Box elder bugs pester residents

- Rachael Palinkas/Photo editor

Katie Paysinger

Box elder bugs are wreaking havoc for students on campus, as they have emerged from winter hibernation and are invading rooms.

The 308 College Avenue and Legacy Apartments tend to have the worst cases, Tim Stewart, assistant director of environmental services, said. 

Box elder bugs, the main instrument of grief among students, are a nuisance, but not harmful. The bugs are approximately half an inch long, narrow and are recognizable by the red lines covering the body.

They hide for the duration of winter, and now is the time of year when they start to surface. The bugs are attracted to heat, which means they are typically found on sides of buildings immersed in direct light.

They do not bite and are not harmful in any way. They also do not breed indoors, so there is no worry for inside infestation.

“The best bet is to keep the screens that are already there intact,” Stewart said. “It’s really tough trying                      to keep screens in these       windows.”

If it’s not too late, do not remove the screen that was placed in your window by the college, Stewart advised. He said students have a tendency to kick out the screens, and once they are damaged they cannot be fixed.

Contact your Resident Adviser or Area Director if you have a problem with the bugs in your room. They will be able to place a work order, and a visual inspection of the problem will be performed by cleaning services.

Once the intensity of the problem is determined, pest control will be administered by an outside contractor          if needed.

Sometimes students are not patient enough to wait for the professionals to handle the situation and invent more creative solutions.

“I have known residents who have put tape on the windows or around the entire perimeter of the room,” Stewart said. “They turn the sticky side out so when the bug tries to get in, they get stuck. It’s pretty impressive.”

Facilities Services is expecting 20 to 30 cases to be reported this year.

“On average, that is typically what we get during the spring,” Stewart said.

While box elder bugs are more noticeable, members of Facilities Services said ants tend to be Linfield’s biggest problem. Grover Hall recently had a mild infestation, but it has since been taken        care of.

“If students maintain good upkeep in their rooms, it is likely to divert any big problems later on,” junior Brianne Ries, the RA in Grover, said.

Students should remember to keep their windows closed unless they have a screen in place if they are concerned about box elder bugs getting in their room. Contact your RA if the problem is too severe to wait for the season to pass.

Screens are available to students for free. There is a $10 charge if they are returned damaged. Screens can be obtained at the Area Director’s office in Mahaffey Hall.  

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