Nobody likes thinking about overwintering pests. After all, winter is the time to focus on the holidays, cozy fireplaces, time off work, etc. But here’s a quick primer on what you need to know about overwintering pests and how to prevent them.
It Begins in the Fall
Once the weather starts to cool, the pests that hide in our yards receive the signal that winter is near. All of those bugs, beetles, and spiders start looking for a warmer place to settle down for the season. That place could be burrowed inside your trees, around your yard, and even inside of your home.
Winter is a period of dormancy for most insects. They search for protected places where they are not exposed to predators or repeated freezing and thawing. Insects and mites have a variety of ways they survive the winter.
Many insects overwinter as adults, such as some aphids, most leafhoppers, and many beetles. Overwintering locations include under the loose bark of trees, fallen leaves, and other debris on the ground. Some insects, such as the elm leaf beetle and boxelder bug, actually seek shelter indoors in homes or other protected structures.
A considerable number of insects overwinter as eggs, either singly or in masses. You may have seen the egg mass of the eastern tent caterpillar attached to a twig and exposed. Aphid and plant bug eggs are many times situated in leaf and bud scales on woody plants where they are protected. The notorious bagworms spend the winter as eggs in the old bags from the previous year.
Prevention is Key
What many homeowners don’t know or fully realize is the powerful benefits a regular and thorough landscape maintenance service can have. Properly done, this can significantly reduce the occurrence and damage done by these pests once spring returns. The biggest reason for landscape cleanup and removing dead materials and weeds is to remove the food and shelter that is the foundation of overwintering pests.
Another important factor of not having unwanted winter guests is to schedule a late summer or early fall landscape and tree inspection. Ridding your yard of pests prior to fall means fewer overwintering pests and fewer problems come spring. Good’s Targeted Pest Treatments will have the pests gone before the first frost. Our experts make informed decisions on how to address your pest situation. Our method minimizes the overuse of pesticides using target applications only where needed. We use effective products and beneficial insect release to ensure a solution worthy of your healthy, natural landscape.