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Being a resident of Texas, you are likely familiar with the saying, “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” While this might not be bad in some respects, it is certainly not good when it comes to insects. This is especially true when it comes to the box elder bug. While these beautifully and interestingly colored pests are not particularly a threat to the human, they can be quite the nuisance. And the bigger they are, the bigger the nuisance they’ll be. Therefore, one must arm themselves with as much information as possible, regarding this specific pest and how to battle it. Luckily, that’s just one of the many things that we are here to help with.
Successfully Identifying The Box Elder Bug
With a flattened and elongated appearance, 6 legs, and two antennae, the box elder bug can be one of the more unique pests out there. They typically only grow to be about an inch long, including the antenna, but they can be a major problem. Despite all this, it is their reddish-orange markings and red eyes that are the most identifiable. The main body is colored anywhere from gray to black, but when you combine this with the reddish-orange and red eyes, it makes for a unique look. You’ll know you are looking at something truly special when you lay eyes on the box elder bug.
Despite their unique appearance, these bugs are commonly mistaken for the Elm Seed bug, which gives off a similar appearance.
Does The Box Elder Bug Bite?
The few good things about the box elder bugs are they do not bite, they do not sting, or they don’t even cause problems in your pantry. While they are not dangerous, they are still a major nuisance. It will be during the late summer and fall that these pests become a major problem for homeowners. This is because they are considered overwintering pests. When cold temperatures and winter weather start to set in, and the pests seek refuge indoors, if possible. The pests usually make their way into the home via cracks and crevices in the foundation, window frames, and garage doors.
Once in the home, box elder bugs will take shelter in the attic, garage, toy boxes, unused clothing, storage boxes, and wall voids. You’ll want to look for them on the side of the home that most faces the sun because they are attracted to the warm weather. While they do not bite or sting, they can produce an unpleasant odor when provoked or crushed. Their fecal matter has been known to leave behind unwanted stains as well.
Prevention Is Key
If you’ve previously seen a box elder bug in the home or maybe you’ve experienced an infestation last fall, now will be the time to get ahead of the problem. You’ll want to start by caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windows, making sure that screens and other protective materials are in good shape.
After this, you’ll want to fill in cracks and gaps along the foundation of the property. Covering vents with wire meshing material and blocking other potential entry points can also go a long way. Another good idea is to have our Austin pest management pros come out and spray a protective barrier treatment of insecticide around the home. This is something we are more than willing to do and will also serve useful against a whole host of other pests.
If there are, unfortunately, any box elder bugs that have already made their way into the home, you can simply vacuum them up and dispose of them in a sealed plastic container in an outdoor trash can located sufficiently from the property.
Whether you need more assistance or are still unsure of how to tackle your box elder bug problem, you can feel free to give us a call. Our Austin office always has its door and phones open. All you must do is reach out today for expert service tomorrow.