Boxelder bugs are insects that are black with orange or red lines on the thorax and sides. They have flat wings and are ½ an inch long as adults. Outdoors, they make their homes in boxelder, maple, and ash trees. They aren’t pests in the summer as they go unnoticed, but are a problem in the fall as they search for a place to spend the winter. They are generally inactive in the winter but if the day is sunny and warm, they can become mobile in the walls and attic. An infestation may not occur all at once at the same time, as they will be in different parts of the home and the warmth will not reach them all equally. Any boxelder bug you see inside your home in the winter and spring made its way inside the previous fall.
Signs of a Boxelder Bug Infestation
Homes that are attractive to the boxelder bug are ones with a large and sunny southern or western exposure. Buildings that stand taller than those around them are also attractive and color makes no difference as they are attracted to all colors. Boxelder bugs will come inside through small cracks and crevices. They do not bite people and are pretty much harmless. They cannot cause damage to your home but large numbers can stain walls, curtains, and other sources with fecal matter. This fecal matter is also unsightly. Some boxelder bugs will look for moisture and be found around houseplants and windows.
Prevention of Boxelder Bugs
The adult boxelder can stay well hidden in the bark of trees with their reddish-brown color. Removing the host tree(s) that surround your home will prevent boxelder bugs from multiplying but they may still fly into your yard from neighboring trees. Exclusion is an effective treatment. They will be harder to deal with if they make their way inside, so keeping them out is imperative. They will enter your home through windows and doors so make sure they close tightly and that screens don’t have any rips in them. Door sweeps can be installed along with sealing off holes and gaps around areas where cables, wires, or plumbing enters the house.
Boxelder Bug Control
If it’s not possible to use methods of exclusion or there is a history of boxelder infestations or large numbers are currently present, then the use of professional pest control will be needed. We can treat crevices and cracks to kill them and to act as a barrier to prevent more boxelder bugs from getting in. You can also use a strong, sealed vacuum to suck them up inside your home but try not to squish them as they are stinky. You can also use traps to catch stragglers that are hiding. Boxelder bugs are more of an annoyance than a danger but you still want them gone, so if you need help controlling these pests, contact Rentokil today.
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Are Boxelder Bugs Harmful? How to Control & Get Rid of Insect Pest Infestations in Smithfield, UT in Salt Lake County and Northern Utah
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