How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs: Quick & Effective

To get rid of boxelder bugs, seal entry points and use a vacuum to remove them. Additionally, you can apply insecticidal soap or hire professional pest control services.

Boxelder bugs can be a nuisance in homes, especially during the colder months when they seek shelter indoors. These bugs are attracted to warmth and light, often congregating on windows and walls. While they do not cause harm to humans or pets, their presence can be bothersome.

By taking proactive measures to prevent their entry and using safe insecticides, you can effectively manage and eliminate boxelder bug infestations. In this blog post, we will explore various methods to control and eradicate boxelder bugs from your living spaces, helping you maintain a bug-free home environment.

Introduction To Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs are a common household pest that can become a nuisance, especially during the fall season. These bugs are often found in and around boxelder, maple, and ash trees, and they may also infest homes seeking warmth and shelter. Understanding how to identify and effectively manage boxelder bugs is essential for homeowners looking to protect their properties from these bothersome pests.

Identifying The Pest

Boxelder bugs are small insects with distinctive black and orange-red markings on their bodies, making them easily recognizable. As adults, they typically measure about half an inch in length and have a flattened, elongated oval shape. Their wings are folded over their backs, forming a characteristic X-shaped pattern. Additionally, boxelder bugs emit a foul odor when crushed, which is another identifying feature.

Why Boxelder Bugs Are A Nuisance

Boxelder bugs can be a nuisance for homeowners due to their tendency to invade buildings in large numbers. While they do not cause structural damage or harm humans, their presence can be an annoyance. These bugs may enter homes through small cracks and openings in search of warmth, often congregating around windows, doors, and other entry points. Additionally, their excrement can stain surfaces and fabrics, further adding to the frustration of dealing with an infestation.

How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs: Quick & Effective


Life Cycle And Habits

To effectively get rid of Boxelder bugs, focus on disrupting their life cycle and habits. Seal entry points, remove their food sources, and use insecticides strategically to prevent infestations. Regularly clean and maintain your property to deter these pests naturally.

Breeding Patterns

Boxelder bugs are known to breed quickly, with females laying up to 20 eggs at a time on the leaves, branches, and trunks of boxelder trees. The eggs are usually laid in the crevices of the bark, ensuring that they are protected from predators. The bugs mate in the spring, and after mating, the females will lay their eggs. The eggs hatch in about two weeks, and the nymphs begin to feed on the leaves and seeds of the boxelder trees.

Seasonal Behavior

During the summer, boxelder bugs can be found on boxelder trees, maple trees, and ash trees, as well as other plants and shrubs. They feed on the leaves, flowers, and seeds of these plants. As the weather cools down in the fall, boxelder bugs will begin to look for warm places to spend the winter. They often gather in large numbers on the sunny side of buildings, where they can enter through cracks and gaps in the siding, windows, and doors.

Control Measures

To get rid of boxelder bugs, it is important to eliminate their food source. This can be done by removing boxelder trees from your property or by treating them with insecticide. Sealing up cracks and gaps in your home can also help prevent the bugs from entering. If you already have an infestation, vacuuming them up can be an effective way to get rid of them. You can also use insecticides to kill the bugs, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully to avoid harming yourself or your pets.

Preventive Measures

When it comes to dealing with boxelder bugs, prevention is key. By taking some simple steps, you can significantly reduce the chances of these pesky insects invading your home and garden. Here are some effective preventive measures to keep boxelder bugs at bay:

Sealing Entry Points

To prevent boxelder bugs from entering your home, it’s important to seal all possible entry points. These bugs can squeeze through tiny cracks and gaps, so make sure to inspect your windows, doors, and any other openings. Seal any holes or gaps using caulk or weatherstripping to create a barrier that keeps the bugs out.

Garden Maintenance

Keeping your garden well-maintained is another effective way to prevent boxelder bugs from infesting your property. These bugs are attracted to boxelder trees, maple trees, and other similar plants. If you have these trees in your garden, regularly prune them and remove any dead branches or debris. This reduces the potential hiding spots for boxelder bugs and discourages them from congregating in your garden.

Additionally, it’s important to keep your garden free from weeds and overgrown vegetation. Boxelder bugs are known to seek shelter in dense foliage, so maintaining a clean and tidy garden environment will make it less appealing for them to settle in.

Another preventive measure is to remove any boxelder bugs or their eggs that you spot on your plants. You can simply use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the bugs or wipe them away with a damp cloth. By eliminating them early on, you can prevent a full-blown infestation.

By implementing these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of boxelder bugs invading your home and garden. Remember, early prevention is the key to keeping these pests at bay and ensuring a bug-free environment.

How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs: Quick & Effective


Natural Remedies

When dealing with boxelder bugs, natural remedies can be an effective and eco-friendly way to get rid of these pesky pests. Natural remedies like diatomaceous earth and essential oils offer non-toxic solutions to control boxelder bug infestations. Let’s explore these natural remedies and how they can help you combat boxelder bugs.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that effectively eliminates boxelder bugs by dehydrating and ultimately killing them. This powdery substance is made from fossilized algae and is safe to use around pets and children. To use diatomaceous earth, simply sprinkle it in areas where boxelder bugs are present, such as around windows, doors, and other entry points.

Essential Oils

Essential oils like peppermint and cedarwood are natural repellents for boxelder bugs. These oils disrupt the bugs’ ability to communicate and navigate, driving them away from your home. To create a natural repellent spray, mix a few drops of essential oil with water and spray it around potential entry points and infested areas.

Chemical Solutions

Eliminate boxelder bugs with effective chemical solutions. Safely get rid of these pests using targeted treatments to protect your home.

Insecticides: Pros And Cons

Using insecticides is one of the most common methods to get rid of boxelder bugs. These chemical solutions are designed to kill and repel the bugs, preventing them from infesting your home. While insecticides can be effective, it’s important to understand the pros and cons before using them. Insecticides have several advantages in controlling boxelder bugs. Firstly, they are highly effective in killing the bugs on contact, offering immediate relief from infestations. Secondly, they can also provide residual protection, keeping the bugs away for a longer period. Moreover, insecticides come in various forms such as sprays, dusts, and granules, allowing you to choose the most suitable option for your needs. However, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks and safety precautions associated with insecticide use. Some insecticides contain harsh chemicals that may pose risks to humans, pets, and the environment. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Additionally, certain insecticides may not be suitable for indoor use, so it’s important to choose products specifically labeled for indoor applications.

Safety Precautions

When using insecticides to eliminate boxelder bugs, it’s essential to prioritize safety precautions to protect yourself, your family, and the environment. Here are some key safety measures to consider:
  • Wear protective clothing, including gloves, long sleeves, and pants, to minimize direct exposure to the insecticide.
  • Apply insecticides in well-ventilated areas to avoid inhaling potentially harmful fumes.
  • Keep children and pets away from treated areas until the insecticide has dried completely.
  • Store insecticides in their original containers, away from heat sources and out of reach of children.
  • Dispose of empty insecticide containers and leftover products according to local regulations.
By following these safety precautions, you can effectively use chemical solutions to combat boxelder bugs while minimizing potential risks to your health and the environment. Remember, it’s important to consider non-chemical alternatives and preventive measures before resorting to chemical solutions. However, if the infestation is severe and other methods have proven ineffective, insecticides can be a viable option to eliminate boxelder bugs from your home. Always read the labels, follow instructions, and prioritize safety when using these chemical solutions.
How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs: Quick & Effective


Physical Removal Techniques

When dealing with boxelder bugs, physical removal techniques can be effective in controlling their population. These methods are safe and environmentally friendly, providing a practical approach to managing these pests. By implementing physical removal techniques, you can reduce the presence of boxelder bugs around your home without the use of harmful chemicals.


Vacuuming is an efficient way to remove boxelder bugs from indoor spaces. Use a handheld vacuum with a hose attachment to target specific areas where the bugs are present. Gently vacuum up the bugs, making sure to empty the vacuum bag or canister immediately to prevent the bugs from escaping. Dispose of the collected bugs in a sealed plastic bag and discard them in an outdoor trash container.

Water And Soap

Creating a mixture of water and soap can be a simple yet effective method for eliminating boxelder bugs. Fill a spray bottle with a solution of water and liquid dish soap, then spray the bugs directly. The soap will coat their bodies, causing them to suffocate and die. This method can be used for bugs found both indoors and outdoors, providing a non-toxic solution to reduce their numbers.

Long-term Control Strategies

Long-term control strategies for getting rid of boxelder bugs involve sealing cracks and openings in your home, removing their food sources, and using insecticides as a last resort. Regularly inspect and maintain your property to prevent infestations and keep these pests at bay.

Landscaping Adjustments

To prevent boxelder bugs in the long term, consider making landscaping adjustments.

Professional Pest Control

For a lasting solution, seek professional pest control services.

To effectively control boxelder bugs over time, implement these strategies:

  • Seal cracks and crevices to block entry points.
  • Remove boxelder trees near the property.
  • Install screens on doors and windows.

Consult with pest control experts for tailored solutions.

Dealing With Infestations

Dealing with boxelder bug infestations can be a frustrating experience, but with the right approach, you can effectively eliminate these pests from your home.

Step-by-step Guide

When dealing with boxelder bug infestations, follow these steps:

  1. Seal cracks and crevices to prevent entry.
  2. Remove boxelder bugs using a vacuum cleaner.
  3. Use soapy water to kill bugs on contact.
  4. Consider applying insecticidal sprays as a last resort.

When To Call The Experts

If the infestation is severe or persists despite your efforts, it may be time to seek professional pest control services.

Faqs On Boxelder Bugs

Looking for ways to get rid of boxelder bugs? Try sealing cracks and crevices, using insecticidal soap, or vacuuming them up. You can also remove their host trees and use a professional pest control service for a more comprehensive solution.

Common Concerns

Boxelder bugs are common pests that often raise questions and concerns among homeowners. Let’s address some of the most frequently asked questions about dealing with these pesky insects.

Myth Busting

There are several myths surrounding boxelder bugs that can lead to misinformation. Let’s debunk some of the common misconceptions associated with these bugs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Get Rid Of Boxelder Bugs?

To get rid of Boxelder bugs, you can start by sealing any cracks or openings in your home to prevent their entry. Vacuuming up any bugs you see indoors can also help. Applying insecticides around the exterior of your home can be effective in controlling their population.

If the infestation persists, it is advisable to seek professional pest control services.

What Attracts Boxelder Bugs?

Boxelder bugs are attracted to warm environments and seek shelter during cooler months. They are often drawn to homes with boxelder, maple, and ash trees nearby, as they feed on the seeds, leaves, and sap of these trees. Additionally, the warmth and light emitted from buildings can attract them.

Are Boxelder Bugs Harmful?

Boxelder bugs are not harmful to humans or pets as they do not bite or sting. However, their presence can be a nuisance, especially when they enter homes in large numbers. They can stain surfaces with their excrement and emit a foul odor when crushed.

If you have allergies or asthma, their presence may trigger symptoms.


Boxelder bugs can be a nuisance for homeowners, but there are several effective ways to get rid of them. By sealing up cracks and gaps, removing boxelder trees and other sources of food and shelter, and using insecticides as a last resort, you can keep your home bug-free.

Remember to regularly inspect your property and take preventative measures to avoid future infestations. With these tips, you can successfully eliminate boxelder bugs and enjoy a pest-free home.

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