How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs in Your Home

Posted by Remedy on

Boxelder bug eggs hatch every eleven to fourteen days. This means that if you find these eggs or bugs in your home, you need to act quickly.

If you don't, you could end up with a house infested by boxelder bugs.

Even if you can't catch it in time, there are ways to treat and prevent these infestations. Keep reading to discover all you need to know about these bugs and what the best method of treating the infestation is.

What Are Boxelder Bugs?

The boxelder bugs are normally found around boxelder trees, which is where they get their name from. They're native to western states, but they can also be found in the eastern United States and Canada. If there are boxelder trees nearby, then there are likely boxelder bugs, but the bugs do not necessarily only live by boxelder trees.

Boxelder bugs are a big pest when they enter your home or structures. They may even get into your shed or garage as well.

Boxelder bugs are black, and they have red or orange markings on their back. An adult boxelder bug has a flat back, and they're about half an inch long. They have flat and elongated oval bodies as well.

They have six legs and two antennae, which are quite long for their sizes. The baby boxelder bugs look just like the adults, but they are bright red and don't have any wings.

Where Do They Live?

In the fall, you'll find boxelder bugs in areas where the sun hits buildings, trees, or rocks at night. They often gather in masses and will migrate to warmer areas together for the winter. This warmer area could be your home, garage, or shed.

They also hide in small crevices to stay warm during the winter temperatures. In the spring, however, they'll leave these areas and then return to the trees and shrubs where they will live for the warmer months.

Are They Dangerous?

The boxelder bugs don't normally bite humans, but they do have mouthparts that are sharp enough to puncture the skin. However, their bite isn't dangerous, and if you are bitten, you'll likely have an irritated red bump, similar to a mosquito bite.

They likely won't bite humans though. However, if you are going to crush them or roughly handle them, keep in mind that boxelder bugs could leave a red or orange stain when they're crushed.

This stain can discolor fabrics such as clothing, curtains, or carpet.

What Is Their Lifecycle Like?

A boxelder bug likes the warmer months, and they'll hibernate inside the crevices and walls of your home during the winter months.

They'll come out of hibernation in March or April. This is also when the adults will start laying their eggs.

When their eggs hatch, the baby boxelder bugs will lay even more eggs that can hatch inside your home and create an infestation.

If you don't catch these bugs early, you could have an infestation before you know it.

Are They a Problem?

If you find one in your house, it could end up becoming a problem over time. Finding one means that there are likely several more that you haven't found.

While they aren't poisonous, they can easily take over your home and become a big nuisance.

What Are the Signs of an Infestation?

You might see signs of a boxelder infestation in your home through the fall and spring months. They'll enter your home in the winter, but they'll come out of hibernation in the spring, making it more likely you'll encounter one.

Boxelder bugs will start looking for somewhere to hibernate in the fall, so if your home has easy access, they could start hibernating in your home.

You might want to look for some of these bugs near your windows or any cracks and crevices outside of your home.

Even if you don't see any bugs outside of your home, there are many


You might also find stains in your house, especially on any fabric. These stains will look gray, brown, or yellow, and will likely be small. This could be from the feces of a boxelder or from one that was crushed.

The stains will be in areas where they congregate, like a door frame or a window sill.


Large gatherings or clumps of bugs on the sides of houses, cars, windows, window wells, or trees.

You'll likely see them in the fall or spring as they hibernate through the winter. They'll also normally be in areas that face the south where the sun will hit.

How Can You Get Rid of Them?

If you notice any of the signs above, then you might be dealing with a boxelder infestation. Thankfully, you can do some DIY pest control and manage it all on your own.

Trim Your Trees

One of the first things you can do to get rid of these bugs is to trim or get rid of your boxelder trees. These trees can be a breeding ground for these bugs, and if they're close to your house, the bugs will naturally find their way into your home eventually.

If you can't remove the tree, you can at least regularly trim it to try and minimize the number of bugs. You can also rake up and move the seed pods away to make it difficult for the boxelder bugs to live in your yard.

Don't Squash the Bugs

When you do find bugs in your home, make sure that you don't squash them. It might be tempting to step on them or squish them, especially when you are annoyed with how many you find.

If you squish them though, their insides will stain your flooring or carpet. They can also release a foul odor when you crush or disturb them. They release the odor to avoid any of the predators, but it can be challenging to get the odor out of your home.

Instead of squashing them, one temporary way to get rid of them is to vacuum them up. It's less messy, but you need to dispose of your vacuum bag while it's sealed so that you don't release the bugs back into your home. You can also use a special bug vacuum if you don't want to have them in your household one.

You can also try sweeping them outdoors, but that won't permanently keep them from getting into your home.

Seal Up Cracks

One long-term solution that might help is to seal up the cracks of your home as well. It can help if you prevent the bugs from even getting into your home in the first place.

Take time to renew the weatherstripping on your doors and windows and ensure that all of the seals are closed up. You may also want to get rid of any holes or cracks that are outside of the home, like vents or torn window screens.

These bugs aren't very big, so it can be hard to protect your house at every entry point. However, blocking off as many entry points as possible minimizes the chances that they'll find their way inside.

Use Pesticide

One of the best ways to get rid of this infestation is to use pesticides. You don't need to hire an expensive pest control provider to get rid of them though. You can actually do it all on your own!

You can use an insecticide treatment outside of your home to ensure that they don't come in. For example, you'll want to spray pesticides around your home in the early spring when they are done over-wintering and early fall when these bugs start looking for somewhere to live.

This can help prevent them from even getting into your home. If they're already in your home, there are pesticides that can help get rid of that as well.

When looking for the right pesticides to treat this, remember that you may need more than one treatment to fully get rid of the infestation. That's why it's smart to order a subscription to pest control products so that you can be sure your home is protected.

Regardless of what pesticides you get, make sure that you read the directions on the label and follow the instructions exactly for the best results.

Learn More About How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs

These are just a few ways to get rid of these boxelder bugs, but there are many more strategies that you can try.

If you've tried everything else and it isn't working, try our at-home pest control solution!

We send these pesticides to you on a subscription basis to ensure that you fully get rid of your infestation. Sign up for your subscription today!


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