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The Insect Pests That Feed On Yard Plants And Potted Porch Plants
The Insect Pests That Feed On Yard Plants And Potted Porch Plants

The Insect Pests That Feed On Yard Plants And Potted Porch Plants Often Congregate In Large Numbers Within Upstate New York Homes

Numerous plant-feeding insect species inhabit residential yards, the most common of which include Asiatic oak weevils, strawberry root weevils, black vine weevils and several other beetle species. All of these insect pest species are known for occasionally invading homes in upstate New York, often in massive numbers. Several species of thrips, booklice and even caterpillars can also become troublesome indoor pests in some circumstances, most notably when their population numbers explode or when extreme climatic conditions make indoor conditions more favorable than outdoor conditions. These insects are commonly referred to as “ornamental pests,” and although they sometimes pose a nuisance within homes, they are not dangerous to humans or pets, and very few ornamental pests are known to bite humans.

The ornamental pests that invade homes most frequently in upstate New York include booklice, and several groups of beetles, particularly weevils. In rare circumstances, yards can become inundated with thousands of caterpillars belonging to the species commonly known as Gypsy moth caterpillars and eastern tent caterpillars. When this occurs, the caterpillars often gain access into homes by crawling through basement windows and through the gaps around loose-fitting doors. Ornamental pest invasions only occur in homes where host plants are located near the foundation or when host plants are potted and located on porches. However, weevil adults feed on the foliage of numerous plant species that can be found on most properties.

The dark colored and ¾ of an inch long adults of the strawberry root weevil species are among the most common and troublesome ornamental pests within upstate New York homes. These pests enter homes in unmanageably high numbers through window screens, beneath door gaps, and through cracks, crevices and other entry points on a home’s exterior. Once indoors, strawberry root weevils quickly spread throughout a home, including bathrooms, cupboards, floors, walls, ceilings, and closets. Sealing exterior entry points on a home, installing door sweeps and keeping window screens well maintained will help to prevent ornamental pests from entering homes. Vacuuming indoor ornamental pests may eliminate infestations, but in cases where their indoor numbers are excessively high, conservative insecticide treatments become necessary.

Have you ever struggled to control indoor infestations of plant pests?

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