Overwintering: The Silent Insect Threat

Hero image for the blog post " Overwintering: The Silent Insect Threat"

Living in New Orleans and the surrounding areas means being close to lots of rich architecture, culture, and history. There’s also an abundance of insects all year-round, and that might “bug” some people – pun intended! Our subtropical climate means long, hot, and humid summers, but also mild winters with occasional cold snaps. When temperatures drop, most of us like to stay inside, and so do insects!

What is overwintering?

Overwintering is the term used to describe how birds, insects, plants – and even humans – pass through the winter season. Because we are pest control professionals, let’s talk more about insect overwintering. When temperatures drop, pests have their own winter survival strategies to protect themselves from the cold. Some look for a warm place to call home. Unfortunately, this could be your home – garage, house, shed, or other structure.

Why are overwintering pests a problem?

Overwintering pests are definitely unwanted guests, and they can cause problems for you in a few ways. They find warm places to hide, and they stay secluded so you might not even know they are there. This creates problems during winter heat waves where they may make a surprise appearance. And this creates even more problems in the spring when these unwanted home invaders emerge ready to feed, mate, and lay eggs.

Common overwintering insects

Common insects that overwinter in New Orleans and the surrounding area include:

  • Ants
  • Beetles
  • Boxelder bugs
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets
  • Earwigs
  • Flies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Moths
  • Pillbugs/Sowbugs
  • Stink bugs

Remember that other pests like termites remain active in the winter, although winter brings about changes in their daily routines. (We talk about those destructive pests in another blog post.)

How to prevent overwintering pest problems

Prevention is the best strategy when dealing with overwintering pests. It’s much harder to resolve an infestation! Here are six winter pest control tips to keep in mind:

  1. Seal off access to your home. Look for potential entry points for pests such as chimneys, doorways, foundation cracks, roofs, siding, utility lines, vents, and windows. Properly seal or screen these gaps.
  2. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from your home. This protects against both small animals and termites.
  3. Keep your home clean. Vacuuming regularly can help get rid of beetles, earwigs, silverfish, spiders, and stink bugs.
  4. Eliminate sources of moisture especially leaking pipes and clogged drains. Pay close attention to your kitchen and bathrooms.
  5. Remove potential food sources by storing food in sealed containers. Avoid leaving out dirty dishes, clean up spills and keep your counters clean. Remember to clean behind and under dishwashers, sinks, and stoves.
  6. Be proactive and keep up with regular pest control and maintenance.

Professional Winter Pest Control in New Orleans

Of course, if prevention doesn’t work, you can always seek the help of professionals. We offer:

  • A thorough, free pest inspection
  • A customized action plan tailored to your home and individual needs
  • Application of exterior treatments on the eaves and foundation of your home
  • Application of interior treatments to address current pest infestations
  • Spot treatment of  any existing issues

Allow LaJaunie’s Pest Control to protect your home against pests this winter – and all year round! Give us a call at (985) 401-7244 or contact us here to get your free quote today!