Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > November 2015 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - 3 INSECTS THAT ARE READY TO COME HOME FOR THE WINTER

GARDEN TALK with DOUG - 3 INSECTS THAT ARE READY TO COME HOME FOR THE WINTER

The fact that many of us have yet to have a “hard” frost and now with warm temperatures  so far this November, this weather trend has delayed the time when  these three annoying insects try to invade our homes for a cozy winter.  However, recently I have spoken to two different customers who have reported that they have now been invaded by the Asian Lady beetle. 
In general, these 3 insects are harmless but very annoying to have in the home.
Boxelder bug  -  The Boxelder bugs are about a half-inch long, dark and have a red “V” on their backs.  They generally congregate in large numbers.  For the most part, boxelder bugs are polite house guests.  They do not bite and they keep to themselves.  However, they do smell when crushed.
Multi-colored Asian lady beetle -   These insects were introduced into the United States as a biological control for aphids and scale insects.  Multi-colored Asian lady beetles resemble our “lady bug”.  They are oval and may be different shades of yellow, orange, or red, with or without spots.  They can fly short distances.  They can exude a foul-smelling substance that will stain fabric and material when threatened. 
Brown Marmorated Stink bug  -  Named for the unpleasant odor that is released when they are threatened or squashed, stink bugs are becoming a major pest in Virginia.  In gardens, stink bugs can damage plants such as roses, vegetables, shrubs and trees, but the most common concern that homeowners have about this insect comes when it invades their home.  Typically, the stink bug will fly onto the exterior of homes and businesses when the weather starts to cool.  Once active, the stink bug will begin to seek cracks and crevices to enter homes and buildings to over winter.  Some of these entry points are:  chimneys, attic vents, window frames, gaps in the foundation of the home, openings around pipes coming through the foundation of the home such as with the a/c unit.
I have talked to many customers over the past years about their frustrations with these insects.  Just because you may have not had any problems in the past does not mean you are free from invasion.  It can happen.  So, what to do to protect your home?  The best defense is to inspect the perimeter of your home and seal off entry points.  Fix any unprotected vents.  Fix any cracks around windows, doors, or utility pipes. 
Bonide has a product to help against stink bugs.  It’s called BUG BEATER – STINK BUG TRAP.  This product is a sticky substance that uses pheromone to lure the stink bug away from your home.
Once any of these three insect are inside your home, the best method to manage the offending invader is the vacuum.  Swatting or otherwise smashing them could cause more damage than leaving them alone, since fluids inside their bodies can leave permanent stains.
Posted: 11/18/2015 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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