Box elder bug invasion

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  #1  
Old 03-01-18, 07:16 AM
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Box elder bug invasion

Last fall my daughter moved into a '70s home on 15 acres. The house appears to be well-built with aluminum siding & Andersen sash windows. Michigan has been having some up & down weather lately and each time it gets warm she has box elder bugs appearing in several rooms. Dozens of them. She's starting to panic that they've bought an infested house.
There are questions:
They can be seen collecting on the sunny outside walls--but do these bugs inhabit the space under the siding and/or inside walls?
Do they lay eggs there?

The siding makes it harder to seal the outside & they're concerned that sealing the inside will trap them in the walls & create another kind of problem.
With toddlers & pets around what can the DIYer do?
 
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Old 03-01-18, 07:38 AM
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They just want the same thing that we all do, a warm space for the winter, so they moved in. And they're coming out now because it's starting to warm up so they're thinking that they may want to move back outdoors before long. I'm sure an exterminator could take care of them, but have heard that you don't want a bunch of dead bugs in places you can't get to because they can draw other bugs, and it would be an annual thing because they'll be back next winter. They don't hurt anything, as far as I know anyway, so we usually just toss them in the waste basket, down the drain, or outside, whichever is closest, but with that many she may want to opt for the vacuum cleaner.
 
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Old 03-02-18, 06:26 AM
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so they moved in...


That's part of what I'm asking. Moved in from where? When the sun warms the side of the house and you see hundreds of bugs on the wall--were they attracted there from the trees or are they bunched up under the siding...or even worse inside the walls?
 
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Old 03-02-18, 07:07 AM
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Much like Pedro is saying, they are over wintering in the wall voids, soffits, attics, behind siding, etc. They moved in last fall when the nights got cold. On a sunny fall day you would have seen them clustering on the exterior as they looked for overwintering sites. They are waiting until spring when they will leave the house and go out into the surrounding environment. What happens in the winter is the warming effect that the sun has on a calm day. The walls warm up which gives them the false impression that spring is here. When the sun goes down their body clock says that they made a mistake and back inside they go.

During the non -winter months they will live in various trees, shrubs, etc. The Boxelder maple tree, a scrubby tree, is one of them. Here in the northeast they like lilac bushes a lot. Removing the offending trees and shrubs can help in the future. You will need to go beyond the perimeter of the house with the removal process.

Prior to taking action, I suggest that you learn more about them, especially as related to the region that you live in. Do an internet search for boxelders and read the info from university agronomic departments more so than pest control and related retail sites. University of Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio State, Penn State are very good sources. Also, go to the local county extension agent learn from them. They are a good source of objective information. Here in PA our extension office is an extension of Penn State. Iím thinking that yours could be U of Michigan.

I donít remember their breeding habits, but the above sources will have that.

Pest control services can offer relief but not complete control. The service will be most efficient when performed in the fall when you first start seeing them.

Since they are invading the interior it may be worthwhile to treat or have someone treat interior for immediate relief, though it wonít be 100%. A spray made for crawling insects, as that leaves a residual, applied carefully onto the surfaces where they are most seen will give some relief. Iíd use a ďtriggerĒ type bottle rather than an aerosol for better spray control. Wear thin nitrile/latex gloves and have a cloth or damp sponge on hand to stop drips and run offs.

Iím thinking that her neighbors may be seeing them too. They may have helpful advice. Hope this helps.
 
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Old 03-02-18, 12:02 PM
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Thanks very much! I'll pass that along & hopefully they'll take action.
 
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