box elderBox elder bugs are a species of bug native to North America. They are found mostly found on box elder trees but can also be found on maple and on ash trees. They are about a half inch in length and are black with red coloring on the outside of their wings. They have six legs and will have reddish eyes that you may be able to make out if you get close enough. Their children are bright red and color.

In their natural habitat, box elder bugs are not generally considered to be pests. They primarily feed on the seeds of Acer species. Acer species are better known as Maple trees. You may find box elder bugs around your maple trees. There is usually no noticeable injury to the maple tree from this feeding. Even though trees that have box elder bugs feed upon are usually not injured it is important to note which trees may attract box elder bugs. Along with maple trees box elder bugs particular like to live in box elder trees and in ash trees. If you have any of these trees in your yard then you may have box elder bugs living in them. When confronted; however, box elder bugs may release a pungent and bad-tasting compound in order to discourage any predator from eating them. As such, box elder bugs are sometimes given the term “stink bugs.” This label is usually applied to insects of the family Pentatomidae; however, box elder bugs are if the family Ropalidae. Bugs from this family are usually considered to be scentless so the box elder bug is a rarity in this occasion.

Box elder bugs normally reside outside where they can feed on Acer seeds. However, when it gets colder outside they sometimes invade houses and other human structures looking for a place to stay. They usually start by hiding behind the walls of a house. They may also get in through a damaged window, small holes in the roof, or cracks in the door way. Homes with vinyl siding are especially vulnerable to box elder bugs as there are almost always gaps in the vinyl siding through which the bugs can get in. They stay inactive there until the heating system wakes them up. When revived by the heating system, many of them may perceive it to be spring and leave the walls for the inside of the house. They are searching for food and water and thus may appear in front of residents or guests in the house and freak them out.

If you have an abundance of box elder bugs in your house they may stain your walls, curtains, and other surfaces in your house with their excrement. The bugs that break into homes out of the box elder species are almost always full grown adult box elder bugs as the young bugs usually either die or grow up before the fall.

If you are concerned about the presence of box elder bugs in your home there are a variety of measures that you can take. If you really do not want the bugs in your yard or house at all you could remove the trees from your yard. However, these trees most likely are providing a great deal of benefit to your yard and you may want to keep your trees. You can also take some measures to prevent box elder bugs from coming into your home. Repairing any damages to your house that may leave an opening for the bugs to come in will go a long way toward preventing the invasion. You may find these gaps in your doors, your windows, in places where wiring enters your home, and in your roof. Unfortunately, if your home is constructed of vinyl siding then you will most likely have too many gaps in your house to hope to be able to seal it off from box elder bugs. If your home is constructed with vinyl siding, you should look at tree removal or tree spraying in order to prevent bugs from entering your home.

Once you discover you have box elder bugs in your house the best thing you can do is to physically remove the bugs from your house with a vacuum or a broom. By spraying the insecticide in areas where the bugs may come in you may prevent them from using that entrance. Box elder bugs rarely stay inside a house more than a few days and they will not reproduce inside of your house. When they emerge from walls during the winter they are full grown adults and killing them will not actually prevent more from returning.

Box elder bugs are a common pest that can be found both outside and inside if you have the right trees in your yard. Armed with the knowledge that you may have box elder bugs in your yard you can prepare your home in order to prevent possible invasion of box elder bugs.

Alliance Pest Services has complete home protection plans to that keep your property and home pest free all your around.