How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs A Comprehensive Guide

How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs A Comprehensive Guide


Boxelder bugs, often found congregating on and around boxelder trees, can become a nuisance when they invade homes seeking shelter during colder months. In this guide, we’ll explore effective methods for getting rid of these pesky insects without causing harm to them or the environment.

Understanding Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs, scientifically known as Boisea trivittata, are black and red insects belonging to the family Rhopalidae. They are commonly found in North America, particularly in areas where boxelder trees, maple trees, and ash trees grow abundantly. While boxelder bugs do not pose a direct threat to humans or pets, their large numbers and tendency to enter homes in search of warmth can be bothersome.

Identifying Boxelder Bug Infestations

Boxelder bugs are relatively easy to identify due to their distinct black and red coloration and elongated body shape. They typically measure around half an inch in length and have wings that lay flat over their bodies when at rest. Infestations are often noticeable in the fall when boxelder bugs gather in large numbers on the sides of buildings, fences, and tree trunks.

Prevention Methods

Sealing Entry Points

To prevent boxelder bugs from entering your home, inspect the exterior for any cracks or gaps and seal them using caulk or weatherstripping. Pay close attention to areas around windows, doors, vents, and utility pipes, as these are common entry points for insects.

Removing Host Trees

If possible, consider removing boxelder, maple, or ash trees from your property, as these trees serve as primary breeding and feeding grounds for boxelder bugs. Alternatively, you can prune branches that overhang your home to reduce the likelihood of infestations.

Natural Remedies

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance derived from fossilized algae that can effectively control boxelder bugs. Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your home and in areas where boxelder bugs are active. The fine powder will dehydrate and kill the insects upon contact.

Neem Oil

Neem oil, derived from the seeds of the neem tree, acts as a natural insect repellent and disrupts the reproductive cycle of boxelder bugs. Mix neem oil with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions and spray it on infested areas to deter boxelder bugs from congregating.

Chemical Treatments

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a safe and effective option for controlling boxelder bugs indoors. Apply insecticidal soap directly to the insects or on surfaces where they gather to kill them on contact. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label and avoid spraying near food preparation areas.

Pyrethroid Insecticides

Pyrethroid insecticides are commonly use to control boxelder bugs outdoors. These chemical compounds are derive from chrysanthemum flowers and work by disrupting the nervous system of insects. Apply pyrethroid insecticides to the exterior of your home according to the manufacturer’s instructions to create a barrier against boxelder bugs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are boxelder bugs harmful to humans?

Boxelder bugs are not harmful to humans, as they do not bite or sting. However, their presence in large numbers can be a nuisance.

Can boxelder bugs damage property?

While boxelder bugs do not cause structural damage to homes, they may leave behind stains on walls, curtains, and upholstery due to their excrement.

How do I prevent boxelder bugs from entering my home?

Seal cracks and gaps in the exterior of your home, remove or prune host trees, and apply natural or chemical repellents as preventive measures.

What attracts boxelder bugs to homes?

Boxelder bugs are attracted to warmth and seek shelter indoors during colder months. They are also drawn to boxelder, maple, and ash trees for feeding and breeding.

Do boxelder bugs pose a threat to plants?

While boxelder bugs may feed on the seeds, flowers, and foliage of host trees, they rarely cause significant damage to plant life.

Are there any eco-friendly methods for controlling boxelder bugs?

Yes, natural remedies such as diatomaceous earth and neem oil offer effective and environmentally friendly solutions for managing boxelder bug infestations.


By implementing preventive measures and utilizing natural or chemical treatments. You can effectively control and eliminate boxelder bugs from your home and property. Remember to prioritize eco-friendly methods to minimize harm to the environment and other beneficial insects.