The absolute worst part of fall is dealing with my home being consumed by boxelder bugs. It happens every year, and it grosses me out to no end.

The exterior of my house is crawling with these oval insects and they migrate around the sides as the sun moves throughout the day. So depending on the time I have to strategically use doors in my house as to not be bombarded by these things.

Boxelder bugs luckily don't bite or sting, but they are annoying. According to the University of Minnesota Extension Office:

Boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittatus) are a nuisance because they enter homes and other buildings, often in large numbers. You might not notice them during summer, but they can become an issue when they try to move into homes during fall to find a warm place to hide for winter.

These bugs are most abundant following hot, dry summers like the one we just had. For the most part, these bugs summer in trees, and start to leave the trees to find protected areas for the winter. Adult boxelder bugs can fly several blocks at a time and travel as far as two miles to find a good place to winter.

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As the weather cools, boxelder bugs push into cracks and spaces around homes, so now is the time to seal up those cracks and prevent unwanted house guests this winter.

The U of M Extention Office offered up this checklist online of places to check around your home to prevent boxelder bugs from getting in:

  • Repair or replace damaged window and door screens.
  • Repair or replace damaged screens in roof and soffit vents, and in bathroom and kitchen fans.
  • Seal areas where cables, phone lines, and other utility wires and pipes, outdoor faucets, dryer vents, and other objects enter buildings.
  • Install door sweeps or thresholds to all exterior entry doors.
  • Install a rubber seal along the bottom of garage doors.

 

I never wish for cold weather, but if it means I can walk out of my patio door again I'm willing to make that sacrifice.

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