How to Prevent a Box Elder Bug Invasion

The box elder bug is a lesser-known pest that’s often mistaken for a beetle. Although box elder bugs are harmless and do not cause damage to your home, they can be a nuisance and are difficult to get rid of using regular pest control measures. Proactive pest prevention is the best way to keep your home free of these pests.
How to Spot the Box Elder Bug
Box elder bugs grow to half an inch in length during their adulthood. Typically, the box elder bug is black with three red stripes on its thorax and red veins throughout its wings. It can be distinguished from the beetle by the appearance of its young, or nymphs, which are bright red and smaller than their beetle counterparts.
They feed on soft plant matter, such as leaves, flowers and new twigs, and can commonly be found on box elder, maple and ash trees. During the fall, they migrate from their summer feeding habitat to the sides of homes and other structures that get a good deal of sunlight. They often return to the same place seasonally, with their population increasing each time. In fact, they can grow so numerous that the entire wall of your home or fence can become completely covered by them.
Through cracks and other tiny openings, they find their way inside Inside Pest Control the home and nest in the walls during the colder months.
Box Elders in the Home
Box elder bugs seek shelter in your home through cracks and crevices in walls, doors and under and around the foundation, usually on the southern and western exposures. They hibernate during the cold weather, remaining active inside the walls; however, heating systems can revive them and cause them to make their way into inhabited parts of the home.
They don’t feed on anything inside your home, and they don’t breed there, either. However, they can leave fecal stains on your upholstery and emit a foul odor when crushed.
Pest Control for Box Elder Bugs
Once these pests move into your home, regular pest control methods are generally ineffective at getting them out. The best way to control these pests is to keep their population down during summer and fall, and to utilize green pest control techniques to prevent them from entering your home.
Pest prevention methods for these bugs include:
— Remove nearby box elder and maple trees, and plant different types of trees along the west- and south-facing sides of your home. Without a food source or breeding ground nearby, they will have no reason to enter your home.
— Caulk around windows and doors, and repair any broken window or door screens to keep them from entering your home.
— Apply weather stripping to doors, and seal off any other crevices as much as possible. A green pest control company can help with this.
— Hire a pest control service to apply a residual insecticide to the exterior walls on which they congregate. This discourages them from …

How to Prevent a Home Pest Invasion

One of the cheapest ways to save on pest control costs is to prevent a home pest invasion. Unwanted critters often make your home theirs because they found conditions that are ideal for nesting and feeding. Eliminating these attractions with effective pest prevention techniques will let pests know they are not welcome.
Pest Prevention Pest Control Baltimore City Tips
Practice good housekeeping. Keeping your home clean is not important just for aesthetic purposes; it also helps prevent the invasion of pests.
— Practice green pest control by not leaving food out in the open.
— Place unsealed containers in your pantry, cupboards or on countertops into re-sealable plastic bags or plastic food storage containers that have lids.
— Store pet food in storage containers with lids and feed your pets indoors.
— Take the trash out on a regular basis. Make Essential Oil Houseplant Bug Spray sure your outside garbage cans have lids.
— Clean your air ducts on a regular basis and make sure they are properly sealed. Repair or replace duct work that is damaged.
— Repair or replace the vapor barrier in your crawl space.
— Make sure your attic and crawl space have good ventilation.
— Hire a pest control company to inspect your attic and crawl space every six months. They can recommend ways to prevent pest invasions or control colonies they find.
Keep moisture under control. Moisture in and around the home can cause health problems, mold damage and be an open invitation to unwanted critters that thrive in wet environments.
— Repair leaks in your roof, pool or hot tub, and mend broken pipes.
— Make sure there is no stagnant water around your home. Crawl spaces that do not drain well, clogged gutters and overwatering your yard can all lead to stagnant water.
— Refresh the water in birdbaths on a regular basis.
— Keep your attic and basement dry and well ventilated.
— Replace old weather stripping around your windows.
— Fix loose mortar around the basement and/or foundation of your home.
Secure the entries into your home. You lock your doors to deter predators, and securing any entries into your home will do the same with pests.
— Keep your windows closed. If you enjoy fresh air in your home, install a screen to help prevent the entry of insects, rodents, birds and bats.
— Make sure your crawl space has a barrier that prevents animals from taking shelter under your home. Pests such as prairie dogs and rats can quickly move into a crawl space and have a large family before you even notice you have squatters.
— Cover eaves and chimneys to prevent birds from building nests and bats from hanging out.
— Cover holes that are a quarter-inch in size or larger on the outside of your home. This size is perfect for small insects like ants or termites to crawl into your home.
Maintain your landscaping. Like your home, when your yard looks tidy, the chances …