If you live in a region that has a large number of box elder trees, there is a high chance that you’ve come across an oval-shaped insect, black in appearance with beautifully placed, orange-colored markings on its thorax and wings. Interestingly, many people mistake this insect for stink bugs, but stink bugs are broader and no orange coloring. The Boxelder Bug is usually about a ½ inch long with six legs and two antennae. Like the Stink Bug, the Boxelders can release a foul odor when threatened. Adults survive the winter in enclosed spaces like tree bark and buildings and emerge in the spring to start the mating cycle. Although they feed and lay eggs in the box elder trees during warmer months, they become a nuisance in the Fall as they search for places to overwinter.
They try to migrate to a warm habitat for shelter, including houses and buildings through windows, doors, cracks and crevices in the walls and around the foundation. On a positive note, they only reproduce outdoors.
If you have sensitive skin, this bug is one to avoid as the piercing and sucking mouthparts of the insect are designed to puncture and can cause skin irritations. These insects can also cause displeasure with their pungent smell and fecal material that can stain home furnishings. However, it is essential to note that although they do not pose a significant health issue to humans, they can be nuisances based on their enormous numbers. If eaten by a pet, excessive salivating or vomiting may occur, and a trip to the vet may be necessary. They require consistent pest control activities to eradicate.
While there are measures for controlling these pests in homes, plants need help. They are helpless as the bugs penetrate plant tissues and suck out the sap with their proboscis. In the process, they cause leaf curling, bleaching, and reduced growth rates. Grapes, peaches, apples, and plums are immensely affected by an infestation. Homeowners are advised to keep only male box elder trees or staminate trees as the female trees produce seeds on which the bugs feed. They also feed on other trees such as Ash, Maple, and some varieties of fruit trees.
As with most bugs, our first instinct is to squash them. Doing that will release the nasty odor and the secretion that can cause staining. Our second inclination is to drench the pest with an over-the-counter bug spray. Unfortunately, that won’t work well either as they have developed a resistance to many pesticides.
Make your first option the best one by calling Cache Pest Control. We are family-owned and operated and serve Box Elder, Rich, and Cache counties. It is our mission to protect you, your family, and your business from unwanted pests. We are so dedicated to our customers that we guarantee our work 100%. If you’re not satisfied, we will return with no additional charge. When you call us, you are getting the most trusted exterminator in the region.