Winter weather may not be enticing to some people, but many people enjoy the absence of insects when the mercury drops. When temperatures dip, insects that do not have the benefit of body fat need to find different methods to riding out the chilly weather. Like bears and groundhogs, some insects hibernate, while others move to warmer locations for survival. Although insects may be less prevalent outdoors, homeowners often see an increase of insect activity indoors during the winter, when bugs seek out more cozy accommodations.
The following are some of the insects homeowners may see more frequently as colder weather arrives.
As the autumn air turns cold, brown marmorated stink bugs move indoors. According to Mike Raupp, a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, data points to high numbers of stink bug populations in 2013. Home invasions may be greater than in years past thanks to favorable conditions this summer.
Stink bugs, which are native to areas of China and Japan, have a sustained presence in North America, having been observed in 41 states, including Hawaii. In parts of Maryland, West Virginia and Delaware, scientists have observed high numbers of stink bugs found piled six inches deep in some traps.
To keep stink bugs out, seal any cracks around the windows and doors with caulk. Patch any tiny holes in the walls and use foam sprays to patch up holes around outdoor electrical outlets.
Ladybugs, with their vivid red-and-black markings, may not cause concern when found in gardens. But when found in large numbers inside of the house, ladybugs should cause concern. They do not pose any health or infestation risks, but they can be pests in large numbers indoors. Many ladybugs will leave the home in the spring when they’re done hibernating. Otherwise, you can sweep them outdoors or remove them another way.
Box elder bugs
These insects can enter the home through tiny cracks or under doors. They also can sneak in on clothing or bags from outside. Box elder bugs are largely harmless, as they will not eat anything in the home or reproduce. But many people are put off by any black insects running around their homes. As with many other insects, finding the point of entry and sealing it up is the key to keeping them out.
The camelback cricket, also known as the camel cricket or spider cricket, is a strange-looking bug. It has the body of a cricket, but the long, arched legs of a spider. They are brown or striped, but unlike other types of crickets, these insects do not have wings, so they are silent and will not alert you to their presence with the familiar chirping noise. Furthermore, camelback crickets have spectacular jumping abilities.
They have poor eyesight and usually jump toward a predator attempting to scare it away. This can make the cricket seem aggressive. It will not harm people, but because they are omnivores, camelback crickets can eat just about anything in your home and also will eat their own. They like dark, warm, damp environments, so removing these conditions can reduce the number of crickets you find indoors.
To further prevent indoor insect populations, take preemptive measures in the fall. Spray the exterior of the home with an insecticide and keep mulch or damp leaves away from the perimeter. If insects become troublesome, consult with an exterminator.