Six Freaky Facts about Box Elder Bugs

Up close image of a box elder bug. Interstate Pest Management serving Portland OR & Vancouver WA talks about six freaky facts about box elder bugs.

Though they don’t damage structures or contaminate our food, Box Elder Bugs can be a nuisance. They are indigenous to every state in the Union and come in large numbers. Below is a list everything you might never have wanted to know about Box Elder Bugs.

  • Trees are on their menu. Your favorite foods are safe, but certain trees in your yard will suffer damage. Box Elder Bugs love box elder trees; with piercing mouthparts, they suck the juices from developing seeds. Other trees are also at risk, including Ash and Maple. In the fall, the pest will feast on the fruit of apple, cherry, plum, and peach trees.
  • Watch out, their guts will leave a mark. Put down the fly swatter and control the squishing impulse. When smashed, the insides of the Box Elder Bug will stain fabrics and surfaces. An effective method of household elimination is to grab a broom, sweep them up, and toss them outside. If you have a more devious streak, a vacuum will be certain to satisfy. That doesn’t mean you will stop finding them, but the immediate concern will be alleviated.
  • These bugs don’t wear deodorant. Adult Box Elder Bugs lack predators. This is because they emit a foul odor when threatened, which also results in a terrible taste. Spiders will only occasionally eat one and birds tend to avoid them all together.
  • Watch out for the swarm. When nights begin to cool in the fall, Box Elder Bugs accumulate in the thousands. Their favorite place to hangout is on the southern face of buildings and homes. In some cases, they can become so thick that the wall will look like a writhing mass of red and black.
  • Box Elder Bugs like it hot. When the temperature plummets, you might have hundreds of uninvited guests living indoors with you. Cold weather triggers survival mode. The pests seek out stumps and debris piles in which to overwinter, but your house is also a delicious target. If there’s even the smallest way in, they will find it. The indoor warmth causes them to go out of survival mode and they begin wandering your home searching for food.
  • They’re tough. Box Elder Bugs are resistant to a wide variety of pesticides. Many of the over-the-counter sprays available at your local hardware store will not kill them. You’ll just be giving them an expensive shower.

Don’t let Box Elder Bugs freak you out. They might be all over your, trees, yard and house they might be tough, sneaky, and stinky, but Interstate Pest Control can help. A certified exterminator from Interstate will know the best methods to keep the pests out of your home and away from your yard. Interstate Pest Control has trained technicians that will use the best chemicals to effectively keep these six-legged invaders from being a nuisance.