What to know about maple bugs
As the temperature dips in Saskatchewan, beetle-like bugs with reddish backs can be spotted inside homes.
Boxelder bugs, more commonly known as maple bugs, breed and nest in maple and boxelder trees, but the insects don’t survive the winters outside, which is why they can often be found trying to get into your warm home.
Here’s what you need to know about the bugs:
Maple bugs prefer the south side of your home
The insects love the sun. They can be commonly spotted on south-facing garage walls or near windows.
“They’re kind of sunbathing there and then, as it gets cool, they try and find any crevices to go into to get warm,” Angela Koop, a manager at Dutch Growers, said.
Keep an eye out for any crevices
Maple bugs can maneuver their way inside quite easily, according to Kelly Makepeace, an exterminator at Kelly’s Pest Control.
“It doesn’t take them much -- just a door, around pipes, an opening on the building. Anywhere they can get in, they’ll get in.”
They can’t breed indoors
According to Koop, maple bugs breed on trees, so you don’t need to worry about the insects infesting the inside of your home.
They don’t bite or damage your home
“They don’t bite. They don’t cause any damage. They’re just a nuisance – a big time nuisance,” Makepeace said.
In autumn, the Saskatoon exterminator gets up to 20 calls a week to remove maple bugs.
They release an odour and mess when squished
Squishing maple bugs is not a long-term solution, according to Koop.
The bugs leave a red residue when crushed and a minor odour, which can attract more bugs.
“They get a little bit of a smell, nothing major though, but they can attract other pests,” Koop told CTV News.
Hire an exterminator or use spray to remove bugs
To eliminate maple bugs from your home, both Koop and Makepeace recommend shielding the outside of your home, to prevent the insects getting inside.
Makepeace says his chemical lasts a couple weeks and typically one spray will kill all the bugs. His price depends on the size of the job, but ranges from $200 to $300.
If the insects are already inside, Koop suggests moving them outside and avoid squishing.
“You’re best to just move them out of your house, or you can spray all your cracks and crevices leading into your house,” she explained.
Dutch Growers’ insect eliminator sprays range from $10 to $40.