Tis the season . . . for boxelder bugs? Let’s learn more about these occasional pests.
Many homeowners are surprised to see insects in their homes during the winter—especially unfamiliar insects like the boxelder bug. This blog post was inspired by my own observation of one of these insects crawling in my home’s entryway this past week.
What is a boxelder bug?
Boxelder bugs are red and black insects that are roughly a half inch long. Their abdomens are rounded at the posterior end, giving them a generally oval shape. Boxelder bugs have a pair of antennae that are about as long as their legs. These insects preferentially feed on boxelder and maple seeds, either on the ground or in the tree canopy.
Why am I suddenly seeing them in my home?
Boxelder bugs seek warm, safe shelter during the cold winter months. Your home is just one of many different structures where you may find them overwintering in large numbers. Likely, these insects entered your home through a crack or broken seal, such as around a window or attic vent. Preventative maintenance is the key to keeping these insects away.
If you are seeing a few boxelder bugs around the home, there are probably even more hidden in the walls or attic. Don’t panic! These insects are completely harmless to you. Boxelder bugs do not bite, sting, or transmit any diseases. When spring arrives, they will leave your home for their preferred habitat: boxelder, maple, or ash trees in your yard. Boxelder bugs in your home should typically be out of sight, with the exception of a stray crawler here and there. If you are seeing more than the occasional boxelder bug in your Raleigh-area home, give us a call!