No one wants a bug infestation, regardless of how seemingly harmless the bugs may be. Boxelder bugs aren’t known for a painful sting but can sneakily make their way through cracks in your foundation and quickly overrun your space. The best way to avoid a boxelder bug infestation is to learn to spot the bugs in your yard, recognize when you have a problem, then know how to remove the bugs. Learn how to prevent boxelder bugs from infesting your yard and entering your house.
What Are Boxelder Bugs, and Where Do They Come From?
Boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata) are small, flat insects with orange and black coloring. They are native to the western US but are now widespread. Their name comes from the boxelder tree, a seed-bearing tree in which the bugs are commonly found.
Besides the boxelder, other trees that attract boxelder bugs are maple, ash, and fruit trees. The bugs feed on the leaves and lay their eggs inside the trees and on the seeds. Boxelder bug damage on trees is usually just cosmetic and does not pose a significant threat to your trees; the leaves that the bugs have fed on can begin to yellow.
Boxelder bugs prefer sunny and warm conditions, which is why they love to nestle into a house when it gets cold.
Where Do Boxelder Bugs Go in the Winter?
In colder seasonal climates, during the winter, boxelder bugs file into hidden crevices underneath logs and stones or in the foundation of a home. If they can get past the foundation or through the gap in a door or window, they’ll make their way inside a house, where they hide in vents or other warm areas.
Are Boxelder Bugs Bad to Have Inside the House?
While boxelder bugs won’t do any major damage inside, they also aren’t the best houseguest. Handle these creatures with care because, like the stink bug, boxelder bugs produce an unpleasant smell when squished. Additionally, their fecal matter can leave lasting reddish-orange stains on fabrics or carpets. Even if you spot just one boxelder bug in your home, it’s likely that more are nearby. They almost always travel in a cluster.
So, none of that is very charming. But do boxelder bugs bite?
They’re capable of biting, but they’re not known to bother or bite people and animals. They have a piercing mouthpart that can puncture the skin and leave a red spot, similar to a mosquito bite. We bet that’s not a bug you’re ready to welcome into your space!
Tips to Prevent a Boxelder Bug Infestation
Use these tips to stop boxelder bugs from entering your home before they become a problem:
- Put door sweeps on your exterior doors.
- Seal cracks in the foundation.
- Get a barrier treatment spray in your yard, especially during seasonal changes.
- Frequently trim maple, boxelder, and ash trees.
Preventative measures are always the best way to secure your space against pests. However, sometimes they find their way inside before you’ve dealt with the problem outside.
How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs Inside
If the bugs make their way in, try these tips to get rid of them:
- Spray dish soap mixed with water on warm and bright areas.
The soap smell will deter the bugs, while the solution will trap and kill any boxelder bugs in that space. This will also help you avoid squishing bugs and releasing their stench.
- Vacuum large groups of boxelder bugs.
After emptying your vacuum into the trash or central vacuum system, be sure to remove the bug-filled debris from your home.
- Check vents and electrical outlets.
Boxelder bugs are attracted to warm places and can easily maneuver through tiny gaps. If you notice gaps in vents or your exterior electrical covers, be sure to adjust these for a seamless fit.
Once you’ve eradicated a boxelder bug problem, we recommend deep cleaning your home to remove fecal matter and dead insects. Both of these can attract future infestations if not cleaned. Connect with The Cleaning Authority to get the job done with their deep house cleaning services!
Get Help with Boxelder Bug Control
If you’ve noticed boxelder bugs on your trees or hiding under leaf and grass piles, it’s time to protect your yard and prevent the insects from coming inside during the winter. Mosquito Squad’s pest control experts will use our specialized barrier treatment formula to protect your outdoor space. Contact us today for a free quote, or call us at (877) 332-2239.