Overwintering is a common term in nature. People from up north often overwinter in Florida, but that journey is optional. Bugs and other pests must overwinter in sheltered areas, and that journey is mandatory. Some pests can burrow into soil or leaves and make the best of it. But your home is a five-star hotel.
Overwintering pests are particularly dangerous to your property because, unless you see them on the way in, these pests are almost invisible until they emerge in March or April. During these months, they must eat, and that means they usually destroy things.
At Thrive Pest Control, we do much more than come out and spray. We also give homeowners the tools they need to minimize pest disruptions. However, if you need the big guns, do not hesitate to call us. The longer you wait, the more entrenched pests become.
Common Overwintering Pests
Tiny insects, like fleas, ants and ticks, can normally survive the relatively mild Tulsa Oklahoma winters outdoors. They do not need hardly any food or shelter. Larger pests are a different story. Some examples include:
- Box Elder Bugs: During non-winter months, these pests usually live in, wait for it, box elder trees. During the winter, they need additional warmth and shelter. These bugs leave disgusting fecal trails on the clothing, drapes, and other surfaces they crawl across.
- Asian Lady Bugs: These insects resemble native lady bugs, but their habits are much different. These aggressive bugs bite pets and people. Furthermore, if you crush them, they smell terrible.
- Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs: BMSBs are another unwelcome Asian import. We’ve had our fill of those during 2020. During the spring, summer, and fall, ravenous stink bugs feast on decorative plants and vegetable gardens. During the winter, they come inside and smell bad.
- Cluster Flies: Unlike houseflies, cluster flies begin life as parasites inside earthworms. When temperatures cool, they “cluster” together for warmth. Once these insects get in your house, it is almost impossible to get rid of them.
Honorable mention, or perhaps dishonorable mentions, goes to caterpillars, crickets and moths.
Controlling These Pests
Generally, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way, and often the only way, to control overwintering pests is to keep them from getting inside in the first place.
Closely inspect your foundation and exterior walls. Then, caulk or otherwise seal any openings. That includes not only cracks and crevices, but also window and door gaps, electrical outlets, and plumbing fixtures.
Furthermore, clean the outside and inside of your home. Many pests use debris in gutters to build their nests. Indoors, immediately clean any spills, especially sugary spills, which could attract bugs. The less attractive you make your home, the more likely pests tend to go somewhere else.
If you’ve dealt with overwintering pests before, we suggest monthly or quarterly treatments, at least from fall to spring.
Call us anytime you need us.