True bugs are a type family of bugs with piercing-sucking mouthparts. They are grouped in this way to make etymological identification easier. However, while they contain a large number of insects that drink both blood and liquid chlorophyll they do not contain fleas or mosquitoes. They do contain bed bugs, cicadas and aphids, however. Box elder bugs are also a member of this family and have similar mouthparts to bed bugs. They drink from plants though, not from humans or animals.
Box elder bug life cycle
Box elder bugs have two mating periods per year. The first is in the early spring where they produce eggs on trees like box elder trees, maple trees and ash trees. This mating period leads to bugs that drink from the soft tissues of plants and is not bothersome or invasive yet. The second mating period later in the year in the late summer is when the box elder bugs become invasive and problematic. As winter approaches, they do something called over-wintering. This normally involved them flying south to a place that is warmer but now with the advent of internally heated homes, they will invade residential homes and live in the walls and even get into the house proper. They are a serious infestation that causes stains from their droppings and innards and make a terrible smell. They will not hurt you physically but the psychological toll is very serious.
Similar insects to box elder bugs
There are some bugs that look similar to the box elder but like the kissing bug and the western conifer seed bug but they have variations like smaller heads and different striations that can make it easy to tell the difference between the two. If you have these bugs in your home bring one of the bugs to an etymologist for identification or look it up online and compare them to the pictures. If they are not box elder bugs it’s unlikely to be a real infestation. Either way, it is important that if you are in an area where box elder bugs are common you need to prepare early for the attack.
Box elder bug treatment
If you are worried that you are going o have an invasion of box elder bugs in the fall the best thing you can do is prepare in the spring. Look for entryways you can seal like weep vents, plumbing vents and holes from electrical additions and cracks in windows and spaces under exterior doors. Seal these areas off with whatever tools and means that are needed and then call a pest control technician who can do an exterior spray of the house to kill the box elder bugs who try to nest on your home. Do this at a later point in the year close to when the infestation normally starts. If you already have bugs in your home you can have an interior treatment done which would include a baseboard spray to kill the bugs as they crawl up the walls.