Everyone welcomes the fall season. Unfortunately, the shorter days and brisk weather entices two insects in particular to come out in full force here in Virginia: the boxelder bug and the stink bug. Both of these bugs are infamous for the odorous scent they emit when they feel threatened. Boxelder bugs and stink bugs will congregate on the sides of homes, particularly on south- or west-facing walls. They may be an eye-sore outside, but the real trouble begins if and when they get inside your property. While not the most dangerous pests, they can become a real nuisance and are difficult to get rid of. The Ehrlich team has gathered all the need-to-know information about these fall invaders—read on to learn more!
Boxelder Bugs vs. Stink Bugs in Virginia
These insects congregate on the sides of homes to soak in the sun on shorter days in the fall. When the temperature dips even more, they will take advantage of any available crack and crevice in your home’s exterior to gain access to the warmth of your home. Adult stink and boxelder bugs will search for cracks and holes in walls, in window trim and molding, and in your foundation. Here’s what to know about identifying them:
- Stink bug: The backs of stink bugs look like shields, and they can blend easily within foliage. If threatened, these insects release an odor. There are two main types we see in the states: the brown marmorated stink bug and the green stink bug.
- Boxelder bug: These bugs have dark brown bodies with unique red markings. They emerge out of hibernation in the springtime. True to their name, they live in boxelder trees as well as maple, ash, and fruit trees. They can use their mouthparts to pierce skin, although this is very rare.
How to Keep Fall Invaders Out of Your Home
Exclusion is the key to preventing boxelder bugs and stink bugs. By sealing your home, you can keep these bugs on the outside of your property! Some of our top tips are to:
- Replace torn screens on windows and doors.
- Check the caulk around the molding of the windows and vents.
- Repair any cracks in stucco and bricks.
- Clean out any debris around the foundation of the house.
- Trim back trees and bushes to keep all vegetation away from the perimeter of the home.
- Clean and repair the corners of fences, decorative rocks, old piles of wood, and patio furniture.
- Seal up cracks around roof soffits, windows, siding, and foundation.
- Consider using low-pressure sodium exterior lighting, as UV rays attract the insects.
Long-Term Insect Prevention
These bugs will likely show up year after year, but they don’t have to be a problem! If you need help keeping boxelder and stink bugs out, or already have an infestation inside, the residential pest control team at Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s can help.