The boxelder bug can be a nuisance when they have infested your home. During the spring and summer, they live outside in trees, because they feed on the sap from boxelder and other trees. When the weather gets cooler, they come inside searching for heat. The adult boxelder bugs are black with red on their wings, but the nymphs are a bright red. These pests are annoying, but they are not dangerous to humans. If they infest your home, their feces can stain curtains and clothing. If you think your home might be infested, call Nashville Pest Control.
Appearance and Life-cycle:
The boxelder bug is black, but they have red markings along the edge of their wings. They are only half an inch long.
They lay their eggs in the spring in host trees or on the leaves. Their eggs are a reddish-brown color, which helps them hide in the tree. The eggs hatch within a few days. The nymphs are bright red with no wings. During the summer, the nymphs go through stages of molting before they become adults.
Habitat and Behavior:
These pests only come inside when they weather gets colder. Boxelder bugs get inside through small cracks and crevices in buildings. They hide in wall voids and other concealed areas during the winter. In addition, they enter homes searching for heat, so they hide near heat sources. Because of their wings, these bugs are mobile, so they can become a widespread problem in your home. In the spring, when the buds on the trees open, they go back outside and live in the trees.
The boxelder bug eats the boxelder tree, which is where their name comes from. They also eat ash trees, maple trees, cherry trees, and other seed-bearing plants. They suck the sap from the leaves, shoots, and seeds of the plant.
Level of Danger:
These bugs are not dangerous to humans. The most damage they can do is leaving red stains from their feces causing discoloration on curtains, drapes, and clothing when the infestation reaches high numbers.
Signs of Infestation:
If you have the boxelder tree or any of the other trees that these bugs are known to eat, then there is a chance your home might become infested. The best sign of infestation is seeing the bugs in or around your home.
Because these pests live in specific types of trees, the best way to prevent an infestation is to remove the trees from around your home. If you decide to still plant the boxelder trees around your home, make sure they are not seed-bearing. It also helps to seal cracks in the foundation and make sure that windows and doors are sealed.
Like most other bugs, if these pests do infest your home, they become incredibly annoying and hard to get rid of on your own. If you see these bugs inside or outside of your home, call Nashville Pest Control to get rid of them for you.