The boxelder bug derives its name from the boxelder tree, as this is the main plant around which this particular species of insect likes to congregate. Although not normally thought of as agricultural enemies, boxelder bugs are nonetheless a nuisance for some people due to their high rates of infestation in certain areas of North America. There are many different approaches that you can take to control boxelder bug populations.
Boxelder Bug Control
During the winter months, boxelder bugs are rarely seen as they overwinter (or hibernate) until spring. They may hibernate inside the walls of your home, especially if the house has various cracks around its perimeter. If you are noticing this insect during the spring and fall months each year, it may be a good idea to check your house for easy entrances and places that the bugs may hibernate and reproduce.
Prevention really is key for boxelder bug control, so sealing up any opened areas will go a long way toward reducing bug populations in your home next summer. Often, if the insects have already invaded your home or garden, using an insecticide may be necessary. Spraying an insecticide around the perimeter of your home or garden will aid in protecting against further invasion by other boxelder bugs, while hopefully killing those that are already within the vicinity of your property. Be sure to read the labels of insecticides carefully, as these products can be poisonous and sometimes flammable.
Certain plants such as mint, rosemary, and garlic may repulse certain insects, including boxelder bugs. Although relatively harmless to your garden, sometimes boxelder bugs create a displeasing smell in the area, and stain certain places in your garden and home with their excrement. Again, these things are not harmful, but are often annoying to gardeners and home owners.
What Else Can I Do?
When all else fails, hiring a professional exterminating crew may be necessary to lower the insect population. Boxelder bug control services are commonplace in certain areas of the country, and most companies can easily remove these annoying pests, as well as help you prevent them from coming back during the fall, spring, and summer months.