While boxelder bugs don’t harm people, they can be a nuisance because they sometimes enter homes and other buildings in large numbers looking for warmth and shelter. Learn where they live, what they look like, and how to help prevent a boxelder bug infestation in your home.
Boxelder bugs have beaks that they use to suck plant juices, but they do not bite.
Any warm, winter day may “wake up” these bugs and bring them into your living areas.
Boxelder bugs are black with orange or red markings across their backs.1
Their wings lay flat over their bodies and overlap each other to form an “X.”1
In the summer, boxelder bugs live outdoors on trees and shrubs.
When it’s cool, these bugs will gather together in large numbers in sunny areas such as on home siding, concrete, porches, and tree trunks.
Boxelder bugs feed on trees and shrubs in your yard. However, they rarely create noticeable damage to plants or trees.
As the weather cools, they will come inside seeking warmth and shelter for the winter.
Occasionally, very large outbreaks of boxelder bugs may cause damage to plants, fruit trees, and fruits.
Boxelder bugs can stain surfaces, such as walls and curtains, with their feces.1
Large indoor boxelder bug invasions can be a nuisance to homeowners.
Caulk any points where boxelder bugs can get inside, including entry points from the outside or neighboring units.
Repair or replace damaged screens on window and door screens to help keep these bugs out of the house.
Help control boxelder bugs in the home by vacuuming regularly.
Use pest control sprays labeled to help kill boxelder bugs.