Getting Ready for Boxelder Bugs

Some pests aren’t year-round threats. Overwinter pests like boxelder bugs pose their own unique challenges. They don’t normally hang out in your house but colder temps might bring box elder bugs indoors.

box elder oct1For most of the year, box elder bugs are found just where you think they ought to be – in box elder trees. These long, oval insects are red and grey as young nymphs but mature into a reddish brown the disguises them in the bark of their namesake tree. They can also be found in maple or ash trees, eating the soft parts of the tree like the young twigs and shoots. The might also suck the juices from the tree which can cause damage ranging from minimal to serious.

As the sheltering leaves from these favored hosts fall and the food sources dwindle in the colder weather, the box elder bug often looks for a cozy place to spend the winter. You may have trouble if there’s a source of heat high on your house.

For example, an exterior wall getting lots of sunlight can make a warm gathering place for box elder bugs. A vent allowing hot attic air to escape is another source of heat. There are plenty of ways to attract box elder bugs and their like.

Usually the first sign that you have a box elder bug infestation is simply seeing a large population of the critters in one place. They aren’t that harmful. They won’t destroy structures like termites do or compromise your food staples like the pantry moth but they have their own way of making themselves unwelcome guests. Their droppings tend to stain furnishings and flooring. Yuck!

One of the best ways to keep box elder bugs from choosing your home for their winter breeding ground is to choose another tree for your ornamental plantings. Avoid planting the box elder tree if you live in an area plagued by these insects. However, they can still fly in fro other neighborhoods so exclusion methods are really your best option.

Talk to a Ransford Pest Control pro about how to keep box elder and other bugs from infiltrating your home. Exclusion may take a little more effort, but it’s usually the most effective method of pest control on the market.

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