How to Get Rid of Box Elder Bug Infestations
The box elder bug is a sap-sucking insect that lives in North America. It is common to find them on trees during the summer months, but they can also be found inside homes and other buildings during late fall and winter. They are often found in the mountainous regions where rock chucks are. Boxelder bugs are attracted by light sources, making them more likely to fly into your home than most insects. In addition, they feed primarily on maple and ash trees, which makes these two varieties of wood very vulnerable to infestation from this type of pest.
The box elder bug has been known to cause damage when it feeds on certain plants, but it poses no threat to human beings or their property because its mouthparts cannot pierce human skin. The only exception would be if someone were allergic to the saliva released when the box elder bug feeds on something.
Boxelder bugs are a nuisance to many people and can also be quite dangerous. They will invade your home, feed on your plants, and make you want to get rid of them ASAP. But before you do anything drastic, read this blog post! What’s the best way to get rid of these pesky pests? And how long does it take for box elder bugs to die? Read more below!
What Do Box Elder Bugs Look Like?
The box elder bug is primarily known for its red and orange marking and oval-shaped body. The coloring makes it easy to distinguish the insect from other similar bugs that usually inhabit foliage and trees during the summer months. Their abdomens are longer than their heads and wing covers combined, while their legs are reddish-brown. The coating of a box elder bug is dark towards the top and lighter underneath. The wings of the adult insect are brown, while younger specimens have their wings covered in a grey membrane that develops into a darker-colored wing as they mature.
The box elder bug is approximately 1/2 inch long and has a segmented body. The box elder bug is sometimes confused with the brown marmorated stink bug but can be distinguished because of its head plates and red bands on the thorax. Boxelder bugs feed by sucking plant juices from seed pods and leaves and can cause deformed (misshapen) and spotted seeds and other fruits due to its feeding. Boxelder bugs may also feed on fruit, flower blossoms, and leaves.
Why do Box Elder Bugs Clump Together in the Warm Sunshine Around Your Home?
Boxelder bugs tend to flock together during the warm sunny days inside and around their homes. One explanation for this is that they are “cozy”; spending more time near their food source, basking in the warmth from the sun. In addition, it’s suspected that there is increased competition for food at this time of year with other insects such as bees and wasps being out gathering their food.
This could be the reason for swarming behavior. But the most obvious reason is that they are trying to escape the colder weather conditions of autumn and winter. So they will look for areas where it’s warmer, which means your home. If you notice these bugs in your window sills or around light fixtures or lamps, then this would be an indication that they are looking for a warm place to spend the winter.
Box Elder Bug's Lifespan; How Long do These Insects Live?
Box Elder Bugs typically live for one year. This is the time that is needed for them to fully go through their life cycle. Box Elder bugs undergo incomplete metamorphosis, meaning they go through an egg, nymph, and adult stage. Box Elder Bugs can also lay eggs which can hatch in as little as two days. This makes it difficult to keep these bugs under control because it takes a lot of work and time to remove eggs and larvae from areas where they’ve been seen and nursed.
The nymph is very similar to the adult Box Elder Bug but has a brighter red color. This stage typically lasts between five and six weeks before the nymph matures into an adult. The adults mate soon after they have matured from their pupae form. The female then lays her eggs in a tree or other sheltered area to stay until they hatch. The females will lay up to two hundred and fifty eggs. These eggs are usually found on the trees that they feed on. The boxelder bug spends the winter months in its immature form, which is why these bugs appear out of nowhere in large numbers each year.
How to Get Rid of Box Elder Bug Infestations
Boxelder bugs are small, winged insects that are prevalent throughout the US. They can be found on box elders, but also other deciduous trees and shrubs. Boxelder bugs feed on the sap of these trees by inserting their beaks into the bark or needles. They cause damage by producing a sweet excretion called honeydew that drips onto other leaves and surfaces below them, attracting other insects like ants and wasps.
The first step to getting rid of box elder bugs is to identify where they’re coming from. This will help you determine which method would be best for your situation. You can use sticky boards to trap box elder bug adults or nymphs (early stage) to determine where they’re congregating. It’s important to note that the sticky traps will catch all types of insects, so this means nothing if you find them empty each morning or after heavy rain. You can then put a drop of dish soap into the water tray to break the surface tension and allow them to sink so you know they have been caught