After a week and a half of driving through eastern National Parks, my car finally returned to its driveway in Owatonna. I was thrilled to be greeted by my cozy bed, clean shower, and a home-cooked meal, but instead, I was welcomed by something else--a mound of boxelder bugs.

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Most Minnesotans are fairly familiar with the bug, as every fall, the buggers somehow find a way into warm homes.

Though these bugs aren't harmful, they can be quite a nuisance. So, how can you get rid of them?

Naturally, the first step is prevention. In late summer and early fall, take time to seal all possible entry points around your home so they can't enter. According to the UMN Extension, entry points include windows and door screens, damaged roofs and soffit vents, bathroom and kitchen fans, and any place where cables, wires, and pipes enter the building.

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If it's too late for prevention, remove the critters with vacuums or a broom and dustpan. The UMN explains, "[i]t is not practical to try to treat wall voids and other hiding places to prevent them from emerging." 

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However, if you have a particularly intense amount of bugs present or have a history of boxelder invasions, you can consider pesticides

Above all, sleep easy knowing that boxelder bugs do NOT reproduce inside, and once they are active (aka not hibernating), they only live indoors for a few days. 

Now is the time that boxelders search for warm climates, so be on the lookout. They may be scoping out your house as we speak.

GET OUTDOORS: 9 State Parks to Check Out this Fall Within an Hour of Rochester

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