Stink Bugs and Boxelder Bugs – Does Fall Drive Them Indoors?
Every fall here in the midwest, there are a few pests that become particularly troublesome for home and business owners. The two main culprits? Stink bugs and boxelder bugs. These two pests are a common, widespread insect in Illinois and Indiana, and they seek shelter within homes and buildings when the season changes from summer to fall. While they’re not poisonous or dangerous, they can be a seriously irritating pest to deal with. The experts at Anderson Pest Solutions are here to share everything you need to know about these common fall invading pests—read on to learn more!
Stink Bugs vs. Boxelder Bugs
- Stink Bugs: The most common of these bugs here in the US is the Halyomorpha halys (brown marmorated stink bug), and the Acrosternum hilare (green stink bug). Their backs look like shields, and they can blend easily within foliage. If threatened, these bugs release an odor.
- Boxelder Bugs:Boxelder bugs have red markings with deep brown bodies. They also release a strong odor when threatened. These bugs prefer to feed and live in boxelder, ash, and maple trees. They will also infest trees or plants with plums, grapes, pears, peaches, cherries, apples, and almonds.
Why Do Stink Bugs and Boxelders Come Inside?
Like many insects, these bugs seek shelter and food for the coming winter months. As the weather turns colder, these bugs will take advantage of any available crack and crevice in your home’s exterior to gain access to the warmth of your home. Both adult stink and boxelder bugs will search for cracks and holes in walls, in window trim and molding, and in your foundation.
The real problem with these bugs is, of course, their stench! If you’ve ever smelled one, you know just how bad it can be. One or two stink bugs every once and a while is not that big of a problem. But hundreds hiding out in your home during the winter is another problem altogether. Even if you make it through the winter without a major stink bug problem, don’t ignore it for too long—if these bugs are evident in your home in the fall, they’ll multiply and emerge during spring, causing a far greater problem.
What Do Stink Bugs & Boxelder Bugs Feed On?
Most stink and boxelder bugs feed on plants. The larva feeds on weeds and grasses, and as they grow into adulthood, they begin feeding on agricultural and garden staples. These bugs are a huge problem for farmers and gardeners because they will eat beans, pecans, corn, peppers, apples, berries, cotton, corn, and many other popular crops.
Stink bugs arrived from Asia in the 1980s, and have caused tremendous destruction of local crops. These bugs require diligent pest control, but they are not harmful to humans. They will, however, multiply and feed without stopping, making them a serious environmental threat.
How to Prevent Fall Invader Pests
Prevention is the best way to make sure stink bugs and boxelder bugs stay away from your home and garden. Good pest control should always start with a thorough evaluation of the environment and then making changes as needed.
- Inspect your home and garden. Look for any signs of stink bug activity.
- Clean out any debris around the foundation of the house.
- Clean and repair the corners of fences, decorative rocks, old piles of wood, and patio furniture.
- Replace torn screens on windows and doors.
- Check the caulk around the molding of the windows and vents.
- Repair any cracks in stucco and bricks.
- Seal up cracks around roof soffits, windows, siding, and foundation.
Professional Help for Fall Invader Insects
Sometimes no matter what you do as a homeowner, stink and boxelder bugs will be a problem. If you’re facing a serious infestation in the fall, it will get even worse in the spring. If you’d like to protect your home from stink and boxelder bugs, contact the experts at Anderson Pest Solutions today!