When temperatures begin cooling off in South Carolina, you might end up with pests inside your home. Certain pests, such as boxelder bugs, enter homes in order to have a warm area to stay in throughout winter. Boxelder bugs aren’t dangerous, but it’s a good idea to have Hilton Head Island pest control professionals deal with infestations. Read on to learn more about these pests.
Identifying Boxelder Bugs
Knowing what boxelder bugs look like can help you identify these pests if they get into your home. These bugs have a dark grayish or black coloring with distinctive reddish-orange markings on their back. Boxelder bugs have red eyes, a long, flat body and grow to a half-inch long as adults.
You should also be on the lookout for boxelder bug eggs in and around your home. These eggs start out as a straw color, but they turn to a reddish color later on. Nymphs that hatch from these eggs are a reddish color and develop darker coloring as they grow.
Boxelder Bug Behavior
Boxelder bugs are named for the plants they mainly feed on. These bugs have mouthparts that allow them to feed on seeds from boxelders and other types of plants and trees, such as maple, cherry, ash, honeysuckle and apple.
Boxelder bugs are mostly active when the weather is warm. As it gets cooler, these bugs start to look for a warmer place to spend the colder part of the year. They gather in big groups on the outside of buildings, usually on the southern side since it’s sunnier. After gathering, they look around for shelter for the winter, which can bring them inside your home. All these bugs need is a small opening to get in, such as around a door or window.
When spring and warmer temperatures arrive, boxelder bugs come out of their winter hiding places and head outdoors. Once they’re back outside, they lay eggs and begin boosting their populations. If you don’t happen to see them coming into your home in fall, you might see them in spring as they leave their hiding places and make their way outdoors.
Problems with Boxelder Bugs
How much of a problem are boxelder bugs for SC homeowners? These insects don’t sting, but they can bite if you handle them. Their bites might lead to skin irritation and lesions for some people. Boxelder bugs aren’t known to spread any diseases, and they don’t contaminate food supplies or cause serious damage to homes. However, they do give off a foul odor if you crush them. They can also leave reddish stains on furniture, wallpaper and other surfaces.
Boxelder Bug Control
What should you do if you have boxelder bugs in your home? Hilton Head Island pest control experts can eliminate these pests for you, so you don’t have to deal with their stains and smells. Having professional pest control technicians handle these infestations also ensures that they are thoroughly gone from your home. If you see them on the exterior of your home, you can spray them with a hose to knock them off or get them with a shop vacuum.
Preventing Boxelder Bug Problems
You can lower the risk of having boxelder bugs in your home by checking for gaps and closing them up. Look around windows, doors and other areas for openings that these bugs can use to get inside. Getting rid of debris in your yard, such as wood piles or leaf piles, cuts down on potential hiding spots for these bugs. In some cases, removing trees that these bugs feed on might also help keep them away.
If you have boxelder bugs in your home, please contact Island Pest Control. Our skilled technicians provide Hilton Head Island pest control services for several SC pests, including boxelder bugs.