There are so many insect species on the planet, they probably can’t be counted. Many have a massively negative reputation because of their ability to do harm. Some can destroy buildings because they shred wood. Others can eat up belongings, like clothes or books. Several can bite, sting, and injure people. Those that don’t have a reputation at all are either fairly innocent, or they aren’t as well-known. Boxelder bugs are a perfect example.
The average Salt Lake City resident hasn't even heard of a boxelder bug. This doesn't mean they don’t come with notable risks, though. Read on to learn more about these mysterious creatures and how to prevent them with services from Pest Pro Pest Control.
What Do Boxelder Bugs Look Like And How Do They Behave? What Are The Risks?
Boxelder bugs vary in size from 7/16 to 35/64 of an inch long. Their black bodies have wings that are outlined with orange markings and are commonly referred to as the “Halloween Bug.” Their name comes from the fact that they primarily feed on the juices of boxelder trees but they also absorb substances from ash, peach, plum, cherry, and maple trees. Using the puncturing features on their mouth, they prick natural matter to suck liquids. This can do irreparable damage to the tree.
Boxelder bugs typically begin to invade homes and businesses as the cooler weather approaches. They are seeking warmth and shelter, and these insects will slip through holes around screens, windows, doors, and foundations.
They’ll eventually settle, hibernate, and populate in the following areas:
- In floorboards
- In walls
Though boxelder bugs aren’t known for biting people, being struck by their mouthparts can be painful. Fortunately, there isn’t any research that suggests these pests can transmit disease. While they won’t make you sick, they can certainly ruin fabrics and surfaces by the release of red-orange feces that can leave permanent staining behind. It will be a difficult task to remove the smears from items like curtains, sheets, upholstered furniture, and from the walls. You may want to think twice about smashing them, they emit pretty distinctive bad odors when they are crushed.
How Can You Prevent Boxelder Bugs?
To make sure your land isn’t an idealistic paradise for boxelder bugs, you’ll have to take a closer look at your property’s exterior structure and landscaping. You’ll have to make repairs where they are needed, and show some tender love and care to your lawn:
- Avoid planting tree types that box elder bugs target. If you already have a susceptible tree, you’ll have to frequently check on it or have it removed.
- If you would like to plant a boxelder tree, root a male one since they don’t foster seeds. The female boxelder is prone to harbor the bugs.
- Maintain and groom your yard and greenery on a regular basis.
- Plants and flowers should be set at least two feet away from exterior doors.
- Boxelder bugs like to settle in covered, toasty spots, so inspect roof angles and siding with a lot of sun exposure.
- Seal all the cracks or crevices around your rooflines, doors, windows, and foundations.
What Can Pest Pro Pest Control Do About Boxelder Bugs?
We at Pest Pro Pest Control will do everything we can to get to the center of a pest problem. To do this, our team of trained technicians will do a complete examination. They will search all interiors, including drawers and closets and they will carefully survey your outside perimeters to locate any boxelder bugs, their entrances, and their nests. The staff will use specially designed products and equipment that will efficiently and effectively eliminate the insects.
We’ve been in operation for ten years, and we’ll be happy to make you our next satisfied customer. Get a free inspection when you call today! Learn more about our home pest control and commercial pest control services.