Boxelder Bugs are commonly found in Tennessee and Kentucky. Their distinct black and red color, grow up to 14 mm in length and have wings, antennae, and a flat body. As the name suggests, boxelder bugs live, breed and nest in box elder, maple, and ash trees during seasons with warmer climates when they can lay their eggs on leaves. The eggs blend in with the color of the trees. Feeding on the leaves, flowers, and new twigs they cause damage to them. When temperatures drop, they seek shelter inside of homes where they usually hibernate. The bugs do not reproduce or require nourishment during the time they overwinter but thousands can invade a structure and cause a serious nuisance to homeowners. Boxelder bugs gather and become active on sunny walls and in areas where it is warm as the climate becomes warmer.
To control boxelder bugs, it is important to seal all entry points. A pest management professional can inspect the structure for cracks, crevices and gaps that need to be sealed. Homeowners should make sure that all window and vent screens are intact and free of holes, check the windowsill for gaps and install door sweeps. Additionally, areas with wiring, cable, pipes, and plumbing are prone to have holes that pests enter the house though. The roof and chimney and should be inspected and all places where various building materials connect. To control an infestation a trained pest management professional can help recommend a treatment plan. Once a home has been infested a trained professional can inspect the house and establish a treatment plan.