Overwintering Pests

Table of Contents

What Is An Overwintering Pest?

Overwintering pests include a handful of pests but they share similar behaviors. Overwintering pests will try to enter your home when it gets cold outside. They generally search for shelter in late fall so they won’t be exposed to the harsh winter conditions. Most overwintering pests are harmless to humans, but they can create issues for your home and your belongings. In addition to this, they’re unsightly so you’ll want to get rid of them as swiftly as possible.

Which Pests Fit Into This Category?

Which pests overwinter? Ultimately, there are many pests that try to shelter away during the winter. Below, you’ll learn more about some of the most common overwintering pests in our service area.

Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs are generally not an issue during the summer. They’ll stay outside and destroy gardens, but they shouldn’t try to enter your home. They eat seeds belonging to certain trees, including boxelder trees. When winter approaches, the boxelder bug knows it has to enter a shelter or it will die during the cold winter months. As a result, they’ll try to enter your home. Their half-inch length makes it easy for them to slip through small gaps.

They are black with red lines on their wings. Although they don’t bite or sting, they can damage your home. Don’t crush these bugs because doing so will cause your home to stink.


Asian Lady Beetles or Lady Bugs are problematic to homeowners. Although identical to native ladybugs, they can nip your fingers and they’ll seek refuge in your home. If you crush these bugs, they’re going to release a foul odor. There are more effective ways to get rid of them.

Cluster Flies

In most cases, cluster flies are going to stay outside. They begin life as a parasite in earthworms but leave once they transform into larvae. During the cold months, they’ll try to find shelter from Mother Nature. When possible, they’ll cluster behind loose tree bark. When the conditions are right, they’ll cluster behind wood planks. If they have to enter your home, they will. If it is hot outside and you have found cluster flies in your home, it likely means these pests overwintered in your home. Now, you need to clean up the mess and prepare for next fall.

Leaf-Footed Pine Seed Bugs

Leaf-footed pine seed bugs are a common outdoor pest that produces a new generation annually. Adult bugs of this species can reach up to three-quarters of an inch so their presence will be concerning. They primarily stay outside and feed on pines cones during the summer months. When the cold weather arrives, leaf-footed pine seed bugs need to find suitable shelter. They want to hide behind the bark of conifer and pine trees, but it might be easier for them to enter your home.

They can enter your home through small gaps and cracks. When the temperatures rise, these bugs will show up in large numbers. Despite their size, they won’t sting or bite, but you will need to clean up the mess they left.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs or just stink bugs are some of the newest overwintering pests you’ll have to worry about. They’re half an inch in length and have a back shaped like a shield. They’re brown. The stink bug recently came from Asia and has quickly spread across the United States. Today, they’re commonly found across the state of Michigan and have impacted many Livonia homeowners. Although they can create problems, they’re not dangerous.

They are destructive and will destroy your crops during the summer months. When winter comes, they’ll enter your home and stay there until the temperatures rise. Their size will give you concern, but stinkbugs aren’t dangerous. Just remember that they’ll emit a bad odor when crushed and stressed. As a result, you’ll have to be clever when dealing with these overwintering pests.

Signs You Have Overwintering Pests

To determine if you have overwintering pests, you may have to wait until the temperatures increase. When this happens, the overwintering pests will think summer has arrived so they’ll try to return outside. If you find a lot of overwintering pests when your home warms, you likely have an overwintering pest problem. Using your HVAC system is a good way to convince the bugs to emerge from their hiding spots. At this point, the pests don’t want to be inside. They’re trying to get out of your home. If you spot stinkbugs, cluster flies, or boxelder bugs in your home this spring, you have an overwintering pest issue that needs to be dealt with.

Preventing Overwintering Pest Infestations

Although you can eradicate overwintering pest infestations, it is best to keep them out of your home in the first place. First and foremost, you need to check your home for gaps, cracks, and other openings. Once you’ve done this, you’ll know how the pests are sneaking into your home. Completely keeping them out isn’t realistic, but you can hinder the pests. Sealing the gaps around your home will reduce the likelihood that they’re going to enter later.

Check Small Gaps & Screen Openings

  • You need to find the pest’s entry points. Eliminate them so the pests will have a harder time entering your home.
  • Eliminating these entry points will increase the likelihood that your home will remain pest-free throughout the year.

Does Protective Exterior Barrier Treatment Work?

  • Professional exterminators offer protective barrier treatments to keep bugs and other pests away from your home. Using this treatment is effective for improving your insect exclusion project.
  • Working with a professional is key because they’ll use industrial-strength products to deliver more reliable results.
  • Their products work longer and will prove to be more effective.

Common Entry Points For Overwintering Pests

Brick And Mortar

First and foremost, you need to check around bricks. You’ll find that there are gaps around the bricks at the top of your home. If there are gaps, bugs will be able to climb through these gaps to enter your home. To prevent this from happening, seal the gaps immediately. Although you can use other substances, it is best to use a high-quality sealant. Do that and the overwintering pests won’t be able to enter your attic here.


You have to check around your home’s window frames. When you do, you may find gaps around the bottom of the window frame. Installers generally seal the gaps at the top and sides to keep water out, but they may leave the bottom gap untreated, Go ahead and seal it with caulk to stop bugs from entering your home.

Fascia And Clapboard

You’ll want to look at the spots where the clapboard on your home meets the fascia. When you look at these spots, you’re going to find small gaps. These gaps could allow bugs to climb through. Overwintering pests will climb through and enter your attic, but you can stop this from happening by sealing the gaps. Using a foam insulating cord is highly recommended.

Attic Vents

It is pertinent to check the attic and soffit vents. They may have small gaps or holes and this could allow bugs to sneak through. If necessary, replace the gaps so the bugs can no longer enter your attic.


Don’t forget to check utility openings. Check the areas around vents, cables, and pipes. Where they enter your home might have small gaps or holes. Bugs can enter the smallest of gaps so they can use these openings to sneak into your home. You can fill the gaps and prevent the bugs from using them to enter. Using old pot scrubbers will prove to be an effective way to seal the gaps.

If you’re looking for ways to stop overwintering pests from entering your home, contact us. We’re eager to help and we offer free inspections. With our assistance, you’ll know where the pests are entering your home.

What To Use To Seal Your Home

Exclusion Products

If you’re trying to stop bugs from entering your home, you need to use exclusion products. These materials are designed to stop prevents from entering homes. They are commonly sold as pest-proofing products and work exceptionally well for this purpose.

Caulk Or Sealant?

You need to determine whether caulk or sealant is right for the gap. Ultimately, if the surface won’t experience movement, use a caulk. If it will expand with temperature changes, use a sealant instead.

Additional Exclusion Materials

You’ll also want to consider the following exclusion materials

  • Foam insulation is flexible and great for dealing with long gaps. Avoid the foam insulation spray because it is too hard to clean up.
  • Using an aluminum screen is an inexpensive way to fill gaps of different sizes. And, it will provide long-lasting protection.
  • You’ll also want to purchase hardware cloth because it can protect your home from overwintering pests.
  • Finally, don’t forget to use pet scrubbers. They fit into small gaps and keep pests out.

If you have any other pest control issues please check out other services.

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Overwintering Pest (Cluster Flies)