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Cold Weather Insect Invaders

Certain pests will die off as the cold weather arrives, but there are others that make their way inside to find warmth and wait out the winter months. They may also come inside in search of food as sources become scarce. While some homeowners are curious how insects got into their house, most just want to know if they are harmful and whether they will multiply when inside their home. 

Seasonal pests are usually only a temporary annoyance. They will usually go into hiding to wait out the cold weather, or they are unable to survive the dry conditions indoors. However, some insects may be able to survive and reproduce when indoors if conditions are favorable. They would need high moisture levels, suitable temperatures and consistent access to a food source. 

Overwintering pests that don't reproduce inside

Most pests that invade your home during the winter months are just looking for a place to wait out the cold. They enter a state of semi-hibernation and hide in cracks and crevices to wait until spring. They generally feed on plants so they will most likely not have a reliable food source inside. They have to potential to gather in large numbers, which can be a frightening sight. In early spring when the sun is bright and the weather mild, they will move back outdoors to mate and lay their eggs. These types of insects don’t feed or mate when indoors, but they may cause allergic reactions to some sensitive individuals. 

Some examples of overwintering insects include: 

  • brown marmorated stink bugs
  • boxelder bugs
  • elm leaf beetles
  • western conifer seed bugs 
  • kudzu bugs

Cluster flies, Asian lady beetles, and paper wasp queens are overwintering insects that feed on proteins rather than plants.

Insects that require high moisture environments

Some pests will enter structures to escape the cold, dry winter weather. Many of these insects are dependent on high moisture environments to survive, so once they enter a building, they die off quickly in the dryer environment. Their normal habitat consists of dark, damp areas usually around the perimeter of foundations and in leaf piles. Unless the structure is very damp, they don’t have very good chances of survival indoors.

Some examples of high moisture requiring insects include: 

  • pillbugs
  • sowbugs
  • earwigs
  • millipedes
  • springtails
  • field crickets
  • camel crickets
  • wood cockroaches
Invaders that can reproduce outside or inside

Insects that have the best chance of survival indoors are those that are omnivores. They feed on a variety of things, including garbage, pet food, or other insects. Sometimes they can adapt well to life indoors and will need to be controlled by a pest management professional. 

Insects that are adaptable enough to survive and reproduce indoors are often referred to as “peridomestic.” This means they can live indoors or outdoors and may move between the two depending on circumstances. It is more common here in the northeast for them to seek seasonal shelter during the colder months. These pests are commonly found outside around the perimeter of foundations but can establish themselves indoors as well. 

Some examples of invaders that can reproduce indoors or outdoors include:

  • American cockroach
  • oriental cockroach
  • Australian cockroach
  • house cricket 
  • house centipede

It is common for many household pests to spend part of the year indoors and part out. Many outdoor ant species, spiders and flies will live and breed indoors throughout the year, while carpet beetles will feed and mate outdoors but move inside to lay their eggs. If you are struggling to control a pest infestation at any point in the year, give us a call at 1-800-308-9126 to have the experts at Richland Pest & Bee Control eliminate your insect invaders.  

Source: PCT Magazine

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