Boxelder bugs may appear scary but they are typically not harmful to humans. They are black, beetle-looking insects with red-orange markings on their back, making them easy to identify especially if their preferred tree is nearby. Like many other pests, boxelder bugs will often be seen either when they enter a home to overwinter, or when they emerge as spring rolls around.
Boxelder Bug Habitat
These insects can be found wherever boxelder trees are throughout the nation. They tend to emerge during the springtime after hibernating through the winter. They are often feeding on boxelder tree seeds and newly developed leaves, but have also been known to feed on plums and apples from trees.
Behaviors of Boxelder Bugs
During the autumn, boxelder bugs congregate in large numbers and flock to any area where the sun hits, such as warm rocks or on the sides of buildings. As soon as temperatures begin to drop in the winter, these groups of boxelder bugs will migrate to nearby buildings or homes to overwinter by hiding inside of small cracks or crevices in walls. Although they aren’t known to bite, they can be aggressive when directly threatened. They are also known to release a foul odor when handled roughly or crushed.
Preventing & Controlling Boxelder Bugs
The key to controlling boxelder bug infestations is preventing them from becoming a problem in the first place. The best way to prevent boxelder bugs is to seal your home from them. To keep them from invading your home when cold weather arrives, thoroughly inspect your home for any openings or cracks that would allow these bugs inside and seal them properly.
If these bugs are already inside your home, it’s important to avoid killing them. Vacuuming them can provide temporary relief, but it’s important to call a pest control expert.
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