Ever heard of a Halloween Bug (or Halloween Beetle, as they’re sometimes called?) You’d probably recognize them if you saw one. Halloween Bugs get their name from their color- typically black and orange- which is synonymous with Halloween. Another reason for their name is the fact that they make their appearance during the Fall, and seem to come out in bunches. Usually they gather on the sunny side of a house, but they can also find their way indoors if you’re not careful. While they’re not harmful, they’re still a nuisance to have to encounter (especially inside your home.) Below are some helpful tips on how to keep Halloween Bugs where they belong- outdoors.
Keeping Them Outside
Bugs belong outdoors, period. These rules can be applied to any type of bug, not just Halloween Bugs:
- Install thresholds or tight-fitting door sweeps at all doors which lead outside. Install a rubber seal (rather than vinyl) around garage doors.
- Install insect screening over attic and exhaust vents. Screening should be 20-mesh maximum.
- Replace or repair damaged screens on your doors and windows (18 x 16 mesh size will do.)
Collecting Them Indoors
Sometimes bugs manage to find their way inside our house, no matter how hard we try to prepare in advance. If you happen to find yourself with an infestation of Halloween Bugs, don’t fret- they can easily be removed.
- Use a broom and dust pan to gently collect the Halloween Bugs and release them outdoors.
- Duct or sticky tape may be used to collect the bugs, although this method does not allow for their safe release.
- Use your vacuum cleaner to “bag” the bugs in a knee-high nylon stocking that has been inserted in the extension hose and secured with a rubber band. Remove the stocking as soon as the vacuum is turned off and seal the stocking so the beetles can’t escape. You may discard the contents of the stocking, or release them outdoors if you wish.
- Refrain from crushing or swatting them. They release an odorous, yellow fluid which can stain walls, floors, paint and fabric.
Repel or Trap Them
Sometimes you are left with no choice but to trap (or repel) the bugs when they invade your home. If this is the case, don’t feel too bad; nature has plenty more where they came from.
- Camphor cakes or crystals repel them for a short amount of time. You may place the cakes or crystals in a nylon knee-hi stocking, secure with a knock or rubber band and hang outdoors near entry points. Cotton balls with camphor essential oil applied to them may be placed in corners of window sills, although the oil will need to be reapplied often.
- Make your own trap. Place baby powder or cornstarch on the sides of your trap and place in the room that sees the most Halloween Bug action (they like dark rooms.) When using your trap, leave the light on all night. The bugs will drop down into the collection container, which you will need to empty often.
These are just a few suggestions for dealing with an infestation of Halloween Bugs. If you don’t mind their pretty colors, they are very decorative to have hanging around your yard in the fall. Halloween Bugs are essentially harmless, and are pretty to look at- as long as they stay outside!
Image credit: Wikipedia
- License: Creative Commons image source
About the author: Jim is an bug specialist with the Danbury Pest Control company.