Boxelder Bugs Control: Removing Them in Winter

Boxelder bugs can cause problems over winter, when they seek out warmth and invariably find their way into homes. What do you really know about them and the problems they can cause? Here’s a primer to help you find whether you have a boxelder bug control problem or not:

What Are Boxelder Bugs?

Boxelder bugs are actually remarkably beautiful bugs found on boxelder, maple, and ash trees. They are black or dark brown, their wings veined in red, and they are half an inch long.

Unfortunately, boxelder bugs congregate in large numbers. This is most evident in their excretions and waste product, and in their smell. Boxelder bugs can release particularly pungent odors when they are threatened. This helps them discourage potential predators. They can also damage plants, giving them the rare trifecta as pest bugs.

During the winter, they will also seek warmth inside homes. This is especially true during particularly cold winters, and the Farmer’s Almanac thinks this one will be bitter. Boxelder bugs are not tremendously nomadic, so they will typically only be found wintering in homes near maple, ash, and boxelder trees. Unfortunately, that accounts for a lot of neighborhoods, both residential and urban.

Boxelder Bug Odor

Now that you know the answer to the question, “What are boxelder bugs,” let’s talk about that odor. A single boxelder bug is unlikely to create a problem, but you’ll rarely find them going it alone. As we discussed, boxelder bug odor is pungent, but outdoors you can always walk away from it.

The problem arises when boxelder bugs winter in the siding, walls, or interior of a home. Though they’ll want to remain dormant when it’s cool, they’ll often mistake your home’s heating as the signal that spring has started. This means they’ll enter more inhabited areas and get into your food and water. It also means they’ll start leaving their excrement everywhere (in your cupboards where they eat and in your walls where they sleep). Over time, boxelder bug odor can also build and intensify.

Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs

Any infestation should be inspected immediately, and is best handled before it gets too cold. They don’t present the kind of emergency situation a pest like bed bugs or termites might, but they do present a number of nuisances to your comfort. To get rid of boxelder bugs is a fairly reasonable process, and one that can be done without too much of a headache. If you have questions, please feel free to ask us about Boxelder Bug control.

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