Box elder bugs mostly emerge for home homeowners
In the months of May through August, many steps can be taken to temporarily or permanently curb the population of box elder bugs in your immediate area. First, consider getting them at their source, normally a box elder or maple tree. Finding box elder bugs in their nymph stage, when they are small red specs clustered together in groups of dozens or even hundreds, provides an excellent opportunity to control the population efficiently. Using an organic, plant-based insecticide is always preferred, but commercial-grade pesticides can do a great job with a very small quantity. Just be sure that the pesticide won't damage the tree or other vegetation around it, and never use these chemicals in or on a house. Second, if you have a growth of box elder trees in your yard, consider removing them. While removing a large, specimen tree can be drastic, many yards have smaller box elder trees growing due to the prolific way they breed. These box elder trees are not desired landscape trees, and removing them safely (especially the females) can have a major impact on box elder bug populations. Finally, when thinking about how to get rid of box elder bugs from your home in the fall, it is useful to put your prevention hat on. Specifically, sealing doors, windows, and seams in siding and roofing can have a major impact on box elder bug populations that ultimately enter your home. Don't forget about stucco siding and skylights, which often have many unseen seems that are easy for the bugs to penetrate. While getting rid of box elder bugs once and for all can be a long process, the three steps above will go a long way toward making a dent in their population. Best of all, summer is a great time to take on these activities, when the weather is good and working outside can actually be fun. Remember to be safe when removing trees, applying pesticide, or working on your home exterior, and don't hesitate to call the professionals if safety is ever in question.