As the cool fall weather approaches, so does boxelder bug season. These pests can infiltrate homes and cause problems throughout the fall and winter. When the pests enter a residence, their numbers can expand, causing a headache for homeowners. Even though these common pests aren't dangerous, they can become a nuisance and be difficult to eradicate.
Identifying boxelder bugs
Residents often notice boxelder bugs when the pests swarm to trees, structures and gardens lit by the sun. If you have a boxelder tree in your yard, the bugs may be an even bigger problem, since they often feed on the tree's seed pods. The adult pests are dark brown with red stripes and abdomens and are about half an inch long. When crushed, they can release an unpleasant odor.
Keep pests out of the home
Even though these pests are often found outdoors, they begin to migrate inside structures once the weather begins to cool. They can find their way into your house through open doors or windows, ripped screens, small cracks or even around your home's foundation. Because they can be tricky to get rid of after they have established themselves in a residence, it is important to take preventative pest control measures to keep the insects from entering in the first place. Ensure doors and windows shut tightly, repair ripped screens and seal cracks a boxelder bug could sneak through.
Managing the infestation
If there are boxelder bugs all over your home, there's no reason to panic. The pests aren't dangerous, but they can annoy residents. Be aware that even though it is possible to treat the problem, it may be a frustrating situation. If you have a boxelder tree in your yard, removing the tree may be the most effective way to eliminate the pests permanently, but this option can be undesirable or impractical.
Homeowners should be cautious when deciding if they should attempt to eliminate the pests themselves or contact insect control experts. Some home treatments may effectively eliminate the pests, but lead to a carpet beetle problem, as these insects will eat the boxelder bugs and possibly procreate, leading to a new infestation.
Upon detection of a boxelder bug invasion, vacuum your home to get rid of any dead or live insects that may be lurking around. If more than a few pests are discovered, calling an exterminator is often the best way to handle this type of infestation.