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October 31, 2022

Pests that invade homes during winter

Unique Cool Season Pests That Might Be Invading Your Home 

Winter brings many things like frigid temps, with many of us spending more time indoors, including some unique pests. These uninvited pests tend to invade homes in the cooler months. 

Shorter Nights & Cold Temps Bring Uninvited Guests

As days grow shorter and nights grow colder, insects like boxelder bugs and lady beetles (also called “ladybird beetles” or “lady bugs”) can become a problem for homeowners. Boxelder bugs are about ½ inch long, and are black with red marks on their backs.  Lady beetles are round, approximately ¼ - ⅜ inch in diameter.  The best-known species have a red body covered with black dots, but they come in other colors including yellow, orange or scarlet.


These two trespassers are looking for places to spend the winter.  The big invasion months are usually September through winter in some parts of the U.S.  Their ideal overwintering temperature is between 40 to 50°F -  which just happens to be the temperature in the wall voids of a house.  It’s common to see them on the sunny southern or western sides of your home, looking for a way into wall voids.   And if they take a wrong turn, they may end up inside the house instead of the wall.  Although these bugs don’t harm people, pets or the house, they are certainly unwelcome!


The best defense is to keep them out. Make sure screening and weather stripping don’t have openings or gaps, and check caulking and sealing in areas where they could enter.  These insects can fit into a crack the thickness of a credit card, so an opening does not have to be large.



Bifen I/T Insecticide/Termiticide can be used for both outdoor and indoor control of boxelder bugs and lady beetles.  It can be applied outdoors as a perimeter and/or surface treatment to keep them off the outside of your home.  If these bugs do get inside, Bifen I/T can be applied as a spot or crack and crevice treatment to areas where you see them.  Be sure to read the Bifen I/T label for complete use directions, restrictions and precautions. 

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Doug Ross

Technical Services Manager Martin's Brand

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