Does your home have a boxelder bug infestation? If this is your first experience with the pest, take a look at what you need to know about these insect invaders.
How Can You Identify Boxelder Bugs?
These common household invaders have a characteristic appearance. The eggs start out yellow and gradually turn red as the bug grows inside. After they hatch, boxelder bug nymphs have no wings and red abdomens. Adults can be identified with these characteristics:
- Multi-colored. An adult boxelder bug is black or brownish-black with three red lines on the thorax. It also has a red-orange abdomen area.
- Wings. Unlike the nymph, a full-grown adult has wings. The wings have noticeable reddish-orange borders.
- Small. According to the Colorado State University Extension, the adult boxelder bug is half an inch long.
Even though these bugs have distinguishing colors and markings, it’s not always easy to identify every possible pest in your house. If you’re not sure what type of bug has made your home theirs, a pest control professional can inspect the area and accurately identify the invader.
Are Boxelder Bugs a Problem for Homeowners?
Now that you know you have boxelder bugs, it’s time to take the next step and decide if there’s a true pest problem. Boxelder bugs aren’t known to bite, sting, and transmit disease. The primary home and property-related problems boxelder bugs cause include:
- Plant-life destruction. Boxelder bugs remove fluid from plant leaves. This can result in chronic yellowing of foliage. The bugs can also invade and damage flowers or plant seeds.
- Nuisance infestations. Even though boxelder bugs won’t cause structural damage in the same way termites or other pests can, these invaders pose a serious nuisance. Without treatment, the bugs can infest the indoor area any time of the year.
- Odd odors. When crushed, the pests may create an odd odor.
Along with these issues, boxelder bugs may stain light-colored fabric or upholstered surfaces. While this doesn’t pose a major threat, it is enough of an irritation to make most homeowners seek professional help.
How Can You Eliminate Boxelder Bugs?
Boxelder bug extermination isn’t a do-it-yourself job. Like other pest control projects, a DIY approach may pose a safety issue (if you use the wrong treatment or misuse chemicals) or fail to rid your home of these bugs.
To exterminate boxelder bugs inside or outside of your home:
- Hire a pest control professional. An exterminator has the expertise, experience, and equipment to effectively eliminate the boxelder bug infestation in your outdoor landscaping or indoors. The contractor can inspect your home and surrounding area and create a treatment plan.
- Schedule year-round services. Even though you may see more bugs in the warmer months, these pests can winter indoors. Schedule routine pest control maintenance to prevent a re-infestation.
- Seal your home. The bugs can enter through small cracks and crevices. Ask the exterminator to inspect your property for problem areas. Fill in cracks or holes in siding, around the foundation, in windows, or around entry doors.
- Replace screens. While some of these bugs may enter over the colder months, others can fly in through broken or damaged screens. If you plan to open your windows or entry doors, repair or replace torn screens.
A pest control professional can do more than eliminate an indoor invasion. If the invasion extends to an outdoor area, you need an exterminator who knows how to remove the bugs from landscaping—without the complete destruction of plants and flowers.
Do you need professional help with a boxelder bug infestation inside or outside your home? Contact Diam Pest Control for more information on inspection and extermination options.