Boxelder bugs may look dangerous with their black and orange striped visage, but they are mostly harmless, and not particularly destructive. Although they are infrequent invaders of some fruit trees including apple, grapes, peaches, strawberry, plums and some non-fruiting trees like box elder, ash, and maple.
They can also constitute a nuisance to homeowners. They move in groups of hundreds or even thousands and once they decide that your home is the next best thing since, well since the last warm and dry home they infested, then you are gonna have an issue on your hands.
They usually make this mass exodus when winter is approaching and they are looking for somewhere warm to inhabit. When you consider it this way, it doesn’t sound so bad, they are just trying to get warm. But then, a large number of Boxelder bugs scurrying around your house is not something you’d like.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A BOXELDER BUG INFESTATION
Appearance – It is important to note that Boxelder bugs are usually about 4 to 5 millimeters in length. The body of the Boxelder bug is typically black with red around the outside of the body but can sometimes be a darker orange. Don’t confuse Boxelder bugs with their look alike, stink bugs, they are different.
Behavior – Boxelder bugs will be most active during the warmer months and will be seen moving around the most during these times. They will be seen around any Maple or Boxelder trees you may have. They mostly feed on these trees and do minimal damage, although they could cause the leaves of Boxelder trees to become yellow and curl up, what happens next is what should really concern you. Boxelder bugs tend to seek shelter in colder months within your house and close to your windows and other places where they can still benefit from the sun’s heat.
So, if you can spot a group of these bugs either on your Boxelder and fruit trees or inside your house, you have an infestation.
WHY YOU MIGHT HAVE BOXELDER BUGS
You may have a Boxelder bug infestation if you have box elder trees around your property. These trees are generally susceptible to infestation from Boxelder bugs. In addition to infesting the tree, these bugs can further try to ‘overwinter’ inside your home for warmth and shelter. Even when you don’t have any infested tree on your property, Boxelder bugs might still find your home as a perfect place to wait out the winter.
They are particularly attracted to homes that get a lot of sun, or houses that are higher than any house around. They also like houses that are isolated and on flat grounds.
Boxelder bugs can get inside your home through cracks in caulk or seals around windows and doors. They can also enter your attic and overwinter there.
REASONS TO TREAT YOUR BOXELDER BUG PROBLEM IMMEDIATELY
While boxelder bugs pose no harm to humans, you still do not want a swarm of them invading your home. If you have a boxelder bug infestation, when the warm weather comes, they will swarm as they try to get out from their overwinter location in your home, definitely not a pretty sight. Here are some other reasons you don’t want this particular bug in your home:
– Sometimes the piercing-sucking mouthparts of Boxelder bugs can pierce your skin and cause some irritation.
– They may also leave fecal matter which can stain fixtures in your house like curtains and couches.
– Boxelder bugs give off a foul and offensive odor when they are disturbed or crushed. That smell will stay with you for hours, and when you have them in large numbers, it can be overpowering.
– A Boxelder bug infestation might actually bring an infestation of another bug into your home. If you try to get rid of them improperly, and you leave dead bugs lying around, the really troublesome carpet beetle might replace them since they are attracted to Boxelder bug remains. This means you will be exchanging one infestation with another. This is why calling a certified professional Boxelder removal company is your best shot at getting rid of this particular infestation.
HOW TO HANDLE BOXELDER BUG INFESTATION
The first step that you need to take in your fight against a Boxelder bug invasion is to contact a competent pest control service. You can call us for Boxelder bug control to protect your property and prevent these bugs from invading and swarming in your home.
Our professional boxelder bug extermination team can ensure that successful Boxelder bug control takes place and that your home and property are Boxelder bug-free. Our techniques are safe and will not pose any health risks to you, your family, or your pets. Get in touch with us today to get started.
HOW TO PREVENT FURTHER BOXELDER BUG INFESTATION
Here are some simple steps and precautions that you can take to prevent another Boxelder bug infestation:
– One of the most effective ways to prevent an infestation, other than calling a pest removal service, is to deny them access to your home. Seal all the cracks and openings around your windows, doors, and openings in your foundation. Also cover vents in your roof with fine vent screen so they can’t pass through.
– Make sure you keep your yard clean, remove debris and woodpiles that can harbor Boxelder bugs during the winter.
– You can spray your trees with horticultural oil early on in the season before Boxelder bugs even come around. Make sure it gets everywhere, but only spray when the tree is in the green bud stage.
– Sometimes, though, a good shop-vac is your best defense against Boxelder bugs. Just put it on high and vacuum the suckers away from the sides of your house, or around the sills of your windows.
– Some people go as far as removing female box elder trees around their house because that is where Boxelder bugs like to breed. Well, this is not a very effective solution as the eggs of the bugs can still hitch a ride on the “helicopter’’ seed pods that the trees produce. So, the bugs can still spread this way, tree or no tree, well except your elder tree is the only one around for miles.