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Common Fall Pests: How to Get Rid of Stink Bugs & Boxelder Bugs

A woman standing in the kitchen plugging her nose

When you think about fall, you probably picture pumpkins, changing leaves, bonfires, and Halloween. But there is one more thing that inevitably comes with the fall months in Fort Washington: stink bugs and boxelder bugs.

These smelly invaders crawl into your home each fall as the weather starts to get cooler. While they aren’t harmful towards humans, they can cause an assault on our sense of smell when they feel endangered, or they are killed.

In this article, we’ll discuss what stink bugs and boxelder bugs are, how to identify them and prevent them from invading your home as well as how to get rid of them if they have already found their way inside.

The Stink Bug

Stink bugs first showed up in the United States in 1998. Since then, their population has flourished in 43 states thanks to a lack of predators. Originally from Asia, the parasitic wasp controlled the population of stink bugs but it is not present in the US.

These little bugs don’t pose a threat to humans, but they are harmful to our crops. They especially like to munch on fruit trees, berries, corn, soybeans, and other foods.

How to Identify Stink Bugs

These smelly critters have the shape of a shield and are brown with speckles of black. Stink bugs are less than an inch in length and have six legs and two antennae.

They don’t move too quickly, so they’re easy to catch. However, they do fly which helps them invade your Fort Washington home during the fall.

Dangers of Stink Bugs

As we mentioned previously, stink bugs aren’t dangerous to people. They don’t bite or sting and do not carry diseases that can infect and endanger our health.

The only threat they pose is to our crops. You could argue that this is an indirect danger to humans as they could potentially limit our food supply. What we’re saying is that if you see a stink bug in your home, there is no need to panic because it won’t hurt you.

The one unpleasant feature of stink bugs is the strong odor they give off when they feel defensive or are crushed. The scent can linger for quite a while, especially if it comes in contact with clothing.

Why Stink Bugs Invade Your Home

Just like most creatures, stink bugs search for warm places when the weather starts to get colder. Since we turn on the heat in our homes during the fall and winter, stink bugs find them comfortable spaces to survive.

One reason you’ll find so many stink bugs in your home is that they attract each other. When one finds a place that meets its survival needs, it emits a scent to call the other stink bugs.

How to Prevent Stink Bug Infestations

There are quite a few ways to keep stink bugs away from your Fort Washington home during the fall.

  • Trim branches away from windows
  • Seal cracks and holes
  • Fix holes in screens
  • Use yellow outdoor lightbulbs

Stink bugs are attracted to white light, so switching your outdoor lightbulbs to a yellow color can help prevent them from coming into your home.

A Boxelder bug on some dry leaves

The Boxelder Bug

The boxelder bug gets its name from the boxelder tree, where they tend to live. However, they only live in the female boxelder tree. They also inhabit ash and maple trees.

These stinky bugs come out during the spring and enjoy the warm weather of summer, but when it starts to get cold, they’ll find their way into your home. Often found in garages, they are also called garage bugs.

The good news is boxelder bugs are simply a nuisance to homeowners and do not pose a threat to our health or crops.

How to Identify Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs have elongated oval bodies that look flattened. They are black with a red or orange stripe along their backs. Of course, they have six legs and two antennae as well.

Their bodies are around half an inch in length too. Oh, and we can’t forget to mention that they do fly too.

Dangers of Boxelder Bugs

As we mentioned previously, boxelder bugs are harmless. They are just an annoyance during the winter when homeowners don’t want creepy crawly bugs in their precious homes.

While boxelder bugs aren’t likely to bite, there have been cases of bites. It’s nothing to worry about, though! The skin may become red and irritated, but there is no risk of disease transmission.

As with stink bugs, boxelder bugs give off a strong stench when they are crushed which will likely turn up your nose.

Why Boxelder Bugs Invade Your Home

The answer to this question is warmth. Boxelder bugs can’t survive the cold winters in Fort Washington and need to find a warm place to hide out until the weather gets better.

You’ll often see boxelder bugs gathered in large groups on the south side of buildings in sunny spots to stay warm.

How to Prevent Boxelder Bug Infestations

There are a few things you can do to prevent boxelder bugs from infesting your home this fall.

  • Remove female boxelder trees
  • Repair holes in screens
  • Seal entrances and windows
  • Fill in holes and cracks
  • Remove woodpiles near the house

These methods will most certainly decrease your chance of a boxelder bug infestation.

Getting Rid of These Smelly Invaders

You may be wondering how you can get rid of stink bugs and boxelder bugs if they tend to give off a strong odor when they’re squished. You can’t simply smack your shoe against them to get rid of them unless you want some stink to stay around.

The best way to get rid of these bugs is with a vacuum cleaner. Simply suck them up and throw out the bag when it’s full. It’s a no-mess, no-stink solution to these fall invaders.

You can also get sticky traps to collect these bugs and dispose of them properly, but not many people want these traps hanging around their homes.

Fortunately, there is an even more effective solution to getting rid of stink bugs and boxelder bugs in your Fort Washington home.

Brody Brothers Pest Control Will Handle Your Smelly Bug Infestations This Fall

The best way to get rid of stink bugs and boxelder bugs this fall is to call in a professional exterminator. Brody Brothers Pest Control is the leading extermination service in the Fort Washington area, and they’re ready to handle your smelly problem!

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you get rid of your stink bug and boxelder bug infestation!

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