In Minnesota, boxelder bugs emerge from overwintering sites during spring as the weather starts to warm up. During late summer and fall, boxelder bugs start to leave the trees from where they were feeding to find protected areas for the winter.
Some homes are especially attractive to boxelder bugs, while neighboring buildings may have few. Eventually by spring, all the surviving boxelder bugs that overwintered inside buildings become active. Boxelder bugs are primarily a nuisance because they enter homes and other buildings, often in large numbers.
The best management of boxelder bugs is prevention -- take steps to keep them from entering your home from the start. Repair or replace damaged screens in roof and soffit vents, and in bathroom and kitchen fans.
Seal areas where cable TV wires, phone lines, and other utility wires and pipes, outdoor facets, dryer vents and similar objects enter buildings. Seal with caulk or for larger spaces use polyurethane expandable spray foam, copper mesh, or other appropriate sealant.
Seal cracks and spaces around doors, windows, roof lines, and fascia boards and other areas where vertical surfaces meet horizontal ones. Also check for gaps and cracks where different materials meet, such as brick and wood siding. Unfortunately, houses with vinyl siding provide too many gaps to effectively exclude these insects. For these types of houses, concentrate on the recommendations provided for all houses and use an insecticide on areas where these bugs have congregated in the past. You can treat your own home by using an insecticide labeled for the exterior of buildings. You can find the common name for a pesticide by examining the label and looking under Active Ingredients.

CAUTION: Read all label directions very carefully before buying insecticides and again before applying them.
You may also consider hiring an experienced pest control service to treat your building’s exterior. Once boxelder bugs are found the best option is to physically remove them with a vacuum or a broom and dust pan.
Spraying or removing the seed-bearing boxelder trees in your yard is not a practical solution for boxelder bug management because adult boxelder bugs can fly up to a couple miles from food. They are generally not noticed during summer, but often can become an issue when they try to move into homes during fall as they search for overwintering sites.
Adults feed on low vegetation and seeds on the ground during spring and early summer, and begin mating a couple weeks after they started feeding. In some cases they end up in the interior of buildings where they are often found around windows.
However, during mild, sunny days, boxelder bugs become mobile with the increased temperature. You can partly do this through exclusion though it largely depends on how your home was constructed. Instead, visit a local hardware store and request ventilation plugs that can be installed in these weep holes. The best time to spray is late summer and fall when boxelder bugs are first clustering around the outside of buildings. Also be sure the product indicates it can be used on the exterior or outside of buildings. If this occurs during fall, check around the building exterior because they can often be found congregating in sunny or warm areas. Remember that when boxelder bugs are active, they do not live indoors much more than a few days and do not reproduce inside.
Also, boxelder trees (as well as maple and ash) are usually common providing many potential sources of boxelder bugs.

Boxelder bugs like warm areas and are attracted to buildings with a large southern or western exposure.
They remain active until it becomes cold, which could continue into winter when the weather is mild.
Despite the circumstantial evidence, they do not reproduce in homes -- all the boxelder bugs seen inside during winter and spring entered buildings the previous fall. If they are close to entrances, an insecticide may be required to prevent their entrance into a home. In our opinion, the benefits of having these trees in a landscape outweigh the problem of occasional infestations.
Adult boxelder bugs typically can fly several blocks, although in some cases they can travel as far as two miles. Buildings standing taller than surrounding structures or standing isolated on flat ground can also attract large numbers of boxelder bugs.
While you may see persistent numbers of these bugs, individuals are short-lived, only surviving for a few days up to a week. Remember that although you may encounter large numbers of boxelder bugs in a given year, they are not automatically abundant every season. Color does not appear to influence boxelder bugs as they are found on buildings of all hues. Other boxelder bugs end up in sheltered areas in walls, attics and similar areas where they remain until it warms up. In the few cases when they do feed, boxelder bugs are very unlikely to injure indoor plants.

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