Suddenly Parents

Keeping Our Sanity During Baby's First Year

A New Outlook

We live in what is called a “mid-century modern home” which is code for 1950′s ranch house. Our house has clean lines and beautiful exposed wood beam ceilings, but it also has a few quirks that need repair.

One such “quirk” was our windows. We’ve been living with the original metal single panes and they were definitely showing their age. In fact, the windows were so old that there were huge gaps in between the panes and the wood frames that we temporarily filled with foam sealant.

Old single pane metal windows

Detail picture of ugly foam sealant

Besides being ugly, the foam sealant didn’t do a great job either. We had trouble heating and cooling our house and you could feel a draft every time you walked past the windows. Also, there was no noise barrier and it seemed like every passing car or barking dog woke us up. But we dragged our feet on replacing the windows because we thought other things were more important. But then the box elders came and changed everything (dramatic, right?)

So, about a month ago we experienced an unseasonably warm Saturday. My husband was out golfing and my friend and I went for a walk. When we returned to the house, I took my friend inside to our bedroom to show her a new painting we had bought. There, I noticed a couple bugs on the wall near the window. Embarrassed, I grabbed some tissue and squished them. Then I noticed a couple more on the blinds, and a couple more on the floor and some on the ceiling. When we pulled back the blinds and I almost passed out. Seriously. The bugs were swarming on the inside of the window and more were pouring in through the window gaps.

I raced to our guest bedroom (now our future nursery) and was horrified to see the same thing happening in that room as well. We went outside and there were thousands of these bugs crawling all over the side of our house. I did what I had to do. I grabbed a can of foam sealant and went to town, spraying it all over the inside and outside of the windows. When I was finished, it looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man had exploded on the outside of our house.

When my husband came home from golfing, he was a little, um, disappointed with my methods. You see, the foam sealant dries into a hard, concrete-like substance that is not easy to remove. But when he saw the thousands of bugs on our house and listened to my friend’s account of the bug invasion, he was a little more sympathetic.

My friend left (she couldn’t get away fast enough, I’m sure) and we called every exterminator we could find. Most weren’t available on a Saturday but one nice man returned my call and told me exactly what we were dealing with – box elder bugs.

Box elders


 The pictures aren’t great, but box elder bugs kind of look lightening bugs with red trim. They live in box elder trees and like to sun themselves on windows, roofs and walls facing the sun. They don’t cause any harm but if too many of them get inside your house, they may lay eggs there and then you will have a hard time getting rid of them.

Needless to say, we jumped on getting new windows. It took a month of getting quotes (and killing random box elders) but we finally got our brand new windows and we love them!  They are double pane vinyl horizontal slider windows and they have screens (what a luxury!) so we can actually open our windows without worrying about bugs. We love love love our new windows and not only will they help protect us from pests, lower our heating and cooling bills and let us finally have a peaceful sleep, but they look wonderful and give the house a much-needed upgrade. Great investment all around!


So easy to open now!

They have a great security feature so you can leave your windows open safely

The stop prevents the window from opening any wider

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