The box elder bug is a huge, black insect with orange patterns. They are often referred to as maple bugs or elder bugs. They’ll be hanging out in your yard and possibly even inside your house. Boxelder bugs are a pain in the neck that you may wish to avoid. So what draws boxelder bugs, you might be wondering?
Boxelder bugs are drawn to a reliable source of food. As their name suggests, they mostly consume boxelder tree sap, however they also like maple and ash trees. The boxelder bugs have a safe spot to reside in those trees. Boxelder bugs are found in sunny parts of your yard or house because they are drawn to light and warmth.
You might also be curious as to what else might draw boxelder bugs to your yard. Perhaps you’re curious about the boxelder bugs’ favorite foods, preferred habitats, and common antics in your yard. You can use this knowledge to either dissuade them or learn more about them.
Continue reading to find out more about what makes boxelder bugs attracted to your yard.
What attracts boxelder bugs?
Box elder insect infestations can be caused by a variety of factors in your yard. But the most fundamental factors for survival are always the key ones. Food, shelter, and friends are the topics at hand.
Let’s examine each one individually.
BoxElder Bug Food
For boxelder bugs, food comes first. If you provide them with their favorite foods, they will come to your yard. Food will provide them the energy to engage in other activities, such as flying and mating.
What do boxelder bugs consume, then?
The sap, nectar, and liquids of the trees and plants in your yard are consumed by box elder bugs. From the twigs, leaves, and seeds, they will extract the sap.
Because it relies on the boxelder tree for survival, the boxelder tree received its name. Therefore, you will draw box elder bugs if a box elder tree is close.
Other plants that draw box elder bug infestations are
- Sterling Maple
Rather than living off of these trees, boxelder mostly uses them for food. You might think about eliminating these trees if you want to get rid of boxelder bugs for good. I advise switching them out for another tree that doesn’t produce seeds.
Boxelder Bug Habitat
Where are the Boxelder Bugs found?
Boxelder bugs can be found wherever box elder trees are present.
In the USA, boxelder is primarily found in eastern and northern states.
On the outside of trees, boxelder bugs can be found. They have all they require on the trees, where they lay their eggs in the trunk and leaves after feeding on the sap. In this manner, the embryos have an immediate food source when they hatch.
Boxelder bugs are drawn to homes that are tall and receive a lot of sunlight. The good news is that they will prefer to spend more time outside in the summer.
They search for a nice, cozy place to hibernate throughout the winter when the temperature gets cooler. They’ll begin searching for hidden, protected areas, like the crevices of your house.
Box bugs are more likely to hibernate in your home if it faces south or west throughout the winter.
The easiest approach to prevent them from entering your home is to fill in any outside gaps, especially those on the walls that face the sunniest.
Boxelder Bug Habit
Box elder bugs adore warmth and sunshine. The boxelder will not grow in any area of your yard that receives a lot of sunshine or reflection. Consider walls, windows, and porches.
As the temperature begins to warm up and the sun starts to shine, boxelders begin to emerge in the spring. They emerge from their winter slumber as a result of the weather change.
You must provide some shade if you want to keep the box elders out of these hot, sunny areas. Just keep in mind that the boxelder bugs will move to the area where the sun is shining as soon as you do.
The only thing that boxelder bugs value more than warmth is finding food.
In the summer, you’ll probably notice huge swarms of box elder bugs lazing around after a period of chilly, wet, or windy weather.
Boxelder Bug Mating
Boxelder insects are drawn to fellow boxelder insects. This is due to the fact that they begin looking for other box elder bugs after producing a scent that tells them where the others are.
The presence of nearby Boxelder bugs provides them with protection in numbers, a decent food source, and a large population of insects with which to reproduce. A few boxelder bugs quickly grow into swarms of them.
Boxelder bugs benefit from being in large numbers because it keeps them in their preferred warm environment.
How do you keep box elder bugs way?
The most obvious remedy is to cut down the problematic tree because boxelder bugs are here for the food. However, it’s probably the simplest or most cost-effective answer you’re looking for. Let’s examine a few strategies to prevent boxelder bugs from bothering you this summer.
1. Keep trees trimmed
The boxelder bugs will have a tougher time obtaining an easy food source from your adjacent tree if seeds and leaves are removed.
The majority of boxelder bugs may shift to another neighboring tree in the neighborhood as a result of routine tree maintenance.
2. Keep the grass trimmed
3. Vacuum the bugs up
You can hoover up a large swarm of boxelder bugs if you need to get rid of them immediately. For this, a bagless, wet-dry vacuum works well. To get rid of the bugs without making a mess or releasing the pheromone, I put a little warm, soapy water into the vacuum.
4. Bring out the hose
To simply disperse the box elder bugs, you can have some luck giving them a good blast from the hose. Although it’s likely they’ll return, it’s a humane technique to keep them away for a short while.
5. Wait it out
Knowing that boxelder bugs only exist for a few brief months of the year is always a smart idea. The boxelder bugs leave as the weather begins to cool off in search of a comfortable place to spend the winter. You won’t have to worry about seeing them in the fall or winter if you can put up with them for a few months.
What Not To Do
You should avoid doing a few specific things if you want to get rid of box elder bugs.
1. Don’t squash them
It’s advisable to avoid attempting to squish boxelder bugs to get rid of them. If you do manage to squish a boxelder bug, they emit their foul-smelling feces. But in addition to that, they also release the pheromone that was previously mentioned. Therefore, killing them will eventually draw more.
You run the chance of the boxelder bug biting you if you try to destroy it with your hand. If you don’t take adequate care of it, it may irritate you for a few days or perhaps become infected.
Squish a boxelder bug and you can even ruin your furniture or yard. Killing the boxelder bug may destroy any clothing, furniture, or outdoor décor since the liquids they exude create unpleasant stains.
2. Don’t use Pesticides
If you struggle with insects, you could naturally assume that pesticides are the most effective approach to get rid of them.
The problem with this is that by applying pesticides, you run the risk of endangering other animals, including pets or wild birds. This is so that other animals won’t come into contact with the toxins that insects will disperse throughout the plants as they crawl around.
Additionally, if a bird or pet consumes an insect that has insecticide in it, it can be very harmful to them. A wild bird could pass away or your pet could become sick and vomit or have diarrhea.
What is the fastest way to get rid of boxelder bugs?
Mix one spoonful of dish soap with one cup of water in a spray container to create your own homemade box elder bug spray. Spray the dish soap and water solution on any box elder bugs you come across in large numbers. By thoroughly wetting them with the water and dish soap solution, you can kill box elder bugs.
Will vinegar kill boxelder bugs?
uses around the house for Dawn dish soap. Use a squirt gun filled with water, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1/2 cup dish soap to kill box elder bugs. It succeeded!
How do I permanently get rid of boxelder bugs?
Since the pests feed on the female boxelder trees’ seedpods, getting rid of the females and replacing them with male trees (or other species) that don’t produce seeds will help you get rid of the bugs for good. Remember that the expense of removing a tree will increase as it ages.
What scent repels boxelder bugs?
Bugs detest the fragrance of sage, whole cloves, and lavender, all of which are readily available. In areas of your home where these bugs are more prevalent, place little herbal sachets. Bugs detest the fragrance of sage, whole cloves, and lavender, all of which are readily available.
How do you keep boxelder bugs away?
Fix broken window and door screens, fill cracks and crevices around your house, and place door sweeps on all external doors to keep boxelder bugs out of your house in the fall.