How to prevent boxelder bugs.

Red milkweed bug

The fall weather can bring tons of bugs to your home. No more prominent than the orange and black striped boxelder bug. The pure amount of them is enough to annoy any home owner. They can result in an uncleanly home or environment.

What is a boxelder bug?

Boxelder bugs are named after the boxelder tree, their primary host. The insect does not do any structural damage to your home, but become a nuisance when there’s huge populations flocking into your basement or living areas. Essentially boxelder bugs feast on plantation such as apples, peaches, grapes, strawberries, plums and non-fruiting trees like maple and ash. When cold weather approaches boxelder bugs search for a warm place to live. They can come into your home by the thousands, but don’t emit any major harm. Apart from an odour released after squishing or killing.

Most adult boxelder bugs are black with three distinct orange or red stripes. The first stirpe centred behind its head, the remaining two run along its body. Their abdomen is also orange. Insects are about ½ an inch long with dark wings across its back. Eggs are found on leaves, seed pods, in ground vegetation. They appear as yellow clusters that redden as the nymph develops. There’s five stages nymph go through as they become more red as adults.

Boxelder bugs survive the winter beneath tree bark, in plant debris or in homes. They’ll come out of hiding in the spring when the weather is warmer. Boxelder seeds are their main diet after they emerge before mating. Eggs take about 10-14 days to hatch.

Red milkweed bug

Boxelder bug prevention.

The best way to reduce boxelders in your homes is to destroy any colonies you may find nearby. There will be less bugs trying to find places to lay eggs. And fewer bugs looking to overwinter. Seal up any areas the bugs might take advantage of and make their way into your home. Dry weather or high winds can influence boxelder bugs settling in different areas.

Chemical pesticides are not effective with boxelder prevention. Also, other insects and rodents eat dead bugs. So, a large amount of dead box elders can attract greater problems to your property. Carpet beetles are known to love eating dead boxelders. The beetles can do a lot of damage to your home.

Controlling boxelder bugs.

      • Stopping bugs from even entering your home is the most efficient control technique. Seal around window and door frames, where pipes and wires enter homes and put screens over vents.
      • Repair siding that’s falling off. It resembles bark of trees.
      • Clean up woodpiles, landscape debris and other places in your yard they may look to survive.
      • Try spraying large collections of boxelders away with the garden hose. Sometimes a strong spray will be enough to deter them from coming back.
      • Pour boiling water over bugs.
      • Spray trees with horticultural oil early in the season right when the bugs begin to emerge.
      • Kill box elders at any point in their lifecycle with pyrethrin sprays.
      • Vacuums are always a valuable tool in pest prevention. The shop-vac makes quick work of removing the bugs.
      • Sprinkle borax, diatomaceous earth under window sills and door jams.
      • Sometimes you can remove female boxelder trees to reduce numbers of the bug.


Port Elgin pest removal.

Although the box elder isn’t exactly a huge risk to the structure of your home the bug is quite annoying to have in your home. They form in giant groups and can take over large segments of your home. If you start to see boxelder bugs accumulate then contact Truly Nolen Pest Control.