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Box Elder Bug: The Forgotten Fall Pest

When the cold temperatures of fall start to drive pests into your home, box elder bugs may be the least of your problems. Mice and rats can spread harmful bacteria to your food prep surfaces, shelves, and food items as they spread ticksfleas, and other parasites around your home. Stinging insects become more aggressive as they prepare to save their species from the extinction of winter. Cockroaches can spread diseases, harmful bacteria, and allergens to every corner of your home. And this is just naming a few. These are hard pests to ignore. Box elder bugs don’t spread sickness or destroy wood, so they often get less attention than other overwintering pests, especially if only a few are getting in–or they tend to show up in a shed or outbuilding during the winter months. But, here’s why you should pay attention when you see box elder bugs.

  • When box elder bugs start getting into your home, it is likely that their numbers will grow each winter. If you have a dozen now, you could have several dozen next year. This is because box elder bugs often come in through holes that are created by water damage. When water causes wood to rot, bugs and rodents come to chew on it. As they do, those holes become larger with each passing day. If this is how box elder bugs are finding a way in, it is important that you do a detailed inspection, and seal those holes up. Hopefully, they’re just squeezing in through damaged weather stripping, a natural gap, a vent, or an open chimney. These are fairly simple to seal.
  • While box elder bugs are definitely a nuisance pest, they can also cause damage to your belongings. When crushed or handled roughly, they can excrete a reddish orange fecal fluid that can discolor clothing, drapes, curtains, upholstery, carpets, and more.
  • If you’re seeing a few dozen on your exterior walls but you haven’t seen any inside your home yet, now is the time to take action. That small group of box elder bugs could turn into a much larger group next year and start flying in your front door with you every time you come home from work.

There is a simple solution for box elder bugs. Professionals use EPA-approved products according to safety regulations to take down any box elder bugs present on a home and leave a residual that works to stop new bugs from congregating. And when box elder bugs don’t congregate, they don’t look for entry points to exploit.

If you’re in our South Carolina service area, and you’re battling box elder bugs, let us know. We’ll work with you to protect your belongings and make your home a bug-free zone. Taking care of bugs is what we do.