Why are Des Moines Home Owners Seeing Boxelder Bugs & Multi-Colored Lady Beetles In The Winter Time?

Occasional Invaders like boxelder bugs and multi-colored lady beetles have been reported all over Des Moines and Central Iowa in recent days. These pests often find homes and businesses by the hundreds or thousands in the late fall. During late September and October boxelder bugs, multi-colored lady beetles, brown marmorated stink bugs and other pests are seeking shelter close to warm structures. They often attempt to hide behind siding, in window and door seals, and around plumbing penetrations on the south sides of buildings to stay warm during the cold Iowa winters.

Through the winter, homeowners may see and occasional boxelder bug strolling sluggishly along a wall or window sill. These sluggish bugs woke up early from their winter slumber and can easily be vacuumed up or let back outside. Most of the time boxelder bugs and multi-colored lady beetles who woke up early, will not last long in your home and are not cause for concern.

Due to the unusually warm winter we have experienced, these occasional invaders have become very active! As they wake from their slumber, the begin trying to find a place to go for food and shelter outdoors. It’s important to remember that these pests cause little of no harm to people and are attempting to escape their winter shelter (your home) to go and find a new place to reside for spring! If you have hundreds or thousands of these pests find their way into your home, contact us, your local pest control professional, so that we can handle the problem in a way that prevents causing more pest issues to develop!

Boxelder Bugs

Size and Description: 

1/2-inch long, black with orange or red markings, including three stripes on the prothorax, the area right behind the head.
Feeding Behavior:
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.
Favorite Summer hangout: 
Female seed-bearing boxelder trees.

Multi-Colored Lady Beetle

Size and Description: 
9/32 inch (7 mm) long and 7/32 inch (5.5 mm) wide. They are oval or convex in shape, and yellow to red in color (with or without black spots on the wing covers)
Feeding Behavior: 
Feed primarily on aphids.
Favorite Summer Hangouts:
Te undersides of leafs and in the beautiful corn and soy bean fields that cover Iowa.