Pests Invading Your Home in Autumn

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What brings pests inside?

The same thing that keeps you inside during the winter – warmth and shelter.

You may have noticed during autumn swarms of insects gathering in well lit spots on the facade of your house. As the warmth wanes insects will seek out a place where they can spend the days.

Insects also love homes with vinyl cladding because it gives them a perfect spot to hide underneath. It’s warm and shields them from the elements. Any point of ingress big enough for them to slide through is enough. You can also potentially find them bunched around badly insulated windows. Most often the insects overwinter in your home’s walls and can be spotted on sunny days where they crawl out of hiding to catch some rays.

Many insect species have a way to signal their mates to gather round, whether it’s for a feast or just a nice warm spot. So if a few bugs find their way in your house and find it cozy enough, expect there to be more soon!

Rodents aren’t any different. They will generally steer clear of you and hide their presence, but they are smart enough to know when to look for a suitable house to spend the winter in. And be sure where there is one rodent there are sure to be more, because they are highly social animals.


How can you deal with it?

Squishing them won’t do the trick and may, in fact, be quite worse. Many of these bugs like the marmorated stink bug emit a very foul defensive smell when in danger or damaged. Other insects will just stain your furnishings or walls. The best course of action is to gather them with your vacuum cleaner and dispose of the bags afterwards. Or take the simplest route – Give us a call!


Who are the usual suspects?

Marmorated Stink Bug

Stinkbug

These pests overwinter in a dormant state in which they do not feed or really move much about. They pose no threat to your property but can be a nuisance nonetheless, because they aggregate in large numbers. If there are warmer days in winter this can trick the stink bugs into thinking spring has come and pull them out of their torpor to look for food. Most likely that’s when you’ll see them.

They are attracted to places where they can slip in and remain undisturbed. Such places are under the vinyl cladding of your house, attics, basements, under floorboards, and loose window moldings.

Preventing them from entering your home is sadly really hard because they will try and use every crack as an entrance. Try sealing any gaps you can think of. A good idea is to put bug screens on your vents because they are an open invitation. Mind that stinkbugs will go for the sunniest spots.


Spiders

Huntsman Spider

Typical house spiders go without saying, but other spiders that are typically outdoors species may also invade your home in search for shelter in the winter. Some of these include dangerous species such as the Huntsman, funnel web spider, and the redback. The rainy season pushes them toward our homes where it’s both dry and warm.

Spiders prefer ceilings and quiet spots around light fittings where they can get both food(in the form of other insects attracted to light sources) and warmth. The Huntsman is probably the bravest of the three and if you are especially unlucky can potentially find one on your towel after a shower. Funnel-webs and redbacks could hide in pipes and worst case scenario inside your shoes. In all cases, you will come across them unexpectedly, so the best course of action is to cover your bases and be on the lookout.

Maybe there is nothing you can do about spiders entering your ceiling, but you can impede their invasion in your home considerably. Always keep the screens on windows and doors closed and make sure there are no gaps through which a spider can crawl. This is typically enough to keep them out of your home. An extra step would be to thin the vegetation around your house, especially if it doesn’t serve a purpose.


Earwigs

Earwig

You may have heard the urban legends surrounding them. However earwigs despite creepy are perfectly harmless to humans. What is in danger of them, however, are your garden and houseplants as their diet is entirely plant-based. When temperatures start going down they will seek out dark and damp spaces in your home and will most likely bring friends.

Once inside they can be found in places such as the bathroom, basement, under the rug, inside cushions, in the laundry room, and inside plant pots.

The most surefire way to prevent them setting shop in your home is to get rid of their favourite places. Yes, we know you can’t just throw your bathroom away. Rather make sure your home is as light and airy as possible, and minimize the dark damp places they love.


Clothes Moth

Clothes Moth

Unlike other moths, these prefer dark secluded places like your wardrobe. They do this regardless of season, but there is a spike when the cold fronts start forcing them to look for suitable places to overwinter. Naturally, this draws them to your home. They are especially attracted to stained fabric because of the moisture content. The feeding larvae are what cause the damage to your clothing items as they can spend months just eating away at it.

Thankfully the prevention is easy. All you need to do is dry clean clothes made from natural fibres and store them in ziplock bags so moths can’t get to the fabric. There are also a number of non-harmful repellents that you can put in your wardrobe.


Silverfish

Silverfish

Silverfish are probably the first to rush toward your home in late summer/early autumn. You are probably noticing a tendency by now. Sliverfish also loves dank dark places protected from the elements they can slither into. If they have clothing and paper to munch on they are set for the winter.

Silverfish are nocturnal, and as such it’s difficult to spot an infestation until it’s too late. They can lay as much as 20 eggs at a time and mature rather quickly. When their population gets high you will start noticing damage on wallpapers, clothing and even linens.

The best way to stop a silverfish infestation is to prevent it all together as pest control can be difficult with them. To do this you must keep your home as dry as possible. Fans and dehumidifiers work well. Another thing you can do is keep windows open but this can bring other problems as it also allows access to other pests. Once you deal with humidity you should also seal any cracks in the foundation and caulk the floorboards.


Slaters

Pill Bug

 

These critters are actually crustaceans. Yep. Closer to shrimp than to cockroaches. Like their sea cousins, they feed on decaying organic matter. They are a nuisance to crops, so an urban household may not be threatened by them unless you grow foodstuffs in your garden.

Their behaviour habitat-wise is very similar to that of silverfish. Dark damp places. However, in winter they will just look for shelter where they will hibernate until spring. This could become troublesome if they also decide to use your home as breeding grounds. We suggest taking the same preventive measures as with silverfish to keep them out.

 

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