Fall is in the air, and bugs are starting to find places to hunker down fo the winter. These past warm sunny days you may have noticed some boxelder bugs congregating on the sides of your home. I know I have.

The cool weather draws them from the places where they’ve been feeding on plants or on other insects to find places to ride out the winter. This often leads them to aggregate in large numbers on the sunny sides of trees, buildings and other structures.

But even though I'm noticing these bugs, it is nothing like the swarms that were out last year. 2021 was an awful fall for boxelder bugs. My house was so covered in stinky bugs that I couldn't use one of the doors to get in and out of the building. I just left it locked for a couple of weeks until they finally went away.

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Boxelder bugs are native to Minnesota, feeding on boxelder, maple, and ash trees. They tend to have high populations during hot, dry summers and records show their populations skyrocketed during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. This also explains the insane boom we had in the bugs last summer when we were going through that terrible drought.

The summer of 2022 wasn't as unbearably hot as 2021 was, and we got a lot more rain than we did last year. That should be a big help as far as population control goes with boxelder bugs.

The bugs that are here though are looking for a place to spend the winter, so make sure you check around window screens and doors for gaps and seal any areas of your home where they could creep in.

Happy fall!

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