Box Elder Bugs
Pest Control for Box Elder Bug Infestations in Southeast Wisconsin
If you have a box elder tree (Acer negundo) in your southeast Wisconsin yard, it’s very likely you have a box elder bug infestation in your home. These little black and orange-red bugs can be a nuisance to deal with for many, and they often appear in large swarms so they can be difficult to remove entirely. That’s where Ehlers Pest Management can help – we offer comprehensive and environmentally-friendly pest control services for homes throughout the Milwaukee area.
To help you keep your Milwaukee home or office building pest-free, our team of pest control professionals will:
- Assess the extent of your infestation
- Identify and monitor the pests to ensure what pesticides will be effective
- Implement any preventive measures to keep the pests off your property
- If necessary, eliminate pests through the use of chemicals
Our Milwaukee pest exterminators use environmentally-friendly pest control techniques and organic pest control formulas to rid your home or business of Box Elder bugs, ensuring your pets and children are safe from any harmful chemicals and pesticides.
If your Milwaukee home or office building has an infestation of box elder bugs, the professionals at Ehlers Pest Management can help you get rid of them. Contact us today to get a quote on our services or to set up an appointment with one of our pest control professionals.
Do I Have a Box Elder Bug Infestation?
The term "box elder" is a more common name for the tree known as Acer negundo, a species of the maple tree. The word "box elder" came about due to the tree's similarity to the white colored wood of the boxwood tree and the resemblance its leaves bear to some species of the elder tree. The box elder is the only maple tree in North America with compound leaves.
Is the Box Elder Bug the Same As the Stinkbug?
Despite what some may say, the boxelder and the stinkbug are not the same bug—and one look at the two side by side would clarify this. The stink bug has a noticeably broader body with a shield shape and shorter legs. Its mottled brown to green coloration makes it virtually invisible on a tree trunk. The reason so many people think they are the same is that both will emit a similar foul odor if crushed. Some liken it to cilantro--but a particularly rotten smelling type of cilantro.
Wisconsin Box Elder Pest Control Traits
The Box Elder (Boisea trivittatus) is a species of North American tree bug typically found on Box Elder trees. Adults grow to around ½ inch long and are dark colored with red markings on the wings and abdomen.
Boxelder bugs feed on low growing vegetation and seeds they find on the ground. The primary source of food for these bugs is the sap from boxelder leaves, seeds and twigs, but they will also feed on maple and ash trees. As part of the mating cycle, the female of the species will move to seed-bearing boxelder trees around the middle of July to lay eggs. Hence the "Boxelder bug" name. Although Boxelder bugs will also feed on ash or maple trees, they inflict no serious injury to the trees.
These bugs are generally regarded as nuisance insects because they don’t harm plants, animals or humans. However, when the weather turns cold they will work their way through any little crack or opening in a home’s exterior to find a warm place to winter. The sheer numbers of them taking up residence in your home can be a major nuisance. About the worst damage they do, however, is staining curtains, window ledges and walls with their excrement.
Once inside, boxelders will work their way into cracks and crevices, where they will hibernate for the winter. If their hiding place warms up enough, they think it's spring and will become active. Homeowners often find boxelder bugs congregating in warm, sunny spots such as windowsills with a southern exposure. Once out of their hibernation spots, they only live a few days. Also, these insects do not reproduce indoors, so you don’t have to worry about 10,000 baby boxelder bugs issuing forth from every egg-laying female. Assuming you don’t have a large, squirming mound of bugs hanging out on your windowsill, most homeowners opt to manage the problem themselves.
Home Remedy For Boxelder Pest Control
The best way to control boxelder bugs in your home is by simply spraying them with soapy water. Mix up a half-cup of laundry detergent with a gallon of water and fill a hand sprayer. When you see boxelder bugs, spray them. No one knows exactly why, but this kills them almost instantly. Entomologists believe the soap either breaks down the cell membrane of their skin or interrupts their breathing pores.
Milwaukee Pest Control For Boxelder Infestations
For large infestations of boxelder bugs, a professional exterminator may well be necessary. This is also advisable if your home or business has a history of boxelder infestations. By treating the perimeter of your home with pesticides known to deter boxelder bugs, we can make your home less appealing to these bugs. Our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach focuses first on using non-toxic approaches to controling and eliminating infestations. We've had great success with this approach and our customers like the idea of not having toxic chemicals around their home. Many of our organic approaches leave a residue that contuines to control the boxelder population for weeks after application.
A word of advice: You can help keep boxelder and other bugs out of your home by sealing all openings with caulk and repairing any cracks or holes around the exterior walls of your home. This is a must-do for every homeowner in the fall, a time when insects and rodents will be looking for a nice, warm place to spend the cold winter months. Also, since these bugs tend to gather on south and west facing walls before working their way into any opening they can find, it's a good idea to spray those walls with soapy water in the fall.