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Overwintering Pests

Below is a table describing bug varieties you might find in your home over the winter in Delaware. The table will help you identify and learn about control methods for removing them from your property.

Species What size & color are they? How do you tell them from other insects? Where are they found in the house? What do they eat? How should you inspect? What can the homeowner do? What should the professional do?
BOXELDER BUG 1/2 inch. Black with characteristic red markings The hind wings overlap at the tip.  The body has characteristic red markings Boxelder Bugs are the most common over wintering pest inside homes.  They will congregate in warm places. Adults do not eat during the winter in homes If you see a few Boxelder Bugs, look in warm places to see if more are congregating. Caulk and seal in the summer to prevent fall entry into your house.  vacuum up unwanted Boxelder Bugs. If your house has a history of infestation, the professional can apply a perimeter treatment to prevent development of this insect.
LADYBIRD BEETLES 1/3 - 3/8 inch.  Various colors.  Some are red, others orange. Ladybird Beetles often have spots.  Their bodies are round. They will congregate in warm places Adults do not eat during the winter in homes If you see a few Ladybird Beetles, look in warm places to see if more are congregating. Caulk and seal in the summer to prevent fall entry into your house.  vacuum up unwanted Ladybird Beetles carefully.  They exude a liquid from their leg joints that stains and can smell. Insecticides are not recommended for this pest.
BROWN MARMORATED STINK BUG 3/4 inch.  Brown. The outer edge of the body has alternating white and brown markings.  The hind wings overlap. They will congregate in warm places Adults do not eat during the winter in homes If you see a few Stink Bugs, look in warm places to see if more are congregating. Caulk and seal in the summer to prevent fall entry into your house.  Remove unwanted stink bugs from your house. Insecticides are not recommended for this pest.
CLUSTER FLIES 3/8 inch.  Dark Gray Few flies are found in the house in the winter and Cluster flies are common in the house only in the winter. Around windows --flies are attracted to light.  In upstairs rooms -- flies continue flying up until they can go no further. Adult flies do not eat.  Larvae of Cluster Flies feed on earth worms in the soil in the summer. Look around windows and upstairs rooms. Caulk and seal in the summer to prevent fall entry into your house.  Use fly paper in the winter.  You may vacuum up the flies and use a fly swatter. If infestations are heavy, the professional can use a residual spray.


Original Publication Date:

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating. Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.

Disclaimer: Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension or bias against those not mentioned.

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