Boxelder Bugs: A Major Nuisance For Knoxville Residents

Boxelder Bugs: A Major Nuisance For Knoxville Residents

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.

1. Exclusion

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.

3. Vegetation

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.

4. Warmth

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.

5. Removal

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.

Professional Assistance

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.

Tips To Avoid Boxelder Bugs This Fall

Tips To Avoid Boxelder Bugs This Fall

Boxelder bugs are a common pest in Tennessee, especially in the fall. They begin to look for a place to call home over the colder months. As winter approaches they will congregate on warm, sunny sides of homes, then wiggle through gaps and cracks in siding, and around windows and doors.

Boxelder bugs are about 1/2” in length, are black and have red stripes on their body and edge of its wings making V shapes. They are mostly attracted to boxelder trees, and silver maples, where they feed off of the moisture from the trees. In the fall when they make their way into your home, they may look for moisture in your houseplants, but they are not a danger to them or humans. The only real damage they can cause is if there is a high population of them, otherwise, they are considered a nuisance pest. The biggest problem is, boxelder bugs can get into your furniture and drapes, where their feces can cause staining.

As with any pest, once they get into your home, they are hard to remove. Prevention is the best way to avoid a boxelder bug infestation. Here are a few prevention tips that you may find useful:

  • Inspect your home for openings like crevices, gaps, and cracks

  • Seal those openings with caulking

  • Repair or replace any damaged screens or vents

  • Fill in gaps around utility lines, cables, cords, and pipes

  • If you have any boxelder or silver maple trees you may want to consider removing them from your yard, but that can be costly and not very practical

If your home is already infested you will need to remove these pests. Try vacuuming them up with a long vacuum hose or sweep up the dead bug remains. Smooshing a boxelder bug can stain surfaces, so you may want to avoid that.

Russell’s Pest Control in Knoxville and Eastern Tennessee offers year-round pest prevention so that you don’t have to worry about pests, ever again. We have a variety of pest control programs to choose from that can control and prevent infestations in your home.

Our Power program protects your family, pets, and home from 30+ common pests and has a pest-free* guarantee. Additionally, our Power Gold program includes termite service and our Power Plus includes mosquito, carpenter bee, fire ant, flea and tick services. If you want it all, then our Power Platinum program is for you. We have something for everyone to suit your needs and your budget. Just give us a call today at Russell Pest Control in Tennessee, so that your home can be pest free.

Why Do I Have A Boxelder Bug Problem?

Why Do I Have A Boxelder Bug Problem?

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.