box elder bugWhat’s Bugging You? Box Elder Bug

Damage: These black and red insects are 1/2" long and can be a real nuisance when they over winter in your home. Their populations can number into the thousands in one area. The box elder bug becomes a pest in many houses each year in fall and spring. They do no damage by feeding, but their excrement spots on draperies are difficult to remove. The bugs cause little damage to trees.

Habitat: Box elder bugs normally feed on the leaves, flowers and seed pods of the box elder tree or silver maple. Large numbers of these pests are usually on the female, or pod-bearing, tree. These insects feed on male, box elder trees and other trees and plants, but they usually do not build up to such large numbers. The adults search for a place to over winter, which brings them into houses where they hide in small cracks and crevices in walls, door and window casings, attics, and around the foundation.

Breeding: The adult bugs lay eggs in the spring and the nymphs emerge in a few days. The nymphs are small and show more red than adults. These nymphs develop into adults during the summer, then mate and lay eggs which hatch into the nymphs of the second generation. Activity of nearly fully grown nymphs is noticed in August and September when they gather in large numbers on the trunks of box elder trees. The migration of the adults begins at this time.

Treatment: Since the presence of these bugs is associated with box elder trees, replacement with other tree species is one method of eliminating the nuisance pest. If box elder is grown, it may be best to keep only the male or staminate trees which would help to reduce its numbers. If they are indoors, vacuum up the bugs and then discard the contents of the vacuum bag when finished (if bugs are left inside the vacuum they may crawl out in the storage place). Our preventative maintenance plan will protect your home from these insects.

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Beebe’s Pest And Termite Control
18598 County Road 26 Foley, AL 36535

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