KSN Storm Track 3 Digital Extra: More pests heading inside ahead of cold months

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It is that time of year when we start bringing our sensitive plants inside due to colder overnights. Before bringing them inside, you will want to inspect your plants. Insects can hitch a ride into your home if you do not!

It is also when we begin to notice more pests inside our homes. Fall is considered to be a busy pest season because the cooler temperatures are a signal to insects that winter is coming. It is their instinct to search for a warm place to spend the winter months. Our homes not only provide warmth for these unwanted visitors but also a source of food and water. When one insect finds a good place, it will send out an odor to signal others to join.

In Kansas during the fall, we typically see an invasion of crickets, box elder bugs, ladybugs, and spiders. Crickets are interesting because there are a couple of other factors that play a big role in how many you see. First, outdoor lights attract them. So if you have lights near an entry to your home, more crickets are likely to arrive at your front doorstep. Rainfall is another factor. You will likely see more crickets after showers because the moisture helps dormant eggs hatch.

If you do not want any surprise visitors in your home, there are a couple of things you can do. – seal up any cracks and crevices. You will need to find any nesting sites and treat them. Nesting sites are usually around the foundation and structure of the home.

Any insects that are not too concerned with your home will find ways to survive the cold months by burrowing in leaves and loose bark. They will even seek dormancy at the bottom of lakes and ponds that do not completely freeze.

Once the cold months arrive, insects that have made it inside your home before you seal everything up will likely stay in hiding. However, when we get warm and sunny days they may make an appearance. This shows that their internal clock is confused and may think that spring is getting started early. At this point, you can either escort them out or they will go back into hiding.

-Meteorologist Ronelle Williams

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