What You Should Know About Boxelder Bugs In Western Massachusetts

What You Should Know About Boxelder Bugs In Western Massachusetts

Have you ever seen black bugs with bright orange or red markings on their backs? These are likely boxelder bugs, pests that may try to overwinter inside your Western Massachusetts home.

Boxelder bugs get their name from their tendency to nest in and feed on boxelder trees during the spring and summer. Unfortunately, they don’t live in the trees year-round and become a nuisance in the fall when they search for overwintering sites. Boxelder bugs often attempt to enter homes and other structures as the weather cools, posing a problem for homeowners.

Boxelder bug infestations can be overwhelming for Western Massachusetts residents, but this guide will help prepare you for these overwintering pests. Continue reading to learn everything you should know about boxelder bugs.

What Do Boxelder Bugs Eat?

True to their name, the main food source for boxelder bugs is boxelder trees. The bugs feed both on fallen boxelder seeds and young leaves. Boxelder bugs will also eat the developing leaves of maple, cherry, and ash trees, as well as the fruits of apple and plum trees.

If you have boxelder trees on your property, you will likely see boxelder bugs outside in the spring and summer months. Fortunately, the bugs do not usually inflict much damage to the trees and are not dangerous to people. While boxelder bugs can technically bite humans, they very rarely do. 

Although boxelder bugs shouldn’t bother you while they’re living outdoors in the warmer months, they can become a nuisance as the weather cools. They will often congregate on the sides of buildings and may attempt to enter your home to wait out the winter. The overwintering boxelder bugs will try to leave your home when the weather warms but often become trapped inside. For large numbers of bugs, you may need Western Massachusetts professional pest control to get rid of them.

The Lifecycle Of The Boxelder Bug 

The lifecycle of the boxelder bug has three stages:

  • Egg - initially straw-colored, becomes reddish as the embryo develops.
  • Nymph - 1/16 inch long, bright red at first and later becomes red and black.
  • Adult - ½ inch long, oval-shaped, black with red or orange markings and overlapping wings.

Boxelder bugs, like most insects, begin their lives as eggs. In the spring, boxelder bugs breed and lay eggs on the leaves, limbs, and trunks of boxelder trees. Boxelder bug eggs are at first yellow and later redden, hatching after about two weeks. The nymphs that emerge feed on the leaves and seeds of boxelder trees throughout the summer. You may notice baby boxelder bugs on your property crawling around on the ground or in your garden.

As temperatures cool, boxelder bugs leave the trees and look for safe, warm places to spend the winter. Boxelder bugs are most attracted to buildings with western or southern exposure, where they may congregate in the sun. They will often crawl into narrow crevices in buildings to protect themselves from the cold. Indoors, you may find boxelder bugs sheltering around your windows, in your attic, or within walls. Boxelder bugs are typically inactive during the winter. They do not reproduce indoors, so you should not see boxelder bug eggs in your home.

As the weather warms, boxelder bugs wake up from hibernation and attempt to leave their overwintering sites, although they may become trapped indoors. Those that make it out will begin to feed, mate, and lay eggs, continuing the cycle.

When Are Boxelder Bugs The Most Active?

Boxelder bugs in Western Massachusetts are most active in the spring and summer when they feed and reproduce. This period of activity starts in early spring when the buds of boxelder trees open and continues until the weather cools in the fall.

While boxelder bugs are more active in the warmer months, it is during the fall when they become a nuisance. Boxelder bugs will gather on the sides of homes and structures, basking in the sun. They will also begin to look for overwintering sites, which may include your home. Large numbers of boxelder bugs congregating on or inside your house can be difficult to get rid of without professional pest control.

How To Get Rid Of Boxelder Bugs For Good

If boxelder bugs have infested your Western Massachusetts home, American Pest Solutions can help. Getting rid of boxelder bugs can be challenging on your own, but our trained and experienced technicians can quickly and effectively eliminate the infestation.

American Pest Solutions is the oldest family-owned Western Massachusetts pest control company. We are committed to protecting your family from unwanted pests and providing customized solutions tailored to your needs. 

Don’t let pesky boxelder bugs overwinter in your Western Massachusetts property - contact American Pest Solutions today for quality home pest control and commercial pest control services.

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