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A Stranger Sleeping in the House: Hibernating Pests

Erdye's Pest Control

The winter can seem like a peaceful time for those of us who really can’t stand insects and spiders in our homes. If you’re anything like me, you can finally relax when it gets to be cold enough outside that you no longer see signs of these creepy crawlers in and around your house! Sometimes I feel like a super ninja warrior who is always on guard, watching for invaders who have multiple legs! The thing is, despite this false sense of comfort I feel in the winter, it turns out that some of these critters aren’t actually absent at all. There is actually a stranger sleeping in the house, and that stranger is a hibernating pest.

Many insects indeed hibernate during the cold season, just waiting for the warmth of the sun to release them from their sleep. Asian beetles (the ladybug) and box elder beetles are two of these hibernating winged insects that are laying in wait for the warmth of the sun to make their entrance into our focus. Ants, although they don’t technically hibernate, also begin to migrate into our homes when they sense the warmth and sunshine. They are in search of food that may be hard to find towards the end of the winter. While none of these multi-legged pests are of serious harm to us, or our homes, they are most certainly unsightly, can cause bad smells, and are annoying and unwelcomed!

Asian beetles, or ladybugs, are often the most annoying of these hibernating pests, because they tend to emerge in such great number, that it can be overwhelming. They “call” out to each other in the autumn by using a type of pheromone that they have, to attract others. At that time they forge huge groups or swarms and will join together in a place that attracts warmth, and they may gather inside of the outer walls of a house. It’s there that they will become dormant, and lay in wait for the sun, and temps that reach around 50 °F, before re-emerging. They become incredibly invasive at this time due to the sheers numbers in which they might emerge into your home. Along with the overwhelming amount of insects that may be entering your home, they also leave behind an incredibly unpleasant odor and stain when they excrete body fluid when either frightened or squashed. These beetles also have a tendency to bite if frightened or provoked. The box elder beetle carries with it the same issues as the Asian beetle, when it comes to large congregations, and omitting awful smells as a way to protect them.

Ants, although they don’t actually hibernate, do migrate into homes (after remaining in a sheltered area outside of the home), when they feel the warmth of the sun. The most overwhelming repercussions of having ants in your home is that they form and live in colonies, which are made up of a few dozen, up to millions. When you have the possibility of that kind of a colony being active in your home, it can drive you crazy. The worst thing you can do when you being to spot ants in your home is to try to handle the problem yourself by purchasing ant traps. The traps available to the typical consumer in a store will likely just exacerbate the issue. This happens because they are basically just a sugar water source with a tiny amount of chemical poison. Often times the ant after visiting this trap will attempt to get back to their colony, leaving behind a scent trail for the other ants, which will do the same and attract even more ants to leave the colony, in search of that food source, until the bait trap is empty, and the ants are spreading out everywhere in your home, seeking additional food sources. At this point not only have you “called out” to more ants to enter your home, but you have exhausted the food source that was available to them in the trap, forcing them to seek alternative sources, such as food left in the open, or containers that are easily penetrable to an ant. As with all pests that enter your home, it is best and most wise to contact a professional pest control professional, as soon as you notice a problem. The trained professional is equipped with the knowledge and the resources necessary to eradicate the problem completely and efficiently.

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