If you’ve lived in Utah for more than a very short period of time, chances are you’re familiar with the boxelder bug. Salt Lake City has one of the largest populations of these bugs in the country, and their red-orange coloration makes them distinctive.
At A-1 Exterminators, our commercial pest control services include the equipment and expertise to eradicate these bugs. Here are some basics on the boxelder bug, including a few prevention tactics you can take.
Habits and Habitat
Boxelder bugs live on maple and seed-bearing boxelder trees during warmer months, and this is where they thrive as well. These are the locations where they lay their eggs, and they’re able to feed on leaves, flowers and seeds in the area. On some rare occasions, they’ll feed on the fruits of plum and apple trees.
In autumn periods, boxelder bugs become more gregarious, and congregate on the south side of rocks, trees and buildings when the sun hits them. As larger groups come together, they migrate to nearby buildings or homes to overwinter – they hide in small cracks and crevices in the walls to insulate themselves from cold temperatures. During March and April, adults leave their overwintering sites to return to trees for the warm months.
Boxelder bugs aren’t generally very dangerous, and aren’t known to bite. However, their mouthparts can occasionally puncture skin as they attempt to suck or pierce, and this can lead to marks similar to a mosquito bite. If they’re crushed or handled roughly, boxelder bugs might leave a reddish orange stain from their fecal material – this can discolor clothing, drapes and other upholstery.
Preventing boxelder bugs from entering the home comes down to limiting their ability to enter. Seal cracks and crevices will quality caulk, and install door sweeps to all entrances.
If boxelder bugs are already in the home or business, do not attempt to kill them in wall voids. Dead insect bodies can attract beetles. Call the pros for extermination, and if immediate disposal is necessary, simply use a vacuum cleaner.
For more information on boxelder bugs, or to find out about any of our other pest control services, speak to the pros at A-1 Exterminators today.