Where Do Boxelder Bugs Come From, and How Do I Get Rid of One?

In the United States, boxelder bugs are a well-known annoyance because they spend the winter hiding in and around people's homes. On the other hand, regional news sources in the United S indicate that boxelder bugs, which pose no threat to the gardens or plants found around most homes, have shown up in large numbers earlier than usual, and may be indirectly invading interior spaces earlier than usual as a result.

According to Eric Benson, Ph.D., a professor of entomology at Clemson University and an entomologist with Clemson Cooperative Extension, warmer-than-average temperatures this winter in many parts of the country have led to the early emergence of boxelder swarms. Boxelder bug activity may also begin earlier if temperatures are warmer than normal. "

This spring, why do boxelder bugs seem to be everywhere, whether it's your porch, garden, or the outside of your home? This is because boxelder bugs had no trouble finding warm, dry places to spend the winter as a result of the widespread drought that hit the west coast last year. Now, Benson says these bugs, which feed on the seeds of boxelder and other maple trees, are emerging en masse to find fresh spring foliage.

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Can we attribute this year's early appearance of boxelder bugs to anything in particular?

Benson claims that by the month of May, boxelder bugs are actively searching for their namesake tree (and other variants in the maple tree family). Spring temperatures in 2022 are expected to be the warmest on record, which could mean more of these pesky insects. S that triggers boxelder bugs to emerge from their winter hibernation sites

Immature boxelder bugs are smaller and bright red with only patches of black, while adults are about a half an inch in length, mostly black, and with several reddish lines, especially along the edge of their bodies. Some people get bitten by boxelder bugs every once in a while, and the resulting skin irritation can be uncomfortable. The red stain their droppings can cause on carpets and fabrics is the most bothersome thing about this insect. "

Infestations of boxelder bugs, which feed almost exclusively on the seeds of boxelder, maple, and ash trees, are common in the Midwest and other areas with dense populations of these species. But last year's drought triggered an influx of boxelder bugs (which are normally swept away in wet weather) that successfully found plenty of shelter in exterior foundation cracks and other hidden, quiet spaces in your home's exterior, says Megan Cavanaugh, a pest control specialist, marketing lead and co-owner of Minnesota-based Done Right Pest Solutions

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"They crawl in cracks and crevices 2-3 millimeters in diameter," explains Cavanaugh to Good Housekeeping, "and most people don't know these pests have crawled into their exterior wall voids until a warm, sunny day in the early spring comes up and these bugs start to wake up and come out." As soon as they emerge, boxelder bugs start looking for a way outside; however, they may awaken too early, prompting many people to call pest control and wonder, "Where did all of these fall pests come from?" '"

While Cavanaugh has not seen any official reports of increased boxelder bug populations from agricultural sources, she has received a large number of calls and reports about boxelder bugs inside homes and businesses this spring.

How do I stop boxelder bugs from taking over my yard?

If you've found boxelder bugs in your home's exterior, they're probably on their way to the nearby forests. Boxelder bugs are less likely to invade your home in the spring due to the fluctuating temperatures because they prefer to congregate in warm, sunny areas. This means that they will not enter through cracks in your foundation, screens, doors, or other openings. Both experts agree that the use of a vacuum is the most effective tool for dealing with them.

To keep boxelder bugs out of houses can be challenging. Benson says, "Caulking exterior cracks and other openings is the best way to prevent boxelder bug invasions inside." There are times when a targeted application of insecticide can be effective, such as when boxelder bugs are seen congregating outside. "

This video was taken directly from YouTube. If you visit their website, you might find the same material presented in a different format, or you might find even more data.

Pest Control for Boxelder Trees

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Using insecticide and other exterior applications, pest control services like Cavanaugh's Minneapolis-Saint Paul operation can keep boxelder bugs out of your home before summer turns to fall, she says. Within 8 to 10 hours, these products can eradicate the pests and stop them from entering your home through the exterior, as noted by Cavanaugh.

A "crawling insect treatment" can be used to prevent boxelder bugs from freely roaming your home if you have an out-of-season interior infestation this spring. "

If you're tired of squishing or vacuuming up these pesky insects, then I suggest trying this. She explains that the insects are harmless and will leave the house eventually, but that waiting for them can be annoying.

Natural methods for eliminating boxelder bugs?

DIY treatment of a boxelder bug infestation typically entails the use of a vacuum, and more specifically, a powerful shop vacuum. It's best to be cautious and use a soft brush attachment or an open-suction hose option to neatly collect boxelder bugs because, as Benson and other insect experts will tell you, they can leave nearly impossible-to-remove red stains on many different surfaces in your home. Furthermore, Benson stresses the importance of placing the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag before placing it in your outdoor trash.

"Some people just keep vacuuming them up while they're still alive, while others call a pest control service, have them come and treat the area, and then vacuum up the dead bugs," Cavanaugh says. It's easier to vacuum up dead bugs than live ones, but either way, homeowners and renters will need to clean them up. "

There's also As shown in the Utah State University video embedded above, you can try spraying the surfaces that are attracting the bugs with a mixture of water and one to two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid of your choice. Benson says that if you have boxelder bugs and they have been a problem every year, you could try spraying any nearby boxelder or maple trees, but this should be done only in extreme cases.

Exactly how does a boxelder tree manifest itself

According to resources published by the University of Minnesota, a boxelder tree can be easily recognized by its distinctive flowers, which many people will recognize as having a "propeller" shape. Experts agree that you can find them most frequently near the water, so look for them near lakes, rivers, and streams. You can also find them in areas of vegetation and forests with younger hardwood trees. The difficulty in completely eradicating boxelders stems from the fact that they thrive in a wide range of soil types and can spread rapidly in unmanaged areas.

Can you tell me when the last of the boxelder bugs will fly south for the winter?

Keep in mind that boxelder bugs are overwintering insects; consequently, you can expect them to stop swarming your home's exterior once cooler temperatures return in the fall.

According to Benson, "the life cycle and activity of boxelder bugs is closely tied to seed production and new leaf growth on boxelder and maple trees in the spring." "In the fall, they turn sociable, flying and congregating frequently on the sunny side of structures, and looking for cracks and crevices to enter shelter areas for the winter." "

Between now and then, you'll make a decision regarding whether you'll physically remove them from swarming in any areas around your home or whether you'll hire a local pest control specialist to assist you in removing an infestation from the inside of your home. But keep in mind that boxelder bugs aren't likely to cause any serious damage to you or your property, including the structure of your home.

In the end, it's best if you can just try to chill out. Although they may be annoying, boxelder bugs are completely harmless, as Cavanaugh points out. "Just do what you can, hire a pest control service, or wait it out; it shouldn't last more than a season." "

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Zee Krstic

Sub-Editor for Health

Health and nutrition news, diet and exercise trends, and product reviews from the wellness aisle are all areas that Good Housekeeping's health editor Zee Krstic is well-versed in. Before joining GH in 2019, Zee worked as an editor at Cooking Light, where he developed a foundation in nutrition, and he is now expanding his understanding of holistic health through ongoing partnerships with prominent academics and clinicians. His food and dining articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Time.

This video was taken directly from YouTube. The information presented here may be available in a different format, or you may find additional resources, on their website.

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