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October 2013 - Common Fall Invaders

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Asian Lady Beetles on Green LeafTrivia Question: True or False

Asian lady beetles can stain surfaces in your home?

 

Correct Trivia Answer: True

Asian lady beetles will emit an acrid odor when crushed and can stain surfaces with their yellowish secretions when disturbed (volatile compounds used in defense against bird and other vertebrate predators)

 


Common Fall Invaders

Box Elder BugInsects such as cluster flies, boxelder bugs, elm leaf beetles and multicolored Asian lady beetles are common over wintering pests. As temperatures cool in the fall, these insects are attracted to warm temperatures found on exterior walls exposed to the sun. They often occur suddenly in large numbers. After landing on exterior surfaces the insects explore the area and locate entry points to wall voids, attics and other protected areas inside the structure. Once inside they may become a nuisance during the fall, winter and spring as they emerge and move to warmer areas in the structure, including living quarters. None of these invaders cause any structural damage to your home, however, Asian lady beetles will emit an acrid odor when crushed and can stain surfaces with their yellowish secretions when disturbed (volatile compounds used in defense against bird and other vertebrate predators).

Pest management professionals can provide effective control of these important pests. It’s best to prevent their entry, since it’s much more difficult to manage them once they have gotten inside. Sealing exterior gaps and cracks around windows, doors, eaves, roofs, siding and other potential points of entry before insects move to the structures is an important part of an effective prevention program. Damaged door, vent screens, and window screens should be repaired. Tight fitting door sweeps and rubber seals around garage doors can also be installed to prevent pest entry.

Cluster FlyDespite these exclusion methods, exterior insecticide applications are often required to kill these pests before they can enter structures. Make applications to areas around windows, under eaves, along rooflines and around foundations wherever these pests congregate. Timing (usually late summer and early fall) and thorough coverage are essential for effective management. Check with your local extension service for information on proper timing of applications.

For a complete treatment, or if insects are already inside, the most practical method of removal is to vacuum or sweep them up. Glue boards may also be used to control insects inside the structure. For relief from persistent problems, make spot treatments with insecticides to areas frequented by insects indoors, such as door and window casings. Application of insecticide dusts to wall voids will help control pests where they harbor.

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