Why You Are Still Seeing Boxelder Bugs In Knoxville During The Winter

Why You Are Still Seeing Boxelder Bugs In Knoxville During The Winter


Winter in Tennessee is upon us, and the unsuspecting homeowner might assume that the cold weather means a reprieve from having to worry about pests invading their home. Well, think again. Winter can still provide warm enough days for insects and other pests to seek shelter from the cold weather. That means they inevitably will look for ways into your home, where warmth is assured and food sources more plentiful.

A Common Winter Pest: Boxelder Bugs

One winter-time insect that’s caused the residents of Knoxville grief for decades is the boxelder bug. These black, beetle-like creatures are flat and ovular, with reddish-brown patterns on their backs. They have six legs and long antennae that often splay out from the tops of their heads. The adults have flatter bodies and small, narrow heads and can grow up to a half-inch in size while the nymphs are smaller and lack the wings that adults have. They are often bright red or orange.

Boxelder Bug Behavior

Boxelder bugs find strength in numbers, congregating in large groups to share and conserve body heat. You may find them around your home on winter days, looking for a way indoors and biding their time until they’ve got the numbers to push through cracks or holes in window screens. Once inside, they will flock to places where they can take advantage of pockets of heat. Within walls, underneath rugs and furniture are common places to see clumps of them. They are also attracted to central heating systems.

The Problems With A Pest Infestation

While boxelder bugs aren’t harmful to humans and don’t bite or transmit diseases, they can cause some serious damage to property. Outdoors, they can chew through foliage in huge numbers, stripping trees and bushes that you pride yourself on in the spring and summer. While they are looking for a way indoors, boxelder bugs clump in the cracks of patios and porches, eroding or damaging the wood with their excrement. 
Indoors, boxelder bugs leave behind reddish-colored waste that is odorous and can cause damage to wooden walls and flooring, not to mention staining furniture or fabrics in the home. Since they’re looking for warmth, these bugs often make it into vents and electrical systems, which can gunk up the mechanics, not to mention help spread their foul odor around.

Prevention Tips For Tennessee Homeowners

There are some things you can do to prevent boxelder bugs from invading:

  • Seal up cracks in the walls, floors, and foundations of your home to protect against many pests.
  • Replace faulty or damaged window screens.
  • Keep trees, bushes, and other landscaping trimmed back away from your house. Trim fronds and limbs back to keep them away from windows and doors, since these are common areas for bugs to enter.

Professional Solutions

Once an infestation has broken out in the home, it’s often difficult to fully eradicate. Since these bugs are experts at hiding out in hard to reach nooks and crannies, the best option is to enlist the help of professionals.

At Russell’s Pest Control, we are experts at eliminating pests of all shapes and sizes and have been doing it since 1971. We know how to root out and eliminate boxelder bugs. Our residential services include inspection, eradication, and protection. We will help you every step of the way and do everything we can to help guard your home against future pests when we leave. Call us today before your pest problems get out of hand.

Stop Boxelder Bugs From Staying In Your Knoxville Walls All Winter

Stop Boxelder Bugs From Staying In Your Knoxville Walls All Winter

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.