As we move closer to winter and the temperatures start to drop, bugs will be looking for a warm place out of the cold — likely leading them into your home. Stink bugs and cockroaches are the two biggest perpetrators.
The good news with stink bugs is that even when they do get inside, they’re fairly harmless. They won’t bite you or your pets, and they don’t cause structural damage. However, once one gets in the house, you should be on the lookout for more.
Experts at Michigan State suggest that while the weather is still slightly warm, you should check outside your home for any cracks, especially near windows and doors. If you’ve done that and they still find their way in, seal off outlets, ceiling fixtures, and your heating ducts.
Getting rid of them is as easy as picking up a vacuum cleaner, says Rebecca Finneran, of MSU.
“Just get a Shop Vac kind of thing and a long hose, and away you go. If you squish a stink bug, you’re probably going to notice a really sickly sweet and kind of putrid odor — that’s why they’re called stink bugs,” Finneran told WZZM in Grand Rapids. “Even if you just capture them, you’ll notice that smell — they emit that smell; that’s why I’m suggesting the vacuum cleaner to clean them up, as opposed to squishing them.”
Because some of the different types of these bugs are invasive, Michigan residents are advised to report sightings to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network.
Stink bugs are not the only issue facing homeowners this season. Cockroaches, which can survive in temperatures as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit and rest up to 75% of the time, also invade homes around this time.
In addition, homeowners should watch for spiders and small rodents.
“The bugs, like humans, are trying to get inside and stay warm,” said Jordan Rode, general manager at Buckeye Exterminating in Lima, OH. “They’ll do what they call over-winter, hide around, sometimes it’ll be a J-channel around your windows, anywhere that they can get into, doors. A lot of times you’ll see mice or other rodents trying to get in thresholds of doors, cracks in the foundation.”
Rode adds, “Rather than put a band aid on it once it’s happened, if you can get the problem before it starts or just as it’s getting going, it’s a lot easier to take care of them than when the bugs overrun your house.”