Ants will start to show up inside houses during the early spring. These ants are looking for moisture in kitchens and bathrooms. They are most common in homes without basements with heating ducts in the concrete floors. General insecticides are not very effective against these pests and tend to cause them to spread throughout the house. Ant baits can be effective but you need to put out numerous placements wherever you see ants trailing inside the house. “Winged ants” are another common sight inside homes. These are the reproductive caste on the ant and are considerably larger than the worker ants. Carpenter ant queens are solid black and about the size of a wasp but they do not have a stinger.
Any insecticide used inside the house must be applied carefully. Read the label carefully. Never apply insecticides into your heating ducts or on counter tops, near dishes, or any foodstuffs. Keep pets and children out of treated areas until the application is dry. An exterior application of pesticides around the foundation of the home will be beneficial but should not be applied until the ground is dry and ants are active outside the home.
Spiders are a common sight in most homes during the winter and are often seen crawling on walls in bathrooms and basement areas. Most spiders are searching for insects. While they are venomous they rarely bite humans. Most of the “spider bites” people find on their bodies are probably not spider bites. Over the counter insecticides will kill spiders but mouse glue boards are also very effective in trapping these insects. Place the mouse glue boards behind furniture or in unfinished areas of the home next to walls and you will capture many of these pests. Knock down and remove any cobwebs inside and outside your home to prevent the spiders from starting to reproduce around your home. Carefully check the glue boards to determine what other insects may be present inside your home. Other insects such as centipedes and carpenter ants are often caught inside these glue board traps.
Boxelder Bugs & Asian Lady Beetles
On warm days in the late winter season these pests are often found crawling around doors and windows on the sunnyside of houses. These insects have been living inside the walls of your home waiting for spring and the warm air inside your home fools these insects and brings them inside your home. General use insecticides will kill these pests but a vacuum cleaner is a better solution. Make it part of your daily routine to vacuum up these intruders. If you check the moldings around your windows you will find small cracks where the molding has warped away from the drywall. These cracks can be sealed with a clear caulk to keep the pests out of your home and to keep your heat inside the house. These pests do not reproduce during the winter months and will leave your home in the spring. The best treatment time is during the early fall when they once again will return to your home to spend the winter warm and cozy inside the walls of your home.
Centipedes, Millipedes, & Sowbugs
During the late winter season numerous small creeping insects can be found around homes. Most of these pests are already dead and simply need to be vacuumed up. Insecticides are rarely helpful in controlling these pests because they are living in concealed areas where insecticides are difficult to use effectively. Most of these small insect pests will leave your home in the spring. An exterior treatment around the perimeter of your home is helpful in keeping these pests outside your home during the warmer months. A persistent centipede presence inside your home may require a careful application of insecticides around the exterior perimeter of rooms where the pests are found.
Cluster flies are another one of our overwintering pests inside homes. They are slightly larger than a housefly and are often found around windows on the sunny sides of homes. They normally die after a short time buzzing around windows and can be picked up with a tissue or vacuumed up safely. They do not multiply inside your home during the winter. They will leave your home in the spring and will not reappear until late August when they come back to your home for the winter. Treating inside your home during the winter with an insecticide is not recommended. A Fall exterior application of insecticides around windows and eaves will help reduce these pest populations. An emergence of large flies inside your home during the warmer months is normally the result of a dead animal such as a mouse or bat inside your home that these flesh flies used as a food source.