How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Anna Your Own Question
Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11429
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
Type Your Reptile Question Here...
Anna is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have Red/Black Elm Tree Bugs in my yard and I want to kill

This answer was rated:

I have Red/Black Elm Tree Bugs in my yard and I want to kill them , what can I use that will not harm my Three Toed Box Turtles ?

Do the bugs you want to kill look like this?


Thank you.


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm working on your answer, and will post it as soon as it is typed up. I appreciate your patience.

Please don't reply to this post as that can lock me out so I won't be able to post your answer.

I'll be back shortly.

Thank you for waiting. These bugs are called box elder bugs. They are mainly pests when they get inside houses. they do not bite, carry disease, or cause significant damage to plants. I've had a huge population of them at my house for several years.

If the bugs are an outdoor problem, I encourage you to do nothing about the bugs. There is no insecticide you can safely spray around turtles. They are very sensitive to chemicals. If you can spray shrubs and trees without getting it in the turtles' area, you can use a horticultural oil, which will kill those bugs it coats. Horticultural oils are available in garden centers.

If both the bugs and the turtles are in your house, repeated vacuuming of the bugs is the best way to get rid of them. Be sure to seal and discard the vacuum bag, or they will crawl back out. You can also place diatomaceous earth in cracks and crevices where you find the bugs, and around the outside perimeter of your house to keep more from coming in. The diatomaceous earth kills bugs when they ingest it, but isn't harmful to other animals. Here is an online source:

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope you'll either be able to tolerate the bugs or eliminate them in a way that won't harm your turtles.

(If you find my answer helpful, please click on the green ACCEPT button. Thank you.)
Anna and 2 other Reptile Specialists are ready to help you