What are boxelder bugs and elm seed bugs?

Elm seed bugs and boxelder bugs are insects that primarily live outside. They have piercing, sucking mouthparts they use to feed on leaves, shoots, stems, and seeds of seed-producing trees.

The boxelder bug has a black elongated, oval body and a vibrant orange color outlining its wings. Young boxelder bugs are easy to identify; they are similar in shape to the adults but are smaller and a solid, bright red color. Boxelder bugs were named because they prefer to feed on boxelder trees.

Elm seeds bugs are much newer to the United States than boxelder bugs. They were first discovered in the U.S in Idaho in 2012. Since then, they have migrated to other states. Adult elm seed bugs have an oval shape and wings. They are identified by the black upside-down triangle that is between two rusty-red triangles located on the back. These insects primarily feed on elm trees and other seed-bearing trees, as their name suggests.

Schedule a pest control service to immediately identify and control these pests in your Boise home.

Are boxelder bugs and elm seed bugs dangerous?

Both elm seed bugs and boxelder bugs are more of a nuisance than dangerous. These pests can be annoying to find on the trees in our yards, but they typically don’t cause significant issues.

Their most significant cause for concern is when they decide to move into our homes to overwinter. They will move indoors in large numbers where they stain surfaces and fabrics with excrement. If any die behind your walls, their decaying bodies will attract other pests to your home that want to feed on them.

It is also important to note that if these insects are finding a way into your home, those same openings will allow other pests that can pose a significant danger to your home or family inside.

Why do I have a boxelder bug and elm seed bug problem?

When the weather changes in the fall and temperatures drop, it triggers both boxelder bugs and elm seed bugs to seek a warm, dry, safe place to overwinter. When these pests are already living in our yards, it is common for them to be attracted to the warmth of our home’s exterior walls. As they travel across your home’s exterior, these small insects find their way inside through small openings they come across.

While one or two or even three of these insects getting into your home isn’t an issue, the fact is that hundreds or even thousands of these pests can find a way inside. Once inside, they travel across your home’s surfaces until they find a place to overwinter. In the spring, they will emerge and travel through your house again to return to their outdoor spaces to continue their life cycle.

Where will I find boxelder bugs and elm seed bugs?

Elm seed bugs and boxelder bugs primarily live on seed-bearing trees. Their name indicates their food preferences as elm seed bugs like elm trees and boxelder bugs prefer boxelder trees. Both insects spend most of their time outside visible on trees, but when overwintering in our homes, they move to hidden areas. Elm seed bugs and boxelder bugs regularly overwinter in attics, wall voids, and crawl spaces.

How do I get rid of boxelder bugs and elm seed bugs?

Elm seed bugs and boxelder bugs are tricky to get rid of without the knowledge and experience of a professional. With over 20 years of experience, you can count on Affinity Pest Control to identify, find, eliminate, and keep these insects from entering your Boise home in the future.

We are committed to our customers and ensuring that the services our professionals provide are effective, responsible, and eco-friendly. Through new advancements and staying up-to-date with the latest pest treatment methods in Boise, you can count on us to provide you with the best residential and commercial pest solutions possible.

Protect your home from becoming overrun with overwintering elm seed bugs and boxelder bugs with the help of the professionals at Affinity Pest Control and our guaranteed services; call today to learn more!

How can I prevent boxelder bugs and elm seed bugs in the future?

The most effective way to prevent recurring problems with elm seed bugs and boxelder bugs is to partner with us at Affinity Pest Control and implement the following prevention tips.

Make your property less attractive to boxelder bugs and elm seed bugs by avoiding planting boxelder trees and elm trees in your yard. If you already have these trees on your property, make sure their limbs are cut back from your home.

The best way to avoid problems with boxelder bugs and elm seed bugs is to inspect your home and seal its exterior to keep them out.

  • Use steel wool to fill spaces around wires, pipes, and other utilities entering your home.
  • Make sure weatherstripping is placed around windows and doors and replace torn or loose screens.
  • Seal cracks in the foundation or damaged siding or shingles.
  • Regularly inspect your home’s entire exterior using caulk or another material to seal spaces in the foundation and roofline of your house. 
  • Keep caps on chimneys and mesh covers over vents and drains entering your home.