As temperatures begin to fall in early autumn, you may notice clusters of black and orange bugs on the side of your home and around doors and windows. These are known as boxelder bugs, who will try to enter your home and find shelter for the winter.
Once you see boxelder bugs around the outside your home, you’ll need to treat your home to prevent them from making their way inside. If you neglect to treat and boxelders make their way inside, they can multiply quickly. The excrement they release when disturbed or crushed can also stain walls and floors.
Select an insecticide labeled for boxelder bugs and mix with water in a hand pump or backpack sprayer.
While wearing long sleeves, closed toe shoes, and gloves, add half the water needed first, then the insecticide, and finally the remaining water. Replace the top of the sprayer and agitate to combine.
Applying monthly preventative insecticide applications around the perimeter of your home will also help keep boxelder bugs out. Be sure to spray around the foundation of your home, around door and window frames, around outdoor light fixtures, beneath eaves and soffits, and where utility pipes and wires enter the home.
Inside, spot treat in rooms around your home where boxelder bugs have been spotted, including the corners of rooms, where utility pipes enter the home, around door and window frames, beneath and behind appliances and sinks, and where baseboards meet the wall.
You can also treat cracks, voids, and other hard to reach spots in your home with an insecticide dust. Boxelders and other pests will interact with the dust when squeezing into tight spaces.
Fill a bellow hand duster half-way with the dust of your choice, replace the lid, turn the duster so the lid faces the ground, then apply 1-2 puffs per application to cracks and joints around the home. Be sure to treat below sinks, where baseboards meet the floor, beneath appliances, under furniture, in wall voids behind outlets, where cables and pipes enter the home, around door and window frames, in the corners of attics and closets, and other crevices around the home.
General home maintenance, like repairing broken window screens, installing dust sweeps on exterior doors, and cleaning gutters to remove debris will also go far in making your home less attractive to boxelder bugs.
Be sure to consult the label of any insecticide you use for application instructions. Wear proper personal protective equipment when applying.
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