Here in Middle Tennessee, Boxelder bugs are common pests. During Fall and Spring, they can be found on boxelder trees where they feed upon their seeds. Boxelder bugs also like fruits from trees such as apples. You may also find Boxelder bugs hiding within or nesting on top of many types of wood. During the Winter, they crowd together and infest underneath your foundation, or in your attic for warmth. Very similar to Stink Bugs and Asian Beetles, they reemerge in large groups during the Springtime, you can find them around your window seals, on the side of your home basking in the sun, or even huddled up on your backyard fence or trees. This is where they being to feed and lay their eggs.
Boxelder bugs are harmless to humans and pets and it is rare that you find any damage to your property from them. They become a nuisance when crowding begins and this can lead to them leaving a red stain behind. If you happen to smash one, hold your nose, the smell they will put off is unpleasant.
These bright reddish/orange and black pests are unique creatures. They go through three stages of growth: egg, nymph, adult. They grow to up to half an inch, have six legs, and antennas which tend to be half of their body length. As a nymph, their color is mostly red and they have not yet developed their wings.
The best way to get rid of Boxelder bugs is Prevention. Be sure to seal all entry points of your home. Making sure your weather stripping is in good condition can help minimize the amount of Boxelder bugs you see inside your home. Once inside, using a vacuum may be your best bet at removing them without leaving their smell or stain behind. Over winter, it is nearly impossible to get rid of these once infested inside your home.
Keeping year-round pest control services is your best bet at any and all pest prevention!