Attic Pest Issues
With the potential of an early spring being right around the corner, instances of attic pest issues will most likely begin to rise. It is one of the most secluded areas in a home, however, it can often produce the most pest issues. These are a few of the commonly encountered attic pests and the reasons why homeowners are seeing them this time of year.
Ladybugs– When autumn approaches adult beetles seek out protected places to spend the winter. Studies have shown that ladybugs are attracted to contrasting light-dark features, such as dark shutters on a light background, light shutters on a dark background, windows edged with light-colored trim, etc. Dwellings near woods or fields are also very prone to infestations. So, if a customer’s home has several of these aspects, they could have ladybug issues in the spring. As temperatures warm in late winter/early spring, the beetles once again become active. This usually occurs first on the sunnier, southwest side of the building. As awakening beetles attempt to escape to the outdoors, some inadvertently wander inward, emerging from behind baseboards, walls, attics, suspended ceilings, etc. Since lady beetles are attracted to light, they are often seen around windows and light fixtures where families gather.
Wasps– When you’re seeing wasps inside a home during this time of year, it is most likely paper wasp queens emerging from overwintering locations. In the fall these queens will look for a protected place to spend the winter and in many cases insulated wall cavities fit the bill nicely.With the onset of warmer weather the queens begin to emerge from their hibernation sites. They attempt to escape to their natural habitat outdoors, yet some mistakenly make their way into the living areas of the home. Since they are also attracted to light, they typically head toward the nearest window. This is a temporary annoyance that will run its course as the weather continues to warm. Furthermore, while emerging queens are not normally aggressive, they will sting if they are mishandled, so the easiest way to dispose of these insects found indoors is with a vacuum cleaner, broom or fly swatter.
Carpet Beetles– Carpet beetles are attracted to loose, easily-consumed food sources. While these pests are typically found in living areas, they can be encountered in the attics of homes. Carpet beetles thrive on lint, hair, and debris accumulating under baseboards and inside floor vents and ducts. However, this pest can also proliferate on bird nests, animal carcasses, and dead insects (cluster flies, lady beetles, stink bugs, wasps, etc.), which can all be associated with attics. Also, infestations have been linked to carpet beetles feeding upon old rodent bait blocks that were “tossed” into the attic. Cleaning up the debris that attracts carpet beetles is the single best way to prevent them. Regularly vacuum, sweep, and dust areas where carpet beetle infestations seem likely, such as the attic.
So, if you happen to encounter any of these issues during the spring, hopefully these tips will let you resolve the problem.