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In these fleeting days of beautiful weather, many of us want to enjoy some time on our patios or lawn. However, there is a minor pest that seems to plague the yards and patios of homeowners in September: boxelder bugs.

Boxelder bugs seem to be virtually everywhere. You might be finding them crawling on your patio furniture, your window sills, and even worse–you. While they cause no harm to humans, they are a pest. They often leave stinky odors behind as well. But do they pose any threat to our yard and lawn?

What are Boxelder Bugs?

Boxelders are a type of black and red insect that primarily feed on plants, their favorite being their namesake, the boxelder tree. They are also drawn to ash, maple, and other shade tree saps. Luckily, they do not pose any serious threat to trees.

Why Are They Everywhere?

Boxelder bug invasions can be prevalent in the early days of Fall. This is often due to the cool nights and warm afternoons. However, it can seem like an infestation that happens overnight. They usually congregate on the southern sides of homes, looking for places to hide during the upcoming cooler months. Because they are small insects, they can easily maneuver between the cracks and crevices of homes.

Can You Prevent a Boxelder Bug Infestation?

The best form of combating boxelder bugs is being defensive. Make sure you go around your home’s exterior and cover any crack or hole you find. You can spray a soapy solution along your home and patio exterior as well to deter them away.

You see them crawling all over your patio furniture. You see them congregating at the base of a tree. You find them crawling across the kitchen floor. If you step on them, they leave a telltale odor and purplish stain on the floor. What are these ominous creatures that seem to be everywhere? Well, if they are about 1/2″ long, have a black body, and three red lines crossing their back, then they are Boxelder bugs.

Fortunately, for your lawn, boxelders pose no real threat. They are just merely an annoyance.

Following a two-year renovation, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden reopened on June 10, 2017. Its renovations include new artwork, an underground water system to reduce pollution and a restructured arrangement of its art.

About the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Minneapolis Sculpture garden is truly one of Minnesota’s gems. It’s the result of cooperation between the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and houses some of the most beautiful sculptures in the United States. The park is 11 acres, and is home to 40 permanent art installations. It also temporarily holds pieces that rotate through on occasion.


The park is located in Minneapolis near Loring Park and the Basilica of Saint Mary. The park board purchased the land over a hundred years ago. At the time, the land was called “The Parade”, because the military used to run drills there. The name was changed to the Armory Gardens as it contained a National Guard Armory.


The Armory Gardens became a cultural center until 1913, at which point it became floral gardens. For 50 years it operated as such. During this time, a new armory was built downtown, and the Armory in the gardens was demolished. It was at this point that the land was taken over by the Minneapolis Park Board. It was used primarily for recreation and sports fields, until 1988, when it was renamed and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was opened.

Design and Features

The park was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, a well-known designer and architect. The landscape was designed by the noted landscape architect Peter Rothschild. A final 3.5 acres were added to the North of the gardens in 1992. This expansion is more open than the original, and features a 300 foot long arbor and flower garden in memory of Alene Grossman.

Notable Works

There are many notable sculptures within the gardens. Standing Glass Fish, by Frank Gehry is located in the Cowles Conservatory. The Irene Hixon Bridge is a pedestrian walkway that crosses over the I-94 and connects to Loring Park. It was designed by Siah Armajani. Perhaps the most notable is the Claes Oldenbur and Coosje van Bruggen’s Spoonbridge and Cherry Fountain, which is known as a centerpiece of the gardens.

The MInneapolis Sculpture Gardens combines two things that Minnesota is known for: natural beauty and rich culture. There is no downside to getting lost amongst its visual delights.


Walker’s sculpture garden re-opens, a week behind schedule.” – The Minnesota Daily. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 July 2017.