Fall Pest Updates: What To Expect This Year

Fall Invaders

Early fall is typically a very pleasant time of year for people to spend time outdoors. But it’s also a time when many pests are very busy looking for more protected places to spend the winter. These pests start gathering on the outside of homes and other buildings, and may invade in huge numbers.

Fall invading pests enter through any exterior crevice or other opening. Some find their way into living areas quickly, but others gradually move deeper indoors during the months ahead, attracted to the warmth and lights inside. These invaders eventually ‘spill out’ into interior rooms.

Here are a few of the many fall invaders:
Stink bugs are spreading around the country, and this invasive newer pest not only literally stinks, but sometimes invades in large numbers.
Cluster flies and face flies may invade in the fall. Cluster fly maggots parasitize earthworms, our garden friends.
Lady beetles are usually orange beetles with black spots. The newer Asian Lady Beetle may invade homes in huge numbers, and leave yellowish stains when they are disturbed. Some people are allergic to lady beetles that invade their home.
Ant populations have been growing larger all spring and summer. Some kinds of ants become more aggressive invaders in the fall, looking for food, water, or a place to bring their entire colony indoors.
Other pests that invade in the fall include crickets, rats and mice, cockroaches, overwintering wasp and yellow jacket queens, box elder bugs, root weevils, and western conifer seed bugs, to name a few.
Halt Pest Control's All Seasons treatments are an excellent way to prevent these persistent pests from invading in the months ahead.

Spiders Use Electricity to Balloon

Young spiders, and even some adult smaller spiders, can travel hundreds of miles by letting out a drag line of silk, and floating off into the air—a process called ‘ballooning’. The prevailing opinion has been that the silk line catches the wind, lifting the spider up and causing it to be airborne.

Most people have been satisfied with that explanation. But if you have ever witnessed this process, you may have seen spiders ballooning when there is no wind at all. If wind is helping lift spiders into
the air, how can they balloon when there is no wind? This has been an unresolved question for hundreds of years.

A recent article in the journal Current Biology has at last resolved this dilemma. It turns out spiders are using natural electric fields in the air. They are even able to detect these electric fields, and are more likely to initiate the ballooning process when the electric current is stronger. Basically, the earth’s surface has a negative charge while the upper atmosphere has a positive charge. This creates an electric field that is stronger on some days than others, depending on the weather. Spider silk has a negative charge, so when it is let out from the spider, it is gradually pulled up higher into the air.
This doesn’t mean wind and thermals are not also involved in the spiders’ long-distance air travel, but it helps give us a whole new understanding of how small spiders can use the air to travel. Spiders use this remarkable ability to reach new area, plus re-invade areas that have been treated.

Pest Prevention Tip of The Month

Old boxes and bags of food often become a breeding place for flour moths and beetles. Periodically go through your cupboards and eat (if still good) or throw out the food that has been there the longest. Be especially vigilant with packages that are open or damaged in any way; it's better to be safe than sorry!