Occasional Invaders Overview
There may come a time when you find your house has been invaded by ladybugs, stink bugs, cluster flies or boxelder bugs. Don’t panic. These occasional invaders are primarily nuisances. They enter our homes to keep warm during cold New England winters. Once inside, they find a cozy spot in the wall or attic where they enter a state of diapause, similar to hibernation. In the spring they leave. Pheromones lead these occasional invaders to return year after year. It should be noted that allergists agree the presence of insect pests, their feces and body parts are known to be allergens and should be avoided. If you would like to avoid this pattern, exterior treatment in the late summer to early fall can help.
Are benign little insects more correctly known as ladybird beetles. They eat aphids, a tiny pest that feeds on plants, and come inside your home through tiny cracks around doors and windows only because they’re looking for a warm place to overwinter. Ladybugs like to mass together for warmth, so chances are if you see one ladybug in your home when it’s cold out, you probably have more. They won’t harm you or any part of your home, and they will be gone by spring, so if you can wait them out, do. If you really want them gone, call Braman.
Brown marmorated stink bugs are agricultural pests, hated by farmers and backyard gardeners alike for their habit of piercing through fruits and vegetables with their proboscis and sucking out the juice. The stink bug, as its name implies, will emit a nasty, foul-smelling spray if it is threatened or mishandled. A relative newcomer to New England, they too enter structures to overwinter. Often, though, the indoor warmth can cause them to become active and you may see them flying clumsily around your light fixtures. Call Braman if you have a stink bug infestation.
Look like a house fly but are a little larger. The two characteristics that help identify cluster flies are that they are poor flyers, making them easy to swat and they tend to gather in large numbers, hence their name. Adults lay eggs in soil where they are ingested by earthworms in whose gut the larval stage takes place. After pupation the adult emerges and in the late summer, when the nights get cool, they find suitable harborage in attics wall voids and other to overwinter. Often in mid to late winter on a sunny, unseasonably warm day, cluster flies will emerge into living or office spaces in large numbers (clusters), thinking that spring has arrived. Vacuums, sprays, dusts and insect light traps are all helpful in controlling cluster flies but prevention is better. Sealing cracks and crevices or treating them with insecticide before the flies enter in late August or September is much more effective. Call us for help.
Make their homes in boxelder trees. If you have boxelders or silver maple trees around your home or neighborhood, it is very likely you will have boxelder bugs. Boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance pest. They don’t breed indoors. They don’t bite or sting. They can, however, stain the surfaces of your walls or furniture with their excrement.
If you think you have an infestation of occasional invaders, contact Braman immediately.