Let’s start off with the question everyone is probably wondering: What is an “occasional invader”???
This term is just a simple way to group a variety of pests that are known to occupy your home when outside weather conditions become hostile to their survival. In Maryland and Northern Virginia, these pests generally include:
- Boxelder bugs
- Stink bugs
During this time of year we start to receive a lot of questions about these pests and their activity. Here are the most frequently asked questions about occasional fall invaders.
Why do I seem to see more pests in my home in the fall?
Occasional invaders are active year-round and spend most of their time outdoors. However, homeowners tend to notice them more frequently inside during the fall season because they are searching for a new, warm, safe home for the winter season.
What issues do occasional invaders pose?
Although occasional invaders may enter your home in large numbers, they are usually harmless, nothing more than a nuisance.
There are a few specific pests that can cause non-health-related problems:
- Stink bugs are harmful to the agricultural industry because they destroy crops
- Boxelder bugs and ladybugs may exude a defensive fluid when crushed that could stain curtains, drapes, clothing, and other fabrics
- Silverfish infest paper, particularly wallpaper, books, and envelopes, so these materials could become damaged over time.
How can I prevent an occasional invader invasion?
There are a variety of things you can do to prevent occasional invaders from intruding your home:
- Seal cracks around windows, doors, siding, and pipes
- Repair or replace damaged screens on doors and windows
- Reduce moisture sites and properly ventilate
- Remove debris, such as mulch, leaves, grass clippings, stones and boards, from the outside of your home
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and five inches off the ground
- Change outdoor lighting to yellow bulbs or sodium vapor lamps, both of which are less attractive to pests
What's the best way to get rid of occasional invaders?
Spotting a stink bug on the wall or a centipede crawling on the floor is common.
The best way to remove these types of pests from your home is with a vacuum cleaner.
However, if you experience an influx of occasional invaders around your home, contact a licensed pest professional to properly treat the problem (hint, hint, US!)