The Tuxedo Bug – New pest coming to the Pacific Northwest

The Tuxedo BugThe Tuxedo Bug Portland Oregon Vancouver Washington

The Tuxedo Bug is becoming more known here in the Pacific Northwest. Just like stink bugs, tuxedo bugs move into residential areas particularly during the early fall months where they can become bothersome to home owner’s due to their sheer numbers and them inadvertently entering homes.

Tuxedo bugs are essentially a harmless pest, but due to at times their mass numbers, home owner’s find them intolerable. Tuxedo bugs will often enter homes through small cracks in siding, window seals, roof soffits and doorways.

Tuxedo Bug Identification

Tuxedo bugs are typically about ¼ inch long with a narrow body. The Tuxedo bug gets its name from the appearance of their markings resembling a tuxedo suit. The overall body color is typically a dark gray to black with distinctive white stripes mid-body with white spots towards the bugs rear and head.
Tuxedo Bug Life Stages

Just like stink bugs, tuxedo bugs are active the first few weeks of spring, then again heavily active in late summer to fall. Tuxedo bugs typically like most bugs survive outdoors in cracks and crevices of tree bark, under leaves, and plants. As colder weather approaches, just like many bugs, tuxedo bugs seek shelter to survive the winter months. Shelter can come in many forms for this bug, but home owner’s commonly notice them when these bugs try and take up dwelling in or around a home for the winter. As spring weather approaches, home owner’s will again notice these bugs as they once again become active.

Tuxedo Bug Threats

Tuxedo bugs are not dangerous. These pests pose no threat of stings, bites, or damage to structures. These bugs typically feed on weeds, and, seeds of weeds. Tuxedo bug activity heightens in early spring as these bugs emerge from wintering sites, then again in late summer to early fall when these bugs transition from nymphs to adult stage.

Tuxedo bugs presence around your home or homes exterior is almost always coincidental as these bugs thrive in weedy environments such as pastures or unkept crop or garden areas. Adult tuxedo bugs have wings and can relocate into residential areas searching for new areas to call home. These bugs are most often attracted to areas with an abundance of weeds, and/or unkempt landscapes.

Tuxedo Bug Extermination and Control

The best strategy for a home owner to keep tuxedo bugs away is to keep landscaping up and weeds to a minimum. However, most home owners don’t know they have an issue until it’s too late, when tuxedo bugs have matured to adult stage leaving them to deal with often heavy infestations that can last for weeks.

Effective pest control and management for these pests often starts with hiring a reputable pest control professional to treat the exterior of the home to deter these bug from entering the structure. Another step is a thorough inspection of the exterior of your home to seal up entrance points. Due to the size of the tuxedo bug, this can be a tedious process.

Tuxedo bugs found inside the home can easily be vacuumed up on a regular basis making sure to remove the contents of the vacuumed-up debris to an outside area.
The infestation period can last weeks during the fall while these bugs are seeking refuge for the upcoming cold weather. Acting quickly to stop the bugs entry into your home through a defensive exterior pest treatment will aid not only in curbing the infestation now, but again as they reemerge in the spring months.

Finally, treating the source of the pests, often weedy areas will help greatly reduce the chances of a re-infestation the following year.

Foundation Vent Covers – Should you use them on your home?

Should you winterize your homes crawlspace for the winter?

foundation vent covers on homeAs the weather starts turning colder, many homeowners will start to look at the exterior of their home to find ways to save on energy usage by weatherizing faucets, windows and crawlspace vents.  Protecting exterior faucets and sealing gaps in windows and doors is a great way to protect your homes plumbing and save on heating costs, but many homeowners have questions on sealing the exterior vents on their homes foundation.

First before making the decision to seal up those vents, it can be helpful to understand why they’re there in the first place.

Foundation vents, what’s their purpose?

Just as their name suggests, foundation vents provide critical venting to your homes crawlspace.  This venting is important as it ensures moisture is not trapped in a homes crawlspace where it can wreak havoc on the underside of the home.  Excessive moisture in a crawlspace needs to be avoided because it can create the following problems:

  • Can introduce moisture to the structural wood under your home, which can cause rot.
  • Creates a moisture rich environment that some wood destroying pests thrive in, such as: Moisture Ants, and Dampwood Termites.
  • Can saturate the insulation under the homes flooring, which then loses its insulating properties rendering it useless.  In addition, if the insulation backing becomes wet, it will need to be replaced.
  • Moisture can create an environment that mold will thrive in. Molds like the dreaded black mold are an expensive problem for any homeowner to fix.
  • Moisture in a crawlspace can create a musty smell that can travel through your homes HVAC ducting into the homes living space.

Your homes crawlspace, when set up correctly with unobstructed vents, and a vapor barrier that’s in good condition provides an air barrier between your homes structure and the ground.  This air barrier and the venting provides air flow that should consistently keep the ambient moisture in the crawlspace relative to the ambient moisture outside the home.

Should foundation vent covers be used during the winter months?

Understanding the function of your homes foundation vents for the health of your homes crawlspace, many people question if foundation vent covers should be used at all.  Foundation vent covers can be helpful in extreme cold situations, where a home’s underside plumbing is at risk, in these situations, foundation vent plugs can keep fast moving cold air out.  In situations where cold weather is of concern, foundation vent covers can be used, but it’s advisable to only use them a few weeks at a time, removing them to move the old air out for a few days or a week, before replacing them.

Home crawlspace inspections

Every homes crawlspace situation is different.  The above is only provided as a guide to your homes crawlspace, for homeowners that have concerns regarding the overall health of their homes crawlspace area, hiring a reputable crawlspace contractor to do an inspection, can save sometimes thousands of dollars in damage in the future.

Pioneer Pest Management – EPA Recognized – Integrated Pest Management

Pioneer Pest Management recognized as a Gold Level Member when it comes to Integrated Pest Management

We at Pioneer Pest Management are excited to have the opportunity to participate in PESP. Our company values alternative options to chemical treatments, which we have incorporated in our current Integrated Pest Management programs. We are interested in learning more about reducing the risk that can be involved with pesticide use. We strive to be on the forefront of new methods of approaching pest control that are lower impact than current methods, and believe that involvement with PESP is a great way to help accomplish that goal . We believe that being recognized as PESP members would give our company added value in our minds as well as the minds of our customers. Making the commitment to environmental stewardship is something that our company has valued since its inception. We look forward to using our involvement with PESP in combination with our current protocols to provide the best and most responsible service for our customers.

Pioneer Pest Management recognized as a Gold Level Member when it comes to Integrated Pest Management - Vancouver WA - Portland OR