Boxelder bugs love trees! They feed, live, and breed on all trees that bear seeds like the boxelder, maple, ash, and fruit trees like apple and plum. In fall, they infest homes in large numbers to seek a warm environment for shelter to overwinter. They flock to sunny sides of homes, storage sheds, or garages and enter through cracks and crevices on exterior walls, gaps around window and door frames, or through vents. While enjoying the warmth of your home or storage areas, they will leave marks and stains with their feces that may be noticeable. In the spring, homeowners will experience a flurry of boxelder bug activity as they start trying to move back outdoors.
Before you chop down all of the seed bearing trees that are in your yard, you should know that this may not solve all of your boxelder bug problems because they will just move to another area or to your neighbor’s yard, and they still may flock to your home in the fall. Not to mention cutting all of those good trees would be a terrible shame.
Boxelder bugs are black with a red outlined thorax, sides, and wings. Their wings lay flat and allow them to fly and relocate if necessary. Their mouth has sucking-piercing parts that they can use for feeding on trees. An adult boxelder bug can be as long as 1 inch, but they are not dangerous, and they do not transmit illnesses. They can infest a home in large numbers creating a nuisance to homeowners, thus making it necessary to eradicate them. Your best bet is to contact your local pest control service so that they can identify your infestation and correctly target these pests.
In order to help prevent an infestation, you will need to seal up all cracks, holes, and gaps coming into your home or storage areas. You need to replace damaged screens, window frames, and door frames. Also, install door sweeps under all exterior doors. If boxelder bugs are present, you can sweep or vacuum them away to help reduce their numbers, but for total eradication, you will need a professional to take control of all aspects of the infestation.
In order to control a boxelder infestation, you can rely on Russell’s Pest Control in the Knoxville, Tennessee, area. Give us a call, and ask about our ongoing year-round home pest control programs. Our courteous, professional staff will help you with all of your pest control needs.