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Getting rid of fall pest invaders

Tina Danner of Plunkett's Pest Control shares her tips to help Minnesotans keep pests where they belong … in the great outdoors.

Scratching in the walls, making nests in your car, crawling on your face when you’re trying to sleep.

Fall invaders are making their way in. This is the prime time for mice, ants, box elder bugs, ladybugs and wasps. It’s also a good time to arm yourself with professional advice about these invaders and their habits so they can kick them out for good.

Tina Danner of Plunkett’s Pest Control shares her tips to help Minnesotans keep pests where they belong … in the great outdoors.


They are getting into homes right now and can fit through a hole the size of a pencil. How? Mice can detach their vertebrates and collapse their bodies to fit in the tiniest of holes. Once a mouse gets inside, it leaves its pheromones, or scent for other mice to follow - and follow they will.

The key to stopping mice is finding their point of entry. The top two points of entry we suggest checking are dryer vents and air-conditioning lines.

Mice also like to nest in cars. They will climb right up your tire and find a dry, secure spot to build a nest.

Aside from storing a smorgasbord of winter food to munch on, they also love to chew on electrical wires - an expensive proposition for any car-owner. The best way to stop this is to find entry points to both the car and the garage.


Ant problems are very common right now, as these insects tend to move inside when the temperatures drop. Ants will move under the slab of the house and then pop up in rooms with high moisture like the laundry room or a bathroom. You’ll know you have a problem if you start to see piles of sand that pop up near the nest or even on top of it.

Carpenter ants are particularly destructive, as they like to set up shop in a windowsill, for example, where the wood is exposed to moisture. These ants will break apart the vulnerable wood and eventually put the structure at risk.


These two are especially annoying, aren’t they? This is the time of year we will see thick layers of boxelders on the sunny sides of homes and buildings. Ladybugs are also plentiful and like boxelder bugs, sneak inside your home or siding to nest over winter and come back out in the spring, or show up for a surprise visit on that warm day in December when the sun is shining on the house because they think it’s spring.


This fall problem is just starting to peak because our late spring has pushed back the season of this annoying and sometimes painful pest. Minnesotans will likely be dealing with wasps, yellow jackets and bees well into the month of October. Finding and getting rid of a nest is the best way to stop this pest, and for this one in particular, we recommend you have a Plunkett Pro tackle the job, as “conventional” methods (people using a hose or a baseball bat) are not always effective and can lead to injury.