These bugs are iconic for their red markings along their back and sides. Sometimes mistaken for stink bugs, these pests can often emit a foul stench when they feel threatened.
Box elder bugs are attracted to box elder and maple trees, feeding on their seeds. Box elder trees are common trees you see everywhere, especially in urban areas. They are the trees with the “helicopter” leaves that kids love to spin and have bright green leaves during the Spring and Summer. You’ve probably noticed that where there is one box elder bug, there are many! These bugs like to congregate during all times of the year, which can be especially noticeable during the winter as they are seeking shelter inside homes and sheds.
While they may be quite annoying as they invade your home in the Fall and Winter, Box Elder Bugs are not dangerous in any way. They can however cause minor damage to your home. Their droppings can stain fabrics on furnishing, drapes, carpets and bed covers. If you are a plant lover and keep them in your home, you may notice chewed holes in plant leaves if you have a box elder infestation.
As with all pest control, the best form of management is prevention. Homeowners in Washington should take advantage of clear summer days to inspect their outdoor structure. Look for gaps and openings in your home where box elder bugs could potentially enter. Typical access points include gaps in caulking near doors and windows, garage doors that lack a rubber seal where they meet the ground and cracks in the foundation. Points where pipelines, and cables run into the house are other areas that tend to have gaps. Make sure to use caulk, steel wool or other sealants to fill in gaps and cracks.
Depending on where the box elder bugs are congregating, consider sweeping frequently and/or vacuuming to physically remove these bugs if an infestation occurs in the home. Effective pest control management can also help create a barrier that repels box elder bugs while they try to invade the home during the Fall months. Professionals at Insight, known as technicians, are certified to handle professional products that can be applied outside and inside your home to help keep these congregating pests at bay!
Box elder bugs are similar to many pests in that they like to congregate in dark and moist places. Be sure to check areas of low activity such as outdoor sheds, basements and attics. Since these bugs often congregate, an infestation can form in low traffic areas if they are not checked frequently. It will be particularly important to investigate these areas during the end of Summer and beginning of Fall.
When it rains it pours! If you find yourself battling multiple pests at a time, do not hesitate to call! The Insight Family is happy to come out for a free inspection and provide long term treatment for prolonged solutions. Check out our other blog posts Tips and Tricks to Minimize Slugs and What’s the Deal with Wolf Spiders for more pest control information.
Photo by dreamyscapes