Box Elder Bugs and Your Home in September
Box elder bugs are extremely common in the Pacific NW, made more so by rising temperatures in the area. They are particular attracted to seed-bearing trees like box elders, maples, and ash, and use a piercing mouthparts to feed on those seeds available. Their habits don’t typically destroy or harm trees, but they can cause premature fruit drop. While these bugs do not typically bite humans or animals, their mouths can partially pierce skin, causing a mild reaction. The distinctive characteristics of box elder bugs include their red geometric patterning and the “stink” released when they feel threatened.
Prevent Box Elder Bug Invasions
Prevention is really important with box elders, because once inside, they tend to linger. Preventing box elders from entering your home is the first and foremost concern, and here are some practical steps to take:
- Seal all cracks and crevices within and around your foundation.
- Make sure caulking around windows and doors is intact.
- Make sure doors shut completely and tightly.
- Reinstall weather stripping if necessary.
- Make sure all screens are intact and without holes.
- Put screens over any ventilation that leads to the inside of the house.
- Put screens or cover any openings left by plumbing or electrical conduits.
- Make sure all holes in exterior walls or siding are properly fixed, to prevent them from congregating.
By sealing the exterior of your house, you can prevent box elder bugs from finding their way inside.
How to Get Rid of Box Elder Bugs in Your Home
Let’s say the worst has happened, and you weren’t properly prepared for fall. Now you have dozens of box elder bugs within and around your home! What can you do next?
- Take all of the above steps. You may not be able to get rid of the ones you have with these measures, but you will be able to keep more from coming in.
- Use traps to bait and remove these insects.
- The best traps to use are glue-traps that are made to lure box elders or other insects. It’s important to remove these traps regularly to prevent other insects from being attracted to them–causing yet another pest problem in your home!
- Vacuum any visible bugs up. This might be tedious, but it’s one of the best ways to remove them completely. Empty the vacuum outside and into a garbage bag every time you use it.
- Use soap and water to spray box elders. This is less effective than vacuuming them up, but it will kill them.
Box Elder Bug Control
You’ve tried all of the above measures, and your problem just isn’t going away. It’s time to call a professional exterminator with box elder experience! If you ignore the problem, these bugs will continue to breed, going dormant during cold periods, nesting in your walls, and coming out again when it’s warm enough. If you “leave them alone”, the problem will rapidly get two or three times worse. Call Antworks, and we’ll help you resolve the issue completely!