Box elder bugs can be very irritating especially if they land on your head or face! Fortunately they are not eating or reproducing in our homes right now, but why do we seem to have so many box elder bugs in our homes this winter? Actually it goes back to last summer's drought. Box elder bugs prefer and reproduce very well in a hot dry summer! So, last fall there was a huge "crop" of box elder bugs looking for someplace warm to survive the winter.

boxelder bug minnesota
Boxelder Bug (Kelly Krage / Townsquare Media)
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When they get into your warm house they kind of hibernate like bears. But, when the  warm sunshine hits a window or you have turned up the thermostat they can wake up and begin crawling or flying around. Extension Educator Claire LaCanne at the Rice and Steele County Extension office says, they are kind of half awake and do not cause any damage, eat anything or reproduce. However, they are still not fun to have in your house! So, how can you get rid of them? There are a number of options!

Boxelder Bug With Dewdrops Up Close
Boxelder Bug With Dewdrops Up Close (Kevin Wells)
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I feel the easiest way to get rid of box elder bugs is just vacuum them up. Remember, to throw out the bag when you are done or they may just crawl out of the vacuum cleaner! Also, do not squash them as they release a rather foul order that will attract other bugs.

Another option is to make your own box elder killer. Mix a little dish soap into a small spray bottle with water. Saturating them fully with the dish soap will kill them. Also, spray any other areas  where they tend to gather. They do not like the soap because it can act like an insect repellant! Be sure to wipe down door sills where box elder bugs tend co congregate.

It is a little late when the box elder bugs are in your house. But, looking to next year be sure to check the outside of your house and seal and cracks or door jams that do not fit tightly as that is likely how they got into your home!

Then there is the insecticide option. About one time a month I have sprayed the outside of our house at ground level with an insecticide. That seemed to keep the box elders out of our house. I am not sure if there are insecticides you can use in your home but I don't think I would want to use an insecticide in my house? The other option is to call a licensed professional and let them take care of the box elders!

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