Five Pests That Spook Trick-Or-Treaters and How to Get Rid of Them
This Halloween, many partygoers will be in costume — witches, clowns, princesses, and football players. But for some attendees, there’s no need to dress up. We’re talking spiders, cockroaches, and beetles.
These insects flock to homes each October, and not for candy bars. Even worse than their ghoulish looks are the tracks they leave behind — think leftover carcasses, rogue legs, or stinky smells. Here are five pests you may encounter this fall and the eerie signs they’re in your home.
What has eight spindly legs, a tiny body, and is creepy all over? You’re correct: a daddy longlegs, otherwise known as a cellar spider. Though not technically a spider since they can’t spin silk webs and are not venomous, they can still induce all the shivers a traditional spider sends down your spine.
As the scavengers of dark basement corners, they feed on lifeless carcasses and small insects. If you’re faced with a daddy longlegs infestation, you may find some of their severed legs scattered about the dusty areas of your home (yes, they can survive after losing some of their legs). To keep them at bay, you’ll want to keep small spaces clean of dead insects.
Like a fleeting ghost, centipedes don’t leave much evidence that they’re in your home. You may not know you have centipedes until you see them crawling across your floors, darting from one hiding spot to another. They have long, flat bodies that can grow up to six inches long with anywhere from fifteen to over 100 legs.
Centipedes are always looking for their next meal, feeding on other insects and spiders in your home. To prevent centipedes, keep your space free of other insects, and keep your home clean and dry, as they are attracted to moisture.
Arguably the scariest pest, spiders venture into homes each fall to find a mate. It’s no surprise that October would be a spider’s mating season, and while it’s fun to dress up with multiple legs, it’s not fun to see them scurrying about your home.
The most obvious signs of a spider infestation are webs found in corners, light fixtures, open containers, ceiling beams, and everywhere in between. Egg sacs, which look like tiny white balls, can be seen in the webs or hidden in small corners. You can also look for spider droppings — yes, they do exist and can stain surfaces. Spider droppings are small, black dots in corners and on baseboards, similar to black paint spatter.
To keep spiders away this Halloween, seal any entry points, such as cracks in your walls, make sure doors and windows close tightly, and turn off lights at night, as spiders eat insects attracted to bright lights.
Straight out of your nightmares, scorpions flock to find warm shelter during the cold months while they mate. Look for an increase in other insects in your home since scorpions go where they can find food as well as spaces for hiding.
As the weather cools, clean up the areas outside your home, removing debris, loose bricks, or wood piles under which scorpions could be hiding. Next, remove clutter or half-empty boxes from your home, which provide accessible places for them to spend their days away from the cold. Even though they’re scared of humans, they can be venomous and have a painful sting, so it’s best to call pest control when spotted. Where one scorpion hides, others aren’t far behind.
These orange and black critters may look festive, but boxelder bugs are definitely no Halloween fun. About half an inch long, these bugs can fly for up to two miles to seek shelter in the warmth of homes, especially as they prepare for winter hibernation.
As they travel in groups, the unmistakable sign of an infestation would be hundreds of boxelder bugs clumped together at a window or other entry point. They can stain surfaces and release a foul odor when threatened or squished, so they’re best to be handled by professionals.
Ghostbusters? More Like Pestbusters
If you fall victim to a pest invasion, don’t let it ruin your trick-or-treating fun. Call Hughes Exterminators for a professional pest control plan personalized to your Halloween needs (without the ghosts and ghouls, of course).