Clegg's Blog

What are Boxelder Bugs?

box_elder_bugBoxelder bugs are small, black, and red bugs that usually live near birch, ash or boxelder maple trees. In the winter, the bugs often move indoors in search of a warmer place to spend the winter. If you suspect boxelder bugs are living in your home, the first step is to identify the bug.

Identifying Boxelder Bugs

Adult boxelder bugs are winged insects that measure just 1/2 inch when fully mature. The insect is black with red or orange stripes on its back. The stripes are found below the head and on each of the insect's sides. When the wings, which have a red or orange outline, are closed, you can see an X-shape on the insect's back.

Boxelder bugs can fly as far as two miles to find a suitable place to spend over winter. Isolated buildings in open areas, such as homes in the middle of a field, and buildings that are taller than the surrounding structures are most susceptible to boxelder bug infestations. Boxelder bugs also prefer warm, sunny buildings with southern or western-facing windows.

Indoor Behaviors

Generally, boxelder bugs are considered a nuisance bug. The insect doesn't bite or sting, but can invade food supplies or cause light staining on walls and other light-colored surfaces. The bugs also release an unpleasant odor when they are crushed or swatted.

Boxelder bugs usually hide in cracks and crevices during cold weather. On warmer days, the insects swarm sunny windows. In spring, the insects become active and are noticeable throughout the summer. While most insects attempt to move outside in early spring, the insects that can't find their way outside continue to live in the home.

Preventing and Managing Boxelder Bugs

The best way to prevent boxelder bugs indoors is to close off all entrances the bugs use to enter the home. Installing screens on windows and doors is a simple way to prevent a variety of pests, including boxelder bugs.

Professional Help

If you’d like to control these insects or a large array of pests before they become a problem, contact Clegg’s Pest Control. Or you can call on the phone at 888-672-5344 for a complete evaluation of your home or business.

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