12 EXCLUSIVE FEATURE
You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” It’s true: once we turn our attention away from looking for
something, we tend to forget it entirely.
This phrase can create trouble when it
comes to pest management, especially in the
fall and winter months. When pest activity
appears to slow this time of year, it can be easy
to grow a little more lax with a pest management program.
That’s just what some pests hope for. And
that’s why lady bug beetles, cluster flies, stink
bugs and other fall seasonal invaders pose such
a threat to food processing facilities.
These pests may try to get into your food
processing facility looking for places to survive
the winter. They usually go into hiding where no
one can see them, which means they often go
unnoticed and forgotten until emerging, looking
to get back outside when spring rolls around.
By the time occasional invaders are recognized as a problem, the pest population can be
fairly large and it may be too late for simple
Here’s a snapshot of some of the seasonal
invaders you need to look out for:
Lady bug beetles
The Asian lady beetle was brought to the
United States in 1988 to help reduce native
aphid populations that can ruin crops and
other types of vegetation. Unfortunately, these
lady beetles became a major issue themselves
in many areas of the country.
Today, Asian lady beetles are common
throughout most of the United States and
parts of Canada – they’re commonly known
as ladybugs. They occur in a wide spectrum
of colors ranging from yellow to orange to red
and have a varying number of spots.
In the fall, Asian lady beetles gather in
large numbers on the outside of light-colored
buildings. As they gather on walls, some find
cracks or holes they can use to get inside.
They hibernate through the winter and
become active again in spring.
Stink bugs and box elder bugs
Stink bugs, box elder bugs and other fall
pests have the ability to detect various environmental conditions, which is why they can often
be found on the south- and west-facing walls
of a structure where the sun hits. These insects
congregate here to seek warmth from the sun,
so consider taking extra precautions against
their activity on the south- and west-facing
walls before they crawl inside.
While stink bugs and box elder bugs don’t
pose any serious health risks, they can make a
big mess. Stink bugs are named for the smelly
odor they produce when they’re threatened,
and box elder bugs’ droppings, which are
reddish-orange in color, are unsightly and can
leave stains on equipment.
Cluster flies, also known as attic flies, are
pests that can work their way inside of food
processing facilities. They are slightly larger and
darker than the common housefly and move
more sluggishly. Much like box elder bugs and
stink bugs, these flies also appear on the sunny
side of buildings in heaviest concentrations
in the late fall and early winter, as they seek
Cluster flies are often seen buzzing and congregating at windows, which may not provide
IN YOUR SIGHTS
By Ron Harrison, Ph.D., Director of Technical Services, Orkin, LLC