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boxelder bug

Boxelder bugs are those little half inch dark colored bugs with large red striped wings. Even though they are harmless, they are definitely a nuisance. These guys are interesting little creatures. Here is some information on them and some tips on how to prevent them from over-wintering in your house this year.

Boxelder bugs are primarily found on boxelder trees. But they do like maple and ash trees too. These tree and plant eating bugs are sometimes confused with the ‘stink bug’ because they can emit an odor to defer predators. Thankfully, they are no threat to humans or animals. Since they do not like the cold, they will try to find a place to ‘over-winter’ near warmth. Unfortunately, this place can be in your home, attic, garage, and basement or under your siding. Sometimes they will emerge from their hiding spots when furnaces warm the house up because they are confused and are thinking that spring has sprung. They will wander about your home looking for food, water and a place to lay their eggs. In the spring, when it is truly time for them to leave their winter hibernation, they will lay their eggs on maple or ash trees.

Here are a few tips to help keep boxelder bugs from coming into your home for the winter:

  • Repair or replace window and door screens that have any damage or tears.

  • Check all weatherstripping that is around door and windows.

  • Fill any cracks and crevices in your basement walls.

  • Check thresholds and frames for gaps and fill appropriately.

  • Check all vents (soffit, gable, attic, dryer, HVAC) and repair or replace insect screening as needed.

  • Fill all cracks and holes in and around window and door frames.

  • Keep gutter and water removal systems running properly to divert water away from your home.

Although boxelders are just a nuisance pest, no one wants them moving in for the winter. Try these simple steps to help proof your house against them. If you want professional boxelder bug control, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Russell’s Pest Control.  We will help you to think outside the box to keep the boxelder bugs outside!

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