It can get really cold in Tallahassee… for bugs. There are some bugs that start to look for a place to hide when temperatures get below 50 degrees. This is because many bugs are cold-blooded. Creatures that are cold-blooded don't have the ability to regulate their temperatures like warm-blooded creatures do. They are the same temperature as the air or soil around them.
You can learn a little about cold-blooded bugs by looking at cold-blooded animals, like the alligator. When temperatures drop, alligators find a nice rock to lay on and bask in the heat of the sun. This brings the temperature of their body up.
When temperatures go up, the alligator doesn't have the ability to sweat, like warm-blooded creatures do. If it wants to cool down, it has to find a shaded place or spend more time in the water.
Do you know what happens when a cold-blooded creature is exposed to cold? It slows down. Do you know why?
There are actually two primary reasons.
If an insect gets too cold it can actually freeze to death. They do not have a natural antifreeze, like spiders and many other bugs, that allows them to prevent ice crystals from forming at freezing or subfreezing temperatures. For this reason, insects will hide in trees, stumps, logs, under bark, under rocks and inside homes.
Insects are wired to prepare for winter. Though we don't have nearly the winter those Northerners have, it’s still cold enough to make bugs start making preparations as if we did. In Tallahassee, it is not uncommon for insects to seek refuge in homes for a short time.
What can we learn from this?
We may not get blizzards in Tallahassee, but those bugs don't know it. When temperatures drop, they will be looking for a place to hide from the cold. Here are some things you can do to prevent them from harboring in your home.
Do an inspection of your basement walls and seal any cracks you find. There are many DIY tutorials from This Old House, on YouTube. Do a search for: "How to Repair a Crack in a Concrete Foundation - This Old House," and you'll get some good advice.
Inspect your exterior walls and use a caulking gun to fill in any rotted holes you find. It may be unsightly, but it is better than waiting till you have the money to fix these spots.
A caulking gun is also good for sealing around pipes, wires, outlets, window frames and air conditioning units. If you see a gap, fill it in.
Door sweeps, screens, and weather stripping must all be in good working order. If you have even the tiniest hole, you're going to let bugs in.
Look closely around windows. You would be amazed at the tiny entry points you'll find.
When it comes to sealing overwintering pests out of your Tallahassee home, the best option is to get professional help. At McCall Service, our team is educated, certified and experienced in creating a barrier that keeps bugs out. Get your Florida home protected from bugs, starting this fall with a call to McCall. You'll be amazed at how much better life is without bugs.