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Box Elder Bugs

While box elder bugs are not structurally harmful to your home nor do they pose any danger to you, they can still be quite the nuisance.   

Box Elders 101

So named for their favorite treat – box elder trees – these bugs are roughly ½ inch in length and are easily distinguished by the bright red markings along their black backs. They do not reproduce indoors but are frequently on the search for shelter and will be determined to enter your home any way they can. In particular, they seem to be oddly drawn to tall, white homes and homes with large trees nearby. 

They hibernate during the winter months and emerge in the spring to forage for food and begin reproducing. They do not reproduce in homes, rather, their eggs are strategically placed in or around maple or box elder trees so that when their eggs hatch in the summer the hatchlings can feed on the tree sap. Each generation lasts roughly one full year however, in some more rare cases, two generations may be produced in a single year. 

A Headache in Your Home 

Although they do not damage the integrity of your home like carpenter bees or termites do, box elders can still spoil the furniture around your home. These pests frequently produce dark-colored droppings which, if done on light furnishings or walls, can leave undesirable spots on these surfaces. 

Aside from staining your home, these pests can fly, and you may find yourself dodging out of the way as they careen around your home, looking for different cracks and crevices to crawl into. 

Preventing a Box Elder Problem

The most effective way to reduce your chances of a box elder infestation is by conducting minor exclusion work. This means sealing any small cracks and holes along your exterior walls that the bugs may crawl through to enter your home. You may also opt for intervention with repellants that can be applied around your home’s exterior to discourage the bugs from even landing on your siding. 

We offer both of these services at COMPANY, and we are happy to assist you in preventing these pests from becoming a problem in or around your home. 

Citations

DeAngelis, J. (1998) Box Elder Bugs, Oregon State University. Urban Entomology. Available at: 

https://entomology.oregonstate.edu/sites/agscid7/files/entomology/Box_Elder_Bug.pdf (Accessed: April 2020). 

Hoover, G. A. and Jacobs, S. (2011) Boxelder Bug, PennState College of Agricultural Sciences. 

The Department of Entomology. Available at: https://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/boxelder-bug (Accessed: April 2020).