You may have walked outside recently and come across a congregation of small black and red bugs either on your home or car. These are boxelder bugs or, as they are affectionately called in the south, “lovebugs”; one of the many overwintering pests we tend to encounter when the temperatures drop and take up residence on the south side of homes, vehicles, and rocks where the sun shines in abundance. The question is, should you be concerned?
Let’s break down what “overwintering” means and the process by how it affects bugs and your home. Overwintering is defined as the process of insects passing the winter seasons. In the warmer months, boxelder bugs reside and thrive in boxelder and silver maple trees. There they lay their eggs and feed on leaves and flowers.
Once temperatures start to drop, these bugs will migrate by the thousands out of the trees and take up residence on the south side of buildings and homes. Then, they either migrate to a nearby site to hibernate for winter OR make your home their hibernation spot for the winter season.
So, what’s the risk of a boxelder bug home invasion? While boxelder bugs are not known to bite, they may bite when threatened and puncture the skin, causing a slight irritation and leaving a mark, similar to a mosquito bite. They will also leave a reddish orange stain from their fecal matter that will add discoloration to fabrics when crushed.
How to Prevent and Remove Boxelder Bugs
- Seal entry points near doors and windows
- Install weatherstripping where needed
- Use a vacuum for removal
If you’re having a boxelder bug problem, our Rome Northwest team is ready to help. A professional pest control plan has proven to be effective in controlling these overwintering pests when infested tress and the other areas around your home are treated with a residual pest control product. Schedule a free estimate to get started.