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.
Sooo you might not want to hear this, but there are definitely bugs hiding in your home, whether you see them or not. Normally it’s no big deal, a few beneficial bug-eating spiders here or there. But sometimes you’re not so lucky, and your hidden bugs are a costly problem just waiting to happen. Food, water, and shelter—these are the reasons bugs move indoors, and because our homes provide all three, every household has at least a few critters crawling around somewhere.
But if we don’t see them, where could they be hiding? Here are some surprising but also common places bugs hide in our homes.
Three things bugs really like: moisture, warmth, and a dark place to hide. Whether it’s your basement or a designated closet, your hot water heater provides all three. Periodically check around and under your water heater tank for signs of millipedes, centipedes, pillbugs, silverfish, spiders, crickets, and ants. If you notice any leaks or unexpected moisture, clean it up immediately and correct the issue to avoid future problems.
Solution: To kill any bugs you find, give them a quick spray with Cedarcide Original. To repel future bugs, spray baseboards, shelving, and known trouble spots with Cedarcide Original every other week.
Bathrooms not only provide water but also warmth, and that added humidity really helps draw in the creepy crawlies. Thoroughly check your bathroom’s cabinetry and drains for signs of cockroaches, crickets, silverfish, and ants, and if you’re currently struggling with roaches or ants, make sure to dry both your bathroom and your shower’s flooring after each use. Entire populations of roaches and ants can often sustain themselves on just this water alone.
Solution: If you’re experiencing heavy pest traffic, hand drying your shower and sinks after each use may be necessary. For less severe problems, simply spray any bugs you spot with family-safe Cedarcide Original. Spray suspected entry points and known hangouts every other week to repel bugs from the area.
The next time you’re doing a deep clean, make sure to pull your appliances out from the wall. Not only does grime collect here that can cause pest issues later, but there’s a good chance bugs have already set up shop there. Crumbs, darkness, privacy, and often moisture are in great supply behind and under appliances like fridges and dishwashers, making them a common hideout for roaches, flies, ants, and other hungry insects.
Don’t be surprised if you find bugs inside your fridge, too—yep, you read that right: inside! It’s not uncommon for fruit flies and roaches to crawl inside your fridge, feast and breed for a few days, and then sneak out when you’re not looking.
Solution: Cleanliness is key. Periodically clean inside, outside, behind, and under your appliances to limit bug attractants like moisture, dirt, and food debris. A quick spray of non-toxic Cedarcide Original will take care of any bugs you come across in the process.
It should come as no surprise that trash and recycling bins are a popular gathering place for all sorts of bugs. The abundance of food and shelter brings not only expected visitors like flies, roaches, and ants, but also predatory bugs, such as spiders, sometimes even scorpions.
What might be more surprising, though, is that not only do bugs hang out in your garbage, they can thrive there, too. In other words, your trash and recycling might not just occasionally feed bugs, it could be the very source of your home’s pest problems, sustaining entire populations of hungry bugs hidden inside.
Solution: Taking your trash out often, switching to bins with sealable lids, and cleaning those bins weekly should take care of any trash or recycling-dwelling pests you might have.
You know what bugs enjoy almost as much as food and water? Clutter. And your junk drawer is crammed full of it. In addition to cleaning your junk drawers at least annually, check it periodically for signs of spiders, roaches, ants, silverfish, and other unwanted guests.
Solution: Do yourself a favor and just finally get around to cleaning out your junk drawers. Recycle or donate duplicate items and throw all those sauce packets and disposable utensils you should have dumped years ago. Keeping things organized and clean should do the trick.
Your dirty laundry and even clean piles of clothes could be concealing some unknown roommates. Carpet beetles, silverfish, firebrats, roaches, crickets, and moths commonly hide out in disorganized clothing and bedding. The scent of sweat, skin oils, spilled food and drinks attracts a wide array of interested insects, which can ultimately lead to hundreds of dollars of damage.
Solution: Stay up on your laundry and avoid piling clothes, bedding, and other textiles, even if they’re clean. Check fabrics for signs of bugs before storing them for the season and wash as needed. Using bags or bins with airtight seals should shield your clothing from pest damage during the offseason
Your electrical outlets and outlet covers might be hiding more than just wiring. Ants, several types of beetles, and more are known to take up residence in these surprising locations. Look for small wood shavings and other signs of subtle wall damage—these are common symptoms of infested outlets.
Solution: Remove any covers you suspect might be hiding pests, carefully clean out the space, and repair or replace parts as needed
Before bringing home any new plant babies, inspect them for signs of bugs, like webbing, eggs, larva, and of course any adult insects. Surprisingly, houseplants are a common avenue for bugs to enter our homes. It’s a smart practice to quarantine any new houseplant additions apart from your other plants for at least a month after bringing them home. Not only will this save your other plants in case the new one contains damaging bugs, but it will also make it easier to monitor it for any hidden pests.
Solution: Check out these quick reads on killing and repelling common houseplant pests:
This one gives us chills. Who would have thought that the cute stuffed animals we grew up sleeping and cuddling with might have been host to a whole range of yucky critters? Carpet beetles, silverfish, firebrats, roaches, crickets, spiders, moths—any of these could be hiding inside or on the outside of your favorite teddy bear.
Solution: Wash frequently used stuffed animals at least once every few weeks and apply family-safe Cedarcide Original repellent as needed.
New and old cardboard is a huge attractant for countless insects, arachnids, and other crawling things, including scorpions, crickets, silverfish, and roaches.
Solution: Make the switch to sealable plastic boxes or bins and you should be covered.
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
It doesn’t matter if we’re relaxing in the backyard or basking indoors by the window, bugs have a way of finding us and being super, super annoying. Turns out, plants can help with that. Which, personally, we think is mega cool. Here are 5 such plants that can help keep bugs away from you, your family, and pets at home and in your lawn. Now it’s time to get your green thumb on and soak up some sun!
Love lavender? Moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitoes don’t. You can plant lavender by your front and back doors or in your garden to repel insects. If you have trouble with bugs indoors, try placing lavender bouquets around your home. The smell will leave you happy and help you stay bug-bite free!
Mint is a delightfully aromatic plant that’s famous for repelling mosquitoes and other troublesome pests, both indoors and outdoors. Mint grows quickly, so it’s best to plant it in pots to avoid it reaching into unwanted areas of your garden. Placing mint near entryways and in hanging pots throughout known trouble spots can help substantially with flying insects. For indoor use, use dried mint in open containers wherever you experience the most bug traffic.
We love lemongrass! It smells so, so good and it’s incredible at helping kill and repel unwanted bugs. So good in fact, that it fuels one of our most popular products, Tickshield with Lemongrass.
Citronella emits a similarly clean, lemon-like scent and is widely used to control mosquitoes, flies, ants, and other irritating pests. From sprays to candles, citronella is used in a wide array of over-the-counter bug repellents, especially those that target mosquitoes. So why not skip the middleman and plant it yourself instead?
Basil is another great herb that’s used both in the kitchen and to repel bugs like flies and mosquitoes. Plant your basil in containers and then simply place these near where you relax and unwind both in your backyard and indoors. Bonus: as you grow basil, you can also throw it in your favorite recipes to add a pop of flavor.
This stunning plant will brighten up your place and repel bugs all at the same time. Even better, it’s super easy to grow! You can place petunias in planters or hanging baskets both inside and outside for natural pest control. Planting petunias in your garden can do wonders for helping keep fruits & veggies like tomatoes bug-free.
Our popular Cedar Granules are a 100% natural approach to protect your lawn, home, and family from harmful bugs. Here are 5 of our favorites:
A layer of Cedar Granules spread along your home’s foundation and fence line creates a powerful defense against fleas, ants, mites, and other biting insects.
Adding a handful of granules to your potted plants every few months is a simple way to keep them free of annoying pests like spider mites.
Spreading Cedar Granules throughout your lawn & garden protects it from damaging insects without harsh chemicals.
Hanging a sock full of Cedar granules in your closet acts like a cedar chest. Bye-bye moths!
Placing a few handfuls of granules inside your dog’s bed lining will help deter fleas, mites, mosquitoes, and more.
Emerging from eggs laid on clothing, furniture, and carpet, carpet beetle larvae can ruin a closetful of clothes in no time, especially natural items like wool, fur, mohair and more.
What to look for: Small beetles for adults (most commonly black or brown, sometimes multicolored), and small caterpillar-like larvae (usually brownish red, covered in fine hairs).
Infamous for leaving holes in clothing, moth larvae feed on wool, flannel, fur, and almost any other textile that’s dirty or recently used (sweat, food, skin oils, etc are all appetizing to these destructive pests).
What to look for: Whitish worm-like larvae with a hard outer shell, and very small white or gold-colored moths for adults.
Silverfish and Firebrats
These close relatives are both expert clothing destroyers, preferring starched items, natural fibers like rayon, silk, and cotton, and those stained with sugary food and drink.
What to look for: Silver wingless insects with carrot-shaped bodies about ¼ inch long.
While they don’t usually eat clothing on purpose, roaches are attracted to the sweat, and food spills that end up on our clothing. When consuming these items, they often create holes and stain fabrics with excrement.
Like roaches, crickets eat clothing stains not clothing itself. Small holes and tears, not to mention cricket poop, can easily lead to hundreds of dollars in damage in only a few weeks.
That means freshly cleaned, starch-free, and in a cool, dry place in tightly sealed containers or nylon bags (leather and fur items require breathable bags, such as cotton).
Regularly cleaning and vacuuming rugs, carpets, draperies, baseboards, furniture, and storage closets substantially lowers your risk of clothes-eating pests by removing eggs, larvae, and the debris they need to survive. Dispose of the bag when finished.
Hang freshly dried lavender or Cedar Granules inside of a stocking in your chosen storage area to protect against damaging bugs. A cedar-based spray like Cedarcide Original can also be used throughout the space to kill and repel.
For already infested items: try washing & drying them, freezing them for 48 hours, or treating them with a fabric-safe insecticide like Cedarcide Original.