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Strategies To Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs Effectively

by Idris Ya'u
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

Dealing with Boxelder bugs is like solving a puzzle with missing pieces. You might have noticed these pesky insects invading your space, causing frustration and annoyance.

But fear not – there are ways to combat this nuisance effectively. You can significantly reduce their numbers and reclaim your peace of mind by implementing a few simple strategies.

So, are you ready to take back control and bid farewell to those unwanted guests?

What are Boxelder Bugs?

Boxelder bugs are tiny insects that are commonly found in North America. These pests, scientifically known as Boisea trivittata, are black with distinctive red markings on their wings. Boxelder bugs are considered a nuisance due to their tendency to gather in large numbers, leading to infestations around homes.

As beetles, they seek out boxelder trees, maple trees, and ash trees, but they can also be found in buildings seeking warmth during colder months.

During warmer seasons, boxelder bugs primarily feed on the leaves, flowers, and seeds of their preferred trees. However, when the weather cools, they migrate indoors through crevices and gaps in walls, siding, and foundations. Once inside, they can stain surfaces with their excrement and become a nuisance to homeowners.

How Do Boxelder Bugs Affect Your Area?

Boxelder bugs can significantly affect your area by:

Invading Homes

Residents in your area may notice an increase in the presence of these insects during the fall months. Boxelder bugs can be a nuisance when they invade homes seeking shelter from the cooler weather.

While these bugs don’t harm humans, their sheer numbers can be bothersome. If the infestation becomes overwhelming, consider consulting a pest control professional for assistance in eradicating them from your living spaces.

 Garden Damage

As these insects venture beyond just invading homes, you may wonder how boxelder bugs affect your garden in your area. Boxelder bugs can cause damage to your garden by feeding on the leaves, flowers, and seeds of various plants, including the boxelder tree.

To prevent these pests from harming your garden, consider spraying insecticidal soap on affected plants or areas where boxelder bugs congregate. Ensure to vent any potential entry points near your garden to keep these bugs away.

Agricultural Impact

The presence of boxelder bugs in your area can significantly impact agricultural activities by causing harm to crops and disrupting farming operations.

These bugs feed on the sap of boxelder, maple, and ash trees, but when their populations grow, they can also target fruit trees, soybeans, and other crops.

Their feeding weakens the plants, leading to stunted growth, reduced yields, and even death in severe infestations.

Potential Allergies

Feeding on various trees in your area, boxelder bugs can trigger potential allergies and cause discomfort to individuals sensitive to their presence. These bugs release a pungent odor when threatened, which can exacerbate respiratory issues in those prone to allergies.

If you or your loved ones experience symptoms like sneezing, coughing, or skin rashes near areas with boxelder bug infestations, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly.

Preventive Measures of Boxelder Bugs

To prevent boxelder bugs, you can take several proactive steps, such as:

1. Seal Entry Points

Securing and sealing entry points around your home is crucial in keeping boxelder bugs out. Start by inspecting your doors, windows, vents, and any cracks or crevices in the exterior walls. Use silicone caulk or weatherstripping to seal cracks and other entry points effectively.

Check for gaps around pipes, cables, and wires entering your home, and fill them in. Don’t forget to repair any damaged window screens or door sweeps. By taking these simple steps, you can prevent boxelder bugs from finding their way inside your home.

2. Remove Host Trees

Cutting trees near your home can help prevent boxelder bugs from congregating and potentially infesting your living space. Boxelder bugs are attracted to boxelder, maple, and ash trees, among others, for shelter and food.

Eliminating these trees close to your house reduces the likelihood of boxelder bugs finding their way indoors.

 3. Clean Up Debris

Keeping your outdoor area free of debris is crucial in preventing boxelder bugs from finding hiding spots and potential entry points into your home. Regularly sweep up fallen leaves, branches, and other organic matter around your property, and consider composting them for free fertilizer.

Trim back overgrown vegetation, including bushes and shrubs, to reduce the places where boxelder bugs can gather. Clean out gutters and remove any buildup of leaves or debris that could attract these pests.

4. Install Screens

Consider installing screens on windows and doors as a preventive measure against boxelder bugs infiltrating your home. Screens act as a barrier, stopping pests from entering and allowing fresh air to flow.

Inspect existing screens for any holes or damage, as even small openings can provide entry points for boxelder bugs if you notice any issues, repair or replace the screens promptly.

Additionally, ensure that screens fit tightly and securely in the window frames and doorways to prevent gaps.

5. Use Outdoor Lighting Wisely

To deter boxelder bugs, strategically manage your outdoor lighting to minimize attraction to these pests. Use yellow or sodium vapor lights instead of white lights, as they’re less attractive to boxelder bugs. Place lights away from the house and use motion sensor lights to reduce the time they’re on.

Consider using lights with a timer to ensure they’re only on when needed. It’s also helpful to turn off unnecessary outdoor lights at night to avoid drawing boxelder bugs near your home.

5 Ways To Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs

Here are ways to get rid of boxelder bugs:

1. Vacuum

Using a vacuum is an effective method for removing boxelder bugs from your home. Grab your vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment when you spot these pesky bugs. Carefully suck up the bugs, focusing on areas where they gather, like windowsills and door frames. 

 It’s a simple yet efficient way to eliminate these unwelcome intruders and maintain a bug-free living space for you and your family.

2. Soap and Water Solution

Combine water with a small dish soap in a spray bottle to create the mixture. When you spot boxelder bugs, spray them directly with this solution. The soap helps to break down their outer layer, ultimately leading to their demise.

3. Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth in areas with boxelder bugs, such as window sills, door frames, and other entry points. As the bugs crawl through it, the powder will stick to their bodies, ultimately leading to their demise. Remember to reapply after rain or heavy moisture to maintain its effectiveness.

Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic to humans and pets, making it a safe option for controlling boxelder bugs inside and outside your home. Embrace this eco-friendly solution to keep those pesky bugs at bay without harming the environment.

4. Insecticides

To effectively eliminate boxelder bugs, spray insecticide directly on the bugs or on surfaces where they’re commonly found. Look for insecticides labeled for indoor or outdoor use, depending on where the infestation is located.

When applying insecticide, focus on areas like window sills, door frames, and cracks where the bugs may enter. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully to ensure safe and practical application. Wearing protective gear like gloves and a mask when handling insecticides is essential.

5. Professional Pest Control

If you’re facing a persistent boxelder bug infestation, seeking professional pest control services can provide effective and long-lasting solutions to eradicate these pests from your home.

Pest control professionals have the expertise and tools to address the infestation efficiently. They can thoroughly inspect your property to identify the source of the problem and then implement targeted treatment strategies to eliminate boxelder bugs.

These professionals may use a combination of chemical treatments, insecticides, and other control methods to ensure the infestation is completely eradicated.


Overall, dealing with boxelder bugs can be a nuisance, but with the proper preventive measures and eradication techniques, you can effectively eliminate them from your home.

Remember to stay vigilant and take action as soon as you notice their presence to prevent a more significant infestation! Good luck!

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