How to Get Rid of Box Elder Bugs

What are all of these tiny black and orange bugs doing on the side of my house and where did they come from? What can I do to get rid of them?

The first thing to consider when dealing with Box Elder bugs is their purpose in life. These bugs are attracted to the female Box Elder tree. You may not even have this type of tree in your yard, but if there is one nearby, you may find lots of these bugs sunning themselves on the side of the house or exploring the rooms inside. All they really want to do is eat, reproduce, and bask in the warm sun, (don't we all?) but when the sun goes down, they search for warmer accommodations, usually in cracks, under mulch and pine needles, and inside homes. As with other types of common bugs, you may decide at first to just ignore the problem, but with these critters, that would be a bad mistake. While they do not pose any health threat to humans that I'm aware of, nor do they bite, they do multiply very quickly. If a few wander into your home and are left unattended, they will make themselves very welcome and invite their friends.

If you notice these bugs hanging around, be sure to check inside all of the rooms in your house for cracks and crevices where they may enter unnoticed. Pay particular attention to windows on the eastern side of your home, especially old wooden ones that may not be weather-tight. If the Box Elder bug has paid you a visit, you will probably notice some weird orange spots that will scrub off painted surfaces with soap and water. If the bugs find your accommodations particularly comfortable, you may also notice tiny clusters of red eggs stuck here and there. Be sure to remove your blinds and look inside the box that holds the mechanism for raising and lowering them. They seem to enjoy hiding in there.

Use a wet paper towel with a little soap to remove the orange trail and any eggs that you may find. You may either vacuum up live adult Box Elder bugs or grab them in a paper towel and crush them, but be sure not to step on them or crush them onto a carpeted surface, as they tend to leave a red spot that stinks and is hard to remove. It is preferable not to do battle with these bugs inside your home. Don't bother using insect sprays to try to prevent them. It will not work unless applied directly to the bug. Your best bet is to find their colonies outdoors while the bugs are still too young to fly and destroy them before they have the chance to travel too far. Insecticide, like Ortho Max works when sprayed directly onto the bugs, but so does soapy water. Using detergent and water is the cheaper alternative and will be less harmful when used in areas where pets have access.

Don't be discouraged if it takes a while to get rid of these pests. Just be sure to keep an eye on them and kill them when you find them outdoors. Keep your home sealed tight and the impact from the Box Elder bug's visit will be minimal.

Related articles
How to Kill a Bee without Being Stung
How to Protect Your Family from Home Invaders


How to Care for a Pregnant Mother in Labor

The day of delivery has finally come for the mother-to-be. Her husband stands watching and waiting for the blessed moment with a look of uncertainty and a little anxiety. How can he step up and be the comforter that his wife needs during this trying time?

The most important thing that a man can do for his wife while she is in labor, even more important in some cases than offering to make her comfortable, is to let her know how much he loves her and to give her emotional support. Labor is a trying time for both parents and for the newborn child, and the mother has some strong forces working on her body as well as her emotions.

When things start to heat up and the contractions become stronger, it is important that the husband remains calm and focused on his purpose for being there. Be sure your wife has all the comforts of home. If she's cold, get her blankets. If she's hot, turn on the portable fan that you brought and apply some wet washcloths to help cool her down. Try to take her mind off the situation by showing her some old photographs or by watching a movie together. Use lotion or massage oil and give her a foot massage and/or a back massage.

Try hard to remove all distractions from the room. Keep visitors to a minimum. Post a sign on the door that directs visitors to the nurse's station and ask the nurses to check with you before sending people in. If you have a mobile phone with you, be sure to switch it to vibrate and put it in your pocket. If someone calls, step into the hall to speak with them. Allow your wife to rest as much as possible and don't let small annoyances keep her awake. Be attentive to her and be sure to ask her how she's feeling often. Don't stay away from her room for too long and do not, under any circumstances, eat in front of her even is she says it's OK!

After the baby is born, take some time and spend these precious moments with them and with your wife. Although the moment won't last forever, it will be one of the best of your life. Wait a little while before letting friends and family into the room. Encourage them to visit your baby when you've gone home and had time to settle. After you leave the hospital, continue to do thoughtful things for your wife and make every day special for her.

Related articles
How to Make Your Wife's First Mother's Day Special
How to Announce a Pregnancy to Family and Friends