Why Do Boxelder Bugs Appear in the Fall?

Summer is ending, and so are your pest problems, right? Wrong! You’ve probably noticed a multitude of little black bugs around your home. You may not know these little guys by name, but with the commencement of fall, you can look forward to the migration of the boxelder bug.

What do boxelder bugs look like?

Boxelder bugs are native to North America. They are typically half an inch long and have flat black wings. Boxelder bugs usually have red markings on their wings and bodies. While they are capable of flying, boxelder bugs are more commonly seen crawling.

Why do boxelder bugs appear in the fall?

As the weather begins to cool, boxelder bugs seek shelter where they can hibernate. You’ll probably find them congregating around your home because it’s an appealing potential hotel for the cold winter months ahead.

Are boxelder bugs harmful to me or my family?

Unlike many colored insects, boxelder bugs are not poisonous. They do not bite or sting, but they will release a foul odor if they feel threatened. Boxelder bugs are usually more of a nuisance than a threat.

Can boxelder bugs damage my property?

Boxelder bugs will not harm you, your pets, or your property. Boxelder bugs feed on maple, ash, and boxelder tree seeds, but their eating habits are not harmful to plants. If you have an excessive infestation of boxelder bugs, you may find that their excrement stains your property.

How can I protect my home from boxelder bugs?

The most effective way to prevent your home from boxelder bugs is to utilize professional pest control services. You can also prevent boxelder bugs from entering your home by sealing all entry points they might find. This includes

  • Patching screens
  • Sealing door and window trims
  • Repairing cracks in roofing, siding, and foundation

How can I remove boxelder bugs from my home?

You can remove boxelder bugs as you would any other insect. To avoid touching a boxelder bug, use the extension on your vacuum to suck up the bug and quickly dispose of it. You can also trap the bug in a piece of toilet tissue and dispose of it or flush it down the drain.

Can you permanently exterminate boxelder bugs?

Professional pest control is the most effective way to prevent an outbreak of boxelder bugs, but the only way to completely alleviate the problem is to remove their food source. In extreme cases, you may wish to remove maple, ash, or boxelder trees from your property.

If you’re in need of professional pest control services, contact Springer in Des Moines. Our expert exterminators will inspect your property, treat your problem, and protect your home from future infestations. From boxelder bugs to termites, trust Springer with your residential pest control needs. Set up your free inspection today!

How to Safely Remove a Wasp Nest

Summertime is here, and with it comes picnics, barbecues, and yes…wasps. Don’t let these pesky swarmers get you down! Here’s how to safely remove a wasp nest.

What You’ll Need

  • Long pants
  • A long-sleeved shirt
  • Protective glasses
  • Proper insecticide
  • A ladder
  • A rake


The first step in removing a wasp nest is to make sure that it’s actually a wasp nest. Bees, wasps, and yellow jackets all have similar nests, but they have very different levels of aggression and should be treated in different manners. For example, bees’ nests should be relocated by a professional if at all possible. Honeybees are not typically aggressive and are vital to a thriving ecosystem. Yellow-jackets are highly aggressive and should only be removed by a professional. On the other hand, wasp nests can easily be removed by a homeowner.

Wasp nests can be identified by their open, papery honeycomb structure. Wasps are long and skinny with yellow and black stripes. Once you have properly identified a wasp nest, it’s time to isolate the area.


Before addressing the wasp nest, be sure there are no children or animals in the area. The best time to clear a wasp nest is during the evening when the wasps are less active. You’ll be less likely to be stung during the removal process.


When the nest is properly isolated, prepare yourself for extermination. Dress in your long pants, sleeves, and protective eyewear. If necessary, set a ladder up so that you are within range but not too close. Once you’ve reached a safe location, spray the insecticide according to its instructions.


The next day, be on the lookout for active wasps. If the extermination was successful, you should be in the clear. Examine the ground around the nest and pick up any dead wasps so they don’t pose hazards to curious pets or bare feet. Keeping a safe distance from the nest, scan for live wasps. If there isn’t any activity, you can use the rake to knock the nest down from its location. Do not knock the nest down if there are any active wasps. If there are still some live wasps, you may need to repeat the extermination. When you are able to remove the nest, dispose of it and clean up any remaining signs of the nest.

Call a Pro

If the wasp nest is too big or there are too many wasps to safely handle, it may be time to call in a professional. A pest control professional can safely eradicate your wasp problem and leave you and your home safe.

If you need help getting rid of a wasp infestation, contact Springer. As a top pest control professional in the Des Moines area, you can trust Springer will all of your pest control needs. Give us a call today!

What to Do If a Bee Stings You

It’s almost summer, which means it’s almost bee season. Avoiding a sting is priority number one, but if you happen to be stung by a bee, here’s what to do.

If You Are Allergic

If you know that you are allergic to bee stings, seek medical attention immediately. If you are unsure whether you are allergic, there are signs that you may be having a reaction:

  • Hives, itching, or red skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the throat or tongue
  • Rapid pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Loss of consciousness

If You’re Not Allergic

If you aren’t allergic to bee stings, then there are a few ways to aid your recovery.

Remove the Stinger

The first thing you want to do after you are stung by a bee is to remove the stinger. A bee’s stinger contains venom that contributes to the pain of a bee sting. The longer you leave a stinger in your skin, the longer it has to release the venom. Use tweezers or your fingers to completely remove the stinger.

Wash Your Skin

After you have successfully removed the bee’s stinger from your skin, wash the area with soap and cool water. This will prevent germs or bacteria from entering your skin through the sting.

Use a Cold Compress

It’s likely that by now you are experiencing some swelling. Use a cold compress to help relieve the inflammation around your sting. The cold compress will also help numb the area to reduce pain. Keep the cold compress on your skin for 15–30 minutes at a time. If your skin is too sensitive to have the cold compress directly touching it, use a damp cloth as a buffer.

Pain Relief

You can use a variety of over-the-counter pain relief creams to help reduce your pain. If you don’t have any available to you, here are a few home remedies to try:

  • Honey
  • Baking soda
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Toothpaste
  • Witch hazel

You can also take oral medications like ibuprofen or Benadryl to help reduce pain.

What to Do to Prevent Future Stings

Bee stings aren’t fun for anyone. Here are a few ways you can avoid them in the future.

Don’t Wear Sweet-Smelling Fragrances

Bees are attracted to sweet scents, so don’t wear perfume, hairspray, or lotions that may convince them that you’re a flower.

Keep Food and Drinks Covered

Summer picnics are great, and bees think so too! If you are enjoying food and drinks while outdoors, be sure to keep everything covered.

Always Wear Shoes

Shoes won’t always keep you from getting stung, but they will protect your feet as you walk through the grass.

Leave Bee-Infested Areas

Where there’s one, there’s probably more! Don’t hang around an area that seems to be a bee hotspot. There’s no reason to tempt fate.

Use Professional Pest Control Services

Sometimes, a bee problem can be too much for you avoid. In a situation with a bee infestation, you may want to seek professional help.

Protect your family from bees and other flying insects with Springer pest control in Des Moines. Don’t let these pesky bugs keep you from enjoying your yard this summer. Let the professionals at Springer successfully resolve your bee problem.