Fall Congregating Invaders
Box Elder Bug
There are actually over 400 species of this common, easily recognized insect and the vast majority of them are beneficial as they consume aphids and other small garden pests. The Asian Lady Beetle was actually released in some states in 1916 and 1964 to help control crop damage. Unfortunately, this species also likes to over-winter in homes and will bite. It also emits a foul-smelling oil when disturbed which can stain light-colored surfaces. (Image © Russ Ottens University of Georgia, Bugwood.Org)
All of the fall-congregating pests are treated in the same manner. Timing is the key to controlling these pests. A properly timed residual application on the exterior walls of your home each fall will create a protective barrier and minimize problems with these creatures, stopping most of them before they get inside. Otherwise, once they’re inside, pesticide applications offer minimal help so the vaccuum cleaner is your best bet until next fall. Planning ahead is key!