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There aren’t many insects people consider beautiful and interesting. Well, there are some individuals that find all insects interesting and unique. That being said, there are some that are deathly terrified of them. They’ll run 10 steps in the other direction at first sight. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, as it could save when dealing with some pests.
Regardless of which category you fall into, when you lay eyes on the box elder bug, you are going to know you are looking at a unique critter. Even if you have a fear of bugs, you’ll likely take a second to admire the beautiful appearance of this pest.
With its flat wings that lay completely across the back and orange-reddish outline markings, this creepy crawler’s appearance mimics an ornamental mask. It honestly looks like a ceremonial mask you’d see an ancient tribe or order wearing while performing rituals. If you found this interesting, you are in for a real treat. As unique as this pest is, you do not want it in and around your property. We are here to help you with this very task.
Why Are Box Elder Bugs On My Property?
It is best to start by understanding why these pests are on your property. Is there something you’ve done to inadvertently draw them to the property? Although these creepy crawlers prefer the seeds and leaves from Maple, Ash, Cheery, and Box Elder trees, it is entirely possible you’ve inadvertently introduced these insects in your ecosystem.
Adult boxelder bugs can grow to be ½ inch long, but it is their six legs that throw most individuals. The adults have red and orange markings on their abdomens with flat wings, while the nymphs are commonly bright red. They both share an identical shape, minus the wings. These insects are incredibly common because they don’t depend on the human for survival like a lot of insects. Boxelder trees, maples, or ashes are extremely common and that’s all they need.
Much like cluster flies, ladybugs, and stink bugs, the box elder bugs are considered what is known as an overwintering pest. This is another reason for their being in your home, and it virtually means they are hibernators. They start in the early fall looking indoors for shelter to protect themselves from the upcoming winter weather. Some common overwintering locations include but are not limited to wall voids, attics, crawlspaces, and basements.
What Threat Are They?
Despite their appearance and propensity to travel in large numbers, the box elder bug is a non-aggressive pest species. They don’t bite, they don’t sting, and they don’t transmit diseases. In fact, they only pose a threat to ornamental plants, house plants, fruit, and vegetation. Another good thing is they do not pose any structural threat either.
They don’t bore or gnaw on wood and once inside, they don’t even reproduce. Despite this, you don’t want them in the home because when they show up, they show in large numbers. While these pests do not really pose any structural threat, they can stain walls and delicate fabrics will their toxic secretions. In addition to staining, these pests emit a chemical odor like the stink bug.
Accidentally crushing one of these pests or coming off as a threat could cause them to secrete these toxins. Therefore, you must be extremely careful when trying to remove these pests from the home or property. You could end up with highly undesirable results.
Tips For Prevention And Removal
As a professional pest management firm, it is hard for us to recommend DIY or over-the-counter pest management methods. This is simply because they are never going to be as effective as the services you’d get from a professional. Our services are not only top of the line, but all our work comes backed with guarantees. With all this in mind, it doesn’t mean there aren’t things the average homeowner can do to deter box elder bugs from the property.
- Caulking and sealing gaps, cracks, and crevices around the foundation
- Repairing all damaged or torn window and vent screening
- Install door sweeps for pets
- Consider removing box elder, maple, ash, and cherry trees from the property
- Clean all fallen box elder seeds from the property daily
- Maintain a neat and orderly lawn care routine, keeping your grass no more than 3 inches in height