Box Elder Bugs

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Boxelder bugs certainly are beautiful. There is no denying that. Their red and black markings give them a familiar tribal feel and appearance. They certainly are interesting and appealing, but no one wants them hanging around their home. They can be a nuisance and aren’t afraid to stay well beyond their welcome limit. The problem is once they are in the home, they become even harder to get rid of. Here’s what you need to know about eliminating box elder bugs from your property and keeping them out.


Understanding The Life Cycle


The best way to tackle the box elder bug is by learning its behaviors. The box elder bug comes from the ground during the early spring seasons, right when the weather starts to get warmer. While in the ground, they feed on common ground plants and fallen seeds. During this time, they will also begin to mate and build their population. It isn’t until the late summer that these beautiful bugs become a problem for homeowners.


This is when they seek refuge. Once fall starts rolling around and the weather takes a turn for the cooler, these bugs look for winter coverage. They can’t survive in the colder months and seek warmth. As for traveling, the box elder bug is fairly efficient. It can fly quite a long distance, up to two miles in fact.


So, what you’ve learned so far is that box elder bugs travel indoors in search of warmth. They are not necessarily in your home because they want to be, but because it is necessary for their continued survival. Unfortunately, this very attribute makes them harder to eliminate.  


Are Box Elder Bugs Dangerous


Most people consider box elder bugs non-threatening. It is true that they are more of a nuisance than a physical threat, but that doesn’t mean they can’t create some very unique problems. For one, they can potentially leave stains behind. Get them on a white or pastel-colored sheet, and they might leave behind a trail of excrement.


As annoying as that sounds, you can easily wash your sheets and drapes, but the real problem lies within their stench. That’s’ right, in addition to potentially leaving behind stains, the box elder bug can also leave behind lingering smells. Needless to say, they are quite a nuisance and need to be dealt with. This isn’t a guest you want lingering around the home.


Managing The Infestation


As with any insect, the very best way to manage them is by keeping them out of the home in the first place. Of course, this is much harder than you’d imagine, especially when it comes to the box elder bug. They are in your home as a means of survival. And to make things even worse, once in the home, the bugs will remain dormant and hidden. They’ll usually burrow in your walls, seeking cover from the cold weather.


Once inside the home, the bug goes into a type of hibernation state, where it will remain unseen and hidden until the warmer weather returns. Therefore, most people don’t even know they have a potential problem until the bug has already fully infested and inhabited the home. As was mentioned, the best way to tackle the problem is to prevent it from becoming a problem. The only way to do that is to prevent it from entering the premises.


This will require sealing all cracks and crevices on the outside of the home. If you have cracks in the foundation, brick joints with missing or impartial mortar, or windows lacking caulking, you’ll want to tackle these areas first. In addition to providing entrances for unwanted insects and bugs, these openings are energy inefficient. Seal up these openings and you’ll not only prevent unwanted insects from entering the home, but you might end up making your home more temperature comfortable.

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