Fall weather leads to both stink bugs and mice trying to make their way into your home.By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For lovers of fall this is your time. The changing colors, the falling leaves, the pumpkin lattes, the bugs invading your home.

Wait! What? You betcha it’s that time of year.

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Did you think you were the only one who wants to find a nice warm cozy place for the winter.

Entomologist Chad Gore,Ph.D. from Ehrlich Pest Control says the adult bugs that winter over are looking for someplace comfortable.

“So they’ll search out a home or a building of any kind. That kind of resembles one of their natural woodland cavities of a tree or something like that, in order to hide out in and escape the cold of winter. Things like our Brown Marmorated Stink Bug that we’re all so familiar with, the the multicolored Asian Lady Beetle, which we see quite often and leaf footed bugs, such as the Western Conference Seed Bug. None of them are really harmful, per se. They’re really just more nuisance than anything else. You don’t have to worry about them biting you or anything like that.”

Dr. Gore says the best remedy is to keep them out in the first place, “Make sure that the seal around windows and doors is sealed up well, such as the sealant or caulking around those to close those gaps. When you see them in your environment, collect them with a vacuum cleaner, remove them with a tissue.”

They don’t call them Stink Bugs for nothing so Dr. Gore says to avoid the smell, “Don’t crush it for one thing, I mean that’ll certainly get the stink going. Really the stink is just a defense mechanism for the stinkbug. So, you know, if you’re if you’re threatening your stinkbug they may they may stink on you.”

And he advises against setting off insecticide bombs to wipe out an infestation because that could attract the bugs that feast on them.

Instead, spray around cracks and crevices so if they pass through the sprayed area, they die.

Also, keep a close eye on your pet this time of year because fleas and ticks are in abundance.

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One other critter that likes to find some warmth this time of year is the little nose wiggling mouse.

They’ve been out there in your yard, or the wood pile, happily doing whatever mice do all summer, but they feel the chill coming on too and are looking for refuge.

“Your best defense is to try to keep the things out before they get in,” says Dr. Gore, “and that is making sure that you’re building your home, your place of business is well sealed.”

Dr. Gore says spaces around garage doors are prime entry ways for mice and it doesn’t take much of a hole. “For rodents, you know, like, a house mice they need a space of roughly a quarter inch or bigger to get in, so it’s pretty small. So generally speaking, if you can take a pen and ink pen and stick it into a hole. Then a house mouse can generally get in.”

Rarely does a home owner spot the actual mouse, or mice. “They’re gonna leave some evidence and quite often that evidence is their droppings. Mouse droppings look like little chocolate Jimmy’s.” As soon as you see them start setting traps and Dr. Gore says if you get one, there are more than likely others.

As for mice repellents, “There are commercially available repellents that we have tried. Unfortunately they don’t work.”

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So whether it’s to prevent bugs or mice Dr. Gore says now is the time to look for the ways they could get in and seal them up.