The geese and many Central New Yorkers head south when the temperatures start falling. Unfortunately, Box Elder bugs don't have big wings or cars, so they seek relief by moving indoors. The Master Gardeners at Cornell Cooperative Extension have some tips on getting rid of them.

Boxelder bugs are basically harmless; they don't bite, sting, or carry disease. They don't even eat human food products. However, there is something creepy about a bug marching around your house or office, especially when it's acting like one of the Flying Wallenda's tightrope walking on the phone cord.

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While they don't pose much of a threat there are some precautions when trying to eliminate Box Elder bugs. First never squash one, they emit a nasty odor and can stain carpets, walls, and furniture. The best line of defense is stopping them from getting inside.  Caulk/seal openings or cracks, in the foundation, windows, and around plumbing, gas or electrical conduits. Add weather stripping to doors or windows.

If they are already inside, use the vacuum to "suck them up" and dispose of them outdoors. If the infestation is severe, there are insecticides available for use indoors. Get more information at Cornell's website.

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