Every fall in Knoxville, one of the most common household pests we get calls for here at Russell’s is none other than the boxelder bug. These small red and black bugs are infamous for congregating on the sides of homes this time of year. When populations are large, they may even make their way into your property through tiny cracks and crevices. And while these bugs aren’t considered terribly dangerous, they are a nuisance nonetheless—if they do get indoors, they’ll likely look to stay with you through the holiday season. To learn how to keep boxelder bugs away for good, keep reading to learn everything you need to know with the experts at Russell’s Pest Control!
What to Know About Boxelder Bugs
These insects may look scary with their bold red markings, but it’s important to educate yourself about these potential pests that are, for the most part, pretty harmless.
- Boxelder bugs first emerge in late March or early April when the buds on a boxelder tree start to open. The adults will spend the warmer months in the host tree, feeding on fallen seeds before moving to seed-bearing boxelder trees or maple trees to eat new leaves.
- Females will lay eggs on stones, grass, shrubs, or in the crevices of boxelder trees. Once hatched, the nymphs will also feed on fallen seeds and new leaves.
- As the season shifts into fall, boxelder bugs will gather in the dozens to seek out sunny, warm spots on greenery or houses before migrating to nearby properties to overwinter. This is why fall is when people begin to notice these bugs more often.
Are Boxelder Bugs Harmful?
Boxelder bugs are not particularly threatening to humans and tend to leave your cats and dogs alone. They also rarely cause damage when they’re inside homes. That said, their feces are known to stain any light-colored material, such as curtains, clothing, or rugs in your home. Like several other pests, they will emit a strong unpleasant odor if squished or crushed. But do bed bugs bite? It’s rare. If and when boxelder bugs bite people, humans may experience slight irritation and redness, but they do not transmit diseases.
Tips to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs Naturally
To get rid of these pests naturally, the key is to prevent them in the first place by making your property impenetrable. Basic boxelder bug prevention tips include:
- Trimming back trees and bushes to keep all vegetation away from the perimeter of the home.
- Cleaning and repairing the corners of fences, decorative rocks, old piles of wood, and patio furniture.
- Replacing torn screens on windows and doors.
- Checking the caulk around the molding of the windows and vents.
- Repairing any cracks in stucco and bricks.
- Sealing up cracks around roof soffits, windows, siding, and foundation.
Fall Insect Control With Russell’s Pest Control
If you’ve done all you can to keep these fall pests out and still are noticing the little red-and-black bugs around your windows or curtains, the experts at Russell’s Pest Control can help. Our exterminators work to eliminate the conditions that let these pests indoors to begin with. To get started, contact us today!