AGAWAM, Mass. – As the temperatures get cooler, Braman Termite & Pest Elimination, a pest management company servicing southern New England, is warning homeowners that stink bugs, cluster flies, ladybugs and spiders are likely to make an appearance inside homes in the coming weeks, if they have not already.
“Adult stink bugs, cluster flies and ladybugs are known to take flight in search of overwintering sites in the fall and, much like humans, spiders seek shelter from cooler weather in warm environments,” said Jerry Lazarus, third-generation owner of Braman Termite and Pest Elimination. “During this time, they can slip into our living spaces through small openings around windows, foundations, soffits and eaves in order find harborage and survive the winter, so it’s important for homeowners to consider pest-proofing before an infestation develops.”
Although these pests don’t present a health threat to people, the fact that they look to our homes as a winter vacation spot makes them a major nuisance. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following prevention tips to minimize the chance of an invasion:
- Seal cracks around window frames, doors and the conjunction of construction elements; such as where the chimney meets the siding, to prevent pests from entering your home.
- Reduce outdoor lighting or use yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to insects.
- Repair damaged window screens and install door sweeps on exterior doors.
- Install screens over attic vents.
- Properly ventilate basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces. Dehumidify damp spaces.
- If any of these insects have already entered your home, use a vacuum cleaner to remove them. Dispose of the vacuum bag to prevent odor from permeating your home.
Spiders prefer to spin their webs in dark, undisturbed areas around the house, so homeowners should pay special attention to basements, garages and attics. The NPMA recommends keeping these areas particularly clean and free of clutter. Experts also suggest the following tips to avoid contact with spiders:
- Install screens and weather stripping on windows and door sweeps on doors.
- Fix any cracks in siding and walls, especially where pipes or wires enter the home.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your house.
- Wear gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time.
- Inspect items such as boxes of seasonal decorations before bringing them indoors.
- Store out of season clothing and shoes inside plastic containers. Check before putting them on, as spiders may hide in these items.
- If you suspect that a spider has bitten you, contact your primary care physician for medical advice.
- If you have a spider infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional.
“Spiders are a beneficial part of the ecosystem, as they provide a natural form of pest control by catching insects in their webs, but that doesn’t mean they have an open invitation to wander inside our homes,” said Lazarus.
For more information on stink bugs or spiders, visit BramanPest.com.