Should Box Elder Tree With Box Elder Bugs Be Removed Or Treated

Question From: Livonia, Michigan, United States
Q: Hi, Nancy. I'm hoping you can help or point me in an appropriate direction. We have had a box elder tree (female) for about 25 years now. This is the first year that we've had problems with an invasion of box elder bugs into our home. Over the winter we have destroyed at least 200 bugs each month and just found out our next door neighbor had a similar problem. On the nicer days the last couple of months we have sprayed the outside of the house with water plus a shot of dawn and we've caulked every place we can think of. In my research most suggestions have been to remove the tree or use pesticide. I have probably the only pesticide-free yard in our neighborhood and have a vegetable garden so do not want to use pesticides. So my question is: would you remove the tree, spray it with dawn solution to kill the bugs (and would that really remove the colony of bugs or would they return?) or do you have any other suggestion? I am loath to destroy a tree but don't want another home invasion and don't want another for my neighbor! I tried to find a place to query at UM, State, etc but with no luck. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. We're situated in Livonia, MI. Loved the hummingbird information in the paper. Thanks.

A: I would remove the tree. There is no way you can make your house impervious and spraying with Dawn will not be effective. Sorry for your loss. Best Nancy