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paperclip boxelder bug up close

Quick Identification

>Color: dark colored with red stripes

>Legs: 6

>Shape: Segmented; oval

>Size: 1/2"

>Antennae: Yes

>Flight: No

Boxelder Bugs

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Overview Of The Boxelder Bug In Pittsburgh And PA

Boxelder bugs are a species of insect that spend most of their time living outside. In the fall when the weather cools they migrate inside of homes and other buildings in large numbers to find a safe, warm spot to overwinter inside of.

  • Adult boxelder bugs grow to a length of about ½ an inch.

  • They are black in color and have a reddish-orange color outlining their thorax, wings, and sides.

  • Boxelder bugs have specially adapted sucking mouthparts that they use for feeding.

Habits Of Boxelder Bugs

As their name suggests boxelder bugs are most commonly found living on, feeding on, and breeding on boxelder trees. They will also inhabit other seed baring trees including ash, maple, plum, and apple. Boxelder bugs use their mouthparts to feed on soft plant tissues like leaves, flowers, and young green twigs.

In the late fall large numbers of boxelder bugs gather on the warm sunny sides of homes and other buildings; as they crawl up the exterior walls they find their way inside through small gaps, cracks, and crevices present. Inside they will overwinter behind walls, in crawl spaces, underneath of floors, and in attic areas. When the weather warms back up in the spring they migrate back outside.

Threats Posed By Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs don’t pose any real health risks to people; they are however a huge nuisance to have invading your trees and the inside of your home. Boxelder bugs don’t cause any real damage to the trees they infest except in the cases of very large infestations. As they move throughout your home they may stain curtains, upholstered furniture and other cloth items with their feces.

Prevention Of Boxelder Bugs

To prevent boxelder bugs from gaining entrance into your home, steps should be taken by experienced professionals to physically stop them before the fall season. At Witt Pest Management our professionals can help you to complete the steps necessary to keep these pests out of your home. Some steps that you can take on your own to help prevent a boxelder bug infestation include:

  • If possible, remove boxelder or other seeding baring trees from your property that are located very near the exterior of your home.

  • Make sure that there are tight fitting covers over all vents.

  • Make sure that all chimneys have tight fitting caps on them.

  • Fill in any spaces found around utilities entering into your home.

  • Caulk Spaces found around windows and doors; install door sweeps.

  • Make sure that all screens are intact, replacing any that are not.

Control Of Boxelder Bugs

A highly skilled pest management professional should be enlisted to evaluate the problem activity in order to create a custom-tailored solution. Our Pittsburgh pest control technicians resolve boxelder bug infestations utilizing a variety of boxelder bug treatment options that may include:

  • A detailed inspection of the exterior.

  • A detailed inspection of the interior.

  • The sealing of any identified openings with caulk or other suitable materials.

  • The treatment of cracks and crevices with a residual material for added prevention. We will also communicate any conditions and/or recommendations such as repairing damaged screens on doors and windows.

Learn more about our commercial pest control services for boxelder bugs or find out how our residential pest control will protect your home from these fall invaders.

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