As our weather cools down in the fall, several different species of insects are looking for a warm place to ride out the cold of winter. Among their favorite places to stay warm are in our homes.

We usually see an increase in home invading insects this time of year, particularly the brown marmorated stink bug, the Asian lady beetle, and boxelder beetles. These insects can cause quite a nuisance through the fall and early winter, however there is hope. Proper preparation can greatly reduce the number of invaders that you experience this year.

The single most helpful thing that homeowners can do to stop this invasion is seal as many points of entry as possible. Cracks around windows and doors, loose drier vents, or cable entries are some of the most popular entry points for insects.

Properly caulking around these entries or ensuring proper weather stripping around doors and windows will greatly reduce the number of insects that will get into your home.

Perimeter insecticides are another very useful tool that can be applied by a homeowner or a professional pest control company. These insecticides have long residuals that create a barrier around your home, providing protection for 1-3 months.

If using insecticides, it extremely important that you read the label thoroughly and use only according to the directions provided. Many perimeter insecticides are not approved for use anywhere inside the home, only around exterior.

One of my most frequent call this fall has been about the recently arrived Joro spider. While these spiders are large, intimidating, and can be quite a nuisance; they are the only spider we know of in Georgia that eats the stink bugs we battle every year. The Joro spider has established itself here and will not be going anywhere, but if there is a silver lining, they may help reduce stink bug populations.

We are always here to help at the Banks County Extension office. Ways to contact us are to call us at -706-677-6230, by email at zmccann@uga.edu, or to come by the office at 413 Evans street, Homer, GA.

Zach McCann is the Banks County extension agent.

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