As the chill of Autumn approaches, you may notice a significant number of Stink bugs or Boxelder Bugs on the exterior walls of your home. They will usually be most prominent on walls that receive the longest period of daily sunshine, because the bugs are seeking warmth. However, they may be present on any of your exterior walls if it is cold enough for your heating system to be activated.
Unfortunately, the bugs will find their way into your home and are difficult to remove because of defense mechanisms that deter potential predators. However, you can still take measures to keep them out of your home and remove them if they have found their way inside the walls.
What are the Physical Characteristics of Stink Bugs and Boxelder Bugs?
Stink bugs have a light mottled brown color and a body in the shape of a shield. They are winged insects that grow to a length of approximately 1/2 to 2/3 inches and are nearly as wide as their length. They are called stink bugs because of the foul odor they emit when crushed, but they may also release a pungent pheromone to alert other stinkbugs when they have found adequate shelter, including inside your home.
Boxelder bugs, named after one of the tree varieties on which they feed, are similar in length to stink bugs but are narrow in width. Their upper body and wings are black or dark brown, with red streaks in the wings and along the abdomen. They will release a strong smelling emission when threatened, and leave a red stain when crushed.
How can You Keep These Bugs Out of Your Home?
You can prevent Stink and Boxelder bugs from invading your home by sealing possible entry points. This includes repairing holes in window and door screens as well as sealing cracks along windowsills or any other openings along the exterior of your home. The bugs will also enter your home by crawling into book bags, grocery sacks, or anything else that is carried into the home.
How Should You Remove Them Once They Have Entered the Home?
They cannot be crushed without unpleasant aftereffects, so they must be captured. Individual bugs should be grasped with a paper towel and placed in an outdoor trash bin or flushed down the toilet (use toilet tissue to capture and flush because paper towels will clog your toilet).
While vacuuming is the preferred method of capturing both flying and resting bugs, don't use your primary vacuum if possible, because it will be become odorous and stained inside. Buy a separate hand vac or a stick vac with a detachable hand attachment for your bug gathering. Stink bugs and Boxelder bugs are more annoying than dangerous or destructive, but you still don't want them to land on the back of your neck while you are relaxing on your sofa in the evening, so keep your home secured and your vacuum ready.
Contact a pest control company, like American Pest Control Inc, for more help.