Ehrlich Pest Control provides tips for 3 spring pests


April 13, 2023



Spring is here, which means it is time for deep cleaning. Ehrlich Pest Control gives tips on what to do about bed bugs (Cimex lectularius), stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) and boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata).

Homeowners can encounter these uninvited pests as they begin moving furniture, switching out seasonal decorations and doing general home maintenance. Despite what some might believe, having these pests in a home does not mean that home is dirty. Bed bugs will hitchhike anywhere in pursuit of a meal while stink bugs and boxelder bugs are looking for ways to stay warm.

Entomologists from Ehrlich Pest Control provide insights to help homeowners stay one step ahead of bed bugs, stink bugs and boxelder bugs.

Where to look for bed bugs

To better protect homes from a possible bed bug introduction, Ehrlich Pest Control Entomologist Eric Braun, BCE, offers insights on where to look for bed bugs.

  1. Beds: Called “bed” bugs, the first place homeowners should look is in bed, and not just in the mattress. Bed bugs can hide in the smallest cracks in the bed frame and also in the box springs. If the frame is wood, check it thoroughly. Look throughout the mattress and check every wrinkle and space.
  2. Couches and chairs: Make sure that the couches and chairs in common areas are free from bed bugs, which can hitch a ride on people or their clothing and end up in rooms. Check the furniture thoroughly and remember that bed bugs can be very small, looking more like grains of pepper or apple seeds than insects.
  3. Baseboards: Although bed bugs are infamous for being in objects covered with fabric, the pest will hide anywhere. This includes the baseboards along the bottom walls of a room, in the electrical sockets and behind anything else against the wall.
  4. Dressers: Bed bugs love to attach to clothing to travel from place to place. Check the drawers and look for shed insect skins. The small pest can hide in the corners, pushed into the cracks or on the clothing stored there, too.
  5. Clothing: Piles of clothing in hampers or laundry rooms are the perfect areas for bed bugs to hide. Ensure the drawers, closets, laundry baskets and laundry rooms are free of bed bugs. Keep as much clothing off the ground as possible to reduce the risk of bed bug infestations.

How homeowners protect their homes from stink bugs

Photo: Petra Richli/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Petra Richli/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Ehrlich Pest Control Entomologist Thomas Dobrinska, BCE, offers insights on why and how to minimize stink and boxelder bug encounters for homeowners.

While spring days are usually warmer, nighttime temperatures can still be fairly cool. To escape the cooler temperatures, stink bugs may try to enter a home for warmth and shelter. The bug will use an open space inside of walls to wait out the cooler weather. As temperatures continue to rise, stink bugs will emerge to lay eggs on host plants. The pest enters a home through cracks, gaps or holes in the structure of the home. This pest will often enter through openings under fascia, gable vents and gaps around windows and doors.

Stink bugs lay their eggs in the spring and there is usually just one generation. However, unusually warm spring and summer conditions may result in a second generation being produced. Stink bugs are great flyers and will fly from neighboring properties to other attractive overwintering sites.

“The thing to do is make sure that your home is sealed up,” Dobrinska said in the news release. “Make sure that screens are repaired and holes fixed. Ensure there are sweeps underneath garage doors and doors that lead outside. If you do that, the stink bugs will at least stay outside and not spread their smell indoors. Remove live and dead stink bugs with a vacuum cleaner or a broom, however, the vacuum may smell like stink bugs for a period of time. Always empty the vacuum afterward. Consider a pest management professional to treat the outside of the home, to reduce the stink bug population on the property.”

What to do about boxelder bugs

Photo: ErikAgar/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: ErikAgar/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

The main concern for homeowners is the stains boxelder bug droppings leave on surfaces. If left unchecked, an infestation could lead to a significant amount of droppings and unsightly stains. The black and orange pest is also known to damage fruit plants while out searching for places of warmth.

“This bug is certainly a nuisance but not a threat to people or pets,” Dobrinska said. “Boxelder bugs seek shelter inside homes to survive cold temperatures. People may see these pests in large number around the home, but they do not actually reproduce inside the home. The boxelder bug also does little to no damage to homes. In the spring, boxelder bugs will return to their natural habitat for food and to reproduce.”

Boxelder trees on or near a property could increase the likelihood of an introduction of these pests. The best way to reduce populations is to use standard cleaning methods such as sweeping and vacuuming.

Best ways to prevent occasional invaders

  1. Exclusion: The best way to prevent any type of pest from invading a home is by making sure it’s sealed. This may require using caulk, mesh, door sweeps, screening, vent covers, wood fillers or concrete. It could also involve replacing or fixing siding, shingles, paneling, or any other exterior cracks, holes or gaps where pests can enter. Exclusion for boxelder and stink bugs should be implemented in June or July to ensure insects are not being sealed into the home.
  2. Landscaping: Wood mulch provides shelter for all types of pests, allowing them to breed, feed and thrive with little threat of being discovered. Other areas of concern involve shrubs, trees and plants that are near the home. These can provide harborage areas for pests and easy access to the roof. Replacing wood mulch with stone or rubber mulch and keeping landscaping trimmed back from the home can help reduce large populations of pests.
  3. Water and moisture: There are several pests that are drawn to moisture and water, especially in the rainy months of spring. Contributing factors outside the home may include dripping spigots, flower pots, bird baths, dips in landscaping, clogged gutters and any other objects that hold water. Factors inside the home that may produce excess water or moisture could include a leaky faucet, condensation around windows or toilets and floor or shower drains. Taking the necessary steps to eliminate water and moisture issues will help to eliminate access to these water sources.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner

Ellen Wagner is the digital editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at

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