Some bugs come in­doors over the win­ter

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS -

Win­ter weather may not be en­tic­ing to some peo­ple, but many peo­ple en­joy the ab­sence of in­sects when the mer­cury drops. When tem­per­a­tures dip, in­sects that do not have the ben­e­fit of body fat need to find dif­fer­ent meth­ods to rid­ing out the chilly weather. Like bears and ground­hogs, some in­sects hi­ber­nate, while oth­ers move to warmer lo­ca­tions for sur­vival. Al­though in­sects may be less preva­lent out­doors, home­own­ers of­ten see an in­crease of in­sect ac­tiv­ity in­doors dur­ing the win­ter, when bugs seek out more cozy ac­com­mo­da­tions.

The fol­low­ing are some of the in­sects home­own­ers may see more fre­quently as colder weather ar­rives.

Stink bugs

As the au­tumn air turns cold, brown mar­morated stink bugs move in­doors. Ac­cord­ing to Mike Raupp, a pro­fes­sor of en­to­mol­ogy at the Univer­sity of Maryland, data points to high num­bers of stink bug pop­u­la­tions in 2013. Home in­va­sions may be greater than in years past thanks to fa­vor­able con­di­tions this sum­mer.

Stink bugs, which are na­tive to ar­eas of China and Ja­pan, have a sus­tained pres­ence in North Amer­ica, hav­ing been ob­served in 41 states, in­clud­ing Hawaii. In parts of Maryland, West Vir­ginia and Delaware, sci­en­tists have ob­served high num­bers of stink bugs found piled six inches deep in some traps.

To keep stink bugs out, seal any cracks around the win­dows and doors with caulk. Patch any tiny holes in the walls and use foam sprays to patch up holes around out­door electrical out­lets.

La­dy­bugs (La­dy­bird bee­tles)

La­dy­bugs, with their vivid red-and-black mark­ings, may not cause con­cern when found in gar­dens. But when found in large num­bers in­side of the house, la­dy­bugs should cause con­cern. They do not pose any health or in­fes­ta­tion risks, but they can be pests in large num­bers in­doors. Many lady-

pests in large num­bers in­doors. Many la­dy­bugs will leave the home in the spring when they’re done hi­ber­nat­ing. Oth­er­wise, you can sweep them out­doors or re­move them another way.

Box el­der bugs

These in­sects can en­ter the home through tiny cracks or un­der doors. They also can sneak in on cloth­ing or bags from out­side. Box el­der bugs are largely harm­less, as they will not eat any­thing in the home or re­pro­duce. But many peo­ple are put off by any black in­sects run­ning around their homes. As with many other in­sects, find­ing the point of en­try and seal­ing it up is the key to keep­ing them out.

Camel­back crick­ets

The camel­back cricket, also known as the camel cricket or spi­der cricket, is a strangelooking bug. It has the body of a cricket, but the long, arched legs of a spi­der. They are brown or striped, but un­like other types of crick­ets, these in­sects do not have wings, so they are silent and will not alert you to their pres­ence with the fa­mil­iar chirp­ing noise. Fur­ther­more, camel­back crick­ets have spec­tac­u­lar jump­ing abil­i­ties.

They have poor eyesight and usu­ally jump to­ward a preda­tor at­tempt­ing to scare it away. This can make the cricket seem ag­gres­sive. It will not harm peo­ple, but be­cause they are om­ni­vores, camel­back crick­ets can eat just about any­thing in your home and also will eat their own. They like dark, warm, damp en­vi­ron­ments, so re­mov­ing these con­di­tions can re­duce the num­ber of crick­ets you find in­doors.

To fur­ther pre­vent in­door in­sect pop­u­la­tions, take pre­emp­tive mea­sures in the fall. Spray the ex­te­rior of the home with an in­sec­ti­cide and keep mulch or damp leaves away from the perime­ter. If in­sects be­come trou­ble­some, con­sult with an ex­ter­mi­na­tor.

METRO SER­VICES PHOTO

La­dy­bugs in the gar­den may be fine. How­ever, la­dy­bugs in the house are not al­ways wel­come.

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