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Boxelder Bugs Congregating on the House

Fall has different meaning for each of us; back to school, warm fires, fall color. But anyone with a boxelder tree in their neighborhood may be thinking about the boxelder bug invasion.

These ½ inch long bugs are black with orange or red markings. They are most visible and annoying in fall when the adults seek a warm sunny spot, usually the side of your home, to warm themselves. As temperatures cool they look for a place to hibernate and often find their way indoors through cracks and crevices.

Boxelder bugs are not harmful to plants and people, but certainly are annoying. Repair and fill any crevices to keep these insects out of the house. Manage high populations by vacuuming as they congregate or spray them directly with soapy water when they are on the side of your house. Test the siding first to make sure the soapy water solution will not change the color of your siding.

A bit more information: The immature boxelder bugs feed on ground level vegetation. The adults move to boxelder trees (a type of maple) to feed on the seeds. They can sometimes be found on other maples as well. Fortunately, their feeding does not harm the trees - they just annoy us.

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