Box elder bugs are a pretty common pest in the Pacific NW. They can be difficult in both fall and spring, and we’d like to tell you more about how to keep box elder bugs out of your home this spring!
What do box elder bugs look like?
These bugs are sometimes confused with “stink” bugs because of their shape, but have completely different markings. Boxelder bugs are dark brown or almost black, with bright orange markings on their backs. Nymphs are bright red.
Why do box elder bugs invade homes?
Box elder bugs typically invade homes for warmth and shelter. They will also congregate on sunny exterior walls.
When do box elder bugs become a pest problem?
Both spring and fall can be problematic seasons for box elder bugs. They will crawl into homes in fall, looking for warmth and shelter, and emerge in early spring. They can sense temperature changes as little as one degree, and will come out of their hiding places in walls and other household cavities as soon as it’s warm enough. Boxelder bugs feed on boxelder, ash, and maple trees, and will emerge when these trees begin blooming.
Spring can seem especially overwhelming. Box elder bugs have been “waiting” inside your walls, and they can come out all at once.
Prevention steps for box elder bugs should happen at least twice a year.
Preventing box elder bugs is a two-part process. Both of these steps should be done in spring and fall.
- Vacuum up any box elder bugs you see.
- This might seem a little strange, but it really is the best way to remove them from your home. If they emerge in spring, you want to get them out–not potentially seal them back up inside your home.
- During fall, it’s even more important to completely remove the bugs. If they can find ways to hide in your walls, you’re just going to have the same problem again in spring.
- Seal your home completely.
- Box elder bugs can get through very small cracks.
- Check your foundation, exterior walls, utility pipe or wiring entrances, vents, and chimneys. Every hole should either be filled or covered with the appropriate size fine mesh screen.
- Check your window and door screens, as well as weatherstripping around doors.
Both of these steps need to be repeated in both spring and fall. Inspecting and sealing your home regularly has other benefits as well–you can prevent a whole range of pests from coming in, not just box elder bugs!
Choose Professional Pest Control for Thorough Box Elder Bug Prevention
Box elder bugs can be tricky, especially if you don’t want to spend your spring vacuuming up bugs once a day. Pioneer Pest Management provides thorough inspections of your property, so we can seal holes and recommend further prevention steps for other pests.
If you have a serious box elder bug problem and vacuuming just isn’t solving the problem, give us a call. There are other professional-use-only methods to combat box elder bugs, and we would love to help solve your pest problems!