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Garden Gleanings Do elderbugs bug you?

Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at 10:20 AM

Boxelder photos from wisc.edu and ncsu.edu sites
We had the question come up in another blog about a brown and read insect swarming on a lawn. rtdavis62 who works on lawns in the area thought we should check out the elderbug. Here are two pictures from the wisc.edu and ncsu.edu sites

doe-c-doe is this the insect? If not, can you tell us the difference? Maybe we can try again.

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Applying your own might save some money, but when it comes to chemicals we have a tendency to think more is better and that is not usually correct.

I know the feeling of wanting to "kill those buggers" twice over, but.....PLEASE do not exceed the recommended application rates, for you, your family, your neighbors and the environment.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Mar 13, 2009, at 9:30 AM

Yes, Steve, if I apply any product to control a pest, whether it is a organic chemical or a man made one, I have to keep records of the application. I have to be licensed and charterd by the state and I have to be certified in the category for which I hold a license. In my case my certification is for Ornamental and Turf and my license category is Horticulture-Lawn and Turf. Most people don't know that for a company to apply any type of control product they must be licensed to do so. There are many who don't have a license to do this and they pose a risk of improperly applying a product to the wrong target pest or the wrong amount.

An individual can purchase and apply any general purpose product to "their own" property.

-- Posted by rtdavis62 on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 10:06 PM

So... if you applied a soap spray as suggested in the link, you would be regulated?

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 8:46 PM

One of the first times I saw these bugs was when I trimmed some English Ivy from a customers house. I pulled the ivy from the house and the wall was alive with them, I half expected the ivy I removed to start crawling across the lawn. And Steve is correct I have a lawn and landscape business. I'm licensed by the state to apply control products to a customers lawn and landscape. I would still have to be licensed even if I did all my applications organically.

-- Posted by rtdavis62 on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 7:03 PM

Oops. straightframe also gave us the wikipedia link.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 11:42 AM

Thanks to rtdavis62 for his experience in yard insects. I believe he runs a lawn and yard service in case someone has a need.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 10:31 AM

Thanks for the info. These little boogers will be dead by sundown!

-- Posted by doe-c-doe on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 8:34 AM

OMG!!!! That is it. They are every where in my back yard! And all over a section of my house. And I can actually see the grass moving in my back yard!

-- Posted by doe-c-doe on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 8:32 AM

IN case you are hesitant to click on links, here are some clips from the wikipedia article offered by framstraight.

"These insects feed on the softer plant tissues, including leaves, flowers, and new twigs. Unless the population is exceptionally large, the damage to plants is minimal. During years when their population soars, they can damage useful shade trees."

"In the spring, the bugs leave their winter hibernation locations to lay eggs on maple or ash trees."

"In late spring, groups of 50-200+ bugs may gather on house siding or brick, usually in a sunny spot."

It appears there is only need to kill them when they are in massive numbers, but they make it easy without harmful chemicals.

"These insects can be killed with a dilute mixture of soap and water -- 2 tablespoons per gallon -- sprayed on them directly. This procedure can stain or discolor siding however. Natural insecticides have also been proven to be very effective in killing these bugs and eliminates the possible damage to siding."

"A small strip of duct tape can also be an effective way of killing these insects, as they seldom will fly away when approached. Unable to escape from the adhesive backing, they can then be disposed of."

They can also be kept out of the home, to a degree, by putting boric acid and/or diatomaceous earth in places they would gather to enter, as well as by using weather stripping and other means to seal the house better."

If you compare these quotes to the actual article, I broke up large paragraphs for ease of reading and left out the chemical treatments. However, it is there for your reading pleasure.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 7:28 AM

Actually, it is rtdavis62 who surmised that the bugs doe-c-doe was having issues with. We still do not have confirmation from D-C-D.

But I always accept compliments, so.....thanks. This time I was more a facilitator.

-- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 7:18 AM

huh i was wondering what these bugs were. Thanks steve you are the man!

-- Posted by 4fabfelines on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 9:26 PM

Thanks framestraight.

I am hoping doe-c-doe moves over to this blog to compare pictures and will let us know if this is the one "buggin'" her.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 7:20 PM


A little more info on the Elder bug.

It is here;



-- Posted by framestraight on Wed, Mar 11, 2009, at 5:04 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.