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Lisa Jo Lupo

What Is That (Squash) Bug In My House?

By January 13, 2012

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squash bugI recently received a question from a friend about the bugs that were cropping up in her home and office.  The bugs were appearing one by one, except in her daughter's room, where the slow-moving beetles were continually appearing on the inside of the window screen.

The first thought was that these were boxelder bugs, which are appearing in a number of homes as they seek the warmth of your home from their between-the-walls overwintering sites.  But they did not have the red lines that are characteristic of boxelders, and were much larger than the boxelder's typical 1/2-inch length.

A co-worker thought they might be Asian Longhorned Beetles. Although these are becoming a problem in the Northeast and some Great Lake states, it is not common for them to enter homes.

From her description, I pulled together images of a few of the more common home-invading beetles, and (tada!) they were discovered to be squash bugs. These beetles, like boxelder and stink bugs, will overwinter betweens the walls of structures and enter in search of warmth when the weather turns cold.

And like those bugs, control is best achieved through simple vacuuming or sweeping of the insects. But be careful not to crush them - they can raise quite a stink!

Photo by Scott Bauer, USDA/ARS

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