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Three Things You May Not Know About Box Elder Bugs

The Box Elder Bug
The Box Elder Bug

Box elder bugs are just one of the many fall and winter pests homeowners need to be concerned about, especially as the weather begins to change. Today we’d like to take a more in-depth look at these bugs and talk about a few things you might not have known about them.

Fact #1: They Prefer Trees Until Winter Strikes

Trees are home to box elder bugs, and they prefer maple trees or box elder trees, which is where they get their name. However, these are hibernating insects, and if your house is is close by, don’t be surprised when you start to see them inside.

Fact #2: They Tend to Invade in Numbers

One of the most alarming things about these pests is that they invade by the thousands at times. This is what prompts most people to contact a NJ pest control specialist.

Fact #3: They Won’t Cause Damage to Trees

Although they feed on the leaves of your maple or box elder trees, you don’t have to worry that they’ll cause any significant, lasting damage.

As your NJ pest control specialist, we understand how you’ll feel if and when box elder bugs decide to take up residence in your house and yard, even if they’re not dangerous to your health. If you’d like us to do an inspection of your home and rid you of these pests, please contact us.

Allison Pest Control is the preeminent pest control service provider serving the Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex County region of New Jersey. Find out why over 5,000 of your friends and neighbors use Allison Pest Control for their homes and office.

Another Overwintering Pest Loves NJ Homes

The boxelder bug is one insect that is not often seen by most people throughout the spring and summer.  These black and orange colored bugs with red markings are about ½ of an inch long and.  Nymph boxelder bugs can easily be seen during all stages of its growth due to its bright red coloring.  After they emerge from overwintering, boxelder bugs will initially feed on the ground and then move onto a female seed bearing boxelder tree in July.  Most boxelder bugs will remain undisturbed in the tree feeding and laying eggs.  Boxelder bugs also may choose to live on maple or ash trees.  No trees are ever harmed by these insects.

Like other insects, boxelder bugs will seek out a place to spend the winter months in the fall to escape the cold weather.  They are especially attracted to warmth.  Homes with a western or southern exposure are particularly desirable.  Like other types of insects, boxelder bugs will push their way into cracks or crevices, crawl through unsecured screens, crawl through doors with damaged seals, or creep into the attic.  Once inside a protected area, they will remain throughout the winter until the warmth of spring draws them back out again.

Boxelder bugs are not dangerous, but they will stain walls, curtains, and furniture if they make it from their overwintering spots into the interior of your home.  It is recommended that you hire a Monmouth County, NJ exterminator to keep these pests from coming inside during the early fall.

Scientists Believe Global Warning Has Brought An Increase In Plant Eating Insects

The summer of 2011 brought about numerous complaints by New Jersey residents to many pest control companies throughout New Jersey about an increase of insects eating more than their normal share of a variety of outdoor plants.  Notwithstanding the voracious appetite of the pesky stink bugs that have taken over the eastern seaboard in recent years, and have damaged farmer’s crops and homeowners gardens, many residents have noticed an increase of other plant-eating insects in their gardens.  Many home gardens that were normally bursting with fruits and vegetables were hit hard by unwelcome invaders this past year report NJ pest control professionals.

Through extensive research, it is the belief of some scientists that the continuing warming of the earth is contributing to the increase in plant-eating insects.  Researchers do not believe that the plants have become tastier to insects, but they do believe that insects have a greater appetite and have become more destructive in recent years.  Planetsave reported back on February 11, 2008 that scientists from Pennsylvania State University and the Smithsonian Institution believe that “when temperature increases, the diversity of insect feeding damage on plant species also increases.”  Additionally, the study’s lead author and researcher said “our study convincingly shows that there is a link between temperature and insect feeding on leaves.” You may read the article here.

Keeping the interior and exterior of your home free from all types of unwelcome pests is easy when you hire a New Jersey pest control expert.  Allison Pest Control will be able to blanket your property with a barrier pest control treatment to keep unwanted pests out so that your gardens will grow as expected.  We provide fast and professional service to residences and businesses in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex Counties, New Jersey.  Call us today for a free estimate and pest evaluation.

That Black And Red Bug Is A Box Elder Bug!

As the weather begins to turn from warm and sunny to cold and gloomy, many of the once outdoor problem pests are working their way toward New Jersey homes and businesses.  These creepy crawlers are searching for a warm spot to spend the cold winter months in hopes of surviving until next spring.  One of these problem pests that you need to keep a look-out for is the box elder bug.

The box elder bug enjoys the spring and summertime in the great outdoors, but cannot survive the cold harsh winters outdoors.  During October, it menaces New Jersey homeowners by searching windows, screens, doorways, attics, vents, cracks, and crevices for any way to gain entry into their abode.  The good news is that once inside, these intruders don’t bite or multiply, but they can be annoying none-the-less.

Adult box elder bugs are about ½ of an inch long with black and orange markings.  They have overlapping wings which lay flat over their bodies and form an “X” on their back.  These bugs are mostly ground dwellers as you will see them feeding on low lying vegetation and seeds on the ground.  During the mid summer months, females will way eggs on branches, tree trunks and leaves of box elder trees, maple trees, or ash trees.  Box elder bugs can fly anywhere from one city block up to two miles in distance.  Nymph box elder bugs are bright red in color when first hatched and soon morph into adults.

Box elder bugs become a nuisance for many NJ homeowners because when they enter homes, they typically do so in large numbers.  Once inside, these pests often leave excrement stains on walls, curtains and window sills.

You can help keep box elders out of your home by:

• sealing entry points with wire mesh and expandable caulk for spaces larger than 1/8th of an inch.
• repairing damaged windows, screens, or doors
• installing door sweeps
• repair damaged bathroom or kitchen fans and soffit or roof venting.

The best way of keeping box elder bugs out of your New Jersey home this time of year is to have Allison Pest Control apply an insecticide around the perimeter of your home to keep these and other unwanted pests away.  Allison Pest Control provides fast service in Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean Counties.  Give us a call today.