What Are These Orange And Black Bugs Around My Home?
November 21, 2018
Now that Halloween has come and gone, you have probably removed all of the black and orange decorations around your house. So you may be surprised if you start seeing spots of black and orange showing up again. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. You’re probably just seeing box elder bugs.
What Are Box Elder Bugs?
Box elder bugs are bugs that grow to about ½ an inch in length. They have black bodies with orange around the edges of their thorax and wings. Their bodies are flat and oval-shaped and they have long antennae.
Box elder bugs feed on soft plant parts, using their beak-like mouthpieces to suck liquid from the leaves, flowers, and younger branches of trees. They are often found on box elder trees, hence their name, but can also be found on apple trees, maple trees, ash trees, and more.
Why Are Box Elder Bugs In My Home?
For a good portion of the year, starting in spring and lasting through early fall, box elder bugs remain outdoors, feasting on the bounty that nature provides. However, in mid to late fall when the temperatures begin to drop, box elder bugs will often move to the warmest, sunniest sides of buildings to stay warm.
Once there, they’ll crawl around and can potentially find an entry point to get inside. If this happens, it is likely that you’ll discover box elder bugs in your home.
Do I Need To Worry About Box Elder Bugs?
Box elder bugs are considered a nuisance pest. They are not dangerous, they won’t harm your family, and they don’t cause a lot of damage. However, they are still not a bug you want in your home.
If they enter early enough in the season, you may discover them snacking on your houseplants. They can also stain light-colored upholstery with their waste.
The good news is that they do not reproduce in winter, so if they get inside you won’t have to worry about a population explosion over the colder months. Instead, they’ll find somewhere to wait out the winter in your attic, wall voids, or between the floors. They are not true hibernators, but they do go into a sort of resting period during winter and are largely inactive.
The big nuisance comes in spring when the weather warms up and they all decide to come out of hiding to make their way back outside. You may suddenly start finding them everywhere and you might discover an unpleasant scent when you try to squish them.
What Do I Do About Them?
There are some steps you can take to prevent box elder bugs from entering your home. The best thing to do is carefully inspect the outside of your house and fix any areas you find that could be an entry point for them. This includes cracks in your foundation, gaps around windows or doors, and holes in your siding or screens. You should also cap all vents and chimneys.
If you discover box elder bugs have already entered your Rock Island home, your best bet is to call the Rock Island Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators. We have the training and equipment necessary to eradicate the box elder bugs in your home and ensure that they don’t return.