How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs: Quick & Effective Tips

To get rid of boxelder bugs, remove their food sources and seal entry points. Use insecticidal soap or hire professional pest control if needed.

Dealing with boxelder bugs can be a frustrating experience for homeowners. These nuisance pests can invade homes in large numbers, causing annoyance and potential damage. Fortunately, there are effective methods to control and eliminate these pests. By understanding their behavior and implementing proactive measures, you can effectively manage boxelder bug infestations.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore practical strategies to get rid of boxelder bugs and prevent future invasions. From identifying their habitats to utilizing natural and chemical control methods, you’ll learn how to safeguard your home from these unwanted visitors. Let’s dive in and take control of your boxelder bug situation!

Introduction To Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs are common pests that can become a nuisance, especially during the fall season. They are known for their distinct red and black coloration and can often be found congregating in large numbers on the sides of homes and buildings. In this blog post, we will explore effective methods for getting rid of boxelder bugs and preventing future infestations. Let’s start by understanding more about these pesky insects.

Identifying The Pest

Boxelder bugs are small, oblong-shaped insects that measure about half an inch in length. They are primarily black in color with distinct red markings on their wings and bodies. These pests can be easily identified by their unique coloration and characteristic body shape. Additionally, they have piercing-sucking mouthparts that they use to feed on the sap of boxelder trees, maple trees, and ash trees.

Why Boxelder Bugs Invade Homes

Boxelder bugs are attracted to warm, sunny areas, which is why they often invade homes during the fall as they seek shelter for the winter. They are drawn to the sun-exposed surfaces of buildings, including walls, windows, and doors. Once inside, they may seek out warm, indoor environments, such as attics and wall voids, where they can overwinter. Understanding their behavior and preferences is crucial in developing effective strategies for keeping these pests at bay.

Life Cycle And Habits

To get rid of Boxelder Bugs, disrupt their life cycle by sealing entry points and removing their habitat. Regularly vacuuming and using insecticides can help manage their presence. These bugs are attracted to warm areas, so ensure your home remains cool to deter them.

Life Cycle and Habits of Boxelder Bugs Boxelder bugs, scientifically known as Boisea trivittata, are common pests that can cause damage to gardens and homes. To control these bugs, it’s important to understand their life cycle and habits. Here are some important things to know:

Stages Of Development

Boxelder bugs have three main stages of development: egg, nymph, and adult. Females lay their eggs on the bark of trees in the fall, and the eggs hatch in the spring. The nymphs look like smaller versions of the adults, but they lack wings. As they grow, they molt and develop wings. Adult boxelder bugs are about ½ inch long and have distinctive red markings on their black bodies.

Seasonal Behavior Patterns

Boxelder bugs are most active in the spring and fall, but can be seen throughout the summer as well. In the spring, they emerge from their winter hiding places and fly to trees to lay their eggs. During the summer, they feed on leaves and seed pods. In the fall, they congregate on sunny sides of buildings, looking for a place to overwinter. They often enter homes through cracks and crevices, where they can become a nuisance.

To control boxelder bugs, it’s important to seal up any cracks or gaps in your home’s exterior and remove any boxelder trees or other plants that attract them. If you have an infestation, you may need to use insecticides or hire a pest control professional. By understanding the life cycle and habits of boxelder bugs, you can take steps to prevent them from becoming a problem in your home or garden.

Preventive Measures

How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs? Preventive measures are crucial in keeping boxelder bugs at bay. By taking proactive steps, you can minimize the risk of infestations and protect your home. Here are some effective strategies to prevent boxelder bugs from invading your living space:

Sealing Entry Points

  • Inspect and seal any cracks or crevices in walls, windows, and doors.
  • Use silicone caulk to seal gaps around pipes and utility lines.
  • Repair damaged window screens to prevent bugs from entering.

Garden And Landscape Maintenance

  1. Remove boxelder trees and female boxelder trees from your yard.
  2. Keep vegetation trimmed and away from the house foundation.
  3. Regularly clean up leaf litter and debris in the yard.
How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs: Quick & Effective Tips


Natural Repellents And Deterrents

When it comes to getting rid of boxelder bugs, natural repellents and deterrents can be a safe and effective option. Not only do they help to keep these pesky bugs at bay, but they also avoid the use of harmful chemicals that can be dangerous to humans and pets. In this article, we will explore two natural methods that can help you in your battle against boxelder bugs: essential oils and diatomaceous earth.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are not only known for their pleasant fragrance, but they can also act as excellent natural insect repellents. Certain oils have properties that repel boxelder bugs and prevent them from entering your home. Here are a few essential oils that have been found to be effective:

  • Peppermint oil: Boxelder bugs dislike the strong scent of peppermint oil. Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with water and spray it around entry points, windows, and other areas where boxelder bugs tend to gather.
  • Lavender oil: Lavender oil is another effective repellent for boxelder bugs. Create a mixture of lavender oil and water and spray it in areas where you have spotted these bugs.
  • Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil has strong antimicrobial properties that can deter boxelder bugs. Dilute tea tree oil with water and spray it near windows and cracks where the bugs enter.

Diatomaceous Earth Usage

Diatomaceous earth is a natural and non-toxic substance that can help eliminate boxelder bugs. It is composed of the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. The sharp edges of diatomaceous earth particles can penetrate the exoskeleton of boxelder bugs, causing them to dehydrate and die. Here’s how you can use diatomaceous earth:

  1. Identify problem areas: Locate the areas where boxelder bugs are most active, such as windows, doors, or cracks in the walls.
  2. Apply diatomaceous earth: Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth in these areas, paying close attention to cracks and crevices where the bugs may be entering.
  3. Reapply as needed: Diatomaceous earth loses its effectiveness when it gets wet, so make sure to reapply it after rain or if it becomes damp.

Remember, it’s important to use food-grade diatomaceous earth, as the one used for pool filters can be harmful if ingested or inhaled.

Chemical Solutions

When dealing with a boxelder bug infestation, chemical solutions can be an effective way to eliminate these pests. It’s important to choose the right insecticide and follow application safety tips to ensure the best results while minimizing risks.

Choosing The Right Insecticide

There are several insecticides available for controlling boxelder bugs, each with its own set of benefits and considerations. When selecting an insecticide, it’s crucial to choose one that is specifically formulated for use against boxelder bugs. Look for products labeled for indoor and outdoor use to effectively target these pests in various areas.

Consider using insecticides that contain active ingredients such as pyrethrins or pyrethroids, which are known for their effectiveness against boxelder bugs. These compounds work by disrupting the nervous system of the insects, ultimately leading to their demise. Always read the product label and follow the instructions for application and safety.

Application Safety Tips

When applying insecticides to control boxelder bugs, it’s essential to prioritize safety measures to protect yourself, your family, and the environment. Before applying any chemical treatment, carefully read and understand the product label to ensure proper usage.

  • Wear protective clothing, including gloves, long sleeves, and pants, as well as goggles and a mask to prevent exposure to the insecticide.
  • Apply the insecticide during periods of minimal wind to prevent drift and ensure targeted coverage.
  • Keep children and pets away from treated areas until the insecticide has dried or as directed by the product label.
  • Properly store and dispose of any unused insecticide according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Non-toxic Homemade Remedies

When it comes to getting rid of boxelder bugs, there are several non-toxic homemade remedies that you can try. These remedies are not only effective but also safe for you, your family, and the environment. In this section, we will explore two simple yet powerful solutions: a soap and water mixture, and vinegar solutions.

Soap And Water Mixture

One of the easiest and most effective ways to eliminate boxelder bugs is by using a soap and water mixture. This simple solution works by suffocating the bugs and disrupting their life cycle. To make this mixture, follow these steps:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap with 1 quart of warm water.
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  3. Shake the bottle gently to ensure the soap is well-distributed.
  4. Spray the solution directly onto the boxelder bugs and their eggs.
  5. Repeat this process every few days until the infestation is under control.

Remember to target areas where boxelder bugs are commonly found, such as windows, door frames, and exterior walls. The soap and water mixture is a safe and effective way to combat these pests without harming beneficial insects or plants.

Vinegar Solutions

Vinegar is another powerful ingredient that can help you get rid of boxelder bugs. Its strong odor is repulsive to the bugs, making it an effective deterrent. There are several vinegar solutions you can use:

Vinegar Solution Instructions
Straight Vinegar Pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the bugs.
Vinegar and Water Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto affected areas.
Vinegar and Essential Oils Add a few drops of essential oils, such as peppermint or lavender, to vinegar and water mixture. Shake well and spray it onto the bugs.

Whichever vinegar solution you choose, make sure to spray it directly on the boxelder bugs and their hiding places. Repeat the process as needed until the infestation is resolved.

By using these non-toxic homemade remedies, you can effectively get rid of boxelder bugs without resorting to harmful chemicals. Remember to be persistent and thorough in your application to ensure the best results. Say goodbye to boxelder bugs and enjoy a bug-free home!

Physical Removal Strategies

When dealing with boxelder bugs, physical removal strategies can be effective in reducing their population. Implementing these methods can help keep your home bug-free without the use of harmful chemicals.


One of the most efficient ways to get rid of boxelder bugs is by vacuuming them up using a handheld or regular vacuum cleaner. Empty the vacuum bag or canister immediately after to prevent them from escaping.

Sweeping And Water Sprays

Sweep up boxelder bugs using a broom and dustpan, then dispose of them in a sealed bag. For areas with a high concentration of bugs, use a mixture of soap and water in a spray bottle to kill and remove them.

How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs: Quick & Effective Tips


Professional Pest Control

Professional pest control services can effectively help you get rid of boxelder bugs. With their expertise and specialized treatments, they can eliminate these pests from your home or property, ensuring a bug-free environment. Say goodbye to boxelder bugs with professional pest control solutions.

When To Call The Experts

If DIY methods fail, consider calling pest control professionals. Signs of infestation include large numbers of boxelder bugs inside. Professionals are trained to handle infestations safely.

What To Expect From A Service Visit

During a service visit, experts will inspect your property for entry points. They’ll develop a tailored treatment plan for your infestation. Expect a thorough elimination of boxelder bugs.

Long-term Management

Long-term management of boxelder bugs involves consistent monitoring and maintenance.

Monitoring Boxelder Bug Activity

  • Regularly inspect the exterior of your home for signs of boxelder bug activity.
  • Seal cracks and crevices to prevent bugs from entering your living spaces.
  • Use sticky traps to monitor and capture adult boxelder bugs in key areas.

Maintaining A Bug-free Environment

  • Keep vegetation trimmed and remove boxelder trees near your property.
  • Install screens on windows and doors to prevent bugs from entering your home.
  • Use a vacuum to remove bugs indoors and dispose of them properly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Prevent Boxelder Bugs From Entering My Home?

To prevent boxelder bugs from entering your home, make sure all cracks and openings are sealed, especially around windows, doors, and utility openings. Repair any damaged screens and use weatherstripping on doors and windows. Additionally, consider using insecticides or natural deterrents around the perimeter of your home to discourage boxelder bugs from coming near.

What Are Some Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Boxelder Bugs?

There are several natural remedies to get rid of boxelder bugs. One option is to create a solution of dish soap and water and spray it directly on the bugs. Another option is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth in areas where the bugs are present, as it dehydrates and kills them.

Additionally, planting boxelder bug repellent plants, such as marigolds or chrysanthemums, can help deter them from your property.

Are Boxelder Bugs Harmful To Humans?

Boxelder bugs are not harmful to humans. They do not bite or sting, and they do not transmit diseases. However, they can become a nuisance when they enter homes in large numbers, and their droppings can stain fabrics or surfaces.

If you have a boxelder bug infestation, it’s best to take measures to remove them from your living spaces.


Getting rid of boxelder bugs requires a combination of preventive measures and treatment options. These include sealing cracks and crevices, using insecticides, and removing their food sources. It’s important to act quickly once these pests are detected to prevent a full-blown infestation.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage and control boxelder bugs in and around your home. Remember to regularly inspect and maintain your property to avoid future infestations.

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