Box Elder Bugs and Diatomaceous Earth

Box Elder Bugs

Box Elder Bugs Introduction

As you can see from the picture above, box elder bugs have continually infested fruit trees and sides of houses since 1935.  No, they are not classified as a major problem in the eyes of some but they are a pain in the rear and let off a stink when disturbed and leave a nice red /orange stain when they go to the bathroom or are crushed!  So they do share some qualities and defense measures as the stink bug or kissing bug!  If you are having a problem with box elder bugs currently or expect to see a thousand on the side of your house in the coming months, this guide is for you and anyone you wish to share the information with!  We also suggest our Home & Garden Pest Control Bundle to help you save money and time against a variety of insects this summer.

 

Box Elder Bugs On House

 

Box Elder Bug Habits and Habitats

Does the scene above look familiar to you?  This image happens to many households in the west, east, south, north, and midwest regions of the United States.  Box elder bugs seem to thrive in warm climates and love to eat the seeds from trees and feed on leaves.  During the warm months you may notice box elder bugs appearing around seed bearing trees like the box elder, maple, ash, or even fruit trees if they are present.  You may also notice them swarming on the sides of your home as they tend to find the warmest crack or crevice to keep them warm during warm months of the year.  A box elder bug, when adult, is a dark color with red/orange stripes down its thorax.  Nymphs or the “babies” are more noticeable as they have a bright red color to their bodies.

 

 

Prevention

Along with Diatomaceous Earth you need to take some preventative measures to ensure the bugs themselves do not come in for a casual visit with your family.

  • Repair Holes in windows and door screens
  • Seal cracks and crevices with a good quality silicone along your foundation and siding
  • Install door sweeps to all exterior entrances.  Prevent an entrance for them along with your garden variety spider and other creepy crawlers.
  • Do not crush them, vacuum them to prevent stains on surfaces and to avoid other insects from entering the home, looking for the tasty dead bug.

So lets get on with the application of diatomaceous earth to help kill and prevent them!

 

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Kill and Prevent Box Elder Bugs

Diatomaceous Earth is used in areas to help slow the population.  Better yet, kill off an infestation on your home or trees.

  1.  Apply Diatomaceous Earth around the foundation of your home.  Be sure to check out the video below on how to do that!  Remember diatomaceous earth is only effective when it is dry.  So if it rains and washes the application away, its time to reapply.  When applying you simply need a visible application.   Nothing in big piles and do not miss a spot.  Bugs will find the avenue and not be affected by the diatomaceous earth.

2.  Find trees close to your home and apply to the base of the tree and a 1-2 foot around it.  Again be sure to follow the application video above when you apply to the base of the tree.

3.  Reapply often, if the product gets washed away or if you cannot see the application, reapply so it is visible.  Here in Nebraska, we start in late March into Early April.  Basically, when the soil becomes warm enough for the box elder adults to come out.