Hot Topics: Bugs in Storm Windows

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Brian1900 Member

We have a ton of brown marmorated stink bugs getting into the house now that fall is here. (We have two 20-foot blue spruces in the yard right next to the house.) I had about five bugs in my bedroom last night and as I was painting the house yesterday I noticed tons of them on the house and trim.

I looked at almost all of my storm windows (they're old) and they're sealed really well, but I did notice that where the screens (self-stored types) touch the top of the two glass panels in the storm window, there's a large gap that bugs can crawl right up and over into the open window, so that the screens on all the storm windows are ineffective. I was thinking of stuffing some of that rope caulk stuff in all the storms to close those gaps as I'm assuming that's where they're all coming in. If I close the actual windows, they get trapped inside the window area and can't get in the house.

If I have the screen down and go outside and look upwards close to the screen, I can see right up between the storm window glass and the screen and there's about a 1/4-inch gap on most of my storm windows. The screens should be fitting tightly against the glass sections of the storm windows, I think.

Is there a better way to fix the screens? I guess because they're old, the top edge has just developed maybe an arch or the seal is gone.

Norm201 Member

Can the screen and screen frame be removed? Most likely, the constant up/down of the screen has caused the frame to bow inward.

Wirepuller38 Member

My storm windows are double-track. The outer track has a screen panel in the lower half and a glass panel in the upper half. The inner track has a glass panel which can be raised for ventilation. Is this what you have?

Brian1900 Member

I have triple-track aluminum storms from circa 1971 so, yes, they're "bowed" in the middle, I think.

What I did (and it seems to have worked) is to get some Frost King thin vinyl insulation that comes on a roll and is adhesive. I took out each screen and ran a strip across that gap. The gaps were close to 1/4-inch and it seems to have filled it as it's about 1/4-inch also.

I went outside and looked up through each screen and it is now tight. Tonight, I didn't have any brown stink bugs inside but for one in the kitchen, so I think they've closed the gaps well.

Norm201 Member

During the winter season, remove your screen and take them apart (you're probably due for new screen, anyway). Run the sides and top along a straight edge to remove the bow, being careful not to kink the metal. I'll usually insert a metal bar or piece of wood through the frame to prevent bending and maintain the stiffness.

johnam Member

The top rail of the screen should have wool pile weatherstriping to seal against the glass panel. See if there is a groove where the pile should have been.

Brian1900 Member

Yes, they do, but they're old and flattened completely. I wish they had replacements, but I'm not sure they do. I used that stick-on vinyl stuff that seems to have worked, but now the screens are a little hard to push up.

Norm201 Member

Replacement weather stripping is available. Try Swisco.

golfguyyyy Member

Sounds somewhat similar to what I've seen...I have a 1920 house with the older aluminum storm windows and half screen from about the 1960s —the ones that have the aluminum finger push 'squares' at the inside bottom left and right, that push toward each other to unlock the window or screen for sliding up or down.

I noticed my storm windows (not the screen) have a 1/2-gap at the top. Simply put, I had those windows 'reversed' (the ones I slid up to the top were actually the ones that stay on the bottom). I just lowered those and raised the bottoms upward until they locked in place at the very top with no more gaps. So, the screen would be a similar situation (hopefully for you). Or, at the least you can see where screens might be 'binding,' preventing them from reaching the very top.

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