Common Fall Pests

As the air turns crisper and the leaves turn their vibrant colors, the pests will come marching into your home looking for warmth and food.

Just like humans, pests like their homes warm and their food plentiful. Food tends to become less plentiful at this time of year and so the pests will look to their benefactors (that would be you, by the way) for sustenance. They also like your warm home.

What are the most common fall pests who will come looking for shelter and food this fall season?

Ants. Sure, they’re well known for ruining summer picnics. But notice that summer picnics tend to be held outdoors. If you held them outdoors in the fall, you might find fewer ants. That’s because they’re back at your house, eating up the crumbs from the pie you just baked for the fall picnic.

But, seriously, house ants can contaminate food and should carpenter ants enter your home, they can damage its structure. To keep ants from becoming fall houseguests, store food in airtight containers, sweep your floors often, get rid of any standing water, cut tree branches and plants back from walls and roofs, and seal all cracks in your home’s foundation. Finally, don’t keep unused firewood in your home while you sleep.

Cockroaches. Besides the UGHHH!! factor, cockroaches can bring disease into your home; they can spread more than 30 different types of bacteria. They also can trigger an asthma attack in your children. They love drains and pipes, so keep your bathrooms and kitchen clean with ammonia, vacuum regularly and make sure cracks around your home are sealed.

Stinkbugs. These pests really hate cooler weather. These creatures aren’t harmful to man, per say – they don’t transmit disease and they don’t bite people or animals. It’s just that their stink (given off when they feel threatened) is exceedingly unpleasant and their droppings can damage your furniture, rugs, curtains, and clothing.

Stinkbugs also are opportunistic home invaders – they tend to enter your home by hitching rides in your car and on your personal belongings to get inside your home, so check your personal possessions when you come home. In addition, check to make sure your doors/windows have full screens and no other holes or cracks.

Rodents. Oh, rats! They love their warmth and hate the chill of fall. So do mice. Rodents can be especially problematic pests because they definitely can spread disease and they do tend to chew through wiring and insulation. What’s more, they bring ticks, fleas, mites, and lice with them! Keep cracks sealed in your foundation (you’d be surprised how small a crack a mouse or even rat can wend its way through). Keep your food in airtight containers.