If your home is being overrun by box elder bugs there’s no immediate cause for concern. While some intruders like to feed on the insects attracted to your property this time of the year, elder bugs’ natural defense systems make them a less-than-enticing snack for spiders and certain other forces.
Boxelder bugs move much like locusts, they won’t swarm in and devour all your trees, flowers and autumn crops in one fell swoop. With some larger infestations, they have been known to eventually suck all the life out of the trees and other surrounding plant life they choose to call home.
Whether as a result of being squashed or simply going about their daily routines, they also tend to leave stains in their wakes. Aside from both those facts, having them congregating in the upper corners of your bedroom while you’re trying to sleep or accidentally dropping in on a meal can be a bit unnerving.
Of course, when that mass is blanketing the side of your house and working its way inside, bit by bit, around your windows and doors, it loses a great deal of its wonder. If you’ve been in the area for a while, you’re probably accustomed to seeing the collective relocation rituals of box elder bugs. We don’t usually pay much attention to them during summer when they’re most active, but once temperatures start dropping, they huddle together and soak in the sun on our homes or the heat inside them as the case may be.
Frustrating but Not to be Feared
When viewed from afar, box elder bugs could be considered one of our area’s exquisite seasonal sights. Gathered in droves with their stark black and red bodies mingling together in a graceful mass, they resemble some sort of exotic flowering plant.
What Can I Do about Them?
If you’ve got a budding problem with box elder bugs you can take a few measures on your own to keep them somewhat under control. Sealing up noticeable cracks and placing screens over vents in your attic or crawlspace will also go a long way toward keeping them outside where they belong.
Some reports suggest getting rid of any female box elder trees on your property, but committing mass arborcide isn’t necessarily the answer. Standard off-the-shelf bug sprays aren’t usually effective on these particular invaders, either.
Box Elder Facts:
Habitat: During the warmer spring and summer months, box elders will infest maple, box elder, and ash trees. During the winter months they will nest in homes and offices and hibernate unless the rooms are heated.
Signs of infestation: Plant life will begin to die and dissipate and the trees in your yard will slowly fade. When box elders enter your home you will notice them next to the warm structures within your home. Their droppings are also noticeable and will leave stains on furniture and clothing.
Appearance: The box elder is a small, oval-shaped bug with wings. They are identifiable by the red stripes along their bodies.
Reproduction: Box elder bug will lay their rust colored eggs in their host tree or on the leaves of the tree. They hatch in a couple of days and develop completely in a few, short months.
When they find their way inside, you can gently collect them on newspapers or dust pans and send them back to the great outdoors. If you decide to sweep or vacuum up the larger crowds, be sure to have plenty of air freshener and stain remover on hand just in case. Keep in mind, you’ll need to repeat these processes over and over again until professional intervention arrives.
Food: Plant life, such as flowers and leaves are a box elder bugs staple food source. These pesty critters also destroy the trees that they live in by drinking the nutrients the tree provide.
Pest Masters has the knowledge and the right tools to exterminate your box elder pest problems. We promise to rid your home and trees of these resilient insects quickly and efficiently.Because Box Elder bugs are relatively harmless in comparison to other pests, many homeowners leave them alone. However, there are many reasons why you should get rid of them as soon as possible by hiring a Box Elder bug control expert. Here’s why:
- Box Elder bugs leave excrement that can be harmful to pets and humans in large quantities.
- The bugs will lay eggs inside your home.
- Hosting parties on your patio can be difficult and unpleasant when swarms of Box Elder bugs are munching on the food.
- Box Elder bug infestations will get worse if they are left alone for any amount of time.