| Environmental Columns
As autumn settles in with its cooler temperatures, maybe you’ve noticed the increased presence of certain insects, including the boxelder bug.
The boxelder bug, commonly known as the maple bug, is mainly found on boxelder maples, from which it sucks sap. It can also attack other maples, as well as ash trees and fruit trees, such as cherry, plum, peach and apple trees.
On sunny summer days, boxelder bug swarms can be seen around homes, mainly on the south side. When winter comes, they look for heat and food by hiding in woodpiles, garages and sheds and even in homes through breaches around the foundations, open air intakes or doors and windows without screens.
Is the boxelder bug dangerous?
The boxelder bug isn’t dangerous, but it can be considered a pest due to its numerous swarms. However, it can be harmful to trees, spotting their leaves and potentially damaging their fruit.
When crushed, the boxelder bug releases a foul odour. The insect and its excrement can stain structures, drapes, furniture and sheets. Its carcass can also attract carpet beetles.
How to avoid an infestation
- Block all openings in foundations and screens
- Install mesh on the air intakes
- Both indoors and outdoors, you can use a vacuum cleaner and seal the bag once it is closed so that the bugs can’t escape
- Use diatomaceous earth or borax along the base of you home to reduce the number of boxelder bug that can enter
- Clean around the home (leaves, stones and debris)