Outdoor Insects Will Soon Begin Moving Indoors…

almost winter insects moving in

Although much of the country enjoyed summer like weather well into October, it is going to get cold and it is going to happen sooner than we may think… Where I live in northern Illinois, we had some light frost one week and then temperatures in the 80’s 4 days later. I guess you can blame it on global warming, but enjoying summer time temperatures in the middle of October is a blessing.

As the temperatures drop, insects that have been living outside are going to creep into our homes.

These insects do this by squeezing through some of the tiniest cracks and openings around windows, doors, dryer vents and exhaust fans.

They will be coming in to escape the cold weather at night and may creep back outside during the day. In many cases, you will not even know that they are inside, except for ones that can congregate in large numbers, like multi-colored Asian lady beetles.

asian lady beetle

Asian Lady Beetle: everything you need to know!

These beetles were introduced into the south to feed on aphids on pecan trees. Since their release, they have spread across the entire US. They are very efficient as a predator of aphids and scale insects that damage many plant species. Occasionally, they will feed on fruit, like ripening peaches, apples and grapes.

The Multi-Colored Asian Lady Beetle is identified from other lady beetle species by two white, oval markings located behind their head. As their name implies, they can range in color from yellow to deep orange. In most cases, they have about 19 black spots on their wing covers, but that number can vary. The adults can live up to three years.

During the summer, the female lays yellow eggs on the undersides of leaves that hatch into larvae that look like tiny alligators. These larvae feed on soft-bodies insects like aphids. After pupating, the adults will continue feeding on aphids. They can have multiple generations every year.

asian lady beetle larva insects

The adults search for openings into homes through any hole, crack or crevice. When they find a suitable opening, they release a pheromone that is a signal to other multi-colored Asian lady beetles to follow them into the house or other structure.

The adults have been known to inflict a painful bite, but they are not like a mosquito and do not inject any substance into a person’s body. Basically what they are doing is taking a sample bite to see if the person is a suitable meal. Fortunately, they do not breed indoors and are only coming indoors looking for a place to hide for the winter.

Before it gets too cold, seal any openings around doors and windows or any other crevice around the house. It is also a good idea to apply a perimeter insect control barrier around the outside of your house to control these home invaders as they move back and forth into a house or other structure.

Contact your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green for more information on our Perimeter Pest Control Program to reduce the movement of nuisance insects in to your home.

Watering Trees and Shrubs: How to Care for Landscape Plants

watering tips for trees and shrubs

For much of the country, it has been very wet as of late. However, as summer begins, the likelihood of a prolonged dry spell seems probable. The recent rain has allowed trees and shrubs to grow well and produce lots of leaves. If the rain stops for an extended period of time, some plants may drop some of the extra leaves as the plants adjust to the drier weather. Depending on the extent of the dry weather, a few leaves dropping should not be too concerning. Keep an eye open for drooping, though, as it could be a sign that you may need to water your trees and shrubs.

Water Your Trees and Shrubs When They Begin to Droop

Many people concentrate their watering efforts on their lawns and forget about the trees and shrubs. If the leaves on your plants are drooping, it usually means that they are in need of water. The best way to water a larger tree or shrub is a slow, steady trickle from a garden hose directed at the base of the plants. Leave it at the base of the plant for 15 to 20 minutes and check the soil to see if it is getting wet more than an inch or so. The goal is to keep the soil wet down to 8 to 12 inches. Move the hose and water different areas under the tree to get the entire area watered. Most sprinklers are designed to water large areas, so they usually don’t work well to water established trees or shrubs.

Possibility of Disease

If, after watering, your plant is still drooping, you may have a bigger problem such as a disease or insect infestation. This may require you to contact a tree care service to have them come out and check your plants. There are numerous other possibilities that could cause a plant to lose its vitality. It is better to have someone who can identify these problems and provide the best recommendations to help your plants grow.

Many Spring-Green offices offer tree and shrub care services. If you have a question about your landscape plants, contact your local office to request a free landscape evaluation.