What are Boxelder bugs you might ask? They are a little, black bug with red or orange markings on their dorsum. They are about half an inch long and are a flat, oval shape. These bugs get their name because they are commonly found around boxelder trees. They are native to the western states but can be found throughout the United States wherever boxelder trees are found. They feed on leaves, flowers and seeds from these trees. When it gets warmer, they will lay their eggs in the trees. When the weather starts to cool down in fall, they will cluster together in groups on the south side of trees, rocks and plants to stay warm in the sun. When they have formed a large group, they will move to the nearest shelter to stay warm over the winter. This shelter could end up being your home.
Boxelder bugs will hide out in your home over the cold, winter months. They are small and will hide in any cracks or gaps they can find. They are using your home to survive and stay warm in during the cold months. You might not even notice they are there. Then when the weather begins to warm up, they will emerge in the spring and that is when you will most likely notice the infestation.
Boxelder bugs are not known for being dangerous to humans. They generally do not bite but are able to, if frightened. Their bites are not dangerous, but they will leave a small red mark on your skin. They are known for leaving an orange stain on clothing, curtains or linen from their fecal matter. These little bugs are not a serious threat to you or your family. They are more of a nuisance pest that is not pleasant to find wintering in your home.
To keep boxelder bugs out of your home make sure that the exterior of your home is sealed up tight. Fix any holes or cracks you might find along the exterior of your home. These can be in windows, doors, piping, venting or your foundation. If you find these bugs in your home, you can try to vacuum them out. Make sure that you take the bag out to the trash and seal it up immediately to keep them from escaping back into your home. If you find you have a full on infestation, it is best to call a professional pest exterminator to eliminate these pests from your home.