Department of Entomology
As the day light hours become shorter, we prepare for winter and so do other species. Very noticeable these days are insect species that prepare for winter by invading our houses. The primary invaders are the cluster fly, box elder bug, the Asian multicolored ladybird beetle and the ferocious looking western conifer seed bug.
The Asian lady beetle and the conifer seed bug are recent colonizers of the Northeast, but the cluster fly and the box elder bug have been with us for a long time. None of these insects are dangerous: they neither bite nor sting, nor will they damage houseplants. They seek sheltered places to spend the winter. Unfortunately, when they find their way into houses, they become a nuisance.
What to do? First, keep them out of your house. Leave the window screens and screen doors in place until it is truly cold. If these invaders are a reoccurring problem over the years, your house may have some entryways that should be sealed. In the meantime, the invaders in your house may be removed by gentle sweeping or vacuuming.
What next? In the Spring, the invaders will be looking for a way out of your house and you are likely to see them at your windows.
For more information:
House Invaders fact sheet