Fall’s here which means a whole list of new bugs are trying to move inside your home as they attempt to escape the cold. Here are the pests you’re most likely to encounter this season and essential tips for preventing them.
The chirp of crickets can be a seasonal pleasure, but when your home’s haunted with that noise all night long, it’s certainly an unwelcome intrusion. A home full of dozens of dead and decaying crickets is really gross, too. Did we mention they also eat holes in clothing, bedding, furniture, rugs, and other fabrics?
We know they can be a bit scary, but nearly all spiders are harmless and actually beneficial, helping keep indoor insect populations to a minimum. But as the weather cools, spiders’ mating season begins which tends to bring them out of hiding and in larger numbers than usual. As helpful as they can be, no one wants a home full of spiders and webs for the holidays.
As fall kicks in, centipedes are more likely to move indoors, as they search for food, moisture, and shelter from the coming cold. There’s just something about their numerous legs and the way they scuttle about that makes centipedes extra creepy. But thankfully, just like spiders, centipedes are normally allies, helping rid our homes of other creepy crawlies, spiders included. However, it is important to mention that some, especially larger individuals, can pack a seriously painful bite, so do exercise caution around them.
If you’ve ever spotted unexplained holes in your clothing, rugs, or bedding, don’t be so quick to blame moths. There’s a good chance these silvery wingless bugs are the real culprits. In addition to closets and other storage spaces, you might notice silverfish in basements, kitchens, and bathrooms, where they congregate to grab a quick drink.
The larvae of a small brown moth, fall armyworms are one of the most destructive lawn & garden pests in the U.S., capable of stripping an entire yard of its plant life in a single night. One fall evening your lawn is beautiful and healthy, and the next morning it’s an ugly, dying patch of brown grass and dirt.
If you’ve noticed wasps or wasp nests near your home in the spring and summer, you need to be extra cautious during fall and winter. During the colder months, wasps become more active and also more aggressive as they prepare their colonies for chillier conditions. During this time, you, your family and pets are far more likely to incur painful, and in some cases dangerous, stings.
While stink bugs are especially bad in the Northern U.S., they’re slowly becoming more of an issue across the entire country. As we enter fall, these bugs emerge from their hiding places in alarmingly large numbers in search of warm places to overwinter for the season. During this time, it’s not uncommon to see hundreds of stink bugs gather on the southern sides of homes, barns, and other outbuildings. And if they happen to find a small crack or crevice to move indoors, you might just find yourself sharing a home with several dozen of these foul-smelling pests.
Similar to stink bugs, boxelder bugs are relatively harmless but also a serious nuisance—they’re infamous for producing a terrible odor, too. Also like stink bugs, they can appear in surprisingly large numbers as the weather cools, blanketing the exterior of your home. And, if you allow them entryways, they’ll gladly take residence inside as well.
Sure, these damaging, disease-carrying pests can live in our homes, garages, and outbuildings all year long, but they become particularly bad as winter nears and they’re desperate for warm shelter. In addition to the obvious sanitation problems they create, rats and mice can cause expensive household damage as they chew through walls, clothing, electrical wires, and more.
The following preventative tips will substantially reduce the number of fall bugs you find both inside and outside your home
- In addition to warmth, fall bugs move indoors in search of food and water. Keeping your home clean and free of food debris and excess moisture can substantially limit the number of bugs you see indoors during fall and winter.
- Attracting predators like birds to your lawn is an effective and natural way to curb fall bug populations. Baths and feeders will usually do the trick.
- Arguably the most effective way to keep fall pests outside where they belong is to make sure your home is properly sealed. Start by doing a slow and thorough check both inside and outside for possible entryways like cracks, crevices, holes, etc. Look closely at windows, doorways, baseboards, fixtures, outlets, foundations, basements, and attics. Then simply use spackle or caulk to patch any entry points you find. You might want to consider installing seals at the bottom of doors and garages, too.
- Limiting sources of light just outside your home can significantly reduce fall bug numbers. We strongly suggest trading traditional outdoor light bulbs for those that don’t attract bugs, such as yellow compact fluorescent lights (CFL), sodium vapor bulbs, or halogen options.
- Treat your entire yard, including shrubbery and bases of trees, with the family-safe Lawn & Garden Kit monthly until you experience several weeks of freezing conditions.
- Spray known bug hangouts and potential entry points like doorways, windowsills, baseboards, etc every other week with Cedarcide Original.
So you noticed a hole in one of your sweaters, or maybe just a single moth flying around your home. These might not seem like a big deal, but they’re a sign you have a moth problem, and if you don’t act quickly things could get expensive and fast.
Don’t panic, moths aren’t fun but with the right knowhow you can save your clothing and other valuables from damage and get rid of your moths in no time. Old school methods like mothballs—which are notoriously harmful to our pets and families—simply aren’t the way to go. In fact, you’re usually better off living with moths than filling your home with naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, the active ingredients in mothballs, which have been linked to countless scary side effects. So skip the poisonous stuff, and let’s solve your moth problem without harmful chemicals.
Taking a few simple precautions can help ensure you never deal with moths or their damaging habits again. Here’s what you’ll want to do:
- Basic housekeeping is essential to moth prevention. Regularly dust, clean, and vacuum flooring, rugs, moldings, furniture, etc to help keep your home free of moth attractants like dirt, dust, and food debris.
- Like any other pest, moths sometimes enter our homes simply by flying or crawling inside. Ensure all doorways, windows, and screens are in good working order and firmly sealed. Address cracks, holes and other potential entry points both inside and outside your home by using caulk or another appropriate sealant.
- Moths often hitch a ride into our homes by hiding out in used clothing, antique furniture, old rugs and stuffed animals, even your weekly groceries. Carefully inspect these items for eggs, webbing, caterpillars, damage, and other signs of moths before purchasing and bringing them into your house.
- Moths are much more likely to enter your closet or storage space if the items inside are dirty. Moths are strongly drawn to sweat, hair, skin oils, and food and drink stains. If you launder or dry clean items before storing or hanging them in your closet, you’ll enjoy far fewer moth problems in the long run.
- Additionally, when storing items away for longer periods of time, always use airtight plastic containers. Moth caterpillars can easily chew through other options like cardboard.
- Moths love dark, humid environments, so do your best to keep your closet on the cool side and well ventilated.
- Cedar and cedarwood oil are known to kill and repel moths, moth caterpillars, and eggs. Switching your clothes hangers to cedar and hanging Cedar Granules in your closet using a sock or stocking can do wonders for preventing costly moth issues.
So you have a moth problem on your hand. What now? First thing’s first: let’s protect your clothing and other valuables from damage.
First, you’ll need to remove any moth caterpillars, adults, and eggs that might currently be on or in your clothing, rugs, or other textiles. Don’t worry, it’s quite straight forward. All you need to do is take all the items suspected of infestation and wash & dry them on warm settings. Dry cleaning will do the trick, too. Freezing these items for 24-48 hours is also effective, although usually less convenient.
Next, thoroughly vacuum all potentially moth-infested areas like closets and storage spaces. Make sure to target carpets, rugs, drapery, and other fabrics, as well as any walls or baseboards that display signs of moths, such as webbing or caterpillars. After you’re done, make sure to throw the bag outside immediately to prevent possible re-infestation.
Lastly, wash and scrub all hard surfaces within potentially infested spaces with a family-safe cleaner to remove any hard to see eggs or grime (moths often leave a dusty, musty film throughout storage areas).
Now that you know how to prevent moth problems and how to save your clothing and other valuables from damage, it’s time to finally kill and repel those pesky moths.
As mentioned above, using Cedar Granules by hanging them in a sock or stocking can be very effective at repelling and removing moths from unwanted areas. Just remember to replenish the Cedar Granules about every 6-8 weeks. For best results, spritz walls, baseboards, and clothing racks within storage spaces with our non-toxic repellent Cedarcide Original. Repeat this process every 2-3 weeks, or more often as needed for ongoing moth problems.
Our pet and family-safe insecticide, Cedarcide Original, is excellent for solving moth problems quickly, killing not just adults but also moth caterpillars and eggs. Simply spray any adults, caterpillars, or eggs you see with Cedarcide Original and that’s all there is to it. Thoroughly spritz the walls, baseboards, ceiling, and flooring of infested spaces like closets to take care of any hidden caterpillars, eggs, and adults, too