How to Prevent the Bugs on the Side of Your Home

Stink bugs are a common fall invader to Sevierville TN homes in the fall - Johnson Pest ControlDo you notice the same bugs congregating on the side of your Sevierville area home every fall season? You may have a boxelder bug or stink bug problem! Both of these insects are known for a couple of things. One, the foul odor they release when crushed or threatened. And two, their odd behavior of aggregating on the sides of buildings and structures in the fall months. Their populations can grow to large numbers, making the very sight of them worrisome. However, the real trouble is when boxelder bugs or stink bugs crawl their way into your home. While not particularly dangerous, they are a downright nuisance and difficult to get rid of.

Boxelder Bugs vs. Stink Bugs

Both these insects will crawl their way through any crack and crevice in your home’s exterior to gain access to the warmth of your home before the winter months. Even worse, they reproduce at a rapid rate. Here’s how to identify the bugs on the side of your home:

    1. Boxelder bug
      • These insects have dark brown bodies with unique red markings.
      • They emerge out of hibernation in the springtime.
      • True to their name, they live in boxelder trees as well as maple, ash, and fruit trees.
      • Their feces can leave a stain.
    2. Stink bug
      • Their backs look like shields, and they can blend easily within foliage.
      • If threatened, these bugs release an odor.
      • There are two main types we see in the states: the brown marmorated stink bug and the green stink bug.
      • They do not bite or spread disease.

Fall pest prevention in Eastern Tennessee - Johnson Pest Control

How to Prevent Fall Invaders

As you would with any pest, it’s important to learn how to keep boxelder bugs and stink bugs out of your property in the first place. Here are our top tips to make your property less conducive to an infestation:

  1. Check the caulk around the molding of the windows and vents.
  2. Seal up cracks around roof soffits, windows, siding, and foundation.
  3. Clean out any debris around the foundation of the house.
  4. Trim back trees and bushes to keep all vegetation away from the perimeter of the home.
  5. Clean and repair the corners of fences, decorative rocks, old piles of wood, and patio furniture.
  6. Replace torn screens on windows and doors or install brand-new ones.
  7. Consider using low-pressure sodium exterior lighting, as UV rays attract these bugs.

Need Boxelder Bug or Stink Bug Control?

If these insects make their way inside your home before you have a chance to prevent them, it’s important to get help from a professional. The residential exterminators at Johnson Pest Control can help get these bugs out as well as keep them from ever getting indoors again. Contact us today to learn more!

Boxelder Bugs

When the weather gets cool you start to see something you had not noticed before, clusters of bugs congregating around sunny spots of trees and your home. These bugs look really neat with their solid black base and red outlined trim, but what are they? They are boxelder bugs.

So what do you need to know about boxelder bugs?

What is a Boxelder Bug?

Boxelder Bugs - Insects of FallBoxelder Bugs are flat, dark brown pests that are present all throughout the year, but are mainly noticed during the fall and winter seasons. There is nothing to fret, though, because they are completely harmless.

You can easily distinguish due to their very prominent features. The Boxelder bug is a small, rather flat insect that can reach sizes up to about 1/2 inch long and about 1/3 inch wide. The easiest way to tell this bug apart from others is not its size, but rather it’s markings. The Boxelder bug is all black, apart from the red markings down its sides, ending with a red V-like shape towards the bottom of its back. Its abdomen is also a bright red color under its wings. So all in all, this insect is pretty easy to spot.

Many of you will be seeing this insect as the weather begins to change. This is due to the insect moving from its normal outside habitat to one that is indoors and sunny, typically so it can hibernate for the winter.

Does the Boxelder Bug do Any Damage?

Most of the concern surrounding this insect has to do with the sheer number of them that there could be at a time. The Boxelder bug tends to travel in a pack. Typically they live in the bark of the Boxelder tree, but as the weather begins to cool, the adult Boxelder bugs will migrate inside, searching for crevices and cracks in infrastructure, such as window casings, doors, and in walls. During the warmer days of winter, they will tend to stay on lighter painted surfaces outside and they tend to be seen on the southern and western sides of the household to soak up what little sun they can.

As far as what the Boxelder bug eats, it primarily hunts for sap from the leaves of the Boxelder tree. They are also known to eat on other vegetation, but there is nothing to fret about, because they seldom appear in any packs large enough to cause any real damage unless there is a seed producing Boxelder tree in the area.

How do I get rid of the Boxelder Bug?

Even though these bugs may not cause any harm to the vegetation in your area, you may still want to get rid of these pests. There are a few simple things you can do to prevent the Boxelder bug from coming into your home.

  • They typically feed on the female boxelder trees, so the removal of said tree is sure to reduce the number that are around your house.
  • Check around your house for any cracks in the windows or doors that could allow them easy entry to your home. Patching these holes up are sure to keep these insects away.
  • If you own a wet/dry vacuum, using a soapy water mixture is a sure way to get rid of the Boxelder bug because the insect will drown quickly in the soapy water you are using.
  • Checking the Boxelder trees during the spring and summer seasons is a sure way to find these insects. Spraying any areas where they are seen are sure to destroy these bugs before the winter. It is also helpful to spray insecticides on sidewalks, walls, and fences. Pretty much spray anywhere you think they could possibly be.
  • If the insects decide to make their way indoors, its pretty easy to take care of them. Just use a vacuum cleaner to suck them right up. Then dispose of appropriately.