Get ready to bug-proof your home earlier this year.

The telltale signs of fall’s fast approach can be seen all around Colorado, and this week’s preseason winter storm is a stark reminder that summer is about to come to an end. Cooler weather starts to move in, and with the cooler temps, we will start to see more bugs looking for ways to wiggle into our homes.

Colorado may see more insects trying to find their way inside this year due to the blast of cooler weather taking over the state. With 100-degree temperatures all weekend, the sudden cold snap is likely to drive the little critters indoors earlier. In most years, the fall temperature drops will bring bugs out in late September and October.

While the cooler temperatures bring relief from some summer pests, they bring out a whole new crop of fall and winter pests. Spiders, crickets, millipedes, earwigs, flies, boxelder bugs, cockroaches, termites, bed bugs, and more emerge and start to seek out the comforts of our homes. Bug species vary on where you live in the state; higher elevations may see different kinds of insects than lower areas, and areas near water will see different species.

Colorado State University Extension provides a yearly insect calendar of species for different counties where you can learn more about your specific area and what bugs to expect.

Most bugs that live inside homes or find their way inside are not harmful, although, it has been estimated by researchers that hundreds of insect species can live inside houses. Many we will never notice; others will need attention if we do not want them to take over. Mature spiders from the garden find their way inside as temperatures drop, a nice cozy basement corner is the perfect spot for little spider hatchlings to develop.

With more people staying home this summer, it's also likely more attention is being paid to the kinds of critters that make their way inside. More people home cooking and baking means more crumbs and food trash, which attracts all species of pests, insects, rats, squirrels, raccoons, and the like. So, while there are likely to be more bugs trying to get inside our houses earlier, we are also paying a lot more attention to them.

A few simple preventive steps can help avoid and deter bugs from entering homes. It is impossible to keep all of them out, especially when we never see most of them. 

  • Check seals around doors and windows.
  • Fill cracks and spaces bugs can get in. 
  • Keep things clean and reduce clutter, less temptation for bugs.
  • Sweep and vacuum regularly. 
  • Dry out any damp areas and fix leaks and drips. 
  • Keep outside goods like firewood outside and check for bugs before bringing them indoors. 
  • If you see bugs inside get rid of them, do not let a population breed, and get out of control. 
  • Spray for bugs regularly, keep a barrier outside your home to prevent bugs from getting in. 
  • If the problem gets too big, call in a professional. 

What insect pests have you had problems with here in Colorado? What measures have you found work best for keeping bugs outside? Share your advice with us in the comments and keep your eyes peeled for those bugs!