Boxelder bugs get their common name from the fact that they are often found on and around boxelder trees. The boxelder bug population lives and thrives during the warmer months on maple and seed-bearing boxelder trees, where they lay their eggs and feed on leaves, flowers and seeds. Occasionally, they will feed on the fruits of plum and apple trees.
Are Boxelder Bugs “Stink Bugs?”
While boxelder bugs are, in fact, quite pungent, they differ from what we often call the “Stink Bug.” That honor belongs to a different family of (equally unpleasant) bugs. When disturbed, boxelder bugs will release a bad-smelling and poor-tasting compound. Boxelder bugs are harmless and do not bite or sting, but while they are generally harmless to property, large amounts of the boxelder bugs’ secretion can stain surfaces. They can also leave orange stains on your clothing, furniture and drapes, so refrain from smashing them.
Additional Pest Information
What do Boxelder bugs look like?
Adult boxelder bugs are ½“ long. They are dark brown or black but have distinctive red or orange markings on their abdomen and wings. Boxelders have six legs and two black antennae. Their wings cross and lay flat over their bodies, forming an ‘X’ shape.
When do Boxelder bugs try to get into homes?
Seeking warmth, boxelder bugs will gather in the walls and siding of homes, offices, and other buildings during the winter and emerge in the spring to feed and lay eggs. During the winter season, the warmth of your home heating system might cause boxelder bugs to emerge prematurely and seek sustenance in your house. Homes with lots of southern or western exposure and a high amount of sunlight may also attract more boxelder bugs.
How can I prevent Boxelder bugs?
The first line of defense is to remove the boxelder tree if it is on your property. If you can’t or don’t want to remove the tree, you’ll have to take other measures to prevent boxelder bugs from invading your home. Repair holes in screens, seal cracks and crevices, and install door sweeps to all exterior entrances. If boxelder bugs are already in your home, do not kill them. Instead, use a vacuum to remove them and empty the vacuum bag when you’re done. If you think you have a boxelder infestation, call a licensed pest control operator right away. We can evaluate and assess the problem.
The experts at Griffin Pest Solutions can assist in boxelder bug removal from your home or business, but there are at-home steps you can take to prevent an infestation from happening in the first place.
Boxelder Bug Prevention Tips
1. Install door sweeps on exterior doors and rubber seals on garage doors.
2. Use caulk or copper mesh to seal spots where phone wires, television wires, pipes, and vents enter and exit the building.
3. Repair or install window and door screens.