Common Fall Nuisance Pests in the DC-Area


Home Pest Control   
box elder bugs on a window in washington dc

Every year, like clockwork, a classification of insect known as the "overwintering pest" attempts to get into DC-area homes. We're going to look at three of the most common repeat offenders: box elder bugs, earwigs, and stink bugs.

Box Elder Bugs

It can be disturbing when these insects appear on your home. Box elder bugs can congregate on a home in the thousands. But what is most disturbing about them is their slight resemblance to the kissing bug. The kissing bug has gained a lot of attention recently because studies have linked this bug to Chagas disease, which can cause damage to the heart and the central nervous system. It is important that every resident in Northern Virginia, DC, and Maryland learn to tell these two insects apart.

Box elder bugs are not considered a health threat. They are not known to bite, but their mouthparts are capable of breaking the skin and producing a mosquito-like bite. When they congregate on a home, the greatest concern is their ability to stain curtains, drapes, clothing, and other fabrics with their feces. They also produce a strong odor when crushed or handled.


While these insects look like creatures that stalk our nightmares, they are harmless. That ominous pincher they have isn't able to break through human skin. But, when they appear inside a home, they should not be ignored. Earwigs are a warning sign of water damage, which can bring with it many serious issues for a homeowner such as mold, mildew, wood rot, carpenter ants, termites, and more.

Often, earwigs will get into a home when they come close to foundation walls to explore leaf piles, mulch piles, and vegetation. They're also drawn to moisture, shade, and rotting wood.

Stink Bugs

These insects are significant crop pests that become residential pests when temperatures drop. You're like to find them crawling on your door and window screens when it starts to get a little cooler outside.

You don't have to worry too much about stink bugs. They're not known to bite humans. But the chemical smell they emit when handled or crushed can make you feel nauseous. And, if you have fruit trees, these insects can make fruit inedible.

Management Of Overwintering Pests

  • When these insects come into your yard to crawl on your home, it is vital that they don't find an entry point. Here are a few ways to seal them out:
  • Inspect your screens for holes or tears and patch them up. Examine the edge of your screens to make sure there are no gaps that could allow bugs entry. Seal any gaps you find.
  • Inspect your basement wall for chipped mortar, and repair any cracks you find.
  • Inspect door and window frames, especially basement doors and windows. Where appropriate, use a caulking gun to fill those holes in. In some cases, it may be necessary to get a handyman involved.
  • Inspect around plumbing and wire conduit. Sometimes gaps can form and give easy entrance for pests.
  • Use a flashlight to check underneath external structures and seal any holes in these hard to reach locations.
  • Inspect your roofline, eaves, and soffits. Repair any entry points you find.
  • Inspect exterior walls and replace damaged siding.
  • Inspect weather stripping on sliding-glass doors and replace weather stripping that is wearing out.

If you have a chimney, check for any gaps around it or cracks in the mortar. And make sure your chimney has a cap to keep bugs out.

Pest Control

If overwintering pests have already gotten into your home, or you would like treatments applied to your foundation perimeter to reduce and manage overwintering pests, American Pest can assist you with this. Pests are amazingly adept at finding holes we don't even know we have in our homes. With a barrier treatment, vulnerable areas such as garage door seals can be protected from invasion.

We also offer several packages that give your home year-round coverage. Take a look at our Preferred Care plans right here. With Preferred Care, you'll get quarterly service that will provide year-round coverage for your home, exterior perimeter treatments backed by our Pest Free Pledge Guarantee, exterior rodent prevention, and more. There is no better way to protect your DC-area home from nuisance, overwintering pests. It is also essential protection every home should have from the pests that harm health and property. Get your protection in place today.


Other Services Available


Contact Me About Pest Control

Fill out the form and recieve feedback in less than 5 minutes. For immediate service please call.