The Bugs Come Calling in the Fall

The Bugs Come Calling in the Fall
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We are eager for the hot summer days to turn into the pretty days of autumn...but the critters outside such as flies, lady beetles, box elder bugs and others are not as happy and they want the warmth of our homes. You will soon find them on your windowsills, windows and flying around your light fixtures. So what can we do?
Check screens, windows, doors, and any cracks that lead inside. Check around vents that come from the inside of the house. Remember to check the basement and attic too. Use caulking to fill in any open areas. If you have a louver/vent in the attic, cover it with screen and caulk on the outside to seal tiny spaces. It's also important to look for cracks in the wood, stucco or siding on your house. Shingles may be loose and that can provide an entry way. The only thing you don't want to do is plug up any live bee or wasp nests. If you plug up the outside end, and they can enter the house, then you have a problem. Plug those in spring instead. These tips work for guarding against hornets, bees and wasps too.

Two common insects that are attracted to the warmth of the house are box elder bugs and Asian ladybeetles. Box elders like hot dry summers, so possibly you'll get a break if your summer was moist this year. If they are gathering on the outside of the house, no doubt looking for a way in, you can spray them off with soapy water. Sealing up cracks outside the house as I mentioned above will help too.

The Asian ladybeetle is not the same as the beloved red ladybug we try to attract to our gardens. It's orange and while it's still good for the garden, they will try to get inside and become a pest in the autumn. They only need 1/16th of an inch to get in! Once you find them inside, vacuum them or sweep them up and dump outside. They can stain surfaces if they are smashed or even sprayed, so that isn't an option. They will bite--so don't use your fingers to pick them up. I have never been bitten, but was assured by my father and father-in-law that they do indeed bite! Seal the house first, then vacuum up any that come in.

READER TIPS

I beg to differ with you on whether a Asian lady bug bites, they do!! We were invaded with them 2 years ago and when they lite on you if you don't get them off you will feel a little sting like a dear fly will give you. ~Peggy

The folks around here tape a baggie filled half full of water to the outside of the door and flies won't come in when the door is opened. They swear by it, but I haven't tried it yet. On the subject of the ladybeetles... they have bitten us more than once. ~Pam

I just bought a house and I had it treated for termites. I met the pest man out at the property and he said I had a problem with beetles (Ladybugs). "Oh, they can't hurt you." Well he said they can and already have hurt the home. WOW! He went on to say they eat wood just like termite and the beetles have already got in to three door frames Well, any way I had him spray for the little things and had the wood fixed. This spring we will see if they come back. ~Jessica

If you open this link -- www.marchbiological.com/L/ladybug.html#problem and look at the very bottom for "Lady Bugs in the House?" it tells how to collect them and store them for releasing in the spring when you need them. Yes, they do bite but they are probably angry that they can't find food. But if you collect your own, you'll never have to buy any when you have garden problems. There are over 400 different varieties and some are more beneficial than others but all are worthy of respect. You certainly don't want to kill them all. ~Nita of www.phancypages.com

I had never heard that Ladybugs eat wood, so I asked my husband who works for ORKIN. He said that Ladybugs are harmless and that there are about a half dozen wood eating beetles. ~Kathy

Paul also sent in this website in regards to Asian Lady Beetles ~Paul

www.ars.usda.gov/is/br/lbeetle/#what


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About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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