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.
Tired of seeing hungry bugs ruin your garden year after year? Well, don’t worry, because that’s not going to happen again. Not to you. Not this year. A few simple tips is all that stands between you and a garden free of costly pest damage—and we’re going to show you how to get it done. Read on for 5 easy tips for preventing destructive bugs in your garden.
While it’s tempting to cram as many plants as possible into your garden, doing so can have serious pest ramifications. Without proper circulation and space, your garden becomes even more inviting to hungry insects, as you’re now providing them with shelter, too. This also encourages garden pests to breed and live within your garden rather than simply visiting your plants from time to time to feed.
It can be a headache, especially on the weekends, but watering in the morning is a sure-fire way to decrease garden bug problems. The reasoning is simple, bugs tend to feed in the evening and drier plants are less appetizing to pests than damp ones. Plus, since your plants will have access to plenty of moisture before the day heats up, they’ll be healthier and therefore less prone to disease and pest infestation in general.
Birds, toads, and frogs are ravenous insect-eaters. You can limit your own garden bug populations by inviting these friendly allies into your yard.
Placing a small bowl of water and a toad house near your garden should attract a hungry amphibian or two (just be aware that the water might also invite mosquitoes, so keep close watch). Birds usually don’t need much of an incentive if there are already bugs around. However, if there are no natural shelters like small trees, you might need to add a birdhouse, too.
Having beneficial insects—like praying mantises, ground beetles, and ladybugs—living in your garden will dramatically decrease the number of destructive garden pests you experience.
To attract these allies, try offering a diversity of plant life of various heights that bloom at different times throughout the year. Having trees, shrubs, and turf is also essential, as they offer beneficial insects space to overwinter, allowing them to return year after year. Many beneficial insects feed on pollen and nectar, so you’ll need something that supplies those resources as well, like plants in the aster and carrot families. Other common plants that attract beneficial insects are thyme, oregano, sunflowers, and daisies.
Overripe veggies and fallen fruit are some of the biggest attractants of destructive garden pests. Firstly, they’re an easy source of food. Secondly, overly heavy fruits and veggies can make a plant less healthy, and therefore more prone to bug infestation and disease.
Keeping a close eye and picking any over-sized fruits and veggies you see before they can fall is one of the simplest and most impactful approaches to naturally control common garden pests.