True bugs are a type of insect with pricing-sucking mouth parts. These insects can be carnivores that drink blood like bed bugs or herbavours that drink the liquid chlorophyll from plants. Either way they have similar mouth parts and are designated as True bugs and placed in a single spectrum of insects. Box elder bugs are one of these types of insects. They are the herbavour variety that drinks the fluid from plants.
Box elder bugs
These insects have two life cycle per year. The first is in the early spring where they are busy drinking fluid from plants like tree leaves and are not much of a bother to anyone other than arborists who take issue with these insects killing their trees. The second wave of these insects occurs in the late summer and early fall. This is when the insects start to harass humans. The reason for this is something called over wintering.
Box elder bug over wintering
Unlike mammals who will hunker down in a den for the winter, sleeping away most of the winter and only waking to go and hunt for food, the box elder bugs need to stay awake and alive over this time in order to lay eggs the next spring. This results in them trying to find a warm place to live. Traditionally they would do this by flying south. But in recent years as humans developed heated homes the box elder bugs have found a better and easier way to stay warm in the winter. If they do not find somewhere warm they will die when the temperature drops below
Accessing human homes for heat
The bugs will attach themselves and try to enter human homes in order to survive the winter. They no longer fly south and will try to infest warm houses in an attempt to survive the cold. This can be a nightmare for people who own houses and even apartments as thousands of box elder bugs storm the house getting in through window frames, weep vents, wall vents and any other opening they can find. They infest the house and creat a horrifying scent. They can also stain areas with their bright red organs and fluid when they are crushed.
Getting them to stop is a matter of deterring them. This can be done by spraying your home before they come with things like vinegar. This is a domestic solution that can work well if done regularly and with a proper solution of vinegar and water. It may not be as effective if you live in an area with a large amount of bugs.
If the bugs are truly a nuisance literally filling your home and swarming over your house like an Egyptian plague then you may need to call a licensed exterminator to do a treatment. They can do an exterior weather permitting spray of your house around the base of the house and door and windows that will stop them from getting in. They can also treat inside the house to kill the bugs that have gotten inside.