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Down to Earth

Bug Fest 2006

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Down to Earth

Last year it was the Japanese Beetles and this year its some other kind. Have these black with orange/red stripes bugs all over my house. I don't recall them this heavy as years past. What are they?

picture887ag3.jpg

Close up is a bit fuzzy.

picture889nb7.jpg

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hanson1287

I believe that would be the box elder bug. We have the same problem in our neighborhood.

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troutmaster

they have litterally covered the side of our house, they don't bite like the japan beetles but they are a nusiance none the less.

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Meaney

FYI smile.gif

Box elder bug

Hemiptera: Rhopalidae, Leptocoris trivittatus

SIZE: About 1/2 inch (12.7mm)

COLOR: Black with red lines

DESCRIPTION: This bug is about 1/2 inch long and 1/3 as wide. It is black with three red lines on the thorax, a red line along each side, and a red line on each wing. The wings lie flat on the back when at rest. The young nymphs are red and gray. The population of bugs may number into the thousands.

HABITAT: Box elder bugs normally feed on the leaves, flowers, and seed pods of the boxelder tree or silver maple. Large numbers of box elder bugs are usually on the female, or pod-bearing, tree. These insects feed on male box elder trees and other trees and plants, but they usually do not build up to such large numbers. The adults search for a place to overwinter which brings them into houses where they hide in small cracks and crevices in walls, door and window casings, attics, and around the foundation. During warm days in winter and early spring they come out and scatter through the house. They are primarily a nuisance as they crawl or fly about in the rooms.

LIFE CYCLE: The adult bugs lay eggs in the spring and the nymphs emerge in a few days. The nymphs are small and show more red than adults. These nymphs develop into adults during the summer, then mate and lay eggs which hatch into the nymphs of the second generation. Activity of nearly fully grown nymphs is noticed in August and September when they gather in large numbers on the trunks of box elder trees. The migration of the adults begins at this time.

TYPE OF DAMAGE: The box elder bug becomes a pest in many houses each year in fall and spring. They do no damage by feeding, but their excrement spots on draperies are difficult to remove. The bugs cause little damage to trees.

INTERESTING FACTS: On warm days during winter and early spring, box elder bugs sometimes appear on light painted surfaces outdoors on the south and west sides of the house, resting in the sun. crazy.gif

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PISCATOR

OK, OK . . . good info, but what I want to know is how do I kill the little buggers?!!! I have heard that spraying them with soapy water will kill them. Anybody have any other methods? Thanks.

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rollineyes

The soapy water does nothing but make clean box elder bugs. Get your hands on some Tempo, I buy it at the local elevator. I mix it 16ml to the gallon. Spray it on the windows, siding, everywhere. It kills the box elder bugs and the Asian Lady Beetles. A small bottle costs about $45, but that will do many houses. The downside of Tempo is that when the asian beetles die, they leave a pretty nasty looking trail on whatever surface their on. But, come spring, its all gone. If its too offensive, you can scrub it off.

Happy Bug Killing!

rollineyes

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ikeslayer

i am by no means a tree hugger or anything but why do you want to kill them. Seems to me if you kill them then you got to clean them up. they will be gone in 2 weeks with cold weather. Just curious? ike

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Meaney

they wont be gone in 2 weeks with cold weather, thats why they come in to your house is to find a place to live for the winter tongue.gif just like the japenese beetles. then they will burrow into your ears when you are sleeping and lay their eggs for spring time and then one day you wake up with an itch in your ear and HOLY SMOKES!

ok, ok...im just kidding around. smile.gif

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merganser

Hilarious.... is that why they call you meany? grin.gif

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Meaney

pretty much grin.gif

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Ron Burgundy

Actually the Asian Beetles end up in your popcorn if your not paying attention and you get a nasty taste of dirt! They are crunchy just like popcorn. Bug Max 365 takes care of the beetles and box elders. It's a red spray bottle similar in size and shap to Windex. $10 Spray the house and windows. I came home from work a day after spraying and the sidewalk was almost totally covered with the dead ones.

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RochRanger

I tried the water/soap mix and it did a good job killing the box elder bugs. You need about 2 tablespoons detergent or dish washing soap per gallon. Spray it directly on the bugs and it will kill them. I have the carcasses laying around my yard to prove it! Apparently the soap removes a coating on them and and it dries them out..killing them. I think some of the other chemicals do have a residual effect so you can spray your house and the chemicals will work when the bugs come in contact with it...where the soapy water won't. But with the soap you don't have to worry about the chemicals...even though they say they are safe.

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