box elder bugs

kliddle(6b)April 22, 2008

why do we have them and whose idea were they?!

never had a problem with them, but last year in place of the lady bugs that normally plague (in a nice lady like way) our south wall we had the box elder bugs. i was hoping they were just visiting, but now that spring is hear, they are back.

what attracts them and any idea how to repel them.

we have no maples, box elder trees, juniper bushes or much of anything i know they like. it is a bare south facing brick wall with just a little bit of ivy on the corner.

want the lady bugs back.

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crossover

Box Elder bugs are the great wimps of the insect world. Most adult insects will over-winter in a pile of decaying leaves and survive by the warmth produced by the decay. Box Elder bugs will invade a house to escape the ravages of winter. If they were there last fall and are now returning you probably have a crack or hole in the wall through which they entered last fall and they are now emerging with the warmer temperatures. Probably the best control would be to inspect the wall for any entry point and seal it up. With a brick wall you need to be careful because they usually have weep holes near the bottom that must remain open. In that case ventilation plugs can be installed.

You can use insecticides but that seems like overkill (no pun intendedÂwellÂmaybe only slightly intended) for a bug that is harmless. I canÂt imagine why the presence of box elder bugs would deter lady bugs from congregating on that wall since box elders arenÂt hostile towards them. Box elder bugs can fly a couple miles away from their food source so itÂs not all that surprising that you donÂt have a box elder tree nearby. I recommend that you just let them be unless you are seeing a large number of them inside your house. They are very harmless and the odd bug here or there can be removed from your house manually (scoop them up and throw them outside) unless you have a large infestation.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 12:48PM
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kliddle(6b)

no weep holes. it is a structural brick house. it is very old and and some of the wood is in bad shape leaving space behind it. this is where they are over-wintering and where the lady bugs used to over winter.

and last fall i would say it was a plagueÂtens of thousands. now you might find a few here and there is all, but i would rather see none knowing what fall might be like again. the odd thing is they have never been there before and the wood has been bad for decades.

can't or rather won't spray as i have a pond 10 feet from the wall.

until i repair the wood, it will be a box elder bug hotel. maybe i can spray just the wood next fall. any ideas on something that is more of a deterrent than a poison. garlic, lavender and onion tea?

any ideas welcome.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 1:25PM
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