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boxelder bug searching for winter shelter

Bugs and wild animals are wired to live in nature. No one has to teach the wolf spider that crickets are tasty. They just know. No one has to train birds to fly south for the winter or teach a mouse how to make a nest. They are born with a fixed pattern of behavior called instinct. Instinct tells them what places are suitable for them to live and what is needed to live in those places. Ants work together to make mounds. Boxelder bugs gather together on the sides of trees. Every creature is aware of their place. All of them are guided by patterns of behavior hard-wired inside them. When winter comes, bugs and wildlife which are not suited for running around in the cold or being in the snow will hide. They will dig deeper into the ground, hide deeper inside rotted logs, squeeze up under some bark, or find another harborage from the cold they sense coming. For many, this is where they will stay until spring. This instinct to hide from winter is called hibernation or overwintering.

The problem for us is that bugs and wildlife can't tell the difference between our house and other things they typically hide in. The siding on our home is just bark to them. The holes in our home are just like the hole in a tree or log. They can't tell the difference. What's worse is they can feel the heat leaking out. If they weren't already looking for every tiny hole to slip into, this would certainly be enough to entice them to do so.

Before pests begin their natural process of finding a place to hide from winter, it is your job to make sure they don't find harborage at your home. Here are a few things to look at.

  • Inspect your exterior walls for any holes and use a caulking gun or hardware cloth to cover those entry points. Door and window frames are notorious for getting rotted holes because this is where water collects. Fill those holes in before rodents and bugs make them bigger by chewing those places.

  • Hardware cloth is especially useful for covering dryer exhaust outlets and gable vents so that pests can't get in.

  • Cover downspouts so that mice and other creatures can't use your gutter system to gain access to your roofline. Your roofline is one of the most vulnerable areas of your house.

  • Cut back tree branches from your roofline. These can act as a bridge for many pests.

  • Eaves are a notorious overwintering site, especially for wasps. Make sure your eaves and soffits have no obvious holes or gaps.

  • Any wood pile, construction materials, clutter or debris next to your exterior walls will be inviting for bugs and wildlife. Keep these stacks away from the house.

  • Make sure your trash cans are always sealed.

If you need help getting your home ready for fall pests overwintering, contact the pest specialists at Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions today. This is a vital time of year to make sure your home is sealed. Those bugs and animals aren't trying to be pests. They're just doing what they were made to do.


Tags: pest proofing  |  pest control in st. louis  |  overwintering pests

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