How to Prevent Box Elder Bug Infestations
Box elder bugs are small insects that are about ½ inch long. These pests have flat, oval-shaped bodies that are black with red or orange markings and have six legs, a set of wings, though only on the adults, and two antennae. Box elder bugs get their name from their favorite food source: the box elder tree. After hibernating, these bugs will return to their trees and feed on the fallen seeds and then move on to eating the new leaves on box elder or maple trees. The bark of these trees serve as a place to lay their eggs, but they will also lay their eggs in the eaves of homes, in grass, and on stones.
These pests are not looking for a food source or a place to lay their eggs when entering our homes; instead, you are most likely to see box elder bugs infesting your home in the late fall when they are searching for a place to overwinter. You may notice these pests invading your home, garage, or any other building on your property. You may also see these pests when emerging in the spring after overwintering inside your warm, sheltered buildings.
You may be wondering if box elder bugs are dangerous. They are not known to spread diseases, but these pests do have a weak bite that may cause skin irritation. The result may look similar to a mosquito bite. However, it's comforting to know that box elder bugs are not known to bite very often. So overall, these pests are pretty harmless to humans. Since box elder bugs are just looking for a place to take shelter in during the winter, they are considered mainly a nuisance pest. You may find them in any cracks or crevices. In addition to the annoyance of having these bugs in your home and the skin irritation they can cause, these pests can cause A/C units to work overtime in the summer by congregating on them and their fecal matter can leave stains on your walls, upholstery, and household fabrics, which can be extremely frustrating.
There are some steps you can take to prevent box elder bugs from invading your home. Repairing any holes and cracks in your home’s foundation or exterior walls or sealing them with silicone is the most effective DIY method for keeping these pests out. Installing door sweeps to all exterior doors and replacing damaged or torn screens can also be useful prevention methods when dealing with box elder bugs. During the winter months, we advise you to avoid attempting to kill these bugs as it can have unwanted results inside your home. The dead insect bodies may attract other pests to your home, not to mention these bugs been known to produce a foul odor when crushed!
Since box elder bugs are fairly small and versatile pests, they can be very difficult to get rid of with DIY methods. If you have a box elder bug infestation, we advise you to contact your local pest control company. At Schendel Pest Services, we are dedicated to helping you solve your pests problems as quickly as possible. We can be there either the same day you call or the very next day to promptly take care of your pest problem. We also offer year-round service to keep these pests from returning to your home. In addition, our eco-friendly treatments are safe for people, pets, and plants! Give us a call at Schendel Pest Services today to get started!