As the days become colder, many critters will be looking for a warm place to call home for the winter. Among these critters are Box Elder Bugs and Stink Bugs, two pesky insect species that enjoy hiding in wall voids and attics. Once inside your house, these pests are just annoying and don't cause any serious harm. Here are some ways to tell the difference between Box Elder Bugs and Stink Bugs, and how you can prevent them from invading your house.
Box Elder Bugs vs. Stink Bugs
Box Elder Bugs are usually about ½-inch long with flat backs and oval-shaped bodies. They are dark brown or black with three reddish stripes behind their heads and two more red strips on each wing. The Box Elder Bug got its name because it drinks sap from the leaves, seeds and young twigs of Box Elder Trees.
Original Box Elder Bug photo by Cimala Custom Photography
Stink Bugs have broad bodies that are shaped like a shield and short legs. They range from green to brown in color. Avoid squishing a Stink Bug, they let out a foul scent that some say smells like cilantro, but not in a good way! Stink Bugs have been making a big stink this fall. Homeowners across the United States have been finding an unusual amount of Stink Bugs in their homes. Scientists are not sure what exactly is behind this population explosion.
Original Stink Bug photo by Catseye Pest Control Technician Todd Farley
Tips To Protect Your Home From Insect Invasion
- Replace damaged window and door screens. Bugs can easily climb through holes and tears in the screening.
- Install new weather stripping and door sweeps. The tiny space under the door is a perfect entryway for a Box Elder or Stink Bug.
- Seal any cracks in your foundation with caulking.
- Trim back overhanging trees or overgrown bushes. These branches provide the perfect bridge for insects to get to your house.
- Use low-pressure sodium exterior lighting. The UV rays of incandescent lights attract bugs.
- Remove any Box Elder Trees on your property. These trees are where Box Elder Bugs like to eat, mate and lay their eggs.
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