Lady beetles, stink bugs, boxelder bugs, and flies are some of the creatures actively seeking protected overwintering sites as days get shorter and cooler. Many produce stains or unpleasant odors if crushed. Scavengers, such as carpet beetles, can be attracted to accumulations of insects that die in attics and wall voids. Lastly, over-reaction to pests may lead to excessive insecticide use indoors that can have serious consequences.
The best strategy is to keep as many as possible from getting indoors. These pest- proofing tips will get you off to a good start: http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef641.asp. Sealing as many potential entryways as practical keeps bugs, mice, and cold air out. Check for gaps around openings where utilities and pipes enter structures and worn exterior door seals that let creatures crawl in from around foundations or crawlspaces.
Some shelter-seekers will congregate on warm sunny south- or west-facing walls of houses and buildings for a while before crawling around in search of a crack or crevice to enter. When practical, this gives a chance to reduce the number of potential invaders. Direct sprays of insecticidal soap or other insecticides for outdoor pests can kill many before they have a chance to enter. In some cases, an insecticide can be applied around the base of the foundation as a "barrier treatment" to reduce entry by accidental invaders.
A few creatures will get past the best defenses. When that happens, swat and remove them with a dustpan or vacuum. Limit the use of insecticides indoors.
S-225 Ag Science North
Lexington, KY 40546-0091
Phone: (859) 257-5955
Fax: (859) 323-1120
*Western Ky Research & Education Center
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