How to prevent bugs from entering your home this fall and winter

Elyse Smith Image
Tuesday, October 17, 2023

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As cooler fall weather officially arrives, it could also mean welcoming some unwanted guests to your home: bugs and pests. Creepy, crawly critters are going to want to find a nice, warm place inside to ride out the winter. Here's how to make sure that isn't your home.

On Monday, ABC13 Meteorologist Elyse Smith spoke to John Few, an Entomologist with Texas A&M Agrilife, to learn what to expect this season.

It turns out the summer drought and recent rainfall has impacted local pest populations. He mentioned that the recent drought and rainfall "alleviated some of those problems because bugs are not looking for as much water in the house. They're going to be able to get it from the rain and the ground that's stored because the water isn't evaporating as much."

But that is only temporary, and eventually, as temperatures cool even more, critters will try to make their way in. Some of the top bugs and pests to be on the lookout for are mosquitoes, roaches, and fire ants.

If you're farther away from Houston and the suburbs, you'll want to watch out for scorpions, too. When it comes to managing these crawly critters, prevention is key.

"The number one thing people should do to keep bugs away is making sure any opening in the house is sealed off from the outside. Most times, insects are trying to come from the outside into the house. So having an open area of your house sealed off helps quite a bit," Few said.

As for those chemical or organic sprays, Few said those are both effective but have different purposes. Organic sprays that use peppermint or rosemary oils are good deterrents but don't actually kill the insect.

Chemical sprays are similar but can also kill or weaken bugs on contact. But Few says that if those sprays or other deterrent methods like small traps aren't working, then it's time to call a professional, as each potential infestation is treated differently.