What exactly is a box elder bug?
Box elder bugs get their name from the fact you usually see them around box elder trees. They are around 1/2 inch long with black, reddish, or orange markings on their backs. The adult box elder bugs have a body shape that is mostly flattened and oval. These insects have six legs and two antennas that are half the length of their body. The nymphs look similar to the adults; the only difference is they lack wings and are bright red.
Adult box elder bugs tend to emerge from their hibernation in late March to early April after their buds open. At this time, the adults leave their winter homes to return to their host trees once the weather is warm enough.
In the spring, box elder bugs hatch their young in trees, maple ash, and fruit trees. These bugs mainly eat twigs, leaves, and seeds during the warm seasons; then hibernate in warm and dry places like your home in the winter months.
People usually encounter a problem with box elder bugs in the late summer or early autumn season when they invade your home for a place to stay warm in the cold weather. Since these bugs are trying to avoid the cold, they look for sites that have a lot of sun within buildings and houses.
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Box elder bugs are not known to bite and are considered harmless pests. However, their piercing-sucking mouthparts can occasionally puncture your skin which can cause slight irritation and redness like a mosquito bite. If you see these bugs in your house be cautious when crushing them, their excrement can stain your curtains, drapes, and carpet. Additionally, these bugs can produce a very overwhelming smell when disposed of.
When it comes to getting rid of box elder bugs that have already invaded your home, no attempt should be made to kill them in your wall voids because a dead insect can attract dermestid beetles, larder beetles, or even carper beetles. Here at Drake Lawn & Pest Control, we recommend you wait until the summer when all the overwinter adults have come out of the wall voids.
For temporary relief during this period, you could consider using a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the box elder bugs. The bag should be emptied immediately to prevent the bugs from escaping. After that, seal up all entryways into your living space, window space, door frames, and baseboards. Also, replace the cover plates for your electrical boxes, switch boxes, heating ducts, and air vents.
If you still find yourself having to deal with box elder bugs, contact Drake Lawn & Pest control. Our licensed and trained pest control professionals will assess the situation and make sure your infestation problem is handled safely and effectively. Our services will include:
• Sealing cracks, gaps, holes with high-quality silicone or silicone-latex.
• Replace worn screens, as well as, door and window to prevent entry.
• Spray host trees to decrease the box elder bug population.
• Use a barrier spray to remove box elder bugs before they have the chance to enter your home.