The OHS Press

Are the box elders that fill the OHS silos really an issue?

Lucy Potter, Staff Reporter

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Boxelder bugs have infested the silos. In the windows surrounding the silos of A and B hallways, the black and red insects hang out in big, moving clumps.

Though it may seem gross, and like it is the school’s fault that there is this infestation, that isn’t the case. They are not attracted to food, or anything lying around, it’s just the pure structure of the walls that they like, keeping them warm and protects them from the wind.

According to PestWorld.org, during cold months, Boxelder bugs “tend to hide in small cracks and crevices in walls to insulate themselves.” With this information, it makes sense that they chose the small corners between the outside and inside walls and window to make their home for these few months.

Late March and April is when the bugs go back to their tree-host homes; it is warmer for them and they no longer need the protection the walls provide.

The pests are no more than a nuisance, though. There are not enough of them to destroy anything, or ruin any equipment. They do not even breed indoors.

There is not really a practical or feasible way to prevent them from coming in. In a school this large it is not possible to find and caulk all of the holes and cracks in the building. Nor is it possible to cut down or otherwise remove any silver maple or boxelder trees from the area. That being said, there is not much anyone can do about them except wait.

“I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault,” Zoey Williams (11) said. “The bugs would be [in the school] anyway because they’re cold too.”

So, for the next month or so, the Boxelder bugs just need to be avoided. They will go away on their own, but will probably come back next year around the same time.

“I told myself, ‘Don’t step on [the bugs], just walk around them. A bunch of dead bugs everywhere would be worse than a bunch of live bugs everywhere,” Williams said, about the situation.

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Are the box elders that fill the OHS silos really an issue?