Welcome to Colleen’s Corner. This is a column meant for fun and some information About myself: I am Colleen Fielding, a Freelance Photographer you often see me on the side of the road or in various places taking photos of different things animals, birds, places, people etc. l have lived in Lumby just over 8 years, you have seen my photos in the newspaper (Lumby Valley Times) and once in awhile in the Vernon Morning Star, and the Lumby Art Gallery. Photography is my passion. Disclaimer: The information on some of my photos that I write about a lot of times come from the Internet or books I research them, hopefully the facts are as close to the truth as I can come.
So lately I have seen these ugly bugs hanging around my front door. I have seen them on the Salmon Trail, but not at home. The other day I had put something on the shelf. I have my front porch, next thing you know two of these ugly bugs are travelling with me in my car! Yuck!
I looked them up on the internet the closest I can figure them out they are called Western Boxelder Bugs.
Here’s the thing: I don’t have a Boxelder Tree, which is part of the Maple Tree family, nor do I grow fruit. But here they are, these gross critters with usually more than one hanging around my door.
Apparently they don’t bite, but they have a piercing sucking way that can be like a Mosquito bite, just like Stink Bugs. If you get a severe reaction from their piercing, it is advised to seek medical attention.
When these bugs congregate they can cause a lot of damage to fruit in the later part of the season. Attacking the fruits we have here in the Okanagan, Apples, Peaches, Pears, Cherries, Plums. The Western Boxelder like to lay their eggs on the foliage and in the bark cracks in the tree of non-bearing Maple and Ash Trees. (As I am writing this I just remembered that across the road from me are a couple of Maple, Ash, and Apple Trees.) This is probably where they are coming from.) The eggs are red and will hatch within 10-14 days.
The young ones called Nymphs are bright red in color, when they mature their color starts to get darker and grow their wings, the older they are the darker they become, from bright red, Brownish red, to Gray Brown then Black.
They are about 3/8-5/8″ in length. The Western Boxelder can look like similar bugs like the Small Milkweed Bug, or the Red Shouldered Bug.
Western Boxelder Bugs are found in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, some states on the Pacific Coast, and here in British Columbia on my door frame.
I tried spraying them with the wasp killer “One Shot”, but it actually took a couple of shots instead of one to get rid of some of them. I guess it only works on Wasps!
When I looked it up recently it said that I can vacuum them up. The other way is to get rid of the seeds under the host trees, and or get rid of the Boxelder trees close to my property. Yeah, like my neighbours would like that HAHAHA.
Here is a simpler solution that the internet has suggested to stop the adults from coming into the home for the winter: fixing torn screens on the doors (nope don’t have that) place caulking on the cracks around doors and the windows, that I can do.
I know they can’t really hurt me, but I am disgusted seeing them on my front door frame, not being a bug person, unless it might turn into something beautiful I seriously don’t want them near me, or traveling in my car with me either.