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OVERWINTERING PESTS: BOXELDER, PINE SEED, AND LADY BUGS

April 22, 2013

Categories: Common Pests, Lady Bugs, Pine Seed Bugs, Boxelder Bugs

Last week we discussed how the warmer weather attracts most bugs out of their overwintering. Since most pests consider your home for their overwintering needs, it is really annoying when they start to emerge and you notice them everywhere. As most of these pests are not harmful to humans, they do have the ability to cause structural damage to your property. Environmental Pest Controls previous spring blog focused on cluster flies, wasps, and ants. This blog will focus on pine seed bugs, Asian lady beetles, and boxelder bugs and how these pests can wreck havoc causing a Toronto Pest Control company to come in and take care of the problem.

Boxelder Bugs: Their appearance is very distinctive. They are small (up to 12.5 mm long) with a beetle like black shell. A red line runs along their side and wings this distinguishes them from a milkweed bug, who have a red ‘X.’ You may have seen them sunning on the side of concrete walls or on the truck of any nearby female boxelder, maple, or ash trees. They eat the sap from the leaves, twigs and seeds of maple trees. This usually causes no harm to the trees themselves. Boxelder cannot bite so they are harmless to humans and pets but unfortunately they let off a smell when you squish them (hence the name stink bug). When you do this they can be known to leave small stains on fabric. The best way to get rid of them is to vacuum them up. They are annoying and more annoying when they find their way into your home in the winter months. They can get inside by little cracks in the foundation, windows, doors, or screens. They hibernate inside your walls. But don’t worry, because they will not breed indoors so there is no concern for a possible infestation. The heat in your house can confuse them which will cause them to wake up and they will start showing up around your home.

Pine Seed Bugs: Pine seed bugs are sometimes identified as ‘stink bugs’ because of the similarities in their appearance and because they leave an unpleasant scent when they are disturbed. They light brown in colour and measure 16-20mm in length. They feed on the sap of conifer cones throughout their life, this causes the developing seeds to wither and have trouble developing. Their primary defense against other insects is to spray a bitter offending smell and stab their proboscis. Even though they release an awful smell, they are often noted as smelling like apples or pine sap because this is where you will find most of them. Their stab when upset causes no harm to humans as they mainly use it to suck plant sap. You will find these pests in your home in the spring because when the weather gets colder in the fall they start moving more, looking for places for overwintering. Pine seed bugs will find crevices in your home and make it their new home for the winter. They usually enter homes in considerable numbers. You will notice pine seed bugs flying about your homes, making buzzing noises as they do, causing them to be annoying. Although they are not harmful to humans, they have been known to wreck havoc on the structure of homes by puncturing PEX tubing which can result to in leaks.

Asian Lady Beetle: The Asian lady beetle are a ravenous predator native to eastern Asia. They were introduced to North America and Europe to control aphids and scale insects in green houses, crop fields, and gardens. You will recognize the Asian lady beetle as having a yellow to orange shell with either no spots or up to 22 black spots. This beetle is also known to some as the ‘Halloween lady beetle’ because it invades homes around October for overwintering. Asian lady beetles which were intended to help control other insects have turned into quite the pests. They enter homes for overwintering, but don’t worry, because they are not harmful to humans or your home. They are annoying because they leave a stain and unpleasant odour when they get frightened or squished. They have also started contaminating crops with tender fruits in Ontario. These pests usually gather in groups and will use pheromones to call to one another. You will see lots of large groups in the autumn when they are looking for overwintering locations, which can usually result in your walls.

If you are in over your head dealing with any pine seed bug, Asian lady beetle, or boxelder bug infestations for pest control Toronto and surrounding area call toll free at 1-800-263-5055 or get a quote online today.

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