Boxelder bugs derive their name from the fact that they often thrive and live on and on boxelder trees. These bugs feed on the seeds, leaves, and flowers and may also feed on fruits such as apples or plums. Even though they do not cause damage, these bugs can become a real nuisance if they invade your home in large numbers. In any case, not a lot of people get amused by large bugs creeping in and out of cracks, windows, walls or furniture.
If you have boxelder trees around your home, you may have had an experience with these insects, and if not, PestWiki.com might be of great help when it comes to identifying and controlling boxelder bugs. Below are some common concerns about boxelder bugs.
How can I get rid of them?
Physical removal is the only practical way of getting rid of boxelder bugs that get into your home. Squashing them is highly discouraged as it can stain the surface on which the bug is killed. You can get rid of them by gathering them up using a vacuum with a long hose. You can also spray the bugs directly with a solution of soap and water and sweep the dead ones with a vacuum or broom.
Is there a way I can keep the bugs off my home?
You can keep the bugs off by spraying a residual insecticide on the exterior walls of your home. This helps by deterring the bugs from landing. However, this method is more effective during spring or fall when the bugs are starting to emerge. Once the cold weather sets in, the residual may not remain as effective.
How can I keep the bugs away from my home permanently?
The best and the most permanent way of keeping boxelder bugs away is by cutting down the maple and boxelder trees near or around your home. This is because the bugs rely on these trees for food and breeding during the summer. By getting rid of them, the bugs will have to look for other breeding and feeding grounds.
How do I know whether the bugs on my walls are Boxelder bugs?
Boxelder bugs are black with three red stripes, red lines on the edge of their wings, and vertical edge lines on the bodies. They also measure about half an inch long.
What attracts boxelder bugs into my home?
It is very likely to have these bugs in or around your home if you have boxelder or maple tree to which the bugs are attracted to. The bugs are also attracted to the warm, sunny home sides when they begin to look for shelter in the fall, as they prepare for the coming cold months.