Boxelder bugs, also known as maple bugs or boxelder beetles, are a very common pest all over Utah. Easy to spot with their black bodies and orange-red flashes, these annoying pests can swarm all over trees and buildings in the fall, trying to keep themselves in the sun. Let’s find out all about these bugs and, most importantly, how to get rid of them when they infest your property!
The Boxelder bugWith the scientific name Boisea trivittatus, Boxelder bugs grow to about half an inch long and are found all over North America. They are not dangerous to humans, but if large numbers of them are infesting your yard or even your home, they are a serious nuisance. Huge numbers of these bugs can form swarms and land on buildings during the early fall. As the temperatures start to drop, they try and force their way in through gaps and cracks, looking for a safe, warm place to spend the winter. During warmer winter days or in the spring, they will wake up and potentially large numbers will re-emerge inside the building.
Getting rid of Boxelder bugsIf you’re facing a large number of these pests in your home, don’t try and squash them. They are related to stink bugs so will release a bad smell when squished! They can also stain surfaces and fabrics if they’re crushed so a vacuum cleaner or dustpan and brush might be the way to go. The best way to get rid of the Boxelder or maple bug is to stop it from entering your property in the first place. Here are a few tips to keep the pests at bay:
- Seal up cracks and holes. Make any repairs to the exterior of your home before the end of August to prevent the swarms from finding a way in.
- Use pesticide between the end of summer and the beginning of fall right when the bugs are at their maximum levels. Using a professional Utah pest control like H2 Pest Control will ensure the most effective protection against Boxelder bugs.
- If you have boxelder, ash or maple trees in your yard, you could think about removing them to cut down on Boxelder beetle numbers. They are great fliers, though, and can easily travel at least two miles from a tree to find a resting spot so you might find they come back anyway.