Box elder bugs Boisea Trivittatus are out in full force this week.  Box elder bugs go unnoticed during most of the summer.  In the fall around mid September, you can start seeing them in droves.  This insect is quite active in the fall when it is looking for winter shelter.  Box elder bugs are mostly an annoyance because they tend to creep into your house.  You can see these insects covering windows and doors in droves.  When the temperature in the fall is nice, most people want to open up their windows.  If you have a large infestation of box elder bugs, then you may open your house up to these pests.  These insects are mostly harmless and will not damage your plant material.  Most of the damage caused by box elder bugs is left in the form of excrement.

Identify box elder bugs.

Box elder bugs in their nymph or adolescent form are mostly cherry red in color.  When box elder bugs are young, they are about the size of a large pencil lead.  When this bug reproduces, you can see the young in large quantities.  Large clumps of these bugs look like large red blotches on what ever they are located on.

Adult box elder bugs are about a half-inch long.  They are light to dark red and black in color.  The adult box elder bug has three red stripes behind the head.

Box Elder Bugs

Box Elder Bugs 2

Treatment for box elder bugs.

The best way to keep box elder bugs out of your house is to make sure that there are no entry points.  Make sure to repair holes in window screens.  Fill any gaps around windows and doors.  The use of an insecticide labeled for box elder control should be applied in late summer or early fall.  The best time to apply an insecticide is when the insects start swarming your house.  If you treat too early it will not do any good.  Make sure to treat as much of the exterior of your house as possible.  You should treat siding, windows, doors and the foundation of your property with an insecticide.