Kevin Hathorne, technical director and board certified entomologist for Terminix Service, Inc., the tenth-largest pest control company in the U.S., answers the questions that bug you the most.
Q: What is the most effective way to get rid of “stinkbugs” and ladybugs?
A: Stinkbugs and ladybugs can become pests this time of year when they begin migrating indoors to find a place to spend the winter. When temperatures warm back up in the spring, they try to find their way back outdoors to complete their life cycles. Once inside, they do not cause any damage, nor do they feed on anything or mate. They simply go into a resting phase. Of course, this is frustrating for home owners as the insects wander around inside looking for a resting spot.
The trick is to try and prevent them from coming inside this time of year. This is done mainly through exclusion efforts. Make sure screens on doors, windows, and vents are tight-fitting and in good shape. Damaged areas around the roof line especially around gutters is a popular place for them to get inside, along with eave vents, gable vents, and ridge vent. Any efforts to make sure damaged areas are fixed and all vents are screened will help prevent them from coming inside.
Once they get inside, the most effective way to rid them is through the use of a vacuum. Anytime you see them, suck them up with a vacuum and then empty the contents outside. Using pesticides on the inside doesn’t provide much relief, simply because they are coming from multiple areas that are hard to identify and the pesticides will not affect them if they do not contact it. Treating the potential entryways on the outside of the home with pesticides may temporarily prevent the pests from coming indoors through those areas. This can be done as part of the regular pest service. However, a more long term solution is exclusion. Terminix Service does offer a full house exclusion service. This is mainly for wildlife, but also helps with those overwintering pests. If you are interested, contact your local branch for an inspection and estimate.
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