Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Elm Beetles & Box Elder Beetles

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by teflon97239, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    Likes Received:
    3,325
    Anyone else have 'em?

    I've had an annual infestation here in SW Portland since I bought this place over a decade ago, some years worse than others.

    In the past, Dawn dish soap spray outside helped a little. And I did some serious caulking around a couple drafty window frames, which helped a lot.

    Will repeat both processes again tomorrow as this is the worst year by far. Usually gone by mid-December, they just kept multiplying this winter. This afternoon I came home to a swarm of hundreds in a room on the sunny end of the house.

    I called an exterminator one year and he basically said he wouldn't do business with me. Said I'd be pissed off and demanding my money back when they reappeared (not if) - he doesn't know of any lasting treatment. In fact, he's the guy who hipped me to the Dawn dishsoap idea.

    So besides Dawn and caulking, any other techniques you guys recommend?
     
  2. nwo

    nwo Southern Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,610
    Likes Received:
    245
    Maple Bugs. Cute, relatively harmless (though messy) and a huge annoyance. Yeah, I've got thousands of them in the Spring, and Summer. Seeing them copulate is no fun either.

    They LOVE the warm sun, that is for sure.

    Thankfully, not many get into the house.

    The exterminator helps some, but the bugs are hardy creatures. It does not help that the Maple tree they come from is HUGE in my back yard.

    Now, don't even get me started on the stupid Maple 'helicopters' that plague my yard in late Winter and Spring time. There are MILLIONS of those things.
     
    Jamie6.5 likes this.
  3. receo

    receo Sandy, Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    116
    Beer and shopvac. Repeat annually.
     
    Mikej and (deleted member) like this.
  4. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,857
    Likes Received:
    10,560
    The trick to eating any insect is to cook it. Even if a bug has harmful toxins or venom, a good boiling will usually negate the effect. Insects with hard shells like beetles can contain parasites, but if cooked are safe to eat. Even if you're in a survival situation, you should be able to get a fire going. This means you can boil, roast or smoke the insects you eat. Aside from making them safe to ingest, cooking them also improves the taste. Ants, for example, have a distinct vinegar taste until they're boiled. Another way to improve your dining experience is by removing the wings and legs from your meal. They don't contain much nutritional value anyway. You can also remove the head.

    Many times the insects themselves are edible, but what they've been eating isn't. It takes a little while for insects to digest, so if they recently ate some leafy greens that were sprayed with pesticide, those chemicals are now inside their body. Locusts that have been doused with insecticide often have saliva at the corners of their mouths. Cook these insects or purge them by feeding them fresh greens -- 24 hours should do it. You should also stick to live insects because you can never be sure what killed the dead ones. You can take care of the killing part yourself by cooking or freezing them.

    If you use Dawn soap you will get the runs.
     
    Sstrand and (deleted member) like this.
  5. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    6,450
    Likes Received:
    7,647
    My chickens love them.
     
  6. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    Likes Received:
    3,325
    Thanks Receo, that used to work, but for the past month it's been a daily thing. So bad this year that I spent a couple hours at it last night and got more than a little bit tatered. I suspect a couple months of that will turn my liver to braunschweiger.

    NWO, I never heard of the maple bug name before. But it makes sense with a couple of gigantic Japanese maples at the end of the house where they invade - touching the eaves! Guess my trees are getting a trim and shower in Dawn today. I'm glad it's warm enough to turn on the outdoor faucets.

    Still open to any and all suggestions. I'll try anything short of fire to knock this down ASAP.
     
  7. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,857
    Likes Received:
    10,560
    Nearly everyone is plagued with them anymore.
     
  8. AMT

    AMT Vancouver, WA. Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

    Messages:
    701
    Likes Received:
    576
    I too was hoping someone had a fail-safe answer. I have also been "fighting" with them for a few years now. Lately every year they seem to be getting worse. I'm told because we haven't had a "hard" winter in a while.

    Now I will try beer and Dawn too.

    Like Teflon, I am getting sick and tired of them too.

    Boiling or smoking them. Hmmmm. Some nice cold beers, a few shots of sipping whiskey, a good roll, who knows where this could lead.... :laugh:
     
  9. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    6,450
    Likes Received:
    7,647
    I rented a house in the country that would qualify as a Superfund site.
    Besides the terrible wiring job that either shocked you or plain didn't work, it had more insects per square foot then a tropical rain forest.
    One of the worst was the annual migration of thousands of little black centipedes that crawled through the weep holes at the bottom of the aluminum windows.
    You would be asleep and they would drop off of the curtains and fall on your head.
    Another one was the long legged black spiders that owned the basement, and Carpenter Ants that knew no fear.
    Besides the insects and bad wiring, my wife swore it was haunted, and the whole time we lived there, we all had respiratory issues during the winter.
    I found out right before we moved, that the lame brained landlord who had built the house had installed the metal furnace duct work himself.
    He had stuffed fiberglass insulation as plugs at the unused end of all the wye fittings, instead of a metal end cap.
    Someone must have given him a bunch of free wye fittings, instead of angled ones, because all of the duct work was made up of angled wye's.
     
  10. U201491

    U201491 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,857
    Likes Received:
    10,560
    :D thought that one would have got more response, but guess they hadnt returned from the bathrooms yet :D
     
  11. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    Likes Received:
    3,325
    --- LOOKS LIKE SUCCESS ---

    Didn't want to celebrate too soon, but I think I'm onto something here. I did some research and found out mine are officially box elder bugs. I also learned they weren't coming from somewhere else - they were coming out of my own siding!

    So I waited until it was nice and sunny when they were totally infested along my south/west walls outside, basking in the warmth. I zapped 'em with Bonide brand Household Insect Control (from A-Boy/Ace Hardware). They dropped off the siding in piles from direct spray. Inside, I used Hot Shot aerosol around floor seams and window sills. Of course, I left the house open to air out, turned on some fans and got out of there for a few hours.

    Trick #1
    Get them when they're out on your siding, sunning in droves - by the thousands. Spray as many directly as you can. There were far fewer in the next treatment a week later.

    Trick #2
    Spray around any cracks or cupped siding where it's likely bugs might crawl in our out later. The label says it protects for months, so I'd like to think future elder bugs will be repelled before they even try to set up shop here.

    Trick #3
    I'm particularly proud of this one. I'm on a steep hill. The back of my house is really tall and I'm not fond of ladders. So I put the poison in a pump-up yard sprayer, cut the spray wand in half, extended it with neoprene hose, and taped the nozzle at the far end of a long pole (PVC pipe) so I could spray way above my head from terra firma. Nuked those little b*stards up where they thought they were safe.

    I was still finding bugs in my house for another week, but they were all dead. Finally finished vacuuming them up in February and I haven't seen one since.

    Not everyone is fond of poison, in fact I'm not crazy about it either. But I was joking (sort of) about torching this place in January when I was killing 100+/hour with a flyswatter - INSIDE! I used half a gallon of the outside stuff and maybe half a can of the inside stuff. If they ever come back, I'll see how little I can get away with before they infest and start mating again.

    Your methods and results may vary, but I hope this helps if they're driving you crazy too.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014
    AngryRedTicTac likes this.