in homes, growing up to two inches long. Their bites are harmless, and it will usually only happen if they feel threatened.
Being one of the most common spiders found in North Carolina, these small, long-legged creatures can grow up to one inch long. They appear to have a dark brown body with light yellow markings on their abdomen. They can live indoors and outdoors. They are known to be a more beneficial type of spider to keep in your home because they keep populations down of other pests, including other spiders.
If you think you have a spider problem evolving in your home, feel free to reach out to your local pest control company and we can create a customized solution.
Temperatures are getting cooler and we are starting to spend more time indoors. We aren’t the only ones inside, though. Many pests will appear indoors that weren’t around in the warmer months. Pests found inside are seeking warmer shelter to survive the winter and provide a food source. Let’s break down some common fall pests so you’re better prepared to prevent and treat them.
Fall is the time when leaves begin to fall and temperatures drop, but it’s also when most spiders begin to mate. You might see more spiders than usual indoors due to them trying to find a match. Outside, you may notice large webs around your home. Spiders are known for being beneficial and can reduce the number of other pests around your home, so be mindful when knocking down their webs outside.
Fire ants build large mounds in soil and near structural foundations. They can even find their way indoors through cracks in buildings. When they feel threatened or disturbed, they can cause multiple painful stings and can become aggressive. Fall is the best time to treat fire ant mounds as this is when they’re most active.
Like us humans, rodents are also in search of food and warmth in the cooler weather. Your home can become a welcoming environment for them. Be sure to rodent-proof your home by sealing gaps or openings around your home’s exterior. Keep outdoor vents covered, repair any holes or tears in window or door screens, and install weatherstripping around doors.
You may notice an increase in overwintering pests, such as ladybugs, boxelder bugs, and stink bugs. These types of pests often resist traditional treatments with pesticides, so it’s best to take measures around your home to prevent more from coming inside. They’ll gather near the warmest areas of your home, usually on the south and west-facing sides. In these areas, check for any openings or gaps around windows and doors.
If you notice an influx of pests around your home this fall, reach out to your local pest control company who will provide you with a treatment plan that works best for you and your family.
Seeing cockroaches in your home is never ideal. Certain roaches can mean there is an infestation, instead of just one. Failing to remove these pests can lead to unpleasant outcomes and more sightings.
We have broken down the most common cockroaches found in North Carolina and how to keep them away; let’s check it out!
These roaches are generally light to dark brown and have two stripes near the back of their head. This species does have wings but rarely uses them. They prefer dark, moist places, such as basements and crawl spaces. They don’t do well in the cold, so they thrive better here in the South.
Larger than the German cockroach, these roaches can get up to four centimeters in length. They develop wings towards the end of their lifecycle, with males having some longer than their bodies. They can be identified easily with a yellow band behind their head. They are typically found where there is an abundance of food, so restaurants see more infestations than homeowners would. They prefer dark or damp wood piles in the wild.
Here are some ways to prevent cockroaches and keep them away from your home.
- Eliminate food sources: store food in airtight containers and do not leave food out on counters
- Clean up food debris: make sure crumbs are not left on the counters and vacuum often to keep food off the floors
- Declutter your home: clutter provides free hiding places for roaches; be sure to keep clutter minimal
- Seal all entry points: key risks are windows, doors, pipes, and drains. Be sure to seal all open areas to keep them out of your home.
If you think you have a roach infestation, be sure to reach out to your local pest control company. These professionals will provide the best plan of action to keep roaches out of your home.
Are stinging pests interfering with your summer barbecues? Stinging pests are most active in the summer and can impact your family’s fun. Check out these common stinging pests and the best way to avoid them!
These pests are a bit larger than most stinging pests and can range from 3/4” to 1-3/8” long, with brown and yellow abdominal stripes on their body. Their nests are often built in hollow trees and the walls of houses and attics, although they prefer a forested environment. Hornets are attracted to light and can fly to your windows at night if they see a light on. They are relatively non-aggressive near the nest, but there is potential for a stinging hazard if threatened.
Wasps are busy at work scavenging for food during the summer months. They typically build their nests in branches, porch ceilings, eaves, and attic rafters. You will find these pests highly attracted to backyard barbecues, increasing your chances of being stung. Wasps will sting multiple times if they feel threatened enough. They can also call in reinforcements from other wasps by emitting pheromones.
These social insects are anywhere humans are found. They measure 3/8” to 5/8” long and have a non-fuzzy black and yellow body. Yellowjackets feed on sweets and proteins; therefore, they commonly invade outdoor events. They can build their nests in either high places or in the ground. Examples include shrubs, garages, timber, logs, and more. If threatened, yellowjackets will sting multiple times, causing extreme pain and possible allergic reactions.
If you encounter these stinging pests, don’t swat them away. This action can provoke an attack. The best thing to do is to remain calm and they should fly away. If you suspect a stinging pest problem near your property, contact your local pest control company for a treatment and prevention plan.
Household pests are any undesired animal that has a history of living, invading, causing damage to, eating food from, acting as a disease vector for, or causing any other harm to a human habitat. While many are just considered a nuisance, some household pests can become dangerous as they pose a risk to health, property, and lifestyle. Also, household pests aren’t just limited to insects. They include arachnids, rodents, and wildlife.
While household pests can be found year-round, some are more common in the summer months. Here are four of the most common summer pests and how you can prevent them.
Mosquito season peaks during the summer months. Mosquitoes are able to reproduce in large numbers due to the warm weather and humid environments that accelerate their life cycle. If you have standing water on your property, you will most likely see mosquitoes since this is where they lay their eggs. Mosquitoes can be dangerous to humans as they carry pathogens that can cause serious diseases such as Zika and West Nile virus.
Mosquitoes can be prevented by:
- Wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs
- Eliminating areas of standing water
- Repairing or replacing torn window screens
- Applying insect repellent
Ants hibernate in the winter and come out in full force during the summer. Ants are usually seen indoors during the summer because they’re searching for food and water as these can become scarce for them. They are also building up their reserves for the fall and winter months.
Ants can be prevented by:
- Keeping your home clean, especially the kitchen
- Not leaving pet food and water bowls outdoors
- Sealing cracks and holes in your home’s exteriors
- Keeping trees and shrubs trimmed away from the house
Termite swarming season is in the spring, but these newly established colonies grow exponentially in the summer. Termites can go long periods of time undetected. This allows them to cause significant damage to your home. It’s important to keep an eye out for signs of termites so you’re able to catch them early.
Termites can be prevented by:
- Eliminating wood to soil contact around foundations
- Keeping plants a few feet away from your home
- Fixing leaks and eliminating any other sources of excess moisture
- Having an annual termite inspection performed
Flies invade your home in the summer months to escape the heat. While they only reproduce during the hotter months, getting indoors allows them to do so even more prolifically.
Flies can be prevented by:
- Keeping windows, doors, and vents sealed
- Using garbage cans with tight fitting lids
- Storing food in airtight containers
- Not leaving dirty dishes out
- Turning off outdoor lights at night
Don’t let these common pests ruin your summer. If you have a problem with any of these pests, contact your local pest control company. They will be able to help eliminate them safely and prevent them going forward.