How To Keep Boxelder Bugs Away From Your Omaha Home
With the bucolic scenery of Omaha comes a hearty population of pests that inhabit the area - one of more unusual, appearance-wise, being the boxelder bug. Appropriately named for its food source, boxelder bugs prefer to feed on the juice of seeds produced by boxelder trees, which are native to the western U.S., as well as ash and maple trees. Boxelders are black with red or orange colorations on their backs, and adults measure a half-inch in length.
Boxelders are nuisance pests. They aren’t known to carry disease-causing bacteria harmful to humans or pets, and they don’t tend to affect plants, trees, and other yard greenery significantly. Still, their presence can become problematic for homeowners when they seek shelter for the winter. These bugs primarily live outside, but they find a dry place of refuge from the cold to nest until springtime in the fall. When they emerge, they’ll do so in force.
If boxelders take up shelter in the basement of your home or a nearby structure, such as a shed or garage, there could be thousands of them living there. Also unpleasant are the feces, dead bugs, and other waste they leave behind, often in less-accessible areas, such as in-between walls.
It’s unlikely for boxelders to bite humans, although they’ve been known to pierce skin if they feel threatened. And while boxelders may choose our homes to overwinter, they don’t do so with the intent to find food. However, their fecal matter can leave a red stain on walls, clothing, and fabric, including curtains, furniture, and drapery. When they sense danger, these pests will also emit a foul-smelling odor, released if they’re crushed; otherwise, they’re scentless pests.
Boxelder Bug Prevention Tips
To prevent boxelder bugs from invading your home, the best point of action is to make necessary home repairs. Here are a few preemptive measures to consider:
Seal cracks and crevices in the foundation and walls.
Repair holes in window and door screens.
Install door sweeps on all exterior doors, including garage door seals.
Trim boxelder trees in your yard, and if the problem persists, consider removing them.
If you’ve spotted a few boxelders in your home, it’s wise not to kill them - not only to avoid their odor but also because the scent that boxelders release may attract other insects to your home. Instead, call the experts at Beeline Pest Control, and consider the following:
Vacuum Up The Bugs: Instead of crushing them, vacuuming the bugs provides a way to rid them without experiencing their pungent odor. Be sure to throw away the vacuum bag in a sealed garbage bin, preferably stored outside of the home, to prevent them from crawling out.
Clean Bug Surfaces With Dish Soap: Once you’ve vacuumed the bugs, clean the surface with dish soap. Boxelders tend to congregate in warm areas that reflect heat. Scrubbing these areas with scented soap also removes the pheromones these bugs secrete to attract each other to hiding places. A freshly cleaned surface is an added defense against these pests.
Spray Boxelder Bugs With Dish Soap: If you find a swarm of boxelders, spray them with a solution of dish soap and water. If you have a spray bottle handy, fill the bottle with water and add one tablespoon of whichever dish soap you use. If you douse them enough, the soapy water will kill some bugs, though it won’t remove them all. Continue spraying the bugs until they disperse and dispose of dead boxelders bugs to avoid attracting live ones.
For more advice or assistance on boxelder bugs in your home, contact Beeline Pest Control. We have serviced the Omaha area for nearly a decade with reliable and guaranteed pest control. Call us at Beeline Pest Control today and request a free estimate.