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Overwintering Pests

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Ultimately, some pests do not like the cold weather. If they’re exposed to extremely cold temperatures, there is a risk that they’re going to perish. As a result, these pests will try to enter homes and other buildings so they can survive. Pets that exhibit this type of behavior are referred to as overwintering pests. In Buffalo, you may experience a handful of overwintering pests as they try to sneak into your home during late summer.

Which Pests Overwinter?

Numerous pests overwinter in New York, Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia. Below, you’ll learn more about some of Buffalo’s most common overwintering pests.

Box Elder Bugs

First and foremost, you’ll have to worry about encounter Box Elder Bugs which are garden pests during the warmer months. Around this time, they’re going to stay outside and feed on seeds from boxelder and maple trees. Then, they’ll try to shelter in your home during the winter. As a result, they’ll become a nuisance and you’ll need to keep them out. They’re roughly half an inch in length with black bodies and red markings on their wings. These pests are small enough to slip through tiny cracks and gaps.

They do not bite, sting, or transmit disease, but they can release a foul odor when crushed.


Although ladybugs are cute, some are problematic for homeowners and renters. They don’t like being outside in the cold so they’ll try to sneak into your home. These pests can create a mess in your home. Furthermore, they’ll bite and release a bad odor when they’ve been squashed. Thankfully, they don’t pose a health risk to humans or their pets.

Cluster Flies

Ultimately, cluster flies are problematic because they’re large flies that will try to enter your home to stay away from the winter weather. They live outside most of the time, but they have to shelter during the winter. If they can’t find suitable shelter behind loose tree bark, they’ll hide behind your home’s wooden planks. Alternatively, they may sneak into your attic. As the name implied, these flies can cluster together. When it warms up, you’ll likely see many of them trying to leave your home.

Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bugs

Leaf-footed pine seed bugs are one of the largest overwintering pests with adults reaching three-quarters of an inch. Furthermore, they’re dull-brown and prefer eating pine cones and seeds. While they stay outside during the summer, they’ll desperately look for a way to sneak into your home in late summer. If they can find small gaps, cracks, holes, or openings, they’ll use them to enter your home.

When your area experiences warmer temperatures, these bugs will emerge and leave your home.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

Adult stink bugs reach up to half an inch and they have a shield-like back. Although these bugs are new to North America, they’ve reproduced quickly and can now be founded in many American states. They like staying outside and eating fruit trees, vegetable crops, and other plants during the spring and summer. When it gets cold, they’ll look for a warm place to shelter during the winter. If your home has an opening, the bugs will enter through there.

Stink bugs release a bad odor when they’re crushed and stressed. With this in mind, it is best to be cautious when approaching them. Instead, you’ll want to suck them up with your vacuum and dispose of them in a sealed bag.

Signs You Have Overwintering Pests

Overwintering pests can create numerous problems in your home. You’ll need to learn how to identify an infestation so you can begin taking steps to get rid of them as soon as possible. Once they’ve settled in your home somewhere, they will likely stay there and you won’t be able to find them. They often live in bedrooms, kitchen, attics, and crawlspaces. They only want to live in your home when it is cold outside so they’ll leave in early spring. If you notice a lot of stink bugs, box elder bugs, or cluster flies around your home in spring, you likely had an overwintering pest infestation.

Preventing Overwintering Pests

Now that you’ve learned more about overwintering pests, you’ll need to find out how to prevent them. Can you stop overwintering pests from entering your home? Maybe, but they may still find a way inside. First, start by sealing your home. Deal with gaps, cracks, holes, and crevices on the outside of your home. Sealing these gaps will prevent overwintering pests and other household pests from entering your home. Below, you’ll learn more about keeping overwintering pests out.

Small Entry Points, Screens, & Gaps

By eliminating small gaps and cracks, you can stop overwintering pests from entering your home. Seal all gaps and you may be able to keep your home free of pests during the winter all other seasons.

Ask About Protective Barrier Treatment

Don’t forget to ask your professional exterminator about protective exterior barrier treatment, which can keep insects away from your property. Professional exterminators use powerful products designed to prevent and eliminate pests. Since they’re using industrial-strength chemicals, they’ll be more effective and last longer.

Places To Look For Gaps

Bricks & Mortar

First, check the gaps between the two bricks. You’ll likely find a gap here and you’ll need to fill that gap to prevent bugs from climbing through. The small gap will let bugs climb through and enter your attic. Seal these cracks using a sealant to stop overwintering pests from entering.

Window Frames

Once you’ve finished with the brick gaps, focus on your window frames. When windows are installed, the installer will likely seal the top and side of the window frames, but they may ignore the bottom. It might not let water inside but it will let bugs sneak into your home. Use caulk to stuff the gap and prevent pests from getting in.

Fascia & Clapboard

You’ll notice that there is a gap where the fascia boards hang over the wooden clapboard. The clapboard is uneven so there is going to be a gap there. While you could seal these gaps with caulk, it is easier to use a foam insulating cord.

Attic Vents & Soffit

Don’t forget to check your attic vents and soffit vents. These vents need to be protected with a screen. If they don’t have screens, install them immediately. Also, inspect the screens to make sure they’re free of holes and gaps.

Openings For Utilities

You’ll need to check your home’s utility openings to ensure that they’re free of small holes. Check the spots where pipes, wires, and cables enter your home. If there are gaps, bugs will likely be able to use them to climb into your home. You can use various materials to seal these gaps, including caulk and green pot scrubbers. Using a used pot scrubber is wise because they’re more flexible. Stuff a portion of it into the hole to prevent bugs from climbing inside.

If you need assistance keeping these bugs out, contact us. We offer free inspections so you can identify problems before they turn your life upside down.

Materials To Use To Keep Pests Out Of Your Home

Exclusion Materials

Exclusion materials are products that are designed to keep pests out of your home. Although they can stop overwintering pests, they’re designed to keep all pests out. They work great for stopping rodents, rats, and other pests. Below, you’ll find out more about some of the other materials you can use to protect your home.

Picking The Best Materials

Be sure to use the right materials. If the gaps will not see movement with temperature changes, using caulk will do the trick. Use sealant if the joints will experience movements. For instance, a sealant is best for wood and aluminum. For bricks, using caulk is best.

Other Materials

  • You can also use other materials such as flexible foam insulation. It works great for filling in long holes.
  • Place aluminum screens in certain holes to keep pests out of your home.
  • If you need a heavy-duty screen, you should use hardware cloth.
  • To fill small gaps, try using pot scrubbers.

If you need more assistance, contact us!

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Overwintering Pest (Cluster Flies)