Calgary Homes Invaded by Boxelder Bugs: Residents Battle for Control


In the tranquil confines of her abode in sleepy Killarney, many an hour has Meaghan Walsh spent, armed only with soapy water to fend off an unexpected invasion. The intruders, not of this world, but of the six-legged kind, make her feel as though Halloween never ended.

Walsh, in a state of bitter combat, battles against swarms of boxelder bugs, creatures seeking the warmth of her dwelling. Regrettably, despite her determined efforts, the bugs currently hold the upper hand.

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“Currently, they’ve pervaded every corner,” she laments.

On kitchen counters, home appliances, painted walls, and even her own bed, the invaders hold ground, a sight that sends shivers of revulsion down her spine.

Walsh isn’t the only one embroiled in this struggle. Calgary is held captive by these pernicious insects. Having abandoned their arboreal homes post-spring and summer, now they scout for warmer harborage, often choosing homes as their refuge.

As per Brendan Campbell from Abell Pest Control, distress calls from beleaguered homeowners are flooding in. According to Campbell, bugs huddling near windowpanes, doorways, and house exteriors where the sunlight spills in, are unsettling for homeowners who desire peaceful outdoor time. The bugs tarnish the interior aesthetics, staining draperies, and furniture, a stain not easily removable.

Erik Johnson of Grove Eco-Friendly Pest Control advises prevention over cure when dealing with boxelder bugs. He advocates sealing windows and replacing door seals, caulking around pipelines, and vents. They’re harmless, disease-free, non-biting creatures who are merely bothersome. Johnson suggests vacuuming intruders as they enter.

Although a professional exterminator may be summoned for severe infestation, Johnson and Campbell suggest treating the bugs as a temporary nuisance as the treatment offers short-term relief.

“They may return. Therefore, regular maintenance is an unfortunate necessity,” says Johnson.

Upon entry, boxelder bugs don’t reproduce indoors during winter, and many perish. Those that survive fall dormant, only to reemerge in spring, retreating to their preferred natural dwellings.

Campbell suggests conducting yard inspections in spring, focusing on seed-bearing trees where the bugs thrive, to prevent resurgence.

“If a tree produces seeds or fruits like apple trees or maple trees, they’re most vulnerable,” he explains.

Females, in particular, are prime targets for the bugs, making inspections during the season beneficial.

Already planning preventative measures for the coming spring, Walsh stands undeterred despite the bugs’ relentless sorties.

“My fellow Calgarians and I share this plight. We need to accept it as temporary,” she asserts.

“No particular solution seems viable currently. All we can do is eliminate the ones in sight and carry on with life,” Walsh concludes optimistically.