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Overwintering Pests

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What San Francisco Residents Should Know About Our Overwintering Pest Management?

Overwintering pest is a term utilized by exterminators and scientists to describe a group of insect species that go into a hibernation-like state during the winter season. These insects prefer spending the winter indoors to being exposed to the harsh cold winter outdoors. Once the insect reaches the overwintering state, which is like a “deep sleep,” there is very little it can do to protect itself from the cold. At this point, the insect will either survive or perish, which is why the indoors is preferred.

Insect Species That Fit Meet The Overwintering Classification

There is a broad range of overwintering pest species, all of which invade buildings at every opportunity. These insects include the following:

Overwintering Box Elder Bug – The box elder “boxelder” bug is an overwintering pest that feeds on sap from the maple, box elder, and ash tree leaves. The adult measures up to ½ of an inch long, with a black body, legs, wings, and head. The insect’s most unique physical characteristic is the red outline on each wing. To avoid spending the cold winter months outside, the box elder bug infiltrates buildings through small access points around windows and doors.

The box elder bug has not been shown to sting humans or animals. The insect does not pose a health risk, since it does not carry diseases or parasites.

Overwintering Ladybug “Asian Lady Beetle” – The ladybug is a beetle that invades buildings starting in the late fall to avoid spending the winter outdoors. The insect utilizes tiny accesses around public utility lines that run from the exterior to the interior of the home. While many people describe the ladybug as a “cute insect,” it emits a foul musky odor that many people find repulsive when disturbed or injured.

Overwintering Cluster Fly – The cluster fly is an outdoor insect that finds itself indoors to avoid cold weather exposure during the winter season. Unlike the common housefly, the cluster fly begins life as an earthworm parasite. Once the parasite reaches the larvae phase, it becomes completely independent of the earthworm.

As an adult, the cluster fly begins in the late fall searching for vulnerable houses, commercial buildings, public facilities, and government entities. Unfortunately, the insect will not always be fortunate enough to find a vulnerable home with an access point. When this occurs, the insect is forced to seek shelter outdoors in trees, underneath firewood, or behind loose tree bark.

Overwintering Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bug – The leaf-footed pine seed bug grows up to ¾ inches in length, with a dark brown body, wings, legs, antennas, and abdomen. The insect generally spends most of its time outdoors, excluding the winter season.

Beginning in late fall, the leaf-footed pine seed bug initiates a search for a vulnerable home. Something as small as a gap between the bottom of an entrance door and the top of a threshold is enough for the insect to infiltrate a building.

The insect species is drawn to conifer and pine trees, feeding on the sap from twigs and cones. The good news, the leaf-footed pine seed adult and larvae do not damage the trees they feed on. However, they can the trees to produce fewer seeds.

Overwintering Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs “BMSB”

The stinkbug is notorious for its foul odor. When the insect is under stress or injured, its glands produce a substance that smells atrocious. Originally from Asia, the stinkbug made its way to the United States, Philadelphia exactly, in the early 1990s.

The insect gets its name from its “marmorated” coloration. Its body is shaped like a diamond. Crops, fruit, and potted plants make up the stinkbug’s diet.

While an outdoor insect, the stinkbug makes its way indoors beginning in the late fall. Stinkbugs face more difficulties while attempting a home infiltration than other insect species because of their foul odor. In fact, many stinkbugs are caught in action by homeowners or other household members.

Common Signs Of Overwintering Pests

Overwintering pests need to be stopped at all steps. One thing to note is that these pests do not try to hide. They will shelter in your home, but they do not care about hiding from you. They’re not like bedbugs that try to hide in your mattress. Instead, stink bugs are going to climb into your home and find a place to shelter. You’ll likely see a few crawling on your walls and ceiling. If this is the case, there could be more stink bugs in your home.

You can also confirm an infestation by waiting until the temperatures rise. Stink bugs and other overwintering pests will leave your home when it gets hot outside. You’ll see them in your home as they migrate outside.

Protecting Your Home From Overwintering Pests

You should do everything possible to protect your home from overwintering pests. Preventing an infestation is often easier than exterminating an overwintering pest infestation. Take steps to seal the gaps around your home to keep them out. Start by carefully checking the exterior walls of your home. Be sure to check windows, doors, fascia, and utility openings. If you find any gaps or holes, it is pertinent to seal them immediately.

Small Gaps, Holes, Crevices, And More

Take your time and deal with small gaps around your home. By blocking these gaps and other small entry points, you can decrease the likelihood that pests are going to enter your home. Make sure you’re using the right materials to fill in these gaps.

We Offer Protective Barrier Treatment

You’ll also want to learn more about our protective barrier treatments which are residual exterior treatments. These techniques work exceptionally well for strengthening your exclusion efforts. Our company uses industrial-strengthen chemicals to keep pests away from your home. They’re specifically designed for this purpose, so you can guarantee that they’ll work.

Furthermore, they have a long lifespan, so they’ll continue protecting your home for many months.

Spots Where Overwintering Pests Enter A Home


Remember to check the bricks around your home. Bricks have gaps between them and this can lead to entry points for pests. If the gaps are not filled, overwintering pests can use these gaps to enter your attic. You need to block this gap by using a sealant.

Around Windows

You cannot ignore your home’s windows. When windows are installed, they need to be caulked thoroughly to keep water out. However, many installers will caulk the top and sides while leaving the bottom untouched. You need to use caulk to seal the bottom of the window and stop bugs from climbing into your home.

Fascia Boards & Clapboard

If you check your home’s clapboards, you’ll find gaps that need to be sealed. These boards are uneven so they leave small gaps near the top of your home. Using a foam spray is a good way to fix the problem, but foam spray insulation is messy. Instead, you’ll want to use a foam insulating cord.

Vents For Attics

Next, you have to examine the attic vents and soffit. Attic vents are protected by screens, but those screens might be damaged or torn. If they’re badly damaged, they need to be replaced. Otherwise, pests will be able to slide through the small gaps.

Check Utility Openings

Remember to look around the utility openings around your home. Trace your plumbing pipes, sewer pipes, and electrical cables. You’ll find where they enter your home. At these locations, you may find small gaps and cracks that allow pests to enter your home. If this is the case, you’ll need to block these entry points. You likely have an old pot scrubber. If you do, you’ll want to use it to eliminate this entry point. Stuff the scrubber into the hole and stop bugs from climbing inside.

Although these techniques work, you cannot ignore the convenience of hiring a professional exterminator. If you want assistance, call us. We’ll reach your home quickly and do what we can to keep overwintering pests away from your home.

Materials To Use To Stop Overwintering Pest Infestations

It is pertinent to use the right materials to keep overwintering pests out of your home. You’ll likely need to purchase exclusion materials since they’re great for this purpose. Exclusion materials can be found at local hardware stores. They’re sold as pest-proofing products and work exceptionally well for keeping overwintering pests out of your home. Although they’re great for overwintering pests, they don’t stop there. Exclusion materials will also keep rats, mice, ants, and other pests out of your home.

Caulks And Sealants

You’ll likely need to use a sealant or caulk to block certain entry points. Which material is best? It depends on the surface in question. If the size of the gap will vary depending on the temperature, using a sealant will work best. If you’re sealing brick or other materials that will not change due to temperature changes, stick with a caulk.

Other Materials To Use

You’ll also want to use other exclusion materials to keep pests out of your home.

  • Pot scrubbers are great for blocking small gaps. It is best to use pot scrubbers that have been used for several weeks because they’re softer and easier to work with.
  • Hardware cloth can help too. Use this heavy-duty screen to keep pests out of your home.
  • Aluminum screening is long-lasting and cost-effective for stopping overwintering pests from sneaking inside.
  • Finally, you’ll want to use foam insulation when stuffing long crevices. Foam in a can works, but it is harder to clean up.

Do not hesitate to reach out to our San Francisco extermination team with unanswered questions or to request a free pest inspection.

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