Overwintering Pests

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Toronto Professional Overwintering Pest Control

The term “overwintering pest” is utilized by exterminators to describe insect species that hibernate during the winter season. Overwintering is a “deep-sleep” state that allows insects to survive during the winter on nutrients and vitamins from stored fat.

Overwintering pests invade buildings to avoid months of harsh weather exposure. The insects initiate home invasion attempts in the late fall. This will continue until a successful infiltration or the winter season kicks.

Overwintering pests that do not meet their home infiltration goals will spend the winter outdoors, sheltered in shrubs, behind loose tree bark, and underneath firewood or old lumber.

Most Common Overwintering Pest Sightings In Toronto

Toronto residents report thousands of overwintering pest sightings each year. The majority of these sightings take place beginning in the late fall, continuing until the first signs of winter appear.

Box Elder “Boxelder” Bug

The box elder bug is highly identifiable, thanks to its black red-outlined wings. The insect feeds on leaves and seeds from the maple, cheer, box elder, and ash trees. In their natural habitat, the box elder bug can be found in box elder trees.

The adult grows up to 0.5 inches in length. The insect does not have a stinger or transmit diseases to humans or animals. They are a nuisance pest, as structural damage is out of the question. They do secrete a substance that is utilized as a defense mechanism against predators. The secretion has a foul odor that many witnesses describe as “skunk-like.”

Another issue with the box elder bug secretion is its staining properties.

Ladybug “Asian Lady Beetle”

Ladybugs are a beetle species that begins to makes their presence known beginning in late fall. When the insect is preparing for the upcoming winter season, the only thing that seems to matter is finding shelter. Ladybugs are not partial to winter weather because they spend the season in a deep sleep, a dormant state known as overwintering.

Crevices, gaps, and other openings around doors, windows, utility lines, thresholds, vents, soffit, and garage doors are commonly utilized for home infiltration. Once inside the home, the ladybug initiates a search for a discrete, safe, and warm shelter.

Cluster Fly

The cluster fly is very similar to the common housefly, as both insects share many of the same physical characteristics and features. The insect has an extraordinary flying capability, allowing them to access homes through exterior-to-interior openings around attic vents, damaged siding, and eaves.

Cluster fly larvae feed off the earthworm until maturity, at which time, the insect becomes independent, fending for its own. Like the ladybug and box elder bug, the cluster fly refuses to spend the winter season outdoors if at all possible.

Beginning in late fall, the cluster fly joins other overwintering pests in a home infiltration expenditure. Unlucky cluster flies will seek shelter outdoors in their natural habitat behind loose tree bark, in bushes, and in damaged building structures.

Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bug

The leaf-footed pine seed bug is a unique critter with three sets of legs, two antennas, and a slender dark brown body. The adult grows up to 0.75 (¾) inches in length. In its natural habitat, the insect feeds on seeds and cones from the pine tree, where they will spend their winter if all home infiltration attempts fail.

Leaf-footed pine seed bugs overwinter until mid-spring, at which time they will come out of their hiding place in preparation for the upcoming breeding season. The insect breeds once a year, unlike insect species that produce eggs every few days.

Stinkbug “Brown Marmorated Stink Bug”

The stinkbugBMSB” grows up to 0.5 (½) inches in length. Its name comes from its marmorated coloration that spreads down the insect’s wings and body. The insect can fly short distances to access safety when in danger and food sources.

Stinkbugs do not transmit diseases to humans or animals. However, it is notorious for damaging industrial crops and orchard trees. The diet consists of apples, peaches, soybeans, weeds, corn, wheat, peanuts, and insect species like the caterpillar.

The insect utilizes its feeding tube to drain the juices from fruits, vegetables, and caterpillars. Colonies of stinkbugs will destroy several rows of industrial crops before detection. Farmers utilize natural and conventional pesticides to protect their crops.

Some people believe the stinkbug accidentally invades homes while others believe it is intentional to avoid spending overwintering outdoors.

What Are The Most Common Stinkbug Infestation Signs?

The first sign of an overwintering pest infestation is a live insect sighting. The insects may be indoors or outdoors, with many of the insect species traveling in colonies. Beginning in late fall, the overwintering pest activity increases significantly. They can be found around doors, windows, air conditioners, garage doors, and other areas in hope of scoring an opportunity to gain entrance into the home.

The insects infiltrate buildings through tiny exterior-to-interior openings, which are commonly found in the aforementioned locations listed above. Infiltration of overwintering pests is considered both accidental and intentional.

Infestations are not that common but it is not unusual for more than one overwintering pest species to invade the same home.

What Is The Best Overwintering Pest Prevention Strategy?

One that target’s the building’s pest barrier, which is comprised of walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, and roofing systems. All of these components are responsible for keeping elements, insects, and human intruders outdoors where they belong. The key to overwintering pest infestation prevention is eliminating all potential access points. Utilizing a waterproof sealant like silicone and caulk, fill in holes and gaps that can be utilized as an access point. Remember, these are tiny critters that do not grow larger than one inch long. So, even a tiny opening can be utilized as an access point into your home.

  • Caulk all access points
  • Repair or replace damaged siding, fascia board, soffit, and vent covers
  • Caulk around chimney flashing, door thresholds, window frames, and eaves
  • Utilize a steel wool dish scrubber to fill in medium-sized openings, following by a waterproof sealant
  • Utilize foam spray to fill in openings around utility lines

Repair Damaged Screen Doors And Windows

A damaged screen is not enough to keep overwintering pests out of an open door or window. Replacing damaged screens will allow you to keep your doors open when the weather permits.

Treat Around The Perimeter Of Your Home With Insect Deterrent Sprays

  • Utilize an insect deterrent to keep overwintering pests at bay
  • Industrial-strength pesticide deterrent products last for several weeks or months
  • Spray a generous amount along the bottom of the foundation to protect your home from future overwintering pest infestations

Overwintering Pest Access Points Into Buildings

Damaged mortar joints are often utilized by pests to access buildings. Utilize a mortar repair or silicone caulk to repair the joints. Replace broken bricks or fill in cracks with a waterproof sealant.

Vulnerable Window Frames

Overwintering pests are drawn to window panes. They do not realize there is a glass barrier preventing them from accessing the building. Inspect the interior and exterior frame around each window to ensure it is in good condition. Utilize caulk to fill in cracks and crevices.

Poorly Installed Fascia Board

Sometimes, home developers fail to install fascia boards correctly. They are in such a hurry that perfection is often ignored. Inspect the areas fascia board where it meets up with the clapboard to determine if there is a perfect seal. Gaps should be filled in with silicone or caulk.

Damaged Attic Vents

Damaged attic vents are not only vulnerable to flying insects but also birds, bats, squirrels, and other rodents. Inspect the attic vents to validate their condition. Damage vent covers should be replaced. Utilize a thick screen to cover vents as an additional deterrent for birds, rodents, and flying overwintering pests like the cluster fly and ladybug.

Large Gaps Around Utility Lines

Large openings are utilized to run electrical and plumbing lines from point A to point B, point C, and so on. These openings are commonly utilized as access points for insects, rodents, and wild animals. Utilize metal sheeting or plywood to fill in the openings, followed by a waterproof sealant or foam insulation.

Materials Need To Seal Overwintering Pest Access Points

  • Metal sheeting
  • Plywood custom-to-fit
  • A waterproof sealant (caulk and silicone)
  • Wood putty
  • Repair mortar
  • Foam insulation
  • Metal screen
  • Metal pot scrubbers

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