Boxelder bugs are generally considered to be a nuisance bug rather than a harmful bug. But, that doesn’t mean you want them in your home or garden.
These bugs look like small beetle with red and black backs. They are commonly found near female box elder trees, although they have been known to feed on male box elder trees, maple, ash, and even some fruit trees. One of the clues that they are doing this is the deformity of the fruit, they can even discolor the leaves.
If you have a lot of them in your garden you’ll want to contact the exterminators and have the issue dealt with properly.
What Harm Do They Do?
The good news is that box elder bugs are not known to bite, they are also disease-free and will not sting you. In fact, they are not likely to damage you or your plants.
However, while they are not harmful, it should be noted that their feces is likely to leave a mark on any light-colored furniture you have. It is virtually impossible to remove this stain. You should also be aware that simply squashing this bug when you see it will allow it to release a noxious aroma. The odor will actually harm your health, but it will be noticeable and is, in no way, pleasant.
That’s why you need the pest control experts to deal with them for you. Although they don’t generally bite, they have been known too for defensive reasons. These are usually rare occurrences but it does happen.
When They Become An Issue
When the temperature starts to drop the box elder bugs will look for their permanent winter home. They’ll fly as far as two miles to find a tree stump, pile of debris, or a nice inviting home, they can then set up their bed and get some sleep until the early spring!
When the temperature starts to rise they’ll become active again and potentially give you an issue.
It’s worth noting that you can vacuum box elder bugs up, once you’ve done this you can remove your vacuum bag and put it into your freezer. The cold will kill the box elder bugs and you’ll then be able to empty the bag into your bin.
Another area that needs to be considered is the gaps around your home where these bugs, and others, can enter. You need to go around your home and yard to ensure everything is tidy and in the right place.
Boxelder bugs are happy to live in wood stacks, leaf stacks, rock piles, and even on overgrown plants. Take a look around your yard for any of the things and remove them, it will reduce the chances of box elder bugs choosing your yard for their next home.
You may also want to know that young box elder bugs can easily be washed away, they are not good swimmers and are likely to drown.