If you live in Aspen, you're probably familiar with box elder bugs. The insects often hang out on boxelder trees, but sometimes they enter homes and businesses. When they do, they can become quite a nuisance. Find out why you don't want this pest anywhere near or in your home.
What Do Box Elder Bugs Look Like?
Box elder bugs have a striking appearance. They are black with red or orange markings. Typically, adults have a flat and oval-shaped body. They measure about 1/2" long. With long antennae, box elder bugs are easy to identify. If you see a box elder bug outside, don't need to be too concerned. It's only when they make their way inside that should cause you to worry, an Infestation could cause frustration and unnecessary expense.
Why You Should Worry About An Infestation
Although box elder bugs can bite, they don't often do. If they puncture your skin, you may experience minor irritation. The real issue is the insect's ability to leave stains on your property. Their feces can leave behind a red stain that could damage your curtains and clothing. Also, they can produce a foul odor when you handle or crush them.
While they might not seem like much of a nuisance at first, there's a serious issue that comes from box elder bug infestations. They reproduce quickly and can take over your home. One or two box elders might not be a problem, but hundreds of them will overwhelm you. In only a short time, things could get out of hand. In the fall, box elder bugs often invade homes to escape from the cold weather. They often hide inside walls, which shelters them from the low temperatures, and unless you do something to prevent and eliminate the bugs, you could be left dealing with them until the winter ends.
Dealing With Box Elder Bugs
There's no way to guarantee that box elder bugs won't come into your home. However, there are steps you can take to deter them:
Repair holes in your screens: A torn screen is the perfect entrance for an insect, so you should repair the screen. Typically, you can find screen repair kits at hardware stores.
Check your windows and doors for gaps: To keep out these pests, seal the gaps with caulk or silicone. Use door sweeps under your doors to eliminate gaps. This will help to keep box elder bugs out and will deter other unwanted pests.
Eliminate The Box Elder Bugs
Once the bugs are inside your home, there's not much you will be able to do on your own. Attempting to exterminate the bugs once they are hiding in your walls is a recipe for disaster. If there are dead insects in your walls, beetles will enter your property. Carpet beetles and other insects could replace the box elder bugs, which then can cause other issues.
For temporary relief, you might want to use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bugs. Be sure to discard the vacuum bag outside immediately, or the bugs could escape. Then, you should consider how the bugs are getting into your living space. Is it through the door frames or baseboards? After you find the entry point, seal it up. This could mean removing the cover plates on outlets and sealing up any gaps.
All of the following are possible entry points:
Return air vents
Calling In The Professionals
Once box elder bugs are in your home, it's difficult to get them out. For the best results, you should hire experienced professionals. They know how to safely find and eliminate box elder bugs from your home. Are you ready to get started? Contact us at RAM Pest Management for more advice or assistance.