boxelder bug on a branch

What are box elder bugs?

Box elder bugs are common outdoor pests that often choose our homes as a place to spend the winter months. For most people, the box elder bug is one of the easiest to identify species of insects. They have a striking color pattern and are often referred to as “Halloween bugs.” Box elder bugs have a black body, but their wings and thorax are outlined in a contrasting orange-red color. You can identify the nymphs, or young box elder bugs, by their striking bright red color. 

boxelder bug on a wood plank

Are box elder bugs dangerous?

The two biggest concerns when it comes to box elder bugs is their ability to invade our structures in large numbers and their ability to cause damage to plant and trees during the feeding process.

As large populations of box elder bugs feed on the liquids from leaves, stems, and flowers of a plant, they may cause some damage and distortion.

When these insects decide to overwinter in our homes, they invade in large numbers and are difficult to get rid of. They may also stain walls, upholstery, and curtains with their excrement as they travel to their overwintering spots. 

Why do I have a box elder bug problem?

Throughout most of the year, box elder bugs stay away from people and mainly live on the trees they are feeding on. However, when the weather begins to cool in the late fall, they will congregate on the south, sunny sides of rocks, trees, and buildings. As they travel up the walls of a home or other structure, they enter inside through vents, spaces around utilities, and cracks they discover in the walls. Once inside, these pests will travel throughout your home to a suitable overwintering spot. Box elder bugs are most problematic for people from the late fall to early spring when they use our homes as a place to overwinter. 

Where will I find box elder bugs?

You may see these unique insects crawling on trees as they feed on leaves, flowers, and young branches. Box elder bugs have specialized “sucking” mouthparts that they use for feeding. A box elder bug’s favorite trees to feed on are, of course, box elder trees. They will also feed on other seed-bearing trees like maple trees, ash trees, plum trees, cherry trees, and other fruit trees.

After box elder bugs have moved into a home to overwinter, they will congregate in dark, quiet areas of a home. Attics, wall voids, crawl spaces, and wall voids are some of their favorite overwintering spots. 

How do I get rid of box elder bugs?

Getting rid of box elder bugs from your yard, home, or business is best left up to a professional. The professionals here at Amco Pest Solutions will provide you with the year-round solutions needed to get rid of box elder bugs and prevent them from returning. Whether you are looking to get rid of a current box elder bug infestation or avoid future problems with them, our family owned and operated company is here to help.

Our professionals are committed to providing the pest control services needed to help home and business owners keep their properties free of box elder bugs and other common pests.

Amco Pest Solutions provides residential pest control and commercial pest control services throughout New Jersey, the five boroughs of New York, and South Florida. Reach out today to learn more about our effective box elder bug solutions!

How can I prevent box elder bugs in the future?

To make your property less attractive to box elder bugs, whether you live in New Jersey, New York, or South Florida, use the following, easy to execute, prevention tips:

  • Partner with Amco Pest Solutions to put into place the prevention measures needed to stop box elder bugs before they find their way into your house. 
  • Fix any openings in your home’s exterior that box elder bugs can enter through to avoid problems with these pests. Repair cracks in walls, place weatherstripping around windows and doors, cover vents, and seal spaces around wires and pipes that enter into your house.
  • Cut tree branches back away from your home’s exterior walls.
  • If possible, don’t plant box elder trees on your property.
 

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