During the winter months a variety of pests seek shelter to survive the winter weather. This behavior, known as overwintering, is crucial for their survival. However, for homeowners, overwintering insects can become unwelcome guests as they seek refuge in our homes.
In this blog, we’ll explore some common overwintering insects found in Maryland & Virginia, identify them, and discuss effective prevention methods to keep them outside where they belong!
Stink Bugs (Brown Marmorated Stink Bug)
Identification: Easily recognized by their shield-shaped bodies and brown color with marbled patterns. Stink bugs emit a foul odor when disturbed. Prevention: Seal cracks and gaps in windows, doors, and foundations. Install screens on vents and windows to keep stink bugs out.
Identification: These bugs are black with distinctive red markings on their wings. Prevention: Seal entry points, such as cracks and gaps around windows, doors, and utility lines. Remove boxelder trees if possible, as they attract these bugs.
Identification: Beetles have a range of characteristics in terms of body shape, antennae, and coloration but they all have a hard carapace and wings, allowing them to get into hard to reach places. Prevention: Seal entry points, especially on the sunny side of the house. Repair damaged window screens, and use weather stripping around doors.
Identification: Various species of spiders overwinter indoors, seeking warmth. Prevention: Regularly clean and dust corners, closets, and basements. Seal gaps and cracks, and keep outdoor lights off at night to reduce prey attraction.
Rodents (Mice & Rats)
Identification: Small droppings, gnaw marks, and rustling sounds are signs of rodent presence. Prevention: Seal entry points with weather stripping and wire mesh. Keep food stored in airtight containers, and maintain cleanliness to reduce attractants.
Preventative Measures for Overwintering Insects
- Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks, gaps, and openings, sealing them promptly.
- Install door sweeps and weather stripping to prevent insects from entering through gaps around doors.
- Ensure window screens are intact and without holes.
- Remove debris, such as leaves and mulch, from the perimeter of your home, as it can attract pests.
- Trim vegetation and trees near the house, reducing potential bridge points for insects.
We hope you find these tips helpful in reducing the risk of unwanted guests during the winter months.