I have a old and very large Maple tree that the Box Elders’ have found a permanent home. I’ve tried spraying repeatedly as well as hiring a pest control company with a boom to reach up high in the tree but all of these methods have not obtained much relief. Is there a way to treat the tree systemically to control them?
Boxelder bugs actually spend a lot of time on the ground in low lying vegetation so remember to treat everything around the tree using the DELTAGARD GRANULES and CYPERMETHRIN. These products should be applied from April through October and will really help control local populations which in turn will help reduce the numbers you see on the tree. My point is don’t just focus on the tree; its usually the surrounding areas that need treatments and if you handle them properly, the tree will be the beneficiary.
And remember to check to see if you have any boxelder bugs foraging on your building. This commonly happens and if they are using it for shelter, you will need to spray it with the Cypermethrin too.
Remember, boxelder bugs overwinter so its highly likely they’re living somewhere around the home or on the home and if you find these winter locations and get them treated, you’ll do a lot of good at future boxelder bug prevention so your Maple tree won’t become their home during the summer.
As for systemically treating your Maple tree; you can try using DOMINION 2L. This product only needs to be applied once a year and if the boxelder bugs are eating any of the Maple’s leaves or seeds, they will succumb to the treatment and die.
In general, boxelders are more seed eaters and for this reason, only forage onto female trees when seeds are present. That means this typically only happens during a short time of the year.
For this reason systemics are not labeled for boxelder bugs because it can be hard for some people to tell if the tree is being used for shelter or food. And if they are only using your Maple for shelter, systemically treating it won’t help.
But in cases where they’re eating seeds or foliage, systemics can help.
Something else to consider is that the use of traditional pesticides as a spray on large trees will many times not work. This happens when you can’t reach all limbs and foliage (like it sounds is happening on your Maple). So what will happen is that the boxelders will know to avoid the treated areas and in the end, survive by staying above the treatment line (basically staying in the top section).
So with that being said, I suggest you stop having the tree sprayed with whatever you’ve been using and instead change to the Dominion. This active is quite unique because insects will not detect its presence. This means they will readily walk over the treatment over and over because they won’t detect it.
But after walking over treated areas repeatedly, they will eventually get sick and die. This process will take several days but during this time, the active will be spread to most if not all of the boxelder bugs so the impact can be big and significant.
And if you renew the application of Dominion over the summer by treating the tree once a month as a topical spray, you’ll keep killing them without them ever realizing the Dominion is present as both a surface spray and possibly as a systemic.
In the end, this approach will prove highly successful compared to whatever active you’ve been using.
And to help you reach up 30 feet or more, get one of our TROMBONE SPRAYERS. They are easy to use and well worth the investment so you can treat the tree throughout the year yourself.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Dominion 2L: https://bugspray.com/catalog/insecticide/liquid/dominion-2l-termiticide-insecticide
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Mark Alan says
Thank you for the valuable information. I will purchase all that you suggested. One question, I have outdoor living dogs and would like to know if there are any special precautions I should take when using these products?
Tech Support says
The only precaution needed is to keep children and pets away from the areas when you treat until they dry. This will typically take 1 hour or less. But once the treated areas are dry, there is no hazard to pets or people so everyone can come back into the treated areas and go about their normal business safe and sound.
In fact we have “safety videos” on the bottom of all our product pages and I suggest you watch some before treating. And you can also find them all in our safety FAQ section here:
Product Safety: https://bugspray.com/about-us/who_is_bugspray.html#safe_for_the_home