Boxelder Bugs

Box Elder Bug

What do boxelder bugs look like?

Boxelder bugs have a flattened oval shape and are black with red or reddish-orange markings on their back. Boxelder bugs have 6 legs and long segmented antenna. Adults grow to about 1/2 inch in length. Boxelder bug nymphs are similar in shape but bright red and do not have wings. You will typically see the nymphs and even young adults in large groups in the early summer months. They favor sunny spots like the side of a house facing the sun. 

Having trouble with boxelder bugs?

Are boxelder bugs dangerous?

Boxelder bugs are considered a nuisance pest. They do not carry or transmit diseases. They do not sting. They do have piercing mouth parts for eating plants and fruits. They can bite if provoked but this is very rare and you would kind of be asking for it if you are picking them up and handling them. They do not cause damage to homes and damage to plant life is not usually significant. They can leave a mess behind though, as their feces will stain light-colored surfaces.

Boxelder bugs present problems for homeowners in late fall when it begins to get too cold outdoors for them. The boxelder bugs will find their way into attics, screened-in porches, between window panes, behind vinyl siding, and anywhere else they can gain access to a warm safe place to hibernate through winter. This could be just a handful of boxelder bugs or it could be hundreds of them. You may wake up one morning to a living room full of these things on the walls. This can make a mess but as we stated before they don’t pose a health risk to humans. 

Boxelder bug habitat.

Boxelder bugs can be found throughout the U.S. If there are boxelder trees you will find boxelder bugs. They hibernate through winter and are found, in groups, emerging in springtime. While they are easily found on boxelder trees eating seeds and new leaves, they can also be found eating on plums, apples, and other plants. 

How do I get rid of boxelder bugs?

The easiest way to get rid of boxelder bugs once they have gained access into your home is to just use a vacuum. Pest prevention can help when treatments are done around windows seals and baseboards on the interior of the home as well as exterior treatments around window, doors, and attic vents.

How can I prevent boxelder bug problems at my home or business?

Start off with a routine maintenance pest program from a pest control expert like those at Walker Pest Management. The following tips should help prevent any boxelder bug problems in your home. 

  • In the fall have the exterior of your home treated with a residual insecticide. 
  • Treatment in the early summer months will help to cut the immature population, lessening the problem later in the year. 
  • Repair screens on windows, doors, and attic vents. 
  • Seal around windows and doors with silicone caulk. 
  • Make sure door sweeps on all exterior entrances are properly installed. 

If you suspect a boxelder bug problem contact Walker Pest Management for a free quote.

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