Fall brings with it apple cider, pumpkins and…stink bugs! Along with other overwintering pests, including boxelder bugs and western conifer seed bugs, who see your home as the perfect place to escape the chill of the coming winter. And we are not talking small numbers here. Stink bugs in Olympia and the surrounding areas come into homes by the hundreds, even thousands, says Brent Lotz, pest management professional at Venables Pest Management, a pest control company in Olympia. Here’s what you need to know about taking steps now to seal off your home from these pesky pests.
Stink Bugs, Boxelder Bugs and Western Conifer Seed Bugs
Most likely you’ve seen – and smelled – all these bugs before. Every fall in fact! They start clinging to your outside walls, window screens and doors as the weather cools off. And we all know that awful smell when you squash a stink bug, yuck. But where did they come from?
“Stink bugs are an agricultural pest that feed on various fruit and vegetable plants and was introduced in the 1990s,” shares Peter Larson, service manager for Venables Pest Management. They are invasive species, that can cause serious damage to crops. “Boxelder bugs are native on the eastern side of the country. Unlike stink bugs who are considered invasive, boxelder bugs are not considered invasive.” Boxelder bugs most likely came to Washington through the transport of goods and foods over the years.
How to Prevent Stink Bugs and Other Overwintering Pests From Getting in Your Home
It can be disconcerting to have thousands of stink bugs on the outside of your home…and then inside! “When the temperature starts getting colder, they will want to harbor in wall void or attics where they can survive the winter,” explains Larson. “They can become a nuisance.”
No one likes to have a home covered in bugs! Worse though, is having hundreds or even thousands of bugs inside your home! If you don’t stop them when they are on the outside, they will come inside. “When they are working on finding a place to overwinter, they can access the interior of homes,” explains Larson. “They are clumsy flyers, which can cause them to fly into people often. The treatment that we focus on is working on lowering their population, so that the chance of them covering whole exterior walls will diminish.”
Haven’t seen a stink bug in Olympia, Tumwater or Lacey yet? Good! Now is the time to call Venables Pest Management and set up a treatment plan to prevent them from covering your home, effectively keeping them from the inside as well.
“Now, before these bugs mass on your home, is the time to do a professional pest control treatment,” shares Lotz. “They are trying to find spaces to get into your attic, the wall and ceiling voids, and other spaces. So, we put a repellent on those areas, like your eaves and siding, nooks and crannies, mainly on the south side of the home where the sun hits because that’s where these particular pests gather.”
The repellent makes it so the bugs cannot gain access to your home. Why is this important? Because once inside, they go into hibernation…until you turn on your heater. As your house warms up, the bugs come out of hibernation, thinking it’s spring. “Then they come out of the attic and the voids, and start moving around your home. They are fairly decent-sized bugs and a nuisance to have in your home in large numbers, Lotz adds.
Another reason to make sure you take preventative measures? Stink bugs in Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey will get worse every year without treatments to lower the population, says Larson.
Don’t Wait Until Stink Bugs are Already in Your Home
You may be thinking, “But I don’t see any bugs yet, I’ll wait and see if I see any inside my home then call a pest control company in Olympia.” The problem is that the preventative pest control treatment on the exterior of your home is much more effective than interior treatments.
Interior pest control treatments are reduction services, meaning they do help reduce the populations, but they take quite a bit of time. The treatment leaves a residual in areas the stink bugs, boxelder bugs and western conifer seed bugs will wander to over the course of two or three months. Once they come in contact, it takes them 24-72 hours to die, meaning you will still see the bugs in your home for quite a bit of time after an effective treatment. “This is why we stress the importance of doing preventative outdoor treatments now,” shares Lotz. “We also show places where the bugs can enter your home and talk about other things the homeowner can do to help limit pests from getting inside, like making sure all mesh over vents is an appropriate size and doesn’t have any holes.”
Don’t wait. No one wants to spend the holidays with unwanted guests (other than the relatives). Visit the Venables Pest Management website or call 360.443.5813 for same-day Olympia pest control services.