If you’ve been seeing ugly looking black bugs that are starting to cover a certain part of your home, then you’re possibly dealing with boxelder bugs. It is important that you know how to identify these bugs, as you can mistake them from other insects with black and red markings.
Though these bugs don’t do any damage to your home, their presence alone is what will make you consider them as pests. Thus, the need for proper identification and inspection.
These bugs will typically gather on the south part of your home or building. The sunny side of your property is where they will spend the rest of the day hanging out and reproducing. Large infestations may instantly happen overnight and end up difficult to control.
Conducting an Inspection at Home
So, how do you know if you are dealing with a box elder bugs infestation? The first thing you should do is conduct a thorough inspection. To do this, you should learn where these bugs are hiding in and outside your home.
Where They Hide Inside Your Home
These bugs become a nuisance pest inside your home when they get through cracks and crevices and undisturbed voids. They usually enter homes during winter months. Though you may not easily see them inside, you will start noticing them once spring comes.
They start leaving their temporary living spaces during the winter once the warmer temperatures start. These bugs will make their way outside to find food and lay eggs.
Some of the hiding spots of these bugs during winter include:
- Storage areas
- Inside cupboards and cabinets
- Beneath appliances
- In wall voids
- In unfrequently moved fabrics (beddings in guest rooms, curtains, etc.)
As soon as the temperatures get warm, you should start looking for these bugs at the following:
- Around windows
- Around doors
- Near or around light fixtures
Take note of these places and be wary of these bugs hiding in these spots as you may find them in large numbers. If you see a couple of these bugs, it is highly recommended that you physically remove instead of squashing them. They leave a staining dye, so be careful not to crush them in the process.
When the infestation is beyond control, it is advisable that you immediately create a pest management plan. This way, you can prevent the infestation from getting worse and control it while it is still in its early stage.
Where Can You Find These Bugs Outside?
If it’s the fall season, you will most likely find these bugs in or around the exterior of your home. You can find them individually, but they are commonly found in large groups. Some of the common areas where you should look for them are:
- On or around doors
- In or around silver maple trees or box elder trees
- Around windows
- On the sunniest parts of your house
- Near bushes
- In tree holes
- In outdoor sheds
If you have boxelder trees, you should be wary of these bugs entering your home. They would love to spend the winter in any part of your home undisturbed. Though they feed on the leaves, flowers and seed, they will most likely hide throughout the winter and only come out once the warmer temperatures start.
Controlling an Infestation
Once you confirmed an infestation, it is highly recommended that you consider removing them carefully. You can contact pest control experts if the infestation gets worse. However, there are other ways you can try doing like:
- Plug wire mesh on weep holes
- Install tight fit screens on attic and foundation vents
- Fix broken door jams and window screens
- Plug exclusion materials in cracks you find in the roof or foundation
- Caulk all cracks you see and around utility lines