Arthropod pests like brown marmorated stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, western conifer seed bugs, elm leaf beetles, cluster flies and face flies are all known for maintaining infestations within homes during the entire winter season, even in the northernmost US states. These particular arthropod species are known as “overwintering pests,” as they invade homes during the winter in order to establish warm shelter where they can survive until the arrival of spring. With the exception of the above mentioned species, arthropod pests are not much of a concern during the winter season in most regions of the US. However, in the southernmost states, a significant number of arthropod pests invade homes year round.
In central Texas, the winter cold reduces much of the insect and plant food sources that more durable insect species rely on in order to survive. Also, bouts of bitter cold weather during winters in central Texas usually do not last long enough to force all insect pests into hibernation or death, but the cold is enough to motivate many of them into seeking warmer conditions within homes where much needed moisture and food sources can be more readily secured. According to Wizzie Brown of the Texas A&M Extension Service, scorpions and cockroaches are two arthropods that are likely to invade central Texas homes during the winter season.
At least 18 scorpion species have been documented in Texas, but the striped bark scorpion is the most common home-invading species found in central Texas. Well over 40 cockroach species can be found in Texas, but the American and the smokybrown species are the two most common roach species that invade homes in central Texas during the winter. Another pest control professional with the Texas A&M Extension Service, Molly Keck, states that black crazy ants are also common in homes located in the region, as they often hitchhike into homes on potted plants that residents bring indoors before or during the winter season. Black crazy ants also invade homes through small openings on the external walls of homes, and they can be recognized for their dark body color and erratic movements.
Striped bark scorpions are hard to confuse with other arthropods, but they are around 2 ¾ inches in length, and they are pale yellow in color with two parallel stripes on their backs. American and smokybrown cockroaches are among the two largest cockroach species in the US, and the American species can be particularly unpleasant due to their tendency to fly toward humans. The American cockroach is around 2 inches, while the smokybrown cockroach is around 1 ⅜ inches. While these arthropod pests are not deadly to humans, their infestations can be difficult to eradicate.
Have you ever encountered an airborne cockroach within your home?