With the sun setting a bit earlier every evening and the temperature getting ever cooler, winter is settling into Knoxville. If you’re like most people, you’re probably busy with holiday preparations. Unfortunately, while you deck the halls, it’s very possible that boxelder bugs are hiding in the walls. Here’s what you need to know to stop them.
What Boxelder Bugs Look Like
Boxelder bugs have long, flat, oval-shaped bodies and small heads. They are black with reddish-orange markings. Growing to about the length of a dime, boxelder bugs have six legs and two long antennae.
What Attracts Boxelder Bugs Homes
Boxelder bugs spend the hot summer months outdoors. When fall arrives and the temperatures start to get cooler, they make their way to south-facing walls and congregate together in the sun. Over time, they find their way inside Knoxville homes through small cracks and crevices. They then spend the coldest months of the year overwintering inside wall voids and other areas.
When Boxelder Bugs are Active in Your Knoxville Home
Although you often won’t see boxelder bugs in your Knoxville home in the winter, it doesn’t mean they’re not there. Typically they come out in early spring when the weather gets warm in order to return to their host trees outdoors.
However, many people discover they have a boxelder bug problem in mid-winter. Within the warm confines of your walls, boxelder bugs can sometimes be tricked on an unseasonably warm day into thinking that it’s time to come out of hiding. If you suddenly start seeing boxelder bugs congregating near your windows in the middle of winter, it means that they think it’s spring. It also means that you are likely to have problems with these pests for months to come. If they can’t find their way outside, they’ll search your house for food and water.
What to Do if Boxelder Bugs Get in Your Knoxville Home
The first thing to do if you discover boxelder bugs in your home is to take a deep breath. The good news is that boxelder bugs are not dangerous. They can leave reddish stains on your furniture or curtains with their fecal matter and they give off an unpleasant odor when squashed, but they won’t hurt you.
But you can’t simply leave it at that. No one wants to deal with pesky bugs all the time and if any of them end up dying in your wall voids, they could attract other pests, which will lead to bigger problems.
There are some steps you can take to get rid of the bugs you see in your house and to prevent future infestations.
- Vacuum up the boxelder bugs that you find in your house. This will help you avoid the smell of squashing them. Make sure to remove the vacuum bag from the vacuum and from your house when you’re done so that they don’t escape.
- Seal up any openings you can find inside your house. Look for cracks or gaps in your walls and baseboards, window and door frames, etc.
- Seal openings around the outside of your house, including cracks, gaps, crevices, and holes in your siding, foundation, windows, and doors.
- Call the professionals at Russell’s Pest Control. We can eliminate your boxelder bug problem completely, while ensuring that the elimination process will not cause future pest problems.
Don’t spend your winter battling boxelder bugs. Contact Russell’s Pest Control and let us take care of the problem for you.