The Boxelder bug (Boisea trivittata) also called maple bugs are most commonly seen on the Boxelder Maple tree. The Boxelder bug feed on the female tree’s seed-boxes and are also found on orchard plantations and strawberry plants. The boxelder bug can be found coming into the homes during the Fall and the cold winter seasons. They however, do not cause any direct damage in homes.
The adult boxelder bug measures around an inch long and are black or red in color with orange or red lines around the behind of head and wings as well as the stomach. While the adult boxelder bug have wings overlapping the smaller boxelder bugs do not have well-developed wings and are orange or red in color. The Boxelder Bug’s latin or scientific name is Boisea trivittata.
The Boxelder bug will eat up all soft parts of the boxelder tree be it leaves, stems or even flowers. The boxelder bug will invade homes only in the winter looking for places to hibernate in. They do not cause any harm to humans but do leave behind large spots in the places they invade with their excreta. The Boxelder bug usually will try to hibernate in the crevices of walls during the cooler seasons but when it is warmer they become more active and invade homes. The Boxelder bug can be easily managed if populations get out of hand.
During spring they feast for about 2 weeks and then in summer the boxelder bug will mate and lay their eggs on leaves and barks of trees. So when the eggs hatch during this time around 60 – 70 days after they feed on the sap of plants and trees and suck the juice from leaves and soft seeds with sharp beaks. Then they become mature by the autumn and hibernate for the winter. Soon the life cycle continues. These bugs are pests on the trees and are better eliminated.
BOXELDER BUG PREVENTION
To avoid them coming into the houses is to fill up cracks and crevices in the buildings and garden sheds. This way they will not hibernate anywhere in the house
- To cut off the female trees as box elder bugs infest these trees mainly.
- Using acid and earth as bug repellents.
- The exterior of the home should be treated using bug repellents.
- You will find they even perish if a soap solution is sprayed on them directly.
- If you find them in the house use sticky tape to seal the openings of cracks and pull out these bugs who stick to the tape.
- In the house just vacuum clean and you can get rid of them.
- Using insecticide is okay provided it is safe in the house. The best is to not them enter the house.
As can be seen, the boxelder bug are not only pests to deal with in the garden or plantations but also indoors in your homes. Using a little discretion, they can be eliminated from both. Maybe you do not want to cut your trees so you could spray special insecticides which will not harm the shrubs, plants and trees.
While the boxelder bug can cause considerable damage if in large numbers, their damage to trees is quite less. However, when they are many in number they can cause quite a lot of damage to trees. Since come autumn they hibernate in cracks, they hide in there for the entire cool season being inactive. In the event of homes being heated for the winter, the boxelder bug are also revived from their hibernation and their life cycle continues. By the time it spring, the Boxelder bug continue their cycle of laying eggs and multiplying in great numbers. The Boxelder bug mate in batches connected one end to the other and in groups of 3-4.