Summer is traditionally known as the high season for most insects. But in Alabama, it sometimes seems like there are more bugs around in the fall when things cool off.
There’s a good chance your eyes aren’t deceiving you. For starters, what’s cold for us down in Alabama is considered warm up north by many people. The real predictor of fall insect activity is freezing.
Regions that have very few freezes, if any, have the most insect activity during cold months. In the south and southwest it’s not uncommon to see bugs well into the winter, especially indoors. Insects want to snuggle up in the cozy, climate-controlled house just like we do.
People also tend to let preventative pest control measures slide once summer is over. But that’s right when many insects increase activity as they prepare for the winter. We recommend quarterly pest control treatments at minimum for full seasonal coverage. Continuing to landscape and maintain the yard makes a big difference as well.
While you’re tidying up around the house, keep an eye out for bugs. Here are some of the cold weather insects you’re most likely to see in Alabama.
Yellow jackets are usually associated with the summer, but they can be seen buzzing around throughout November some years. During the fall, yellow jackets turn into scavengers that are on the hunt for sugar-laden food. You’re most likely to see them during an al fresco dinner, around hummingbird feeders and out by the garbage can.
Tree branches covered in thick webs are a common sight in the fall. At first they may look like Halloween decorations, but the webs are all too real. They’re a sign that fall webworms, also known as silkworms, are making a home for the winter. Fall webworms won’t kill a tree, but their webs are unsightly. One of the easiest ways to get rid of webworms is to simply prune the branch off where the web starts.
If you see small, greyish-brown specks on the exterior of your home you may have a stink bug problem. These smelly critters hunker on the sides of homes in an effort to stay warm. You’re most likely to see them when the exterior wall has full sun exposure.
Stink bugs are definitely something you want to handle right away. They’re serious yard pests because if they get the chance they’ll move inside and stay for the winter.
The last few years migrating monarchs have been spotted in Alabama as late as the end of October. They make an epic journey from the northern United States down to Mexico for the winter. Alabama is one of their frequent stops. They’re often spotted roosting in large numbers up in the trees.
Ladybugs go from being garden dwellers in the summer and early fall to being shelter seekers in late autumn. Their desire for warmth overrides their fear of humans once the temperature starts dropping. At least, ladybugs typically stay out of sight in the attic or wall cavities.
If insects are getting rowdy around your Alabama home, give Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. a call. We’ll do a thorough evaluation before creating a custom treatment plan that will keep pests under control well into the winter.