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Exterminating Boxelder and Stink Bugs In Clark County

by | Oct 3, 2019 | Box Elder Bug

Stink bugs and boxelder beetles are incredibly common pests in the Clark County and broader Pacific Northwest regions. In order to manage their presence on your property and in your home, different approaches are required for the most-effective long-term solution.

At Aspen Pest Control, we want to educate our friends and neighbors not only on how to exterminate these pests, but also about what exactly these pests are, what, if any, benefits they might bring to the world, and how you can lean on us for these and most all of your pest control needs. 

What Are Stink Bugs?

Stink bugs. I mean, just by name alone it’s clear that this is a problematic insect. But the issues they cause are more far-reaching than their name might imply. (Though they do, in a word, stink. Crushing the creature emits a foul smelling odor for which they derive their name.)

The brown marmorated stink is notable in appearance for their brown, shield-like shape, and are typically just over a half-inch in length. When they are referred to as being “marmorated,” this is in regard to the unique veined or banded patterns found on their thorax and antennae.

Stink bugs are new to North America (as well as many parts of South America and Europe). Just over 20 years ago in the late-90s, the first brown marmorated stink bug was spotted in the eastern United States. It’s assumed that the stink bug might have come from China, Japan, or Korea, stowing away in a shipping container or a similar mode of transport to make the long trek across the ocean.

Just a few years later, the brown marmorated stink bug was spotted in the Pacific Northwest, and has since continued to spread across the North American continent. To be perfectly clear: stink bugs are an invasive species, meaning their non-native presence can cause a great deal of harm to their new environment. It is believed that the stink bug feeds on over 100 species of plant life, many of them agricultural in nature. 

Are Stink Bugs Dangerous?

Well, in a way. According to the Oxford Academic Journal of Integrated Pest Management, the stink bug caused what was described as “$37 million in economic damages” to U.S. apple crops in 2010, and, since its introduction to North America, has wreaked a great deal of havoc to a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and other crops, while also being particularly resistant to agricultural pesticides. 

With this in mind, it’s reasonable to say that stink bugs don’t pose an immediate physical harm to people or pets. They certainly do not present the threats that bees, paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets do, nor do they possess the phobic anxiety associated with spiders. Their threat relates to your garden, your plant life, and the sanctuary that is your yard and property. 

Can stink bugs bugs in Clark County actually be exterminated?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has made the control and extermination of stink bugs a priority, but it’s no small feat. Due to their mobility (the marmorated stink bug can fly) and their resistance to agricultural pesticides, experts must be extremely creative in their methods in order to effectively combat the insect. Many of the methods developed by the USDA are being used around the perimeter of agricultural fields vs. in the fields themselves and have even replicated a pheromone that the bugs emit while feeding (one used to attract other stink bugs to the same feeding site) in order to trap and exterminate the destructive pests. 

So what does this mean for home extermination? Well, to be perfectly honest, total eradication is a challenge due to their resistance to certain pesticides and their ability to fly. This does not mean that you are without hope. We can still drastically remove their presence from your home and property. 

Stink bugs are what we call seasonal invaders. When you see their presence, odds are autumn is officially upon us.  Because of this type of predictable seasonality of the insect, we recommend a regular review of your household in order to make sure you’re protecting yourself from a home invasion.

Here are a few tips we regularly recommend to our customers:

  • Look for cracks in the foundation of your home, or for gaps in door and window seals, tears in window screens, etc. These types of breaches in the home are clear and easy entry points for stink bugs to enter. Seal any breaches you discover with recommended products from your preferred hardware or home improvement store, patch or replace screens, and replace any torn or faulty weather stripping that might create an easy avenue for the stink bugs to enter. (This, of course, should help with your energy efficiency, too!)
  • Have any leaky pipes, clogged drains, or standing water sites near your home or on your property? We recommend taking care of these issues as quickly as possible, as these are very attractive sites for marmorated stink bugs as well as a wide variety of other pests. 
  • How much outdoor lighting are you typically using? To be fair, this is a recommendation we encourage you to use your best discretion with. Insects like stink bugs, moths, and others are very attracted to light, and it encourages their presence, but we also fully understand that much of a home’s outdoor lighting is used for safety and security purposes. Just understand that this is one factor that does draw stink bugs and other insects to your home. 
  • Are you regularly cleaning and removing food waste from your home? Stink bugs, like many other creatures, are very attracted to the food we consume. Leaving spills, crumbs, and full trash cans unattended is perfect fodder for these pesky pests, so ensuring your home is as free as possible from food waste will make this environment a less desirable place for them to congregate in.

What Are Boxelder Beetles?

Boxelder beetles are another insect that is incredibly pervasive in Clark County. As their name implies, the Boxelder maple is central to this beetle’s existence, with the boxelder seed being its primary source of food. 

Naturally, the larger the presence of boxelder maples, the larger the population of boxelder beetles that will be present. Especially enamored with the warmth of the sun, these half-inch long insects with brown (or black) bodies featuring distinct orange and red markings are attracted to the warmer portions of your home. They have a tendency to make themselves at home in void walls. Like many insects, boxelders follow the same flight patterns year after year, and, if left untreated, a home’s infestation could become quite severe. 

Are Boxelder Beetles Dangerous?

While they do not pose physical harm to people or pets, they will feed on house plants, leave excrement throughout the home, and become a general nuisance that is quite disruptive to the general peaceful lifestyle we know so many of our customers seek to have. 

How Do I Exterminate Stink Bugs In Clark County?

As we do with stink bugs, we recommend the same home-protecting advice for the prevention and long-term eradication of boxelders from your home and property. Though landscaping projects might not be an expected method for pest control, removal of boxelders from your property is also an option, bearing in mind that it is common for boxelders to fly as much as two miles in search of food. Remembering that these creatures follow the same flight patterns year after year, simply removing the trees isn’t enough — you must also break the cycle of the flight patterns for effective extermination. 

You Deserve the Advice of a Professional

Whatever type of pest control questions you might find yourself with — be they those of the stink bug, the boxelder beetle, or most any other pest — Aspen Pest Control is here to serve you. We offer expert advice, free estimates, and, in most cases, same-day service for your unique pest situation. 

Life is full of unexpected disruptions. Don’t let a pest control situation overwhelm you. Call us today to learn why your friends and neighbors in Clark County choose Aspen Pest Control for their extermination needs. 

Aspen serves the majority of the population of Clark County including the following cities:

  • Battleground
  • Brush Prairie (Hockinson)
  • Camas
  • La Center
  • Ridgefield
  • Vancouver
  • Washougal
  • Woodland

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