Pest Management for Invaders
by Jody Green, Extension Educator
Secure points of entry, especially under exterior doors and windows. Caulk and seal around utility entrances, cracks in the foundation and gaps around fascia boards. Install screens over pipes and closeable chimney caps. Install weather stripping under and around doors and windows. Repair or replace damaged screens. Replace rubber seals along bottom of garage doors. Keep doors closed when not in use.
Change lighting around the exterior to reduce attractiveness to pests. Switch bright incandescent bulbs for yellow ones. Turn lights off at night, otherwise put on a timer or install a motion sensor.
Keep exterior of structure free of debris, leaf litter, piles of organic matter, firewood, excessive vegetation and clutter to minimize outdoor harborages.
Physically remove individual pests, alive and dead. Trap pests on glue boards and discard. Vacuum invading pests and spider egg sacs — be sure to practice proper vacuum management (i.e. empty and wash canister or discard bag). Remove spider webs with a broom.
Reduce moisture around buildings by practicing sanitation techniques. Fix leaks, remove debris from gutters, adjust rainwater runoff, change the grade, minimize condensation, increase ventilation in crawlspaces or basements, minimize dark damp corners and eliminate possible indoor retreats.
Insecticide application in the form of an outdoor perimeter treatment may be warranted for major infestations of accidental invaders. Make sure to read the directions and follow the label. There are some commercial baits formulated for crickets.
In the case of overwintering pests, such as boxelder bugs and cluster flies, a residual treatment to the exterior may be performed by a professional pest management company to keep them from entering in the fall, but timing is the key.
If you know you have overwintering populations in wall voids or an attic, do not attempt to treat and kill them while they are hibernating. Dead bodies will attract secondary pests such as dermestid beetles (carpet beetles).
Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is implied. The information on this Web site is valid for residents of southeastern Nebraska. It may or may not apply in your area. If you live outside southeastern Nebraska, visit your local Extension office