Boxelder bugs are seasonal insects that seek a warm shelter during winter mostly in the cracks and crevices of people’s homes. The problem arises with the numbers they come in causing a full on pest infestation for those that have experienced them. They invade homes as overwintering pests especially during the fall in preparation for the cold season ahead.
You will not see much of them during the actual winter period but the few that you do should be the distress signal of the looming infestation. That you will experience in its fullness during spring when they finally come out in search for food when the temperatures are conducive and the sun is out which they enjoy basking in.
Boxelder bugs are not scary bugs considering that they do not bite or spread diseases but they can be quite vexing to a homeowner once encountered. They breed and multiply rapidly and in a short period. They swarm the south and west sides of the building (which are the sunniest and warmest). And when disturbed or crushed they excrete fluids with strong unpleasant odors, which also stain surfaces around the house.
Signs to Look Out For
There are certain factors in the set-up of a home that form a conducive environment for the breeding and infestation of boxelder bugs. Noticing these signs before-hand can be quite handy in interfering with the cycle of these bugs before it even begins.
One of these signs are the trees in your yard. The ones to look out for include the female boxelder tree, maple trees, and ash trees in whose trunks the boxelder bugs reside in as they lay their eggs and feed on their seeds. With either of these trees (especially the female boxelder tree) you become legible to attract boxelder bugs to your home. But this is not the only attracting factor.
There is also the cracks situation which if not handled becomes a dwelling camp for the boxelder bugs in their masses when it gets cold.
What Not to Do
A lot of wives tales have gone around from the internet to your local neighborhood conversations on ways to deal with boxelder bugs. If you have tried them then you are familiar with their ineffectiveness. If you have not (tried them) then here they are so that you do not waste your time and resources to a disappointing end;
- Soapy water – In the mind, this may seem like a viable option because there is soap and there is water. Bugs do not like a lot of water, it drowns them and soap contains chemicals that are not conducive for their existence. This will, however, drown and kill a few but will not necessarily deal with their rapid breeding, so no, this is not a viable option
- Mothballs – This is another common boxelder bug control option which to some may seem legit. Well, moth balls are good when dealing with moths but just because moths and boxelder bugs are all insects does not necessarily mean that they would be eradicated through the same means. So save yourself from the awful odors of mothballs if you are not dealing with moths
- Bug bombs – Again, not all bugs are eliminated by the same chemical combinations. Fact is boxelder bugs do not like bug bombs, but this just causes them to seek other parts to dwell in within your house like deeper into the walls as they continue to breed and multiply. Plus, bug bombs are counter-productive to the intended mission considering that they too like boxelder bugs cause smelly messes and stains around your house
What to Do
When handling pests the best options are to deal with them before they even get the chance to invade your home. That is by preventing them access to your home, which you can achieve by noting the signs before-hand and taking up the necessary measures.
If you can read the signs such as the ones mentioned above prevention becomes easier. Just so you know prevention is way more cost effective than having to deal with a boxelder bug invasion so here they are.
Thermal Acoustical Pest Control Insulation
This is a new kind of environmentally friendly prevention method better known as TAP insulation. TAP is made from recycled paper and natural borates and works to cover areas in your house that you barely get time to attend to (which are the areas that boxelder bugs thrive in).
It is an EPA certified pest management option that offers a more energy efficient insulation choice, which not only keeps the bugs out but also adds value to your property.
Fortify your Home
Pests being animals seeking survival they seize any opportunity they find in the nearby environment to guarantee it. That would entail the gap such as cracks and crevices in your home which is an indirect invitation for boxelder bugs.
By fortifying your home against this intrusion you introduce a permanent fix to the boxelder problem before it even begins. This you can achieve by sealing the gaps like covering the cracks and crevices in your home. Objects used in the fortification of a home against bug invasions include deterrents, siding corner craps, vent covers, expandable foam just to name a few.
Nonetheless, it can be quite challenging for some homeowners to deal with pests they have not seen yet. Thing is that when you do your home is probably overrun by them. Worry not, however, because even when plagued with these bugs there are viable eradication options.
There are relevant stores that have water to mix insecticides with the specific function of dealing with boxelder bugs. So when shopping it is important to specifically purchase the insecticide labeled boxelder bug.
It is also important to read through the instructions to make sure that you make the right mixture to ensure effectiveness. Once you have the right mixture then the following areas should be attended to; room corners, below appliances, around door and window frames, baseboard to wall pints, and utility pipe entry points.
Insecticide dust is ready to use and is mainly meant to cover the crevices and cracks in your home which a boxelder bug would use to get into and out of your home. There are specific dust insecticides labeled boxelder bug meant to precisely deal with the boxelder bugs.
They also include application instructions which should be followed to the letter for effectiveness and safety purposes. This insecticide is usually applied in areas around the house including; under appliances, under furniture, below sinks, in voids behind outlets, door and window frames, and in cracks and crevices of course.
Note that these insecticides can be toxic and should be kept away from children’s’ reach.
All in all, the best way to deal with pest infestation is by tackling the problem at its roots before it sprouts. Also, prevention is quite cost effective as it saves you money that you would otherwise spend in the eradication process. You should also know that these prevention and eradication methods need a professional’s touch so seek some for efficiency.