How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs
As we settle into the cold winter season, many of us are bundling up and staying indoors to stay warm. But, we aren’t the only ones seeking shelter inside! Some insects will also try to sneak into our homes to get out of the freezing temperatures. One such overwintering insect is the boxelder bug, which is particularly common in the Pacific Northwest.
Boxelder bugs, also known as maple or zug bugs, are about ½-inch in size and have wings. Their elongated, oval-shaped bodies appear flattened, and they are generally black with reddish or orange markings. While boxelder bugs are not known to be dangerous or aggressive, they can be quite the nuisance – especially if they stain furniture or fabric with their reddish feces.
Tips for Getting Rid of Boxelder Bugs
Getting rid of boxelder bugs may seem like a daunting task, but there are some simple steps you can take to deter these insects from swarming in your home. Here are our top tips for getting rid of boxelder bugs:
- Seal any cracks or openings around your home. Preventing new insects from entering your home is the first step in stopping an infestation. Since boxelder bugs are so small, you will want to carefully examine your home to look for any cracks or crevices they could be crawling through. Seal these areas with caulk, foam, or another durable material.
- Fix broken window or door screens. Boxelder bugs can crawl through tiny holes, so broken window or door screens are an easy way for them to wander indoors. Repairing any torn screens around your home can prevent these insects from getting inside.
- Vacuum living insects rather than squishing them. When squished, boxelder bugs will release a foul odor that may attract other insects like carpet bugs. Vacuuming boxelder bugs prevents them from releasing the odor. However, it’s important to seal the vacuum bag in a plastic bag or container before disposing of it to prevent the insects from crawling out.
- Wipe down surfaces with soapy water. Boxelder bugs release pheromones, which can attract more insects to the area. A mixture of dish soap and water can remove these pheromones and deter new insects from congregating in your home. Soapy water can also help disperse swarms of boxelder bugs.
How to Prevent Boxelder Bugs
Preventing boxelder bugs from entering your home in the first place can save you a lot of time and effort down the road. But, just how do you keep these tricky pests out of your home? Here are some tips for preventing boxelder bugs:
- Keep your doors and windows closed. Leaving unscreened doors or windows open allows all sorts of insects to crawl indoors. Keeping everything closed or ensuring openings are screened can prevent boxelder bugs from entering your home.
- Be sure to pest-proof your home each fall. Boxelder bugs are most likely to sneak inside when temperatures drop. We recommend pest-proofing your home each fall to keep all sorts of bugs and critters out during cold weather. To get started, you can carefully check your home for any cracks or openings that pests could crawl through.
- Trim or remove boxelder trees. As their name suggests, boxelder bugs are commonly found on boxelder trees – in fact, these insects only lay their eggs inside of their host trees. If you have any boxelder or maple trees on your property, trimming or removing them could prevent these bugs from infesting your home.
Boxelder bugs can be annoying and unsightly houseguests, and infestations can be tricky to stop. If you’ve tried all of these tips and are still encountering boxelder bugs in your home, it may be time to elicit the help of a professional. Luckily, the boxelder pest control experts at Interstate Pest Management have your back! Our experienced technicians can help eliminate boxelder bugs from your home, once and for all. Just give us a call to get started!