University of Maryland Extension

November Indoor and Outdoor Insect Tips

praying mantid egg case

(More tips from HGIC)

  • Stink bugs, ladybird beetles, boxelder bugs, house flies, elm leaf beetles and a few other critters may be observed in large numbers congregating inside your home. The ladybird beetles are actually beneficial insects that will not breed or survive for very long indoors. Simply vacuum or sweep up any unwelcome guests. The stinkbugs and the other invaders will do no harm indoors except to be a nuisance. It is the cooler fall temperatures that’s driving them indoors. Escort these invaders out of your home or vacuum but resist the impulse to spray an insecticide. You can also prevent pests from coming into the house by caulking openings around window and door frames and not storing firewood inside the house. 
  • Cluster flies resemble very large, hairy houseflies. They are slow flyers and move into homes in the fall to escape cold weather. They are very active in November but as weather continues to get colder their activity will greatly decrease. Caulk, weatherstrip and seal up all cracks and entry points around your house foundation, vent openings, windows and doorways to prevent them from coming indoors.
  • Miscellaneous beetles, like long-horned beetles and bark beetles may emerge from firewood stored inside the home. These are nuisance pests; they are not a threat to the wood in your home. You can also prevent many pests from coming into the house by storing firewood outside the house.
  • Ticks remain active as long as daytime temperatures are in the upper 30s. Keep grass and weeds mowed and move bird feeders to the edges of your yard to minimize tick problems. The mammals such as mice, squirrels, raccoons, and deer attracted to the bird seed will also drop ticks in these sites. Check yourself and loved ones closely for ticks after hiking or camping. Dogs and cats sleeping on your bed can easily spread ticks to you so check pets frequently.
  • Many different types of ants may be found inside and outside the home. Carpenter ants tend to nest in wood that has been previously damaged by wood rots or other insects. You must locate the nest to control this pest. Try using bait stations to control minor infestations of indoor ants. Granular insecticides or bait stations labeled for outdoor use on ants are also available. As the weather gets colder their activity will decrease. 
  • camel cricketYou may notice large, brown humpbacked crickets with long antennae that don’t chirp. These are camel or cave crickets (photo on right) and are attracted to damp, dark locations in the home, usually in the basement the garage or garden shed. Exclude them as you would other nuisance pests by sealing up openings around foundations, doors, and windows. 
  • Praying mantid egg cases are light brown masses that are glued to twigs around the landscape. (photo at top of page) Leave them alone and don’t attempt to rear them indoors. These beneficial insects will hatch out next spring. Sometimes they are attached to houseplants brought back indoors from the outside.
  • Now that it is getting colder, store all pesticides in a place where they will not freeze. Cold temperatures can cause these materials to become ineffective. If you have questions about the efficacy of your pesticides call the manufacturer, using the phone number listed on the label. Be sure that sprayers are thoroughly cleaned, including the nozzle tip and pump plunger.
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