Why are these bugs all over Fort Collins?

Posted at 10:04 PM, Oct 16, 2017

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- You may have noticed those black and red bugs all over Fort Collins, maybe in your home or your car. They’re called boxelder bugs, and the good news is they're not harmful, but the bad news is they're here to stay, for now.

Whitney Cranshaw, a professor of Entomology at CSU says the little guys are determined to get inside your home.

"It's not like you have an elk in your living room, it's just a boxelder bug," he said.

Boxelder bugs are native to Colorado, according to Cranshaw. And they seem to be all over Fort Collins.

"We had a fairly mild winter last year, so they survived well. And we had a good seed crop from the previous year," said Cranshaw. "It's the end of the year, and they're looking for a place to get through winter."

They can be called nuisance invaders because they're looking for the smallest cracks and crevices in your house, to get inside and keep warm. The good news, they won't reproduce and won't feed on anything, unless you’re a boxelder tree.

"They're strictly a plant feeder,” said Cranshaw.

To keep them out, you need to seal all the cracks in your home, but it might be a little late for that.

"If they find a little place to get behind the wall, then they'll eventually hunker down for months," said Cranshaw. "It's not like it's the kind of insect that should reflect on you for being a bad housekeeper. Anybody could have Boxelder bugs. The pope would have bugs if he lived here in Colorado."

You may just have to wait for them to go back outside when Spring rolls around. Most of them have migrated inside for Winter.