By Austin M. Frishman, Ph.D.
When temperatures get cooler, fall invaders like cluster flies and brown marmorated stink bugs begin overwintering in structures. Here are some conducive conditions that help bring these pests indoors:
- Lights, including UV lighting
- Sounds, like the hum of a fan, which can draw in crane flies
- Transportation via items like firewood
- Heat sources such as a warm tractor motor
- Texture such as cedar shake roofs and walls
- Location such as structure height
- Learn how a structure can help predict a pest infestation in the following video:
- Heavy floods
- Food odor
- Pheromones from insects that previously overwintered in the area
- Attraction to certain colors
- Landscaping material containing insect populations
Since we can’t always modify these conditions, pest-proofing is critical and should still be implemented. Here are some actionable steps to take:
- Monitor the perimeter ahead of any fall invasions. Using sticky traps on glue boards and inserting them in rodent bait stations or PVC piping can be early detectors of fall invader activity.
- Most fall invaders will be drawn to insect light traps indoors once competitive light sources are reduced.
- Solar-powered light traps can emit light for several days and don’t require electricity into a suspended ceiling to catch insects.
- Pheromone traps are generally not effective for fall invaders, since these pests are overwintering instead of feeding or reproducing.
- Vacuum large numbers of fall invaders resting on exterior walls. Indoor vacuuming is also helpful if you can find where pests are hiding. On sunny days, fall invaders may congregate inside near windows.
- Be environmentally conscious with pest-proofing and consider whether some pests actually need to be eliminated. For example, Allegheny mound ants look like Argentine ants, but are generally considered beneficial insects.
- Keep in contact with your local extension service and ask what calls are coming in for which pests. Map the results by zip code to see if they include customer areas.
Making a perimeter application
Timing and pinpointing pesticide applications are a critical part of fall invader management. Making treatments involves more than just doing what the label states: you have to know the most likely locations where pests may land and crawl around.
Prior to a fall invader infestation, make a perimeter application with a residual liquid product. Syngenta offers the following solutions for fall invaders:
- Demand® CS insecticide contains a unique microencapsulated formulation for control of more than 30 pests. Although it is difficult to predict when a fall invasion starts, Demand CS can provide up to 90 days of residual control to help keep pests like brown marmorated stink bugs at bay.
- Tandem® insecticide features two active ingredients to provide a double assault on 90 pests, including many fall invaders. In situations involving sucking insects like aphids, the systemic action within Tandem can move throughout vegetation to help control these homopterous pests.
While we make educated guesses about fall invader pressure each year, we’re not always correct. That’s why following these best practices is so important for winning the battle against invading pests.
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©2018 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties and/or may have state-specific use requirements. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration and proper use. Syngenta supports a FIFRA Section 2(ee) recommendation for Demand CS on brown marmorated stink bugs and kudzu stink bugs on outdoor surfaces. Please see the section 2(ee) recommendation to confirm that the recommendation is applicable in your state. Demand®, For Life Uninterrupted™, Tandem® and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368).