Box Elder Bugs

What are box elder bugs?

Box elder bugs are common, invasive insects. They received their name because they are more often than not found living on or near box elder trees. Box elder bugs have a distinct appearance. Their elongated, oval-shaped bodies are black in color, and their wings are outlined in an orange-red color. Their black and orange color scheme is what causes people to refer to these insects as “Halloween bugs.” Adult box elder bugs grow to about ½ of an inch in length.

a box elder bug outside of a home in berks county pennsylvania

Are box elder bugs dangerous?

Box elder bugs are nuisance pests, not dangerous pests. Box elder bugs can become an annoyance when they enter homes in large numbers. They can be difficult to prevent, and even more difficult to find and eliminate once in homes. Box elder bugs stain upholstered furniture, curtains, and walls with their excrement as they travel through homes.

Why do I have a box elder bug problem?

Box elder bugs are known as overwintering pests. They live happily outside throughout most of the year, feeding and breeding, and really not causing any  problems for people. However, in the late fall, these pests often migrate inside homes and buildings in large numbers. Box elder bugs are insects that overwinter as adults. They tend to pick homes and buildings that provide warm, safe shelter during the harsh winter months.
Box elder bugs gather in large numbers on the sunny, warm sides of buildings. As they travel up or down structures, they find their way inside through spaces around exterior windows and doors, cracks in the exterior walls, and through spaces found along the roofline. In the spring, they emerge from their indoor overwintering spots and move back outdoors.

Where will I find box elder bugs?

During most of the year, you will find box elder bugs living in wooded areas or on residential properties with a number of box elder or maple trees. Many box elder bugs choose to overwinter outside behind tree bark or underneath piles of debris. However, populations of box elder bugs invade homes and other buildings in large numbers to overwinter. In homes, box elder bugs are found overwintering in attics, behind wall voids, and underneath flooring.

How do I get rid of box elder bugs?

The easiest way to prevent problems with box elder bugs is to partner with a professional pest control company. At M.A.D. Exterminators, Inc., we offer the responsive residential pest control services needed to stop box elder bugs from living and nesting in and around homes.
Our experienced and highly trained technicians perform thorough inspections, and provide modern treatments. They will eliminate current pest problems, and prevent future problems with box elder bugs and other common household invaders.  To learn more about eliminating box elder bugs from your Pennsylvania home, call M.A.D. Exterminators, Inc.!

How can I prevent box elder bugs in the future?

Preventing problems with box elder bugs is a difficult task. The following prevention tips can help to deter box elder bugs from choosing your property to live on, and may reduce the chances of box elder bugs finding their way into your home:

  • Trim trees, especially box elder trees, away from the exterior of your home.

  • Seal cracks in the foundation and exterior walls of your home.

  • Fill in spaces around wires, pipes, and utilities entering your home from its exterior.

  • Repair holes found along your roofline and at roof intersections.

  • Put mesh covers over vents leading into your home.

  • Place tight-fitting caps on all chimneys.

  • Place weather stripping around all exterior windows and doors. 

To learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Pennsylvania, reach out today!


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