Every season brings its own special set of pests, doesn’t it? Autumn is no different. As long as you know what to expect, though, you can get in front of them. Here are the 5 most common fall pests to watch out for as the weather starts to cool:
1. Bees, Wasps, Hornets, etc.
Stinging pests in general tend to start really buzzing about during the fall. It makes sense when you think about the fact that they are preparing for the winter just like most animals. They are hard at work collecting nutrients from a variety of sources. Because their colonies have grown large over the summer, there are more at the end of summer than at any other time of the year. Bees are extremely beneficial to the environment and the ecosystem as a whole, so we do not treat for them. You can have a large colony relocated if you or a family member is allergic. Keep in mind people can be just as allergic to hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps like cicada killers, paper wasps, and mud daubers. Like bees, wasps are also beneficial and normally go about their business. When disturbed, though, wasps and hornets could actually aggressively chase you, and individual wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can sting multiple times. Getting treatments for those pests is a good idea during the fall months.
Just like all pests, cockroaches like a nice warm area with food and water to lay their heads. And while we can understand and appreciate that, we don’t want it to be in our homes. Fall is a good time to have a plumber come in to fix any leaks since moistures is one of the top attractants of cockroaches. The other? Spills, crumbs, food in open containers, etc. We aren’t sure why it’s called spring cleaning because it should be done in the fall, too! De-cluttering can take away many hiding places and turn up food that may have been opened and sat unattended in the pantry. Make sure to take out garbage often and put it in a tightly sealed container (helps with raccoons, too!). Also, have a professional take a look around your home for cracks and crevices and fill them in. Only a trained eye will see the small holes these critters need to get in. Be wary of DIY pest control methods for cockroaches. They often will just push roaches into hiding spots that are more difficult to get to or just push them into a different room in the home. That won’t take care of them – and may expose you and your household to unnecessary pesticides.
3. Beetles and other overwintering nuisance pests
Brown marmorated stink bugs, ladybugs, etc. are all common to the autumn season as well. These pests crawl into gaps around windows, under siding, or through utility chases looking for a place to “sleep” over the winter. While harmless, you don’t exactly like to have them in your home. Unseasonably warm winter days or excessive indoor heating could trick them into thinking it’s time to wake up and emerge into inhabited areas like living rooms, bedrooms, etc. Vacuuming them up will help, but the best thing you can do is to make sure screens are free from rips and tears and to fill in any cracks you can find. A pro is good to bring in for that since they’re trained to find entry points. Filling cracks works for all kinds of pests – including carpet beetles, which eat the overwintering insects that die inside the walls. Make sure you don’t crush stink bugs. They are called stink bugs for a reason!
Mice are exceptionally adept at squeezing through tiny spaces and just like all other animals, in the fall and winter they’re solely looking for warmth and shelter. Unfortunately, these rodents are filthy animals and can track bacteria around your home and onto your nice, clean surfaces. Finding a mouse in your home is not only jarring, but where there’s one… there are probably others. Mice can chew through cardboard, so putting food in airtight containers will help and keeping a clean home will make it less attractive to them, but autumn is definitely the time to call in a mouse exterminator. Actually, we recommend calling in a pest control company before you see a mouse. These pests can get out of hand quickly, so having someone come in to prevent them is the way to go.
It may seem like it’s always spider season – you’d be correct about that. And that includes the dreaded brown recluse spider. If you find yourself sweeping away spider webs only to find one again a day or two later, it could mean a few things. The obvious is that, well, you have spiders in your house that are trying to stay safe from the cold weather many of them can’t live through. The less obvious is it could mean you have other insects in your home like flies. After all, what are the spiders eating? There are a few things you can do. Try to resist the urge to get rid of the webs that are forming outside of the house. You may be tempted, but all you’re doing is forcing them to find somewhere else to weave one and you could be forcing them into your home. You can also call a pest control company to deal with them. Since spiders are actually beneficial and will help decrease the population of other insects in your home, it’s not worth bringing someone in to deal with just spiders. Spider management is better off combined with routine seasonal services for the variety of other pests that threaten your home and peace-of-mind. Find a professional exterminator that can provide that type of year-round pest control services. Besides that, there’s not all that much you can do to keep spiders out in the fall and winter. They are very good at finding gaps and openings to enter your house.
So, there are some things you can do to get ahead of the most common autumn pests. Year-round service helps as well as having a professional come in to take care of cracks, crevices, and holes that can look like welcome signs to mice, spiders, cockroaches, and lots of other insects and pests. It’s always good to be prepared, and this fall you can be.