University of Maryland Extension

October Indoor and Outdoor Insect Tips

field cricket

(More tips from HGIC)

  • Its fall, and many insects such as crickets (photo of field cricket above), stink bugs, Lady bird beetles, boxelder bugs, cluster flies, elm leaf beetles and other innocuous insects will attempt to enter your home this fall for protection. Caulk, weatherstrip and seal up all cracks and entry points around your house foundation, vent openings, windows and doorways to prevent these critters from coming indoors. Sweep them up or vacuum large populations, but do not treat with pesticides.
  • In the fall brown marmorated stink bugs congregate in large numbers to catch the season’s last warm rays of the sun on buildings, trees, and even parked cars. They will overwinter as adults in attics, inside walls, basements, garages, tool sheds and other suitable protected structures. Be sure that windows and doors shut properly and that gaps around frames are caulked, these will help to keep them out of your home. (Watch our video.) Vacuum them up from inside the house and from areas where they are accumulating outside the house.
  • yellow jacketHornets and wasps, including yellow jackets, will remain active until we have a hard freeze. Yellowjackets (photo on right) are especially aggressive this time of year. If you must destroy a yellow jacket nest in the ground, mark the location with a stick or rock during daylight and return on a cool night with a can of wasp and hornet killer and a flashlight. Direct the insecticide into the opening of the nest. If necessary you may need to repeat the process the following evening. Nests in high or unobtrusive locations should be left alone. Nests in wall voids should be evaluated and treated by a professional pest control company.
  • Ticks remain active as long as daytime temperatures are above freezing. Keep grass and weeds mowed and move bird feeders to the edges of your yard to minimize tick problems. Check yourself and loved ones closely for ticks after hiking or camping.
  • Carpenter ants tend to nest in wood that has been previously damaged by wood rots or 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.
  • Now that you may be bringing in bountiful harvests from the garden and orchard, fruit flies can be a problem in kitchens where fruits and vegetables are stored on counters. Keep compost bucket lids covered.
  • Avoid storing pesticides over the winter in sheds and garages. 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.
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