When the weather changes in the fall every year, property owners often encounter a wide spectrum of overwintering pests invading their buildings.
One of these unwanted autumn guests has made a sudden surge in activity in 2015 – boxelder bugs. We here at Ehrlich Pest Control reported a 217% increase in boxelder bug requests from customers in Northeast U.S. states.
The boxelder bug, Boisea trvittata, famous for its black and reddish coloring, will congregate in the fall on the southern and western side of a building before flying off to find shelter for hibernating. Similar to other overwintering insects like stink bugs, boxelder bugs are considered nuisance pests as they will infest properties in large numbers.
Boxelder bug fecal matter has been known to leave red stains which can cause property damage, commonly to curtains or drapes. The 1/2″ flying insects earned their namesake from the boxelder trees they frequent (also commonly found in other types of trees such as ash trees) . Boxelder bugs will bite people in very rare instances which can result in skin irritation and leave a red mark.
So what could be causing this flood of boxelder bug issues in the northeast?
“The surge in boxelder bugs this year is being linked to longer than usual warm temperatures that have extended well into the fall season, allowing more time for boxelder bugs to develop into adults, and keeping the bugs active and more visible for much longer,” said Nancy Troyano, PhD, BCE, director of education and training/entomologist for Ehrlich Pest Control.
The severity of boxelder bug infestations can fluctuate year-to-year. In 2012 for instance, one Utah town was overwhelmed by boxelders, covering children, dogs, basements and window sills.
Fortunately, there are methods that pest control professionals like Ehrlich can employ to both prevent and get rid of boxelder bug infestations.
In general, as it applies to other types of pests, it is important to work with a licensed Technician to make sure that all pest entry points are sealed on the perimeter of your property. Treatments can be applied both outside and inside a property to reduce a boxelder bug population. It is recommended that property owners vacuum up any boxelder bugs they see indoors as that can provide temporary relief.
Boxelder bugs can show up just about anywhere indoors. Here are a few of the more unusual examples we found across Social Media.
I heard the guitar playing from behind the couch. I call it the boxelder bug jig. Haha! pic.twitter.com/yNEXD6Qn — Sharon Kennedy (@SharonKennedy_) January 6, 2012
Boxelder bug meets Beta fish #rivalries pic.twitter.com/BfLYc3Jb
— Rachel Kueppers (@rachelkipps) October 18, 2012
If you need assistance with a boxelder bug problem, contact Ehrlich Pest Control to schedule a free inspection.