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Boxelder Shooting

In some themed Thanksgiving news, a shooting results in no victims and native bugs invade.

boxelder-bugsWhen worried residents tried to find out what the bugs were, they were happy to learn there’s no danger (cbc-be).

It turns out, they're more of an annoyance than a threat. They're called boxelder bugs and they're known as "nuisance pests." 

They don't bite, transmit disease or damage homes or plants. They're native to Southwestern Ontario and come out every year, but this year there was a baby boom. 

Guelph University entomologist Morgan Jackson explained they lay their eggs and feed on Manitoba maple trees (or boxelder trees), which are plentiful in North York and Etobicoke. 

The particularly dry summer made for prime breeding conditions. They love basking in the sun and congregate on south facing walls.

"They're basically like tiny little cats in search of sunlight to lounge and nap in," Jackson said.

In the late summer and fall they start moving away from the plants they feed on towards places where they can spend the winter safely.

"Nowadays, that usually means our homes," Jackson said. "They spend the winter as adults hiding in cracks and crevices. When the weather gets colder they'll go into hibernation."

A boon for pest control companies

Zafar Ahmad works for North York pest control company Pestend. He said throughout his long career, he's never seen this many boxelder bugs.

"In the last two days I've gone on ten calls. It's an epidemic. It's never-ending," Ahmad said. 

Other companies also said their phones have been ringing off the hook about the critters. 

Ahmad uses a chemical spray that kills the bugs within about half an hour and leaves a residue that lynches any that come along after. 

Keeping bugs at bay without spray?

Toronto-based arborist and forester Stephen Smith said spraying the exterior of homes with water will drive them away for a while since they don't like cool temperatures.

He also recommends sealing windows and doors to prevent them from getting inside. If they do, he said there's not much to worry about.

"They'll leave a stain if you squish them, but that's about it."

He said people won`t be seeing much of the boxelder bug once first frost comes around.

Finally, here’s the shooting (ctv-noinj).

Police say no injuries were reported after shots were fired at a house in North York overnight.

It happened on John Lindsay Court, located near Jane Street and Sheppard Avenue, shortly before 4 a.m.

The building sustained some damage, Toronto police confirm.

Police have not yet released any information on possible suspects and officers are continuing to investigate.

Luckily, nobody died and the bugs are benign.

Sources / More info: cbc-be, ctv-noinj

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