Is Your Home Ready for the Fall Crawl?

Pest control is crucial for safeguarding your family's health, preventing property damage and maintaining food safety. Learn how to keep rodents and insects out of your home as temperatures dip.

Autumn signals the arrival some of our favorite things — comfort foods and drinks, changing leaf colors and more. Unfortunately, there’s another natural phenomenon at this festive time: the Fall Crawl.

What Is the Fall Crawl?

The seasonal migration of pests seeking shelter from the impending winter.

As temperatures drop and food sources become scarcer outdoors, these critters look for warm and cozy places until spring, leaving homeowners scrambling for pest control solutions.

When Is the Fall Crawl?

Timing depends on the local climate. In most temperate regions, the Fall Crawl typically starts in late summer or early autumn as temperatures begin to dip. It continues through November and can extend into the early winter months.

The exact timing can be influenced by factors like severity of the upcoming winter and the availability of outdoor food sources. In regions with mild winters, the Fall Crawl may be less pronounced as insects continue to find food outdoors. In areas with harsh winters, it tends to be more intense as pests seek refuge sooner to avoid freezing temperatures and a scarcity of food.

What Bugs Are Worst in the Fall?

A variety of pests are known to participate in the Fall Crawl, some more notoriously than others. Common invaders include:

  • Ladybugs: While they might seem harmless, ladybugs can congregate in large numbers, becoming a nuisance indoors.
  • Stink bugs: These insects emit a foul odor when disturbed, making them particularly unwelcome houseguests.
  • Spiders: As the weather cools, spiders often seek indoor locations with an abundance of flies and other prey.
  • Rodents: Mice and rats are opportunistic creatures that readily invade homes during this time.
  • Cockroaches: These resilient pests seek refuge indoors year-round, but can become more prominent during the fall.

What Preventative Steps Can You Take?

To avoid a Fall Crawl invasion in your home, take these preventative steps:

  • Seal entry points: Inspect your home for cracks, gaps and holes in walls, windows, doors and the foundation.
  • Clean thoroughly: Regularly clean and declutter your home, because pests are attracted to food residue and clutter.
  • Store food securely: Keep food in airtight containers.
  • Remove outdoor debris: Clear your yard of leaf piles, woodpiles and other debris that may serve as pest hiding spots.
  • Install screens: These, on doors and windows, prevent insects from entering your home while still allowing fresh air to flow.
  • Consider professional pest control: If you’re dealing with a severe infestation or want to be proactive, consider hiring a pro to assess and treat your home.

Alex Shoemaker
Alex is an avid DIYer but had little experience before purchasing his first home in 2019. A Family Handyman subscription was one of his first purchases after becoming a homeowner, and he's been hooked ever since. When he’s not working, he can be found fixing up his 1940s Florida home or relaxing on the beach with his family.