MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – When you were wishing for warmer weather, you may have overlooked this small fact: Warm weather brings out the bugs.

Right now, pest experts say they’re getting a lot of calls from homeowners about box elder bugs and carpenter ants.

In fact, you’re likely noticing a lot more bugs than usual, which is due to last year’s mild winter and hot summer. The warm, dry temps spurred more reproduction.

According to Scott Dorn from Rainbow Pest Experts, box elder bugs – with their black and red stripes – are now making an appearance.

“They come over winter. They get behind the siding, they kind of all huddle together to stay warm,” Dorn said. “Right away in the spring, they haven’t eaten all winter,”

And they’re searching homes for food. In addition to box elder bugs, Dorn says they’re also getting several calls about carpenter ants.

“The middle section of the body is called a thorax. On a carpenter ant, its one smooth even hump,” he said.

According to the U of M Extension, carpenter ants will actually nest in structures inside your home, unlike box elder bugs. Dorn was surveying the outside of an Edina home to pinpoint where the ants had set up their nests.

“The primary nest site’s in this tree, and then the satellite nest is in the bedroom window right up there,” he said.

Using professional grade insecticides, Dorn and other exterminators spray the perimeter of the house.

“Both treatments are just on the exterior only,” he said. “They walk through, they get it on their body – the worker ants do – and then they carry it back to all the nest sites. As they touch each other, they transfer the product.”

While we were all guilty of complaining about the cold, come next year, the bug population will be much smaller.

“It reduces the bugs,” he said.

According to Rainbow Pest Experts, the cost to treat your home for carpenter ants is around $300. The cost to spray for box elder bugs is just over $200.


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