Are you seeing black and orange insects crawling all over your deck or grouping together on the sides of your Knoxville home? Are they about ½ an inch long with long antennae and a flattened, sort of cockroach-like, appearance? Are they appearing by the hundreds or thousands? You probably have a boxelder bug problem. If this is something new for you, we have a few tips to help you out. If this is something you deal with every year, you may still find a few ideas here that you haven't thought of.
This is a fairly straightforward tip and you're probably already aware that you need to seal entry points to keep these insects out. What you might not know are some of the common ways they get in.
- Gaps around pipes.
- Gaps around air conditioning units.
- Unprotected vents or weep holes.
- Damaged siding.
- Holes in soffits, eaves or rooflines.
- Holes created by wood-damaging insects that feed on the sole plates of your home.
- Holes around roof penetrations, caused by raccoons, squirrels, roof rats and other animals.
- Gaps in weatherstripping around exterior doors.
- Damaged or missing screens on doors and windows.
- Openings around the outside of door and window frames. These can give boxelder bugs direct access to your wall voids.
- Cracks in foundation walls, especially around windows.
- Gaps around wire conduit.
By inspecting these areas and sealing any entry point you see, you can deter boxelder bugs. Silicone Caulk, expansion foam, wire mesh and foundation repair kits are great tools for getting this hard job done.
2. Reduce Moisture
A dry perimeter is a boxelder bug-resistant perimeter. Everything you do to reduce moisture around your home can have an impact on how attractive your home is to boxelder bugs. Make sure your gutters are cleaned and in good working order. Make sure to trim tree branches to allow sunlight into densely shaded areas. And address any conditions that promote the collection of rainwater near your home.
The more vegetation you have around your home, the more interesting your home will be to boxelder bugs. Reducing unwanted vegetation and keeping everything neat and trim can reduce the allure of your yard.
A home that has lots of Southern and Western sun exposure gives boxelder bugs a big target during the fall. These insects usually sun themselves on rocks to stay warm. If you give them a big, warm surface to congregate on, they'll take you up on the offer. You can reduce this by planting trees and increasing shade. This is sort of the opposite of our last tip. But, when you strike the right balance, you can reduce high moisture and provide the right shade to make your home more resistant.
If boxelder bugs get into your home, they're going to be climbing in your curtains, clinging to your walls and basically making a nuisance of themselves. Fortunately, they can't easily find suitable food sources inside your home and they will slow down as winter progress. If you don't want to wait for that to happen, your vacuum cleaner is the best tool for getting rid of boxelder bugs.
If it sounds like a lot of work and trouble to protect your home from Knoxville boxelder bugs, we offer another solution. The licensed pest professionals here at Russell's Pest Control can help you get a pest control program in place that will give your exterior a barrier that will repel and eliminate boxelder bugs. Reach out to us today and request a free, no-obligation home pest control estimate. We can help you make boxelder bug problems a thing of the past.