The colder nights of fall will bring lady bugs and cluster flies into your home, they’re seeking refuge from the winter to come. These pests can be alarming when found in your home only because they come in abundant numbers. The trick to stopping these pests begins on the outside of your home.
The biology of lady bugs (also known as the Asian Lady Beetle) and cluster flies affords these pests the opportunity to make fall the ideal time for them to enter our homes. The basic biology of the cluster fly and lady bug are as follows
- Larva develop in earthworms
- They pupate in the adjacent soil of homes
- Adults overwinter in voids in the home
- Feed in high trees throughout summer
- Attracted to light colored homes
- Especially attractive are southwesterly home faces warmed by sunlight
Most homeowners immediately reach for an insecticide to control these pests, unfortunately this is only one part of an integrated approach which should also include exclusion. Exclusion can prevent large numbers of these pests from gaining access to the interior of a home in the first place. Exclusion methods differ, but the most common material used are latex type caulks that are labeled for both indoor/outdoor uses. The following are the most common areas that need caulking and repair to prevent pest entrance:
- Cracks at window and door frames
- Siding penetration areas
- Flashing areas at chimney and additions
- Exterior plumbing and utility entrances
- Damaged windows and screens
- Door sweeps
- Any other area that is a crack that can lead to the interior
In the likely event that exclusion alone doesn’t work the timely application of labeled insecticides work quite well in heading off the invasion of these pests into the main living area of the home on warm winter days. The application should take place at all the aforementioned cracks and crevices ideally BEFORE these pests enter your home.
Once the pest has gained access to the home there are a few tried and true methods to keep them at bay. Unfortunately, this is the answer that homeowners least like to hear, but it’s the safest as well as most readily available. Ready, vacuum the little beasts. It’s easy, pesticide free and sure to work every time. After the pest has gained entrance to the home a pesticide application is only going to hasten their demise, not stop you from seeing them all together. Why use a pesticide if you don’t have to?
Well , there you have it simple instructions that work without fail every time.
Good luck and happy hunting.