With the exception of frigid winter months, houses, buildings and other structures in the northeast are constantly being invaded by arthropod pests like spiders, ants, cockroaches, and flies. Several types of insect pests continue to invade homes well into the fall months when nighttime temperatures drop well below 50 degrees. These seasonal insect pests invade homes during the fall in order to secure a warm overwintering site, and the most common pests of this sort in the northeast include brown marmorated stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, western conifer seed bugs, cluster flies and boxelder bugs.

Once the first hard freeze hits at some point during the fall season, insects located in their natural habitat either die-off, become dormant, or enter into a sort of hibernation known as “diapause.” However, the fall pests mentioned above can remain an indoor nuisance well into the winter season, especially on warm days when these pests emerge from their indoor hiding spots in order to swarm back outdoors. Insect pests like German cockroaches, brown banded cockroaches, eastern subterranean termites, and even black carpenter ants can maintain indoor infestations year round in northeastern homes. No matter how well they survive indoor habitats, insect pests usually invade homes from the outside environment, but a minority of insect pests rely largely, or entirely on humans or pets for gaining access into homes.

Insect pests like German and brown banded cockroaches, Pharaoh ants, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, carpet beetles and several species of stored product pests prefer to inhabit indoor spaces where they can successfully breed, nest, and locate food sources. These insect pests rely almost entirely on humans and/or animals for gaining access into homes, and in the case of cockroaches, especially German cockroaches, infestations can start after the pests travel into homes through sewer pipes. German and brown banded cockroaches can enter homes by hitchhiking in grocery bags, plant materials, luggage, furniture, boxes, and old containers. Cockroach infestations can also start within a home as a result of bringing items that contain their eggs cases (oothecae) into homes. In the northeast, German cockroaches are the most common of all insect pest species that rely on humans for securing indoor shelter.

Have you ever encountered a cockroach egg case within your home?