I s a time of colorful leaves, plump gourds, crisp weather and a time for bugs to seek shelter from the cold. One such bug is the Western Box-elder Bug. Here are some quick facts:
- Adults are about a 1/2 inch.
- Adults are black with 3 distinctive red lines that run lengthwise along the pronotum.
- The nymphs are bright red.
- They mainly eat leaves and seeds of female Box-elder trees but also eat fruit.
- It is often confused with the milkweed bug or the bordered plant bug.
- It is not dangerous as it does not sting or bite; they are mostly harmless.
- They cause no structural damage to buildings or major damage to trees.
- Large numbers can be a nuisance
- Their feces can stain carpet, furniture and clothes.
- If they are smashed, they release a bad odor and also leave a stain.
In the spring and summer, these bugs are content living inside trees (mainly the Box-elder tree, but also maple and ash).
Once the colder months come around, these bugs look for shelter. They may find refuge in rock and leave piles, woods stacks and inside homes.
They will enter your home through windows, doors, ceilings, dryer and soffit vents, faucets, and cracks and crevices.
The best management is prevention. Stop the box-elder bug from entering your home by sealing any cracks and installing screens and door sweeps.
If they gather on the walls of your house, hose them down as they can be drowned.
If there is a female Box-elder tree in your yard, you may want to consider removing the tree.
Otherwise, keep the ground free of leaves and fallen see pods.
You may want to supplement prevention with insecticide, especially if there are large numbers of the Box-elder bug outside your home.
Contact your local Accurate Pest Control Technician for easy removal.
If the Box-elder bug enters your home, vacuuming or handpicking them and throwing them out will do the trick.
It is not recommended to use insecticide for the Box-elder bug inside the home as it is no more effective than using a vacuum and will not
prevent more bugs from coming in. If there is a large number of box-elder bugs inside your home,
contact your local Accurate Pest Control Technician to remove them for you.