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6 Things To Know About Boxelder Bugs

by | Sep 18, 2021 | Box Elder Bug

Boxelder bugs have a very distinct appearance

Boxelder bugs, named for the boxelder maple trees they prefer to nest in and feed on, have a very distinct appearance in their mature state. 

These winged insects have an exoskeleton that ranges from a very dark brown to black in color, and its wings, thorax, and abdomen are outlined by a bright reddish orange color. Their antennae, also black, feature reddish orange bands, and their eyes are large, red, and bulbous. 

Fully grown boxelder bugs can measure up to one-half inch in length (approximately 13 millimeters).

Boxelder nymphs, the insects in their adolescent state, are entirely red in color until they reach maturity.

Boxelder bugs are nuisance pests, but can cause agricultural damage

As their name suggests, boxelder bugs prefer to feed on the sap, leaves, twigs, and seeds of boxelder maple trees. If they must, they will also nest and feed on other trees, particularly ash, apple, and almond. They have even been found to feed on strawberry plants. 

Though the damage they cause to these trees and plants is not on par with agricultural pests like locusts, stink bugs, or armyworms, boxelders can cause scarring on the trees they feed on, creating an appearance much like cork. This threatens the tree’s health and can cause fruit to fall prematurely.  

Boxelder bugs do not typically pose a threat to people

Again, the boxelder is a nuisance pest, and does not pose a threat to humans. They will not sting you. They also do not carry diseases. They are capable of biting, but this is very rare. Some people may possess seasonal allergies to the boxelder bug, though studies are still being conducted on the subject. As we would with any potential allergic reaction to a pest, we recommend seeking medical assistance if you or a loved one has been exposed to an allergen. 

Boxelders are seeking warmth, and may find it in your home

Like many insects, boxelders make themselves known in the spring, and will seek out the more sunlit areas of your home. We typically see boxelders on the west and south sides of homes and structures when treating these pests. 

The same is true for the late-summer and early-fall months when the bugs are beginning to prepare for overwintering (hibernation). They’ll gather on the warm, sunny sides of the home, and will soon begin their hibernation process. Typically, this means finding shelter under plant debris and in the bark of trees, however, if they’re able to detect the warmth of your home they may access it through cracks in siding, the home’s foundation, or other entry points. 

Boxelders can do cosmetic, not structural, damage to your home

If you see that boxelder bugs have made their way into your home, it’s important to call professional extermination services as soon as possible in order to treat the infestation. The longer you wait, the worse the infestation will inevitably get.

However, we don’t want you to panic. It’s unusual for boxelder bugs to cause structural damage to your home in the way that a termite infestation can. 

As we mentioned prior, the boxelders are seeking warmth. If they can make their way inside, they’ll likely fill every void in the walls or similar spaces that they can.

If you have boxelder trees on your property, this is even more likely, as the boxelder prefers to live near (or on) its source of food. You needn’t worry too much about them invading or contaminating your food, though you should take the time to inspect where your food is stored just to be absolutely certain. 

So what do you need to worry about if boxelders make their way into your house? Cosmetic damage, especially to your furniture’s upholstery, your curtains, and your carpets. Their droppings can make quite a mess, and when these bugs are squished, they can also cause stains. 

Boxelder bugs can be more effectively treated by professionals 

When you call the pest extermination professionals at Aspen Pest Control, we’ll follow a precise process designed to understand your unique pest infestation situation. 

First, we’ll conduct a thorough inspection of your property and home. After we’ve completed our analysis, we’ll discuss with you in the clearest terms what we’ve found and what we recommend regarding treatment options. We’ll never pressure you. Your comfort is our commitment. 

Once we’ve made a decision on treatment, we’ll use commercial grade products and techniques to the areas when the boxelder bugs are visible, and those areas where they are likely to be hidden, in order to give you the most thorough application of the treatment that is possible. 

After treatment, we’ll continue to observe the eradication of your infestation. Boxelders, because of their being a flying insect, can sometimes be difficult to fully exterminate, but our commitment to our customers means that your satisfaction matters to us.

Are you concerned about a boxelder infestation? Contact Aspen Pest Control TODAY. Our expert technicians will listen to your concern, examine your home and property, and provide you with hassle-free solutions designed to WORK FOR YOU.
Don’t delay. Aspen is here to help you with all of your pest control needs.

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