Are Box Elder Bugs Dangerous?

10/15/2014


Box Elder Bugs   

Dangerous can mean so many things. Will a boxelder bug carry your children off into the woods? Probably not. Will they mug you while you're taking a walk down a dark alley at three in the morning? Generally, no. Boxelder bugs are mostly a nuisance pest. These bugs can bite. Their mouthpieces are designed to break through the skin of a fruit and are capable of piercing human skin, but they don't generally care to bite humans.

What are Boxelder bugs?

Boxelder bugs are a black, almond-shaped agricultural pest, with reddish orange trim. These bugs live on boxelder and maple trees during the summer months, feasting on leaves, flowers, and seeds, but enjoy a nice plum or apple. When fall comes, these bugs will attempt to overwinter in homes. This is when they become a pest for homeowners. They are not only unsightly, as they stack upon the window sills and climb upon the walls, their excrement can stain curtains, carpets, and upholstery. If you deal with boxelder bugs, you might even have a nice white shirt that has been ruined by one of these frustrating insects.

How do I get boxelder bugs out of my house?

If they have not gotten into your walls yet, you can use a vacuum to collect these bugs. It goes without saying that the bag should be brought outside and disposed of afterward. You don't want any bugs crawling back out.

If the problem has entered your walls, don't try to use pesticides or a bug bomb to get these bugs yourself. You'll only drive them into harder to reach pockets inside your home. Call a pest professional. A professional is trained in how to remove these elusive bugs. They can also discuss exclusion methods to keep the bugs from entering your house in the first place.

Here are a couple general exclusion methods you could try yourself.

  • Inspect your door and window screens, to make sure you don't have any holes, tears, or rips.

  • Make sure you don't have any tiny holes where your screens fit into place. It doesn't take much of a gap for a boxelder bug to get in.

  • Examine your weather stripping and door sweeps. These should make a good seal from top to bottom.

  • Use a caulking gun to seal holes in your foundation and exterior walls, until you are able to fix those areas properly.

  • Use the caulking gun around windows, doors, utility pipes, fixtures, and other areas where there may be gaps.

Boxelder bugs aren't dangerous, but they can be a pain. Exclusion is the best protection against these bugs. But to fully seal your home, it is a good idea to get a limited and focused application of pesticide applied to your exterior walls. This will leave a bad taste in their mouth, and make those bugs fly somewhere else to overwinter.






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