Home infestations of insects, spiders and pests are often associated with dirty, rundown homes. Yet any home, old or new, is a target for such home invasions, particularly on wooded properties with warm weather habitats for these critters. As temperatures drop in the fall, all kinds of unwelcome pests look for indoor homes to spend the winter in. Now is the time to stop the migration of spiders, cockroaches, ants and other insects, lessening the burden of eradicating them indoors.
While the mere thought of various insects or rodents making homes and multiplying rapidly inside our home is unsettling, the potential damage they can do (think termites or rodents chewing through wires) and diseases they may carry (think cockroaches) add urgency to keeping these pests away. The easiest way to protect your home from pest invasions is to treat the perimeter of the home and create barriers at any potential points of entry.
Older homes warrant a more thorough inspection in the fall than new custom-built homes, especially in terms of identifying potential points of entry. Cracks and holes along roof lines, joints, walls, around windows and in the foundation all warrant attention, in addition to the common chimney route of passage. An excellent further preventative measure would be applying an all-purpose outdoor insecticide around the perimeter of the home as an added barrier of entry. Certain applications will not only kill pests upon contact but provide months of strong protection.
It is also extremely helpful to treat outdoor nesting grounds for these insects, attacking them before they seek an indoor sanctuary. Spiders, ticks and cockroaches are prevalent in the wooded lots of the lake country area and love to make their home in woodpiles, dense bushes and piles of leaves and other foliage debris. Controlling their populations is also more achievable the further such habitats are located from the home.
The most effective way of preventing any infestations in the home is to create the strongest possible shield from their initial entry. Yet considering most homes are not sealed as tombs, screens have holes, doors are left ajar and pets serve as vessels, it is important to identify any potential threats.
Some of the most common Southeastern Wisconsin fall pests to keep an eye out for include:
Indoor sightings often increase in the fall, and large numbers of indoor house spiders are an indication of the presence of other smaller pests that they feast on, as they thrive on other insects for food.
These persistent little disease carriers popularly seek nesting spots in attics and basements, easily entering through small holes and cracks in walls, floors and foundations, generally living happily until their droppings or pattering gives them away. They may gnaw on furniture, which is a mere nuisance compared to the very dangerous potential of spreading bacteria and harmful diseases through their urine and droppings.
Asian Lady Beetle:
Looking very similar to the common ladybug, this predator of aphids and other agricultural pests has migrated en masse to the Midwest in the past decade. They seek protected locations for the winter, crawling through the smallest crevices for a long winter sleep. The good news is that they do not transmit diseases, nor do they reproduce during the winter months: the same beetle that enters in the fall emerges in the springtime when they are once again active. The Fall months are the best time to address these invaders to minimize spring re-emergence.
Before ants enter the home, they are often initially attracted to plants outside, such as peonies and weeds with abundant nectar. As they often travel in a parade, their trail can usually be easy to track, through tiny cracks among door and window frames, usually attracted to any food left out. Vacuuming, bleach and even talcum powder are all effective combatants to clusters of these tiny pests.