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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
2014-10-16 13 30 02

Fall Nuisance Insects


Now is the time of year we start to notice various insect critters trying to find shelter inside our homes.

The good news is that most of these insects are perfectly harmless and are simply a nuisance. In fact, many of these insects are actually quite beneficial because they eat other soft bodied pests we don't like, like aphids. Now that the season is ending, these insects are simply just looking for a place to survive the winter.

Some of the common pests that we see trying to find shelter include Asian lady beetles, elm leaf beetles, and boxelder bugs. Asian lady beetles, for example, spend the winter in cracks and crevices of cliffs in their native areas of Japan. Since we're absent of too many cliffs here in Illinois, they look for other cracks and crevices to hide in, including the ones in our homes.

These insects may enter through cracks in the foundation, around windows or air conditioning units, or they may simply just hitch a ride as we come in the door. The good news is that elm leaf beetles, boxelder bugs and lady bugs don't reproduce or feed while they are indoors, so you only have to deal with the ones that make it indoors.

A quick method of cleanup is to vacuum up the insects or scoop them up and send them back outside. In order to help prevent this problem further, it's advised to try and fill up any cracks outside the home using caulking materials to fill any gaps.

One pest to keep an eye out for is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). This pest has only been found in some counties in Illinois at this point. BMSB is a pest that can cause serious feeding damage to many of our agricultural crops, but then becomes a nuisance as it starts to enter our homes in the fall.

Typically, the adults will begin to move to overwintering locations in September, with peak movement in late September and October. Homeowners may start to see BMSB begin gathering on homes, barns, and garages during this time.

If you see a stink bug that you think may be BMSB, please bring that to your local Extension office for identification.

Learn more about Brown Marmorated Stink Bug here: http://goo.gl/tXOdS7



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