Fall Bugs to Watch Out for in NJ: Stink Bugs, Ladybugs, and Boxelder Bugs
As the light colors of summer fade away and the crispness of autumn sets in, New Jersey residents are treated to a beautiful display of changing leaves and cooler temperatures. However, along with these seasonal transitions, there is also a notable shift in the insect population. Fall is when several species of bugs become more prevalent, with stink bugs, ladybugs, and boxelder bugs taking center stage.
Here, we will delve into these fall bugs, exploring their characteristics, behaviors, and ways to manage or prevent infestations.
Stink bugs, known as Pentatomidae, are distinguished by their distinctive odor and tendency to invade homes during the fall months. These shield-shaped insects are approximately 0.5 to 0.75 inches long and come in shades of brown and green. They are equipped with a piercing-sucking mouthpart, which they use to feed on the juices of plants, fruits, and vegetables.
Stink bugs earned their name due to their defense mechanism of emitting a foul odor when threatened or crushed. This unpleasant smell of these fall bugs can be long-lasting, making it a nuisance in homes and businesses. During the fall, stink bugs seek shelter indoors to escape the colder temperatures, often entering through cracks, gaps, or openings in windows and doors.
Prevention and Control
To prevent stink bugs from infiltrating your home, it’s essential to seal any potential entry points, such as gaps around doors and windows. Additionally, repairing torn screens and using weather stripping can help keep these pests at bay. If an infestation occurs, vacuuming them is a temporary solution, but it’s crucial to dispose of the bag immediately to avoid the lingering odor. In severe cases, professional pest control services may be necessary.
Ladybugs, also known as ladybirds or lady beetles, are loved by many for their striking appearance and reputation as beneficial insects. In New Jersey, you can find several species of ladybugs, but the most common is the Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis). These small, round beetles are typically red or orange with black spots.
Ladybugs are well-regarded for their appetite for aphids and other garden pests, making them valuable allies for gardeners and farmers. However, they often gather in large numbers during the fall, seeking warmth and shelter indoors. This behavior can lead to home infestations as ladybugs squeeze through small openings.
Prevention and Control
To deter ladybugs from entering your home, ensure all doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and seal any cracks or crevices in your home’s exterior. If ladybugs do their way inside, avoid squishing them, as they can release a yellowish fluid that can stain surfaces. Instead, gently collect and release them outdoors. Using a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment can also help remove ladybugs without harming them. If infestations persist, professional pest control services are available.
Boxelder bugs, scientifically known as Boisea trivittata, are another common fall pest in New Jersey. These slender, elongated fall bugs are about 0.5 inches long and are primarily black with striking red markings on their backs.
Boxelder bugs feed on the sap of boxelder trees and occasionally on other maple species. As temperatures drop in the fall, they seek shelter in warm locations, often congregating on the sunny sides of buildings. They can enter homes through small openings and become a nuisance when they do.
Prevention and Control
To keep boxelder bugs from invading your home, seal any potential entry points like gaps around doors, windows, and utility pipes. Remove boxelder trees from your property if possible, as this will reduce their food source. If they enter your home, consider vacuuming them or using a commercial insecticide labeled for boxelder bugs. As with other pests, professional pest control services are an option for severe infestations.
Prevent Them From Invading Your Home or Business
As autumn arrives in New Jersey, it can bring these fall bugs: stink bugs, ladybugs, and boxelder bugs right into your homes and businesses.
While these insects have their characteristics and behaviors, they all share the goal of seeking shelter from the cooling temperatures by coming inside.
However, with proper prevention measures and control strategies for these fall bugs, homeowners and business owners can enjoy a bug-free fall season and appreciate the beauty of the changing leaves without the unwanted company of these insects. Remember that understanding these bugs’ habits and knowing how to deal with them can make all the difference in maintaining a pest-free home and business during the fall months.
If you are experiencing a stink bug, ladybug or boxelder bug infestation, do not hesitate to contact NJ Pest Control today.