PEST LIBRARY / BOXELDER BUG
The Boxelder bug is a common and well-known insect in Ontario that is most abundant after summers when the month of May is very warm and July is very dry. However, the abundance varies greatly from place to place as well as from year to year. There are some Boxelder bug problems even in years when a widespread outbreak does not occur.
During the summer months, Boxelder bugs live, feed and reproduce on trees, shrubs and other plants (including boxelders, maples, ashes and others). They feed on sap from their host plants but do not cause significant damage. Boxelder bugs become nuisance pests in the fall when they leave the plants to find hiding places for the winter. During their random search, they congregate in the sunshine on the south sides of buildings, trees and rocks. From there they stray into houses through cracks in the foundation and siding, gaps along windows and doors, and other small openings. Box elder bugs within walls or attics remain inactive while they are cold. The nuisance occurs when the ones warmed by heat from the furnace or the sun become active during the winter and crawl into the rooms.
Boxelder bugs do not reproduce indoors. They only lay eggs on trees and other plants. Boxelder bugs do not feed indoors. They are sap feeding insects with a beak that can only suck liquid food (sap) from the twigs and seeds of selected species of trees and shrubs. Boxelder bugs are harmless as they cannot damage the house, its furnishings or occupants. They can be, however, a considerable nuisance pest.
Boxelder Bug Control and treatments are the same as for other occasional invaders and Environmental Pest Control offers great country living services for Boxelder Bug problems.
Sealing exterior gaps and cracks around windows, doors, eaves, roofs, siding and other points of access before these insects appear can help prevent some unwanted entry. Experience suggests, however, that comprehensive pest proofing is time-consuming, often impractical and usually not very effective. For large infestations with intolerable numbers of insects, spraying pyrethroid insecticides such as permethrin to the outside of buildings when the insects appear will help prevent pest entry. Homeowner insecticides do not provide satisfactory prevention.
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