Box Elder Bug Identification & Prevention

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Frequently Asked Questions About Box Elder Bugs

boxelder bug in a home

What are box elder bugs?

As their descriptive name tells us, box elder bugs are insects that inhabit box elder trees, along with other types of seed-bearing trees. Their reddish-orange and black color pattern is how most people identify box elder bugs. Their elongated, oval-shaped body is black, and their wings are outlined in an orangish-red color. Adults grow to about ½” in length. Young box elder bugs (nymphs) look similar to the adults but are smaller in size and bright red; also, young box elder bugs lack wings.

Are box elder bugs dangerous?

Box elder bugs spend most of their life outside, causing little problems for people or our property. The only time these insects cause damage to trees is when they invade in extremely large numbers. These nuisance pests only become an issue for people when they move inside our homes. As they move across our home’s interior, they may stain floors, walls, curtains, and upholstery with their excrement. Also, these pests invade in large numbers, making them difficult to control and eliminate.

Why do I have a box elder bug problem?

Box elder bugs spend most of their time outside but do often find their way inside homes and other buildings to overwinter. In the late fall, they move to the warm sunny sides of structures. As they crawl along the exterior walls, they find their way inside through openings they come across. Once inside, they will crawl throughout your home until they find a suitable place to spend the winter. Like with most overwintering pests, when the weather warms back up in the spring, they move back outside to feed, breed, and continue their lifecycle.

Where will I find box elder bugs?

Box elder bugs like properties that have box elder trees or other types of seed-bearing trees like ash, maple, and cherry trees. Box elder bugs have specialized “sucking” mouthparts that they use for feeding on the leaves, stems, and fruits of a tree.

Those box elder bugs that have moved inside to overwinter gather together in secluded spots. Attics, crawl spaces, wall voids, and spaces under floors all make great overwintering spots for box elder bugs.

How do I get rid of box elder bugs?

The best way to eliminate box elder bugs and keep them from returning is with a little help from a professional home pest control expert. At Albemarle Termite & Pest Control, our technicians work hard to provide affordable, safe, and effective pest control services in Elizabeth City. As a family-owned company, we prioritize putting our customers first and exceeding expectations. If you are looking forward to eliminating pests from your property once and for all, call Albemarle Termite & Pest Control today!

How can I prevent box elder bugs in the future?

Box elders can be a nuisance to both you and your property. Avoid problems with the help of the following prevention tips.

  • Place weather-stripping around windows and doors.
  • Repair damaged screens.
  • Place covers over vents and chimney openings.
  • Seal cracks in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.
  • Repair damaged siding and holes along the roofline.
  • Seal space around wires and cables entering your home.
  • Cut trees back away from the outside of your home.
  • If possible, remove or don’t plant box elder trees on your property.
  • Plant seed-bearing trees away from the outside of your home.

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