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What Do Maple Bugs Eat and Ways to Control These Pesky Pests

A maple bug on a leaf, finding food to eat.

They are crawly! They are creepy! They are everywhere! Alberta homeowners are facing a pesky pest, the maple bug. Read on to discover what maple bugs eat and learn effective solutions to keep your property and home free of these unwanted pests. 

What Is A Maple Bug?

Maple bugs (also known as October or boxelder bugs) are small, red-eyed, six-legged creatures with a needle-like nose. They are part of the Rhopalidae family. Maple bugs have an eleven to fourteen-millimeter-long black body, highlighted by red lines along the thorax and flat red wings. They don’t bite, nor transmit disease. However, they like to gather on walls, windows, and doors. Maple bugs smell bad and leave a red residue, creating unsightly conditions for homeowners. They are an irritating nuisance!

What Do Maple Bugs Eat?

Maple bugs dine on the seeds, flowers, leaves, and new branches of boxelder, maple, and ash trees. They sometimes feed on peaches, cherries, and plums. 

Why Are There So Many Maple Bugs?

Alberta is experiencing an increase in maple bugs due to hot, dry weather that creates a favourable environment for these pests to propagate. Recent climate conditions have stressed maple, boxelder, and ash trees causing them to overproduce seeds, the food of the maple bug.  

How To Deter Maple Bugs

To keep maple bugs from entering your home:

  • Repair holes in doors, windows, and screens.
  • Install screens in the soffit and roof vents.
  • Install door sweeps.
  • Use silicone or caulk to seal cracks, gaps, crevices, and/or holes around doors, eaves, windows, siding, fascia, chimneys, roof joints, utility pipes, cables, wires, exhaust fans, and plumbing.  

How To Control a Maple Bug Infestation

Do not step on or crush maple bugs! They leave a red residue and an unpleasant odour? 

  • Use a vacuum/broom to remove the pests. 
  • Try diatomaceous earth or pyrethrin.
  • Ask for help from a pest management expert. They can treat the perimeter of your home and other buildings with a residual spray.

Don’t let an invasion of maple bugs take over. Schedule an inspection by a pest management expert. They know what maple bugs eat! They have the knowledge, experience, and products to help ensure a comfortable, pest-free home and yard. 

Have an infestation of maple bugs in your yard? Need help controlling them? Contact One Man and a Lady Bug Ltd. We’re experts in dealing with pests! We will inspect your home and property, develop a treatment plan, undertake an application/solution, monitor, follow up, and provide information, advice, and tips.