Overwintering PestsThe temperatures are slowly sinking and our Mid-Atlantic clients may start to notice pests trying to find a place inside to call home. Stink bugs, wasps, millipedes and other pests are cold-blooded, which means that their body temperatures are dependent upon, and approximate the temperature, of their environment.
Low temperatures often mean that insects cannot be active. There are ways to increase body temperature, of course. Some pests will sunbathe, finding the sunniest spot on your house to hang out while they absorb the heat of the sun’s rays. South-facing houses often accumulate hoards of pests in the autumn who eagerly lapping up the sun’s energy augmented by the thermal efficiency of siding.
Other pests will vibrate their wings to warm up. In autumn, you may notice bees vibrating their wings to achieve a body temperature sufficient for flight. The honey bee, for instance, requires a temperature of approximately 54 degrees Fahrenheit to sustain flight.
For many pests, the best option is simply to get inside to escape the plummeting temperatures. Pest-proofing the structure is a proactive way to avoid the aggravation of an interior infestation. Some steps include:
Seal cracks and crevices. Mice can squeeze into an opening as small as a dime so even openings that appear too small to bother with will provide a point of entry for a determined pest. Silicone latex caulk is helpful here.
Repair torn screens. Screens and window frames should be in good repair going into the winter. Stinkbugs will be combing exterior walls looking for a way to get inside.
Fill holes around utilities. Pipes and electrical wires pass through your foundation and are therefore a natural path into the building. Steel wool is a useful material to use.
Install door sweeps. You may not notice a gap under your doors, but pests can and will find that entryway and exploit it. Ask your Home Paramount rep for this handy keep out tool.
These measures will certainly help keep the pests outdoors, however, if you do experience an interior infestation call Home Paramount immediately. Better yet, make sure your fall perimeter treatment is scheduled today to avoid a problem tomorrow.