If you also happen to be friends with one of our trusted pest control companies, we use JP Pest for example, you probably also received the Unwelcome Fall Invaders email that they recently sent to their customers. It contained great advice on ways to rid your homes of some of the insects that make their way into your homes in the fall. Eradicating them can be as easy as using soapy water or a vacuum. This email got me thinking – and questioning my rationale…
Fall 2020 I had what I would consider an infestation of the western conifer seed beetles (and an occasional stink bug). It seemed there wasn’t a day that we weren’t finding at least one and tossing it outside. Considering we had never had any before, it was concerning. This year, we’ve had a total of two. Weird right? I’m not going to lie – I didn’t do anything differently. I didn’t spray for them and never discovered and sealed any tiny cracks where they might make their way in. I don’t have any idea how they got in last year or why they aren’t here this year. I know I diligently collected and tossed each and every one outside last year (or was it the same one coming back in over and over again?). I’m just happy that they haven’t returned.
Another “pest” that JP mentions removing in their email is the ladybug. This is where questioning my rationale comes in. There have definitely been a few years along the way when I would have an above average “infestation” of lady bugs. Again, I’m not going to lie… If left up to me, they would always be left to winter snuggled into their little corner colonies. Am I crazy? They aren’t bothering anyone!
Based on their long believed “luck” reputation, I can’t be alone, can I? We know that they are beneficial in the garden. From the time that they hatch they consume destructive aphids, scale bugs and mealy bugs. They pose no threat to humans and will not harm your house. They simply want to hibernate in a warm, protected place. If you happen to live in a light colored house (as I do), you may find that you have more of an issue with these fall “home invaders”, as they are attracted to the heat that your home reflects. If you wonder how they manage to all find each other to snuggle into the same corner (or corners), they release pheromones to attract other ladybugs. Knowing that, should you decide to remove them, be sure to wash the area to remove the scent or you may find that you soon have more visitors.
I choose to leave my happy little ladies snuggled in the corner. Don’t get me wrong. It seems crazy even to me. They are bugs after all. Who wants bugs in their house? Well I don’t, but they are ladybugs. Going back to the beginning of time they have been thought to be the bringer of gifts; love, prosperity, patience, fewer burdens, a good harvest… And it is believed that to kill them brings bad luck. I have quite enough of that!
I will continue on sealing the openings that I find around my doors and windows. I will check for and fill gaps by air conditioners and pipes. I will continue to relocate any stinkbugs, western conifer seed beetles and spiders outside. I will not however, disturb my hibernating little ladybugs. Is it that they are small and cute? Is it that people think they are lucky? I think for me it may be that the gift they bring is the reminder that winter is not forever – spring will come and we will be back in the garden together again soon!
The good news is that these little critters are not destructive to our homes. Your friendly neighborhood NH Home Inspector can perform a VA pest inspection in NH. Other bugs and rodents may be a nuisance, but will likely not cause damage to the structure of your home. Pest inspections (as they relate to home inspection) are concerned with wood-destroying insects such as carpenter ants, termites and even carpenter bees. We are not pest experts by any means, but know what to look for when it comes to the house. We always recommend considering an annual contract with your local pest control pro’s as part of your home maintenance.