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Whether it's a sugar maple, white pine or red oak, trees can add beauty and character to a home. They can create a shady spot in a backyard or even a place to rest with a strategically placed hammock.

But they can also be home to a number of pests, including insects and rodents. And as the temperatures drop and the leaves fall, these pests look to move on to the nearest warmer location, which is often your home. Here are six pests that hope to move into your home in the fall and can require a professional pest control.


Deer mouse

Most often found in rural and semi-rural location, deer mice look for any location that is in close proximity to food. In the summer that means feeding on grains, fruit, tree seeds and nuts which are readily found outside. When they're not foraging, however, they live in tree hollows and construct refuges made of twigs, leaves and grass roots. In addition, they sometimes take over abandoned squirrel and bird nests.

When the weather gets colder and food becomes scarce, they look for refuge in buildings, including homes, where they get inside walls, attics and basements and may gnaw through electrical wires and wood to build their nests. They may damage furniture, clothing, bedding and other materials in their quest for nest-building material, making mouse control essential.

Centipedes and millipedes

Though their presence and appearance can be off-putting for some, both centipedes and millipedes are basically harmless. They're easily recognizable by their segmented bodies and, of course, their many legs. In the summer, they live on trees (the love damp bark) as well as in gardens.

While they can be beneficial (they eat spiders, cockroaches, silverfish, bed bugs and ants), many people can be upset if they discover them in their home. The insects move indoors in the fall and seek out damp places such as basements and bathrooms, necessitating home pest control.

Carpenter ants

On the outside, these wood-boring insects love making their homes in trees and stumps that are next to a source of moisture. They're social insects and prefer to live in large colonies (an average colony can consist of 2,000-3,000 members). Their presence is marked by small piles of wood shavings next to a hole or even the sound of them moving about.

While seeing a carpenter ant inside in the summer isn't unusual, it's usually just a lone ant that's strayed from the colony. But seeing them in winter is a good indication that they've built a nest somewhere inside for warmth.

Boxelder bugs

Contrary to their name, boxelder bugs don't confine themselves to their namesake tree. They also make their home in maple and ash, as well as fruit-bearing trees. In the summer, they feed on the seeds of the boxelder tree while the female lays eggs on the leaves, stems and branches. They can have colonies in the thousands.

When winter approaches, the insects enter homes and garages for warmth and gather in walls. They may occasionally make an appearance in places where people congregate: kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms.


Many of us have encountered a spider web constructed between tree branches or stretched across a trunk. Certain species, including the black widow spider, prefer to live on trees in the summer, catching the other insects that also dwell there. Other tree-dwelling spiders include the dark fishing spider and the grass spider.

A spider in your home in the winter isn't necessarily coming in to escape the cold, but rather looking for a mate. The beginning of September marks their mating season and the become more active in their search.

A professional pest control service like Abell Pest Control can prepare your home for the invasion of the tree-dwelling pests with a comprehensive home pest control plan. They can give you advice on preventing a fall infestation or treating an existing condition.

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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