If you ever find countless small bugs stuck to the walls of your house, or your window sills, or cover screens, those are most likely boxelder bugs.
What are boxelder bugs?
These flat bugs with an elongated oval shape that kind of looks a bit like a small black and red cockroach, are not so common as household pests, especially in California. However, when they do come, get ready for havoc because they swoop in by the hundreds and they “bite.”
Boxelder bugs, when threatened, use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to puncture the skin and they leave red bumps. Not only that, when they cling to your curtains, tapestries, upholstered furniture, and clothes, they leave a stain.
It goes without saying that if you find them on your property, the smart thing to do is to get rid of them as fast as you can. These pesky pests will feed on the plants you have in your garden, and when it starts getting cold, they will seek shelter where it’s warm, which is your home, according to a reputable Modesto pest control company, AAI Pest Control.
So, how do you drive them away or annihilate them?
For those boxelder bugs congregated outside your home, soapy water works. Find a big spray bottle and fill it with two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid or liquid detergent and water. Spray the solution directly on the bugs to kill them.
The bugs won’t die right away and they may even find crevices to hide out in until they die. You have to get rid of their dead bodies as well because they can attract dermestid beetles. You can sweep them away and throw them out, or use a vacuum to make the cleanup process quicker.
Another tactic worth trying is sprinkling the bugs with diatomaceous earth. This fine white powder made of microscopic sea creatures will kill boxelder bugs by piercing their soft bodies and causing dehydration. Diatomaceous earth costs $40 a bag, and it’s a non-toxic solution that also works on other pests you may find on your property.
Borax is also worth using to take care of your boxelder bugs problem. It works similarly to diatomaceous earth. It destroys the cell membrane of the bugs and ultimately dehydrates them to death.
But to annihilate these bugs and prevent them from coming back, you need to call the professionals. They can apply perimeter treatment not only to kill the bugs, but also to keep them out.
To learn more about other critters, check out our blog.