Prepare for the Invasion (Insects That Is)!

— Written By Bill Hanlin and last updated by JoAnne Gryder
brown marmorated stink bug

brown marmorated stink bug

In a few months, many types of insects will be seeking shelter from cold weather and will often find refuge in local homes. The brown marmorated stinkbug and the kudzu bug, in particular are predicted to be extremely bad this year. And, don’t forget the Asian lady beetle. Now is the time to start preparing to help prevent insects from gaining access to your house.

Inspect your house for possible entry points where these bugs can get in. Caulking around windows and doors, sealing small cracks, and placing screening over attic vents will reduce the number of entry points. Replace torn window screens and make sure that windows seal tightly against the frame.

Treating possible entry points with an insecticide is not recommended as most pesticides will break down very quickly. Even spraying bugs that congregate on your house may be a frustrating experience since more bugs will arrive over time and repeat applications may be necessary.

Sometimes insects are brought in unintentionally into the home. Houseplants that have been brought outside during the summer can harbor pests like aphids and mites. Before you bring those plants back inside for the winter, you may want to treat the plant and the potting soil with an insecticide to kill off any pests on the plant.

Roaches can be brought in on a variety of items including firewood, paper bags and cardboard boxes. It is best not to store firewood in the house, and boxes and bags should be inspected for possible infestations. A general rule of thumb is not to store any cardboard boxes that used to contain food items.

Spraying an insecticide for bugs that are found in the house is generally not recommended. There are baits that can be used for certain insects like roaches. The best way to deal with lady beetle and stinkbug infestations is to vacuum them up and dispose of the bag.

Written By

Photo of Dr. Bill HanlinDr. Bill HanlinRetired County Extension Director (336) 651-7333 william_hanlin@ncsu.eduWilkes County, North Carolina
Updated on Jul 31, 2014
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