Beetles can be detrimental pests to homes and gardens because they feed on crops, natural and animal fibers, and feathers. As the weather gets colder, beetles of all kinds look for places to burrow and nest for the winter. Beetles crawl into cracks and crevices of rocks, trees and bark. They can find winter nesting spots under stones and rotting branches. Just about any warm space they can find, beetles will nest. Here are three strategies and tips to avoid a beetle infestation this fall.
Get Rid Of Easy Entrance Points
When weather gets chilly, beetles explore their environment to locate openings in nature. These openings are like welcome signs and easy entrances, even if your home isn’t a natural overwintering spot for them. Beetles of all types will look for entry points in the form of:
- Exterior siding
- Window and door caulking
- Soffit, fascia-board, and chimneys
- Gaps in log chinking or masonry
Once a single beetle finds its way into your warm, dry attic or wall space, that insect sends out pheromones to attract more beetles. Soon, hordes of beetles are gathering at a gap in a window or attic. You may notice stink bugs or lady beetles congregating on sunny exterior surfaces as they wait their turn to enter your home. Check for holes in your attic by entering the space on a sunny day without turning on the lights. These gaps must be filled and sealed to remove entry points from your home’s exterior.
Check Your Screens
Keep beetles out of your home by maintaining and repairing your screens. Insects, including boxelder bugs, stink bugs, western conifer seed bugs, and lady beetles, can easily slip through rips and tears in window screens. This fall, inspect and repair all screens so there are no holes or gaps around them. If necessary, purchase fine metal mesh to use as a covering for all vents around your home. This mesh is good for open drain pipes, attic or crawlspace vents, soffit vent, dryer vent, roof plumbing vent or even your chimney vent. Secure the mesh with wire, screws, plumbing clamps, or other methods to ensure the mesh isn’t able to be knocked loose.
Avoid A Stinky Removal
Bugs, including stink bugs and Asian lady beetles, prefer to nest together to conserve warmth. If you see one beetle of these two types, there are many more somewhere in your home. You may first notice a random dead beetle or a pile of dead beetles near a window sill. In the case of stink bugs and lady beetles, their entry into your home often kills them. As they huddle together in your cozy home, they overheat themselves and die in large numbers. Be cautious when cleaning up stink bugs or lady beetles, whether alive or dead. The beetles release an unpleasant scent when crushed. Don’t suck them into a wet-dry vacuum or standard vacuum, since this will only intensify the smell. You can use your vacuum wand with a sheer sock or knee-high covering the end. The sock material holds onto the bugs sucked into the wand. Dump the beetles into a container of soapy water as you collect them in the covered wand.
Beetle pest control can be an intimidating task. Due to the large versatility of beetle species, it is important to accurately identify the type of beetle prior to proceeding with a treatment plan. Incorrect identification may lead to ineffectual results. This is why it is important to hire a professional to help address your pest concerns. If you suspect an issue with a beetle infestation, contact your local pest control professional to effectively detect the species of beetle and construe a proper treatment plan for beetles.