Box elder beetles, scientifically referred to as Boisea trivittatus, can be a nuisance when they enter your home or commercial building in large numbers. You may not notice them during summer as they often seek shelter during fall to find a warm place to hide for winter. They are related to cicadas and stink bugs.
What Are Box Elder Beetles?
Box elder beetles got their name from their favorite habitat — the box elder tree. They feed off the female versions of the tree, which produces the seed pods. They’ll occasionally feed off the male box elder tree and maple tree when needed. Their lifecycle includes a dormancy stage during winter. When they enter your home during winter, they won’t damage your property but can stain surfaces.
Do Box Elder Beetles Bite?
Box elder beetles are relatively harmless. They don’t bite, but they have piercing-sucking mouthparts that can occasionally puncture the skin, causing a red spot and slight irritation. There are very few reports of bites which is always an act of defense. Their bites don’t cause any significant harm as they’re not poisonous.
What Do Box Elder Bugs Look Like?
Box elder beetles are black or brownish with red or orange markings on their back. The adult bugs have a flattened and elongated oval body shape and are half an inch long. They have two antennae typically half of their body length and six legs. Their nymphs look like mature box elder bugs, but lack wings and are bright red.
Are Box Elder Bugs Dangerous?
Generally, box elder bugs won’t cause harm to you, children, plants, or pets. They also don’t transmit or cause any disease. They also don’t eat human food and will not touch your supplies, even vegetables. However, they can cause damage to your belongings. Crushing them, whether accidental or on purpose, produces a bad smell that can linger around your home for several minutes. Their feces can stain your white-colored curtains and other clothing.
How Can You Get Rid of Box Elder Beetles?
If box elder bugs have entered your home, don’t attempt to crush or kill them. Their dead insect bodies attract dermestid beetles and bugs to your home. How you remove them depends on where they’re hiding and the extent of your infestation. You can:
- Vacuum up the bugs and dispose of them
- Sweep them out
- Pick them one by one
- Spray water on them using a hose
- Use low-toxic pesticides
- Call your local extermination service provider to remove them
How Do You Prevent Box Elder Infestation?
It’s almost impossible to predict when box elders will target your home. However, you don’t have to wait and see if they’ll come. Take preventive steps by sealing any cracks that lead into your home. Use high-quality sealant and install door sweeps to all doors leading to the outdoors. Remove debris and plants around the edges of your house. Get rid of their food sources, particularly the box elder tree.
Struggling With Box Elder Bug Infestation in Bartlesville, OK? We Can Help!
At Excellence Pest Control, we understand the importance of keeping nasty, stinging, and annoying bugs from your home. Our extermination services involve the removal of ants, fleas, spiders, bed bugs, and many more. Contact us today to get rid of any pets in your home.