Like reptiles, insects are cold-blooded. Unable to generate their own heat, insects draw warmth from their surroundings. When temperatures drop in the fall, insects use different strategies to survive winter’s cold, NJ pest control experts explain. Like monarch butterflies, some insects migrate to warmer climates. Other insects, such as termites, build their nests deep underground where ground temperatures are 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Many insects die as winter approaches, a fertilized queen burrowing into the ground until spring when she emerges to start a new colony. But several insect species deal with winter by moving into New Jersey homes.

New Jersey pest control professionals say the most common New Jersey fall invaders are stink bugs, box elder bugs, cluster flies, Asian lady beetles and clover mites. As soon as nighttime temperatures begin to drop in mid-September, these insects can be seen congregating, often in massive numbers, on the south and west facing exterior walls of homes and buildings. In some cases, these insects will completely cover a large expanse of wall or coat nearby tree limbs in a writhing mass.

Insects that overwinter inside New Jersey homes may try to:

  • fly through open doorways
  • crawl under siding
  • into roof soffits or through attic vents

They may slip under doors and crawl through crevices in window frames in such great numbers that drifts of insects will pile up in entry ways or under windows.

Most fall invaders are nuisance pests, but their presence can be disturbing. When large numbers of these insects invade New Jersey homes, their waste can stain walls, curtains and furniture. Most emit a foul stench when disturbed or crushed. Prevention is the best way to deter overwintering New Jersey insects. Exterior home treatment by a licensed NJ pest control company can deter overwintering pests from invading your home.