One common pest problem we see in spring and fall is what is called the “Boxelder bug.” These pesky, striped creatures always surge in population at the smallest bit of sunshine, even in the dead of winter.
Over the course of fall, as it gets colder day to day, you’ll notice these insects congregating on the sun warmed sides of your home (typically to the south and west). This is the time of year they warm themselves and join together for overwintering.
During the particularly warm time of the year they are exiting hibernation or “overwintering” to feed and repopulate their species. Once the cold and icy months are over, they plague the outside of our homes, leaving the safe places they had nestled in. These places can include under vinyl siding, wall voids, cracks and crevices of the home, weep holes, attics, foundation, and any compromised entry points that may allow them into the home such as windows or doors.
Due to their nature and built in defense mechanisms, few birds, other animals, or minor predators will eat them. They will release a compound that is foul smelling and bitter tasting, though we hope you aren’t able to confirm the latter. This defense mechanism makes them a very difficult pest to get rid of, as you can’t just smash it with a paper towel, at risk of stinking up a room in your home. We also don’t recommend leaving them be. Though they are no risk to humans or animals, they can excrete fecal matter when resting, that can result in the staining of upholstery, carpets, and drapes.
Luckily, what also takes place during the early warm season is the gradual metamorphosis of these pests. From egg, to nymph, to adult, this is a very fragile period in their life cycle that can make or break how severe your pest problem is. We can’t always control if we live near a pests main source of food, like the boxelder trees that these little guys were named after. What we can control is how far their life cycle gets. When starting our reoccurring treatments, we typically will do our first treatment, and another just 30 days later to assure we catch these insects at their weakest, before they reach full maturity. We maintain regularly scheduled treatments to maintain a barrier, so if these pests come around the home, we will minimize potential box elder activity. If that isn’t enough, we’ll also come back in between your regularly scheduled appointments for free.
We specialize in these types of pests that are prominent in the Northern Utah Region, and guarantee results. To help us, you can do a few things on your own to make your home more secure against infestations. Some of our tips and tricks include sealing cracks and crevices, fixing broken window screens and door jams, and plugging weep holes with wire mesh. If these guidelines are followed in conjunction with regular pest control appointments, this will help to prevent the potential threat of intruders.
Afterall, at the end of the day, the only one raising a family in your home should be you.