It’s almost spring in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  We love the warmer weather and seeing plants and flowers starting to bloom.

But warmer temperatures also mean certain insects will emerge from their overwintering sites and become more active. Some spring pests may invade your home or business. Regular preventative measures can keep this from happening.

Boxelder bugs are dark grey with a jaunty red stripe

What kind of bugs are active in the spring?

Keep your home pest-free by protecting your home from these common spring insects:

Boxelder bugs. Boxelder bugs are dark grey with a jaunty red stripe. As their name implies, they usually feed on boxelder trees. These insects are not destructive to your home or property, nor do they carry disease. They are simply a nuisance for homeowners.

Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are among the first insects to emerge in early spring and have a short list of endearing qualities. These insects have stealth-like biting behavior that creates itchy, swollen spots on our skin. They are also known for carrying diseases like malaria and West Nile virus (likely because of their attraction to standing water).

Asian lady beetles. Often mistaken for the standard ladybug, Asian lady beetles are usually found in homes in warm weather. Asian lady beetles are usually brown or dark red in color and have a distinctive M-shaped mark on the top of the head. While not destructive, these insects can give off an unpleasant-smelling yellow liquid when they sense danger.

Cluster flies. These larger versions of the typical housefly can be a nuisance. The cluster fly gains entry to a home through cracks in siding, under eaves, or around windows, and like hanging out in attics in large swarms. Although irritating to many homeowners, fortunately, they are not destructive.

Kudzu bugs. Similar in size to the lady beetle, kudzu bugs enjoy feeding on kudzu, wisteria, and soybeans. At times they will find their way into a home looking for food sources and are often found around window and door frames. Sealing any cracks or crevices and installing screens are effective deterrents for these insects.

What bugs are found in Northeastern Pennsylvania?

Mosquitoes, boxelder bugs, and Asian lady beetles are just some types of insects you’ll find in Northeastern Pennsylvania during the warmer weather. The following are also commonly found in the area:

Bed bugs. Bed bugs are among the most persistent species of insect. They are not known carriers of disease, but will frequently bite humans, causing an itchy red spot on the skin. Bed bugs can get into a home on their own, especially to escape cold temperatures, but are also easily transported from one place to another.

More people travel as the weather gets warmer, which increases the odds of bringing bedbugs into your home. These small brown insects love to burrow inside suitcases, purses, and backpacks. When traveling, utilize a suitcase rack rather than leaving luggage on a bed or the floor. And when returning home, wash your clothing and put them in a hot dryer as soon as possible.

Brown marmorated stink bug. A native of southeast Asia, this invasive pest was first introduced to the United States in nearby Allentown, PA. This insect is a particular nuisance to farmers, as it feeds on valuable crops and plants.

Fortunately for homeowners, these insects are not destructive. They do have a kind of stealthy behavior, often landing in unexpected places, such as on one’s hair or clothing, seemingly from out of nowhere. Stink bugs enter a home through cracks or crevices in window and door frames. Ensuring all windows and doors are closed tightly and all cracks are sealed can help prevent stink bugs from entering your home.

using a tool like Google images to identify the species.

How can you identify a bug?

Insects can be identified in several ways:

  • Body-color or markings. Some insects look very similar, with only subtle differences to tell them apart. Taking a photo that you can inspect more closely later can be a big help in identifying the correct species.
  • Body type.
  • Habitat. In what kind of environment did you find the insect?
  • Size.
  • Whether it has antennae or not.

If you find an insect out in the wild or somewhere in your home and are unsure of the type, take a photo of the insect. There are countless insect identification guides available in both hard and digital copy that can help you learn more. Or you can do a search of your findings using a tool like Google images to identify the species.

Don’t let an insect invasion ruin your spring! Instead, secure your home against pests with these simple, routine maintenance tips:

  • Check window and door screens and repair any holes as necessary.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices in your home’s foundation or points of entry with caulking.
  • Sweep off any outdoor furniture to remove insects who may have sheltered there all winter.
  • Spring clean your home. Air out bedding and linens, steam clean your carpets, give your shelves and cupboards a thorough cleaning. Toss out old or expired products. Insects like to lurk in dark corners and unused items, so check those areas, too.

If you suspect an insect infestation, don’t wait on pest control. Contact The Pest Rangers for a free consultation and enjoy your home and backyard all season long! 

 


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