Defeating a Boxelder Bug Infestation

boxelder bug controlFor many, boxelder bugs are a familiar nuisance. In the summer, these pests lurk in boxelder and maple trees, and in the colder months, they seek shelter in homes and garages.  Homeowners might notice infestations during two time periods: fall, when the bugs move indoors, and spring, when they emerge and begin to mate. 

Boxelder bugs are not dangerous to humans, but they can be extremely irritating. When crushed, they produce a strong, foul odor. Additionally, their feces can leave reddish-orange stains on curtains, drapes, clothing, and furniture. Therefore, most homeowners seek to prevent or eliminate boxelder bug infestations. Below is some information on how to get rid of boxelder bugs in your own home: 

Identifying Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs are relatively distinct and easy to recognize. They are approximately half an inch long, and they have black oval bodies with reddish-orange markings on their backs. They have six legs and two long antennae, and the adults have wings while the nymphs (adolescents) don’t. The nymphs are also bright red and slightly smaller than the adults. 

Preventing Infestations

The best way to handle boxelder bug infestations is by preventing them in the first place. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to do. When they’re not indoors, boxelder bugs live in maple and boxelder trees; therefore, you should avoid planting these trees near your house. If there is already a maple or boxelder tree near your house that you can’t bear to get rid of, you should trim the branches to keep them as far from your home as possible. 

In addition to carefully controlling the trees near your home, you should also tightly seal your windows and doors to prevent boxelder bugs from coming indoors. Boxelder bugs most frequently enter homes through cracks in window frames and door frames. Accordingly, if you notice gaps around your windows or doors, you should seal them with a tube of window caulk and a caulk gun. This will help decrease the size of boxelder bug infestations, if not prevent them entirely. 

Getting Rid of Boxelder Bugs

Perhaps the easiest way to remove boxelder bugs from your home is by vacuuming them up. This is a relatively quick–and satisfying–way to remove the most noticeable infestations. However, there’s always the chance that you might miss bugs that are not visible. If this happens, then you may face future infestations, as the bugs that you miss will reproduce and lay eggs. 

Another common solution to boxelder bug infestations is spraying them with a mixture of dish soap and water. Much like vacuuming, this solution can be effective for visible boxelder bugs, but can easily miss bugs living in deep cracks or crevices. Insecticide may be marginally more effective, but it can also be extremely dangerous, especially if applied improperly. Ultimately, the best way to deal with a large boxelder bug infestation is by contacting a professional pest control business. An experienced exterminator will help you eliminate a boxelder bug infestation efficiently, safely, and permanently, which will save you a lot of effort and frustration down the road. 

Proudly serving the greater Chicagoland area in Illinois and southeast Wisconsin, the professional exterminators at Aerex Pest Control understand the habits of different types of pests and use that knowledge when developing a pest control program that is best suited to your home and your particular problem. Our technicians are professional, state certified, licensed applicators. Call today for your free consultation 847-255-8888 or click here for a free quick quote.

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