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Pest Education: Box Elder Bugs in Ontario

Monday, December 26, 2022 by Greeny’s Pest Control Inc.

boxelder bug in Ontario
Boxelder bug in Ontario

Box elder bugs, also known as Boisea trivittata, are a common sight in Ontario during the warmer months. These insects are native to North America and are often found on box elder trees, hence their name. While they are not dangerous to humans and do not cause significant damage to plants, they can be a nuisance when they enter homes in large numbers.

Box elder bugs are about half an inch long and have a distinctive black and red coloration. They have a flat, oval-shaped body and long, thin antennae. In the spring and summer, they feed on the leaves, flowers, and seeds of box elder trees. In the fall, they migrate to homes and other buildings in search of a warm place to spend the winter.

One of the most noticeable signs of a box elder bug infestation is the presence of large numbers of these insects on the exterior of a home or building. They may also find their way inside through cracks and crevices in the walls or foundations. Once inside, they can be found in basements, attics, and other warm, sheltered areas.

Box elder bugs are not harmful to humans and do not bite or sting. However, they can release a foul-smelling odour when crushed or threatened, which can be unpleasant for homeowners. In addition, their excrement can stain surfaces and fabrics, leading to cleaning and maintenance issues.

If you have a box elder bug infestation in your home, there are a few steps you can take to get rid of them. One of the most effective ways to prevent these insects from entering your home is by sealing any cracks and gaps in the walls, foundations, and windows. This will help to prevent them from finding their way inside.

If you do find box elder bugs inside your home, you can try using a vacuum cleaner to remove them. However, be sure to empty the vacuum bag immediately after use, as these insects can crawl out of the bag and re-infest your home. Alternatively, you can use a broom or dustpan to sweep them up and dispose of them.

There are also a number of chemical control options available for dealing with box elder bug infestations. These include insecticides, which can be applied to the exterior of your home to prevent the bugs from entering. However, it is important to follow the instructions on the label carefully and use caution when applying these products. It is often recommended to contact a professional if you decide to go down this route.

In conclusion, box elder bugs are a common pest in Ontario that can be a nuisance when they enter homes in large numbers. While they are not harmful to humans and do not cause significant damage to plants, their presence can be unpleasant and may lead to cleaning and maintenance issues. To prevent and control box elder bug infestations, it is important to seal any cracks and gaps in the walls and foundations of your home and use chemical control products with caution.

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