Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder Bugs

Color: Black with three red stripes and red lines on the edges of their wings that look like an upside-down V.

Characteristics: Elongated-oval and somewhat flattened. Their head is narrower than the pronotum.

Size: Adults are typically ½ inches in length.

Potentially Dangerous: No.

What is a boxelder bug?

Boxelder bugs are an overwintering pest, meaning they tend to seek out and hibernate inside indoor spaces as the weather starts to cool. During the summer, they live and thrive on maple and seed-bearing boxelder trees. They become a problem for home and business owners in the fall, when they begin to congregate in masses on the sunny side of structures to stay warm. From there, they will seek out cracks and crevices in walls that provide an easy entrance inside. Boxelder bugs reappear again in the spring as the warm weather returns.

Why do I have boxelder bugs?

Your location is the biggest reason you are experiencing a boxelder problem. If you live near boxelder trees, which are common in the Midwest, you are more likely to experience a boxelder infestation when they begin to seek out shelter in the fall. They then slip in through gaps found in your home’s siding, doors and windows.

Are boxelder bugs dangerous?

Boxelder bugs are not dangerous. They are more of a nuisance than anything else since there are usually many, rather than just one. However, they do have sucking mouthparts that can puncture the skin and cause irritation. They also will stain furniture and fabric in drapes or clothing if squished or crushed.

How to get rid of boxelder bugs:

There are do-it-yourself products and solutions you can use if you find boxelder bugs around your home. However, these are not effective in the long-term and can contain chemicals that are harmful to pets and humans if they aren’t used properly. A pest professional can help by eradicating boxelder bugs now and prevent boxelder bugs from entering your home by stopping them at the source in the fall.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Making sure your home is properly sealed and that gaps are filled is your best method of prevention. However, it may not completely deter these nuisance pests from surrounding the outside of your home, which is why you need a pest management professional to take that extra step in keeping these pests out for good.

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September means back to school, the return of cooler weather and the invasion of over-wintering pests. Over-wintering pests are those pesky creatures that move into structures in the fall, camp out and lay dormant all winter, and then emerge with abandon at the first sign of warm weather. The most common over-wintering pests in the upper Midwest include Asian lady beetles, box elder bugs and cluster flies.

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