Box elder bugs keep exterminators busy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Box elder bugs keep exterminators busy

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - Pest control companies say it's prime season for pesky box elder bugs.

Enviro-Pest Solutions, a pest-control company based in Cedar Falls, treats about 10 houses a day for box elder bugs.

Owner Josh Rzepka says box elder bugs are harmless.

"They are just an absolute nuisance," he said. "They don't do nothing bad -- they're just a nuisance and people don't like them."

Rzepka says homeowners can help keep the bugs at bay by doing the following:

-Seal off all cracks and crevices
-Caulk around windows, doors and soffits
-Make sure windows are well-screened
-Make sure doors seal tight

He said people can use soap and water to kill box elder bugs on the spot, but that using a soapy water solution is only a temporary fix.

"If you've got 10 million box elder bugs, you're probably going to want to call somebody," said Rzepka. "If you've seen 4 or 5, you might want to see how it goes, but there's not a lot for do-it-yourself products that are going to work real well for this."

Rzepka recommends houses receive treatments in the spring and fall with products that bust through the wax coating of the box elder bugs.

He says any house is susceptible to box elder bugs.

"The more cracks and crevices you have, the more hiding places there are for them," he said, adding that box elder bugs usually gather in the midday sun on the south, east and west sides of a building.

"The west side is usually the worst," he said.

Rzepka said another common pest around this time of year is the Asian lady beetle. He said Asian lady beetles tend to come out when the bean fields start getting pulled, and coincidentally it's usually around the same time box elder bugs start gathering.
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