We know it’s only January, but before you know it the weather will be warming up and you’ll start to see many more pests on a regular basis. One of these pests, the boxelder bug, is notorious for revealing itself during warmer weather and can put a damper on your spring and summer. Chances are you’ve encountered these small bugs and if you’ve ever had them infiltrate your home, you know how frustrating it can be.
What They Look Like
Boxelder bugs look very similar to stink bugs, however, they’re quite different. Boxelder bugs are small (about 1/2 inch long), thin and oval in shape with dark brown or black coloring. They have six legs and antennae like many other bugs, but what makes them stand out is their orange/red wing vein markings and the orange/red markings on their abdomen.
Where They Live
The boxelder bug gets its name from its host – the boxelder tree. During the spring and summer months, they make their homes on the leaves of boxelder trees, ash trees, and maple trees. These trees give them a safe place to live, a source of food, and a prime breeding location. However, boxelder bugs very much enjoy the warmth of buildings and if you have any boxelder, maple, or ash trees near your home, you may find these bugs crawling around on its warm surfaces (especially those that face the sun).
Once colder temperatures hit, these bugs will seek shelter. While most times they’ll nestle into the tree bark, they can sometimes make their way into your home.
How to Get Rid of Them
Many homeowners find that because of their slim shape, boxelder bugs can make their way through small cracks, crevices, and gaps between window screens and into the home. These bugs are harmless and are simply enjoying the warmth of your home, but once they’re inside, they can be a nuisance t0 get rid of.
At Ledford’s Pest Control, we don’t recommend using chemical pesticides to get rid of boxelder bugs, since chemicals can pose a threat indoors. Instead, the best way to get rid of them is to prevent them:
- Seal up any cracks or crevices in your home.
- Sprinkle borax or diatomaceous earth at the bottom of window sills and around door jambs to discourage entry.
- Fix loose siding (which can be confused as bark to the bugs).
- Eliminate wood piles and landscape debris.
If you find you still have an infestation, contact our Columbia pest control experts today.