Boxelder bugs are a nuisance pest found on homes in the late fall, as they work their way inside the wall cavities, and voids, to overwinter in a hibernated state, during the harsh Minnesota winters. In the spring, they reemerge and reproduce. Although considered a nuisance pest, some areas along the Minnesota River valley, such as Prior Lake, Burnsville, Apple Valley, and Eagan can have large pockets of Boxelder bugs. This is partly due to the region having an abundance of Boxelder, Maple, and Ash trees. These bugs can be a real nuisance for Homeowners that experience red staining on their siding, windows, and decks. This is caused by the excretions from the Boxelder bugs.
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Boxelder bugs are native to Minnesota. They feed on the samaras or referred to as “helicopter seeds” from the female Boxelder, Maple, and Ash trees. Some homeowners have had the Boxelder trees cut down, only to have them inform us that they still have bugs all over their home. Boxelder bugs are strong flyers and can come from surrounding neighbor’s trees from a few miles away.
When it starts to get cooler at night, they huddle together in a ball to try and maintain their body heat. They are cold-blooded and need the warmth of the sun to move and fly. As fall approaches and the nights start to drop below 40 degrees, they start migrating in areas to hibernate during the winter months. This is the time we know the insects are in the homes, our customers start to call. The best prevention is to treat the exterior before you see the insects on the structure.
What can I do to get rid of Box Elder Bugs?
The only thing you can do once they’ve made their way inside is to vacuum them up one at a time. You can also take some preventative measures to seal gaps and cracks around the exterior. It is a good idea to replace damaged window screens, seal windows, and door frames. You cannot rely solely on trying to seal them out. As you look for areas to seal, keep in mind, they can enter openings just the thickness of a credit card, (about 1/8 of an inch).
The main solution for this problem is, to have your home treated BEFORE the bugs over-winter in the fall. The best months for this service in September and October!
Call BOGO Pest Control at 952-252-BOGO to get on our Fall Prevention Treatment List. We’ll contact you when it’s time so you don’t have to worry about pests again!