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Professional Overwintering Pest Management Boston Massachusetts
Identifying an overwintering pest is generally not too difficult. However, the individual responsible for the task mering pest classification. Unfortunately, there are way too many overwintering pests to retain so much data, which is where Google search comes into play.
What Is Overwintering Pest In Reference To?
Overwintering pests are a group of insect species that overwinter, a dormant hibernation-like state, throughout the winter season. Overwintering pests initiate infiltration attempts beginning in late fall. This behavior continues until the insects are successful or the winter season sets in. In any case, some overwintering pests will not be so fortunate to gain access to the home while others will achieve success on the first attempt.
Most Commonly Reported Overwintering Pests in Boston
Below, you will discover a list of insect species that overwinter throughout the winter season.
Overwintering Box Elder Bug “Boxelder Bug”
The box elder bug is one of the most distinguishable overwintering pests. Its black, red-outlined wings make the insect stand out above the rest. The red outline will catch your eye every time even in low-light conditions because it has a neon-like tone.
The insect utilized small openings near the basement or crawlspace vents and air conditioning ductwork to infiltrate homes. The adult is only 0.5 (½) inches long, allowing it to slip through the smallest exterior-to-interior crevice. They do not transmit diseases or parasites to animals or humans. But, they do excrete a secretion that is not appealing to most people. The secretion not only smells horrendous but also has properties that stain the upholstery, bedding, drapery, and other household items designed from fabric.
Overwintering Ladybug “Asian Lady Beetle”
The ladybug, what the insect is known as in Boston, is a harmful overwintering pest. Like the box elder bug, the ladybug generates a foul-smelling secretion that is utilized as a natural defense mechanism. The body is similar to that of a turtle, as the ladybug looks as if she is toting around a heavy shell. In fact, she does have a shell, but not like the turtle. The ladybug’s wings are covered by a thin shell that minimizes injury during flight and combat.
Overwintering Cluster Fly
The cluster fly is very often mistaken for the common housefly. Both share many of the same features, including two pairs of legs, translucent wings, two antennas, and a dark brown, almost black body. The cluster fly has amazing flying capabilities, which allow it to escape capture and detection in many cases.
As larvae, cluster flies are earthworm parasites. Cluster fly larvae rely on the earthworm for survival until maturity. Cluster fly larvae have a strong appetite, feeding on the earthworm’s nutrients to the point that it has no other choice but to succumb to the insect’s continuous feeding.
Cluster flies are also resilient when it comes to overwintering. The insects nearly refuse to spend the winter outdoors where they have no other shelter than lose tree bark or the needs of a pine tree.
These social insects are notorious for causing infestations during the overwintering state. They tend to huddle “cluster” together to stay safe and warm, even when they have managed to invade a home.
Overwintering Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bug
The leaf-footed pine seed bug is a rare sight in Boston. However, the insect is diligent when it comes to overwintering outdoors. Beginning in late fall, the leaf-footed pine seed bug initiates infiltration attempts to a secure warm, damp, and discrete hiding place. It is believed these insects do not reproduce or feed once they have invaded a home.
When the insect has nothing but failed infiltration attempts, it has no other choice but to spend the winter outdoors. In this case, it will seek shelter in trees, bushes, run-down buildings, and other structures.
The adult grows up to 0.75 (¾) inches in length with a dark brown body, three sets of legs, and two antennas. The insect is slightly larger than many other overwintering pests. In fact, witnesses have described their leaf-footed pine seed bug encounters are very disturbing and frightful.
Overwintering Marmorated Stink Bug “BMSB”
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, better known as “stinkbug” in Boston, grows up to 0.5 (½) inches in length. The insect is highly distinguishable, thanks to its marmorated (marbled) coloration that spread evenly across the insect’s triangular-shaped rear black.
Like the ladybug, the stinkbug’s wings are covered with a thin shell-like coating to offer more protection from injuries during flight and capture. The insect emits a foul odor similar to that of the ladybug and box elder bug. However, witnesses of all insects claim the stinkbug odor is the worst.
In their natural habitat, the stinkbug feeds on crops and fruit trees. If pest control intervention is not initiated, the insect species will damage a field of crops in a few short weeks, even though they do not travel in colonies.
It is not recommended to crush the stinkbug, but instead, vacuum it up before transporting outdoors. Releasing the insect back into the environment is highly recommended. But, doing so, could result in another home infiltration attempt. So, do not be surprised if the insect is back in your home within a few hours. These are diligent critters that know no end when comes to overwintering.
What Are The Most Notable Signs Of An Overwintering Pest Infestation?
The most common sign is a live insect crawling up a wall, on the floor, or ceiling. Most insect species that belong to this classification have flying capabilities, allowing them to invade homes more freely. Another common sign is huddles of live insects around the perimeter of your home. Boxelder bugs and cluster flies tend to huddle in colonies before making their home infiltration attempts.
A foul odor is another sign of an overwintering pest infestation. The box elder bug, ladybug, and stinkbug emit a foul odor when stressed and injured. These insects become stressed when their home infiltration attempts are unsuccessful.
After a home infiltration, the occasional pest will immediately be searching for a suitable hiding place. It is not unusual for these insects to take refuge behind large appliances, hanging wall art, in clothes and linen, and in tiny crevices and cracks.
A disturbing sight is an overwintering pest emerging from its hiding place amid the winter season. This is commonly reported by victim homeowners. The insects mistake the artificially warm temperatures for warm weather.
Do I Need Special Equipment And Skills To Prevent An Overwintering Pest Infestation?
Not necessarily, you just need patience, time, and a few resources. We highly recommend starting with your home’s vulnerable pest barrier, which is comprised of doors, windows, walls, ceilings, a roofing system, and flooring. It is crucial to assess each component to ensure it is in good condition. You can do this by walking around your home with a flashlight, stopping periodically to insect frames, sills, floorboards, vents, siding, eaves, and soffit.
Seal all openings with a waterproof caulk or silicone if possible. Larger openings like those around plumbing pipes will need to be filled in with custom plywood or sheet metal.
Where To Search For Overwintering Pest Access Points?
Screen Doors And Windows
Many homes utilize screens to cover windows and doors, allowing homeowners to ventilate their homes without fear of insect intruders. In late fall, many Boston homeowners and tenants like to leave their windows and doors open to air out their living spaces. Unfortunately, this is when the overwintering pest is the most active.
Replace or repair damaged screens to keep pests outside where they belong.
Mortar Joints Around Bricks And Rocks
Mortar is utilized to seal bricks and sometimes rocks that are utilized as a siding. The mortar weakens over time and begins to break down, leaving small cracks and gaps for overwintering pest infiltration. Utilize a compatible sealant to fill in these openings.
Vulnerable Window Frames
Windows sustain damage during storms and everyday wear and tear. It is crucial to assess each window frame in your home at least once a year. Inspect the frame carefully, looking for tiny openings that lead from the interior to the exterior of your home.
Utilizing a waterproof sealant, fill in the gaps, wipe off the excess, and allow to dry for several hours before reassessing.
Clapboard Or Soffit
Overwintering pests with flying capability have been shown to access homes through improperly sealed clapboard and vulnerable soffit. Utilize foam insulation, followed by a waterproof sealant to close off these access points once and for all.
Attic And Basement Vents
Attic, crawlspace, and basement vents are generally sealed to keep rodents, birds, and insects at bay. Unfortunately, the sealant begins to wear down over time, creating an access point for wild critters. Inspect each vent carefully to determine if the seal is still complete. If not, utilize a waterproof sealant creates a complete seal around each vent.
Rodents are more notable for infiltrating homes through large openings around plumbing and electrical systems. Home developers generally do not bother sealing these openings because they understand the importance of quick and easy access during a malfunction.
It is perfectly okay to utilize plywood or metal sheeting to fill in these large openings. Doing so will keep rodents, insects, and birds in their natural habitats and out of your home.
Create A Supply List
- Metal sheeting or plywood
- Circular saw
- Waterproof sealant
- Measuring tape
- Metal scouring pads
- Foam insulation
It is crucial to assess your home thoroughly before and after winter. Sleet, wind, snow, rain, and ice are detrimental to exterior building structures.