Active insects seek food, warmth during fall season

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HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) — Like the fruit falling from many trees this time of year, the fall season is ripe for the infestation of certain insects.

“We’re seeing quite a few different types of ladybugs, stink bugs and box elder bugs,” said Theresa Wilson, an education specialist at Zoo America North American Wildlife Park in Hershey. “We don’t mind seeing them from time to time, but many of us don’t like to see large numbers, especially around our homes.”

Among the species proving to be especially prevalent this year are yellow jackets. According to Wilson, the type of wasp will eat just about anything and enjoy feasting on fallen fruit from orchards. The stinging insects will also annoy people eating meat as well as sweet beverages like soda and beer.

“If you can, move to a different location or cover your food up or just be a little more patient with them, because that’s the time you get stung, when you’re swatting and missing,” Wilson said.

While yellow jackets can intrude on your outdoor meal, other species are more likely to attempt to enter your home. Ladybugs and stink bugs, specifically, are known to congregate on exterior window and door trim and light-colored siding. In the process, the bugs will seek out a place to spend winter where they can benefit from the heat of your home.

“You can prevent an infestation by sealing up those openings and cracks around the house,” added Wilson. “There are going to be those that have already made their way in, but a good frost will wipe out a lot of the population.”

While cold nights will eventually put an end to invading insects around your home, property owners can use bug repellent sprays around the perimeter of their home, especially around doors and windows to create a defensive barrier during the active fall months.

While yellow jackets and wasps pose a stinging risk if provoked, those species along with ladybugs, stink bugs and box elder bugs do not pose a high risk for disease. While all can be annoying during the fall season, Wilson says homeowners should not be concerned with their safety if they discover a few insects trying to find shelter inside their warm, cozy home this time of year.

“I just think the more we know about insects – we can learn to live around them without causing too many problems – the better off we’ll be,” Wilson said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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