Tech Notes

Arm yourself against fall invaders with proper knowledge and treatment timing.

Fall invaders, like beetles and stink bugs, can head indoors during the fall to seek harborage and overwinter from cooling temperatures. These insects can bother your customers by staining surfaces and producing foul odors inside their homes.

Before preparing an integrated pest management plan for fall invader control, determine the type of insect you are dealing with:

From left: box elder bug; Multi-colored Asian lady beetle; cluster fly; and brown marmorated stink bug. Source:

Box elder bug (Boisea trivittata):

  • Adults are half an inch long, black in color with orange or red markings, have three stripes on the prothorax and hold their overlapping wings flat over their abdomens.
  • Adults are good fliers and can fly as far as two miles.
  • Immatures (resemble adults) are 1/16 of an inch long and bright red in color.
  • They become an issue when adults leave their feeding grounds in the fall and seek protective harborages from the impending winter.

Multi-colored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis):

  • Adults are 9/32 inches long, yellow-to-red in color and may have black spots on wing covers, which are held back over their abdomens.
  • Immatures (larvae) are elongated, flattened and have spines.
  • They excrete a yellow, foul-smelling defensive chemical when threatened, which can stain flooring and wall coverings.
  • In rare cases, the chemical can cause an allergic type of reaction if it contacts human skin.

Cluster fly (Pollenia rudis):

  • Adults are 3/64 inches long, dull gray in color with black markings and have golden-yellow hairs on their thoraces.
  • Immatures (larvae) are cream-colored and elongated.
  • They can leave small, dark-colored spots of fecal matter on windows and walls.
  • They get their name from clustering on exterior walls on sunny days in the fall and winter.

Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys):

  • Adults are 1 inch long, brown in color and hold their overlapping wings over their abdomens like a roof.
  • Immatures resemble adults and range in size from 1/10-1/2 inch long.
  • They have copper and blue metallic coloration on the head and pronotum.
  • They get their name from producing a foul smell as a defensive mechanism when threatened.
  • They are of little medical importance unless smashed, as the chemical released from the insect can cause a local allergic reaction on human skin.
  • They are also known to attack ornamentals and fruit-bearing trees.

Residual control is key

Control fall invaders in residential settings by conducting a thorough inspection, making exclusion efforts and performing a timely, residual insecticide application. Seal utility penetrations and repair damaged window screens, door screens and soffit vents. To prevent entry, make sure all exterior doors have proper sweeps and thresholds, including the garage door.

If treatment is necessary, utilize a general-use product like Demand® CS insecticide from Syngenta. Featuring iCAP™ technology, a unique microencapsulated formulation, Demand CS can provide immediate and residual control of insects that lasts through the colder months for up to 90 days. The best time to apply Demand CS to control fall invaders is in the late summer and early fall when they begin to appear on the exterior of structures.

For more information about fall invader control, contact your local Syngenta territory manager.

©2016 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Demand®, For Life Uninterrupted™, iCAP™ and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368). For more information about fall invader control, contact your local Syngenta territory manager.

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