Boxelder bugs are easily identified by their distinctive black and red/orange markings and the flattened shape of their bodies.

They are typically found on boxelder trees, but are also common on maple and ash trees.

Watch out for the orange stains!

Boxelders are particularly pesky since they tend to congregate in large numbers and they leave a staining orange residue from their fecal matter or when they are smashed.

How Boxelders Get Inside

Boxelder bugs emerge from overwintering sites when the weather warms up:

  • The bugs aggregate in large numbers around a hosting plant or tree. There is no noticeable damage to the trees, but the extreme amount of boxelders can be visually disturbing.
  • During this time, the boxelders begin to mate. In mid-July, the females lay their eggs on the trunks, branches, and leaves of the host tree.
  • During the late summer and fall, boxelders start to leave the trees and search for a protected area to spend the winter. Adult boxelder bugs can fly several blocks and in some cases they can even fly as far as two miles looking for shelter from the cold. Some homes are more appealing than others to boxelders. The most important factor is the amount of sun exposure a given house may have. Boxelders like the warmth from the sun and are attracted to buildings with large areas of western and southern exposure.
  • As the weather cools, the boxelders push into cracks and spaces around a home expecting to overwinter there. During the winter, they may stay in walls, foundations, and attics and remain until the weather warms the next spring.
  • Once the warm weather arrives again, they will enter the home’s interior from the overwintering areas looking for a way outside. They will often follow the warmth into the home’s living areas and typically move toward windows or other warm areas.

How To Prevent Boxelders From Overwintering in Your Home

The following guidelines help eliminate potential ingress points for boxelders to keep them out:

  • Repair or replace damaged windows screens.
  • Seal areas where TV wires, phone lines, pipes, or vents may allow access into your home. Seal with caulk or for larger spaces use spray foam, copper mesh, or other appropriate sealant.
  • Install a rubber seal along the bottom of garage doors.

Infestation Management

If boxelder bugs are found inside, the best option is to physically remove them with a broom or vacuum. Smashing the bugs will only stain the area, so refrain from that method of elimination.

What proof. Professionals Do To Get Rid Of Boxelder Bugs

We are experts in treating these annoying pests! Boxelders are included in our Pest Free Guarantee™ plan.

We call this plan our Pest Free Guarantee™ because it includes seasonal treatments for protection all year. In addition to boxelder bugs, it also covers ants, wasps, mice and 30+ more common pests.

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