Preventing Fall Invaders: Stink Bugs And Box Elders

10/24/2014


Box Elder Bugs    Stink Bugs   

In fall they come like a storm. If you have fruit trees in your yard, you will be especially annoyed. Stink bugs and box elder bugs are both damaging to tree bark, and the fruit on your trees. But where they get particularly frustrating, is when they try to enter your home.

Stink bugs and box elder bugs share some common traits.

Both of these bugs come in large quantities, attempting to squeeze into every vulnerable gap in your home. They hide under bark when winter comes, so it is only natural for them to try to hide under your siding. Your toasty house is a lot more appealing than a cold tree. And, once these bugs have tasted the summer temperatures inside your house, they'll be happy to skip hibernation.

Both of these bugs can stain fabric when you squish them. That means yellow and brown splotches on your carpet, drapes, and furniture. In the case of stink bugs, these stains also have the lovely aroma of dirty feet and sewage. If you get these bugs in the house, it is best to vacuum them up, and put the bag outside.

Both of these bugs crawl on walls, fly around, and gather on sills. As a general rule, this is disgusting.

Most people just deal with these bugs. I have known people who live with hundreds of these in their home. They crawl in the curtains, on the windows, across the television, and on kitchen counters. They're not dangerous, but they are definitely gross to have around.

How do I protect my home from stink bugs and box elders?

  • Inspect your door and window screens, and have damaged screens repaired. Windows and doors are the most common entry point for these bugs.

  • Inspect around your windows and doors. Make sure there are no gaps. Sometimes weather stripping will be worn out, or out of place. Have these areas repaired. These bugs can slip through the tiniest of holes.

  • Examine the exterior of your home for gaps. Use a caulking gun to fill rotted holes, or seal around fixtures, pipes, and outlets.

  • Use elastomeric latex or silicone/acrylic caulk, to fill in gaps where different materials meet, like stone and wood, or brick and wood.

  • Fill in cracks in your foundation.

It is very difficult to use exclusion methods on a house with vinyl siding. To protect these homes, an exterior treatment may need to be applied. For safety reasons, have a professional take care of this. They know what mixtures of insecticide to use, and where to apply it safely. They also have sprayers that can reach the roofline, and second and third story windows, where these bugs can easily gain entry.

If you get stink bugs and boxelders every year, take steps to stop the madness. You don't have to live with these bugs anymore. Get protected today.






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