Why am I seeing Asian Lady Beetles and Boxelder Bugs in Spring?

Around this time every year, we start seeing an increase of phone calls and website submissions regarding Asian Lady Beetles and Boxelder Bugs. While these little guys cause no harm to you or your house, that doesn’t mean they are welcomed with open arms. There’s a reason they start showing up around this time of year inside your house, and honestly, they’re kind of just lost.

If preventative measures were not taken in the fall to help protect against these guys, they will likely start showing up in your house around this time of year. You will especially find them in rooms that have the most sun exposure. Dave Kusnierek, District Service Manager and Certified Entomologist, explains, “In the Fall, Asian Lady Beetles and Boxelder Bugs land on the sunny sides of your house and then make their way into the walls and window casings via any cracks or crevices they can find. They hang out there until the sun warms the structures they are within causing them to ‘wake up’ and start wandering around. This is when you will likely start seeing them in your living room because, between the two choices of inside or outside, your house is looking much cozier in spring.”

Successful treatment for these pests is performed in Fall. In winter or early spring when they start appearing in large numbers within your home, reduction services can be performed. Residential Service Consultant, Katrina Jaehnert, explains, “This is done in the interior to help alleviate activity levels within the home. It is important to note that this will not eliminate them completely. Once Asian Lady Beetles and Boxelder Bugs settle in the cracks of your home, there’s not too much you can do, but we will recommend that you are set up for preventative treatment in the Fall to prevent this from reoccurring the following year.” Treatment for Asian Lady Beetles and Boxelder bugs is included in Batzner’s pestfree365 program, among other pests. For more information, call our office at 866-591-3519 or get a free estimate online today.

What Spring Pests to Expect: Ticks, Boxelder Bugs, Mosquitoes and Ants

As the weather warms and the ground thaws, spring pests will start to emerge from their winter hiding places to enjoy all the good things that the season has to offer. The additional pest activity can be a nuisance for homeowners, so be sure to keep an eye out for signs of infestations. Insect infestations can cause issues inside and outside the home that can be annoying and expensive to fix. Here are some common springtime insect pests to watch for, and the potential damage that can be caused by letting their populations get out of control:

  • Japanese Beetles– Japanese beetles begin the spring in their grub stage, nibbling away at your lawn’s root system. This can lead to dead spots and bare areas in the lawn which require reseeding. When the temperature gets warm enough, the grubs emerge from the ground as beetles and feed on the leaves of plants and trees, including ornamentals like roses.
  • TicksTicks start appearing in the spring, and can cause a number of problems if they are hanging out in your yard. Their bites, while occasionally very painful to people or pets, are usually just a mild annoyance. However, being bitten should be taken seriously, as ticks are known for spreading diseases such as Lyme Disease.
  • Boxelder BugsBoxelder bugs don’t typically cause extensive damage to homes or foliage during the spring. They spend their spring and summer feeding and reproducing on a select few kinds of trees, primarily female box elder trees, and only occasionally cause minor damage to fruits and leaves. Crushing them can release an unpleasant odor, and their feces can stain light colored surfaces. Allowing their population to go unchecked does create a nuisance in the fall, when they reenter the home in preparation for winter.
  • MosquitoesMosquito eggs begin hatching in the spring, and reach their adult stage in less than two weeks. As with ticks, mosquito bites are mostly an annoyance, but they can also spread diseases such as West Nile and yellow fever.
  • AntsAnts also emerge from their nests in the spring, and are often drawn into your home in search of a meal. In addition to crawling all over any food that has been left out, research has shown that ants can cause or exacerbate asthma, allergies, and other respiratory issues for those sensitive to such problems.

More information on these pests, including signs of infestations, can be found on the National Pest Management Association’s website. As with other pests, spring insects are best handled by a professional. If you see any signs of an infestation in your home or workplace, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Prevent Asian Lady Beetle and Boxelder Bug Infestations – Service Required Before First Frost

Fall invaders probably aren’t the first pests that come to mind when you think of a pest infestation. Occasional, or fall, invaders are a group of insects that invade structures occasionally, often finding themselves inside your home. You’ll start to see this happening when weather conditions become threatening to their survival. The occasional invaders that get several complaints filed against them around this time of year, and in spring, are the Boxelder Bugs and Asian Lady Beetles.

As autumn approaches, these fall invaders are looking for a cool, dry place to hit snooze during the winter. In September and October, they tend to assemble themselves on the exterior walls of sunny, south-facing buildings seeking out warmth. Once they land on buildings, they make their way through tiny cracks and crevices looking for protected places to hibernate. Their favorite locations include cracks around windows and door frames, behind fascia boards, and behind exterior siding. Structures with many cracks make this very easy for them and are most vulnerable to infestation.

As temperatures warm in late winter and early spring, they start to wake up from hibernation. This usually occurs on the sunnier, southwest side of homes. Still sleepy from their winter naps, some fall invaders unintentionally make their way inside your home, emerging from behind baseboards, walls, attics, and suspended ceilings. This is why even though Frosty the Snowman may still be standing strong outside, pests can mysteriously appear in your living room in the middle of winter.

So why do you find piles of dead fall invaders collecting in your window sill over winter? Well, once inside your home, the pests realize “Hey, this isn’t right!” They will naturally gravitate towards the light, which is mostly likely going to be the closest window. Since the temperature in your home is cozier than the temperature outdoors, their metabolism starts to gear up for summer. A high metabolism combined with no source of food causes them to quickly use up their winter reserves and die. If you see any still alive, you can return them to the outdoors where cooler temperatures will slow down their metabolism until spring.

The best way to control Asian Lady Beetle and Boxelder Bugs invasions is to seal up and repair any cracks and crevices around windows, eaves, doors, insulation and siding in the fall. Pay close attention to places where pipes and wires enter your home. Batzner Pest Control offers a fall service that creates a protective barrier to treat the cracks and crevices the fall invaders are attracted to, controlling and minimizing the population. This service must be applied before the first frost, so call now (866-591-3519 ) or contact us online to ensure you don’t have fall invaders waking up in your home. If you are already on our pestfree365 program, the Asian Lady Beetle and Boxelder Bug treatment is included. You’re all set!

Why Do I Have Boxelder Bugs and How to Prevent Them in the Fall

Just because they don’t bite, it doesn’t make them less of a nuisance. Boxelder bugs can enter your home in large numbers during the fall, staining curtains, walls, and other surfaces with their excrement.

During summer, boxelder bugs feed on leaves, flowers, and seedpods of boxelders and silver maples, where they do minor damage to the trees. During fall, they search for protected areas for the winter, or overwintering areas, as they leave the trees from where they were feeding. They like warm areas and are attracted to buildings with large southern or western exposure, with lots of sun. They also like buildings standing isolated on flat ground, or buildings which are taller than surrounding structures.

Cool weather brings bugs in

Once the weather starts to cool down, boxelder bugs find their way into spaces and cracks around homes. This is usually how they end up around windows in the interior of buildings. They can also come in the building from overwintering areas such as attics or walls. They are typically inactive during winter, unless the weather is mild and sunny, which increases their mobility.

Boxelder bugs are most abundant during hot, dry summers when followed by warm springs. Wet weather promotes a fungal disease which controls the population of boxelder bugs. Since we have had a long dry spell in Wisconsin, we might see a lot of these bugs this fall. We have also had a longer, warmer weather season this year, which has caused the boxelder bugs from the spring to mature more quickly and sprout an early second generation. It is these second generation bugs that become a nuisance by congregating on the outsides of homes and buildings on sunny days in September and October.

The best way to manage a boxelder bug problem is to prevent it by taking steps to keep them from entering your home in the first place.

Boxelder bug prevention outdoors:

  • Repair or replace damaged window and door screens
  • Repair or replace damaged screens in roof vents, and in bathroom and kitchen fans
  • Seal areas where cable TV wires, phone lines, and other utility wires and pipes, outdoor faucets, dryer vents and similar objects enter buildings
  • Install door sweeps or thresholds to all exterior entry doors
  • Install a rubber seal along the bottom of garage doors

Depending on the construction of your home or building, different precautions may be taken. If boxelder bugs have already made their way indoors, you may physically remove them with a broom and a dust pan, or a vacuum. Check around the building exterior if they are found during fall, as they can be found congregating in warm or sunny areas.

If you are experiencing a pest problem, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 262-797-4160 or contact us. We are always happy to help.