Overwintering Pests

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Overwintering pests are common in New York City. You’re going to encounter these pests in late fall. These pests do not want to get stuck outside during the winter months because they want to avoid cold temperatures, snow, and frost. They can take shelter in many places, including in your home. They’ll hide in attics and wall voids.

Common Overwintering Pests

A handful of pests overwinter in our area. The most common will be explored in more detail below.

Boxelder Bugs

During the warm months, box elder bugs are common garden pests. They’ll feed on seeds of certain trees such as boxelder trees. They’ll become a nuisance before winter as they attempt to sneak into your home. Boxelder bugs reach half an inch. They are black with a few red markings on their wings. Thanks to their size, they can slip through many small cracks. Although they’re going to be a nuisance, they’re not dangerous. Don’t crush these pests because they’ll leave a stain on the surface.


Ladybugs are overwintering pests that attempt to enter structures in late fall. Before the cold temperatures arrive, they’ll attempt to sneak into homes and take refuge inside. Some ladybugs can bite but they won’t break the skin. Again, you don’t want to crush these pests because they’re going to release a foul odor. Clean them up with a vacuum cleaner instead.

Cluster Flies

You’re going to encounter cluster flies because they’re overwintering pests too. These pests spend their entire lives outside but they can enter homes before winter. They do so because they’re overwintering pests and cannot stand cold weather. These pests will seek shelter before winter comes. They can hide in several places, including behind loose bark. They may enter homes or hide behind loose wood planks. As the name implies, these flies cluster so you’re going to see them in large numerous. When they leave your home, they’ll try to do so in large groups.

Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bugs

The leaf-footed pine seed bug is another common overwintering pest in NYC. These pests can easily produce a new generation every year. During adulthood, leaf-footed pine seed bugs grow up to three-quarters of an inch. They’re dull brown. Their large size makes them concerning. Don’t worry though because they won’t hurt you. Before the cold weather arrives, leaf-footed pine seed bugs attempt to take shelter. They can hide behind the bark of certain trees but they’ll also sneak into structures. Despite their large size, they’ll still enter through small cracks.

When the shelter is warmed by the sun or your HVAC unit, the leaf-footed pine seed bugs will return outside. These pests do not bite or transmit illnesses but you’ll need to clean up the mess they’ve left behind.

Stink Bugs

Brown marmorated stink bugs or just stink bugs can reach half an inch during adulthood. When they’re crushed or frightened, stink bugs are going to release a foul odor. It is wise to find a different way to tackle the problem gently. When you do this, you can dispose of them without turning your home into a stinky mess. These pests are native to Asia but they’ve been harassing Americans since 1996. Today, these pests can be found around the country and in New York City. They stay outside and consume crops during summer. When it starts getting cold, they’ll do what they can to sneak into your home.

Again, find a gentle way to get rid of them so they won’t make your home stink.

Signs You Have Overwintering Pests

Are you concerned that you might have overwintering pests in your home? You could. It is pertinent to find out soon because the pests aren’t going to leave until winter is over. Overwintering pests tend to remain hidden during cold weather and try to leave when it gets warm. Therefore, it is often easier to identify them when the shelter is hot. Increase your home’s temperature using your HVAC system. Once you’ve done that, the overwintering pests will likely try to leave your home. When the home is warmed, the pests will come out of their hiding places and try to leave. Therefore, you’re going to find them throughout the home.

Remember that they’re trying to go outside. When it gets hot and you see a lot of stink bugs, cluster flies, or boxelder bugs around your home, you had an overwintering pest problem. Try to prevent them from entering your home next fall.

Stopping Invasions Of Overwintering Pests

It can be difficult to eliminate overwintering pests. Therefore, it is often best to find a way to keep them out. If you can prevent them from sneaking into your home, you’ll be able to avoid issues and paying for extermination services. You need to start by identifying their entry points. How are they entering your home? Where are they finding gaps and cracks? Once you’ve found out, you can begin taking steps to block these entry points so they cannot enter your home.

Small Openings, Gaps, & Entry Points

Start by looking for small entry points around your home. If you can eliminate all of these small gaps, you’ll be able to stop overwintering pests and other pests from entering your home.

Try A Protective Barrier Treatment

Talk to a professional about protective barrier treatments. The service can protect your home from overwintering pests and other pests. Although you can buy products to create a protective barrier around your home, it is best to let a professional do it for you because they’ll use industrial-strength products. As a result, their products will deliver better and longer-lasting results.

Places To Check For Entry Points

Bricks & Mortar Gaps

Does your home have bricks? If so, you likely have gaps near the top of the mortar. It is slightly thinner than the bricks so there will be a gap near the top where the bricks touch the siding. Bugs can enter your attic using these small gaps. Fill them by using a high-quality sealant.

Gaps Around Window Frames

You also need to check gaps around window frames. In most cases, your window is going to be caulked on the top and sides. The bottom is likely left open. Prevent pests from getting inside here by filling it with caulk. Doing so will prevent overwintering pests, spiders, and other pests from getting inside through the window.

Fascia & Clapboard

The clapboard has an uneven surface that creates gaps where it touches the fascia. You will need to block this entry point to prevent overwintering pests from entering your dwelling. While you could use caulk, you’ll have better results with a foam insulating cord.

Vents In Attic & Soffit

You’re going to have vents in the attic. Although they help ventilate the attic, they might let bugs enter your dwelling. You need a vent cover to stop pests from getting inside. Make sure that the vent is covered by a durable, high-quality screen. If it has tears, it needs to be replaced. Once you’ve done that, bats, rodents, and overwintering pests won’t be able to slip through.

Utility & Plumbing Openings

You’ll also need to check your utility lines and plumbing pipes. You might find small gaps where the plumbings enter the home. You’ll also find small holes where the utility lines come inside. These holes have to be blocked to prevent overwintering pests from entering your home. Pests will be able to slip through these small gaps and infiltrate your dwelling. Fix the problem with a used pot scrubber. Stuff it into the gap to prevent pests from entering this way. You can use a new scrubber but it’ll be harder to stuff into the hole.

Remember that the easiest way to fix the problem is by working with us. Contact our office and we’ll do what we can to get rid of the overwintering pests and keep them from invading.

What To Use To Block Pests From Entering

It is wise to block these pests to prevent them from entering your home. You need to use exclusion materials to stop these pests. Exclusion materials are available as pest-proofing products. They’ll help stop overwintering pests and other pests. Use the tips below to ensure that you’re using the right material.

Picking Caulk Or Sealant

It is wise to learn when to use caulk and when to use a sealant. Caulks work great for sealing gaps around bricks and other materials that won’t move due to temperature changes. Otherwise, you should use a sealant.

Other Materials To Use

  • Don’t forget to use foam insulation. It is great for filling longer cracks and holes. Although spray insulation can help, it’ll be harder to clean up later.
  • An aluminum screen is recommended too. It is affordable and versatile. It can be used to block gaps of all shapes and sizes.
  • Use a hardware cloth because it works well as a durable screen.
  • Again, you can use pot scrubbers to fill in small holes and gaps.

Get in touch with us so we can help you deal with your overwintering pest problem.

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Overwintering Pest (Cluster Flies)