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Pests That Want to Winter With You

There are many critters that will come in, on a potted plant, or through a crack, an open door, a hole in a screen, a gap in siding or soffits, or a piece of firewood. The larger the hole, the larger your potential unwanted guest.

Insects

Vertebrates

How Do I Manage Fall Intruders?

Exclusion

You can prevent the problem in the first place if you invest in pest exclusion.

Brown mottled, shield shaped insect on screen door
Intact screens can keep out a variety of fall invading insects. Photo: NYSIPM. Click photo to see enlarged version.
  • Replace damaged or old screens
  • Seal gaps around doors and door frames, window frames
  • Use appropriate screening or mesh on soffits, chimneys and vents including roof ridge vents. Consult the US Department of Energy Guideline for Durable Attics for more information.
  • Seal gaps at the roof edge, along fascia and wherever utilities like cable wires enter the structure.
  • Inside, seal gaps around light fixtures leading into attic spaces.

Manual Removal

For insects, using a vacuum to collect a large group is effective, but they will leave an odor inside the vacuum cleaner. Collect them by hand in containers (knock them into soapy water) and dispose of them.

Overwintering insects inside structures often die before spring leaving behind their bodies, which may attract and feed other incidental pests, such as carpet beetles and silverfish.

Pesticide Treatment - Not Recommended

Insecticide sprays on the outside of the house are costly and rarely effective, and useless indoors.