Are Boxelder Bugs Bad for Your Home?

boxelder bug on orange flower

Boxedler bugs. You’ve probably spotted these pests hanging out around your home, especially when the weather’s warm. But are they just harmless visitors, or are boxelder bugs bad for your home and yard?

In this article, we’re diving into the world of boxelder bugs to uncover the truth. We’ll chat about the potential headaches they can cause and how you can eliminate them easily with Natura Pest Control. 

What are Boxelder Bugs?

Are you curious about the black and orange bugs populating your home? Let’s get to know them a bit better!

Appearance and Behavior

Boxelder bugs, scientifically known as Boisea trivittata, are tiny insects characterized by their distinctive black and orange coloring. They often congregate in large groups on the side of homes, trees, and fences, especially during the warmer months. 

While they don’t bite or sting, their sheer numbers can make them quite the spectacle, especially when they decide to crash your outdoor barbecue or sneak indoors for shelter from cold weather. 


These bugs aren’t picky about where they hang their hats. You’ll find them all across North America, from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast and everywhere in between. They’re no strangers to Oregon and Washington, often appearing in both urban and rural areas.

They’re particularly fond of areas with lots of boxelder trees, hence the name. But they’re not exclusive – you might also spot them on maple and ash trees and various other plants and shrubs. 

Are Boxelder Bugs Bad For My Property?

Let’s dive into why boxelder bugs can be a real pain to deal with:

Boxelder bugs can squeeze through cracks and crevices, invading your living space for warmth and shelter. Once inside, they can gather in large numbers on walls, windows, and ceilings.

When disturbed or crushed, boxelder bugs release a pungent odor that is often described as strong and unpleasant, reminiscent of rotten almonds or coriander. Some people liken it to a pungent, musky smell. Their excrement can leave behind dark stains on surfaces like walls, curtains, and furniture, making cleanup a tedious and unpleasant task.

Close up image of a boxelder bug in front of a blue background

While boxelder bugs primarily feed on the seeds of boxelder trees, they may also nibble on other plants and vegetation, including ornamental shrubs and flowers. In large numbers, they can damage plants by sucking sap and leaving behind unsightly blemishes. 

Perhaps the most significant nuisance of all is simply dealing with the constant presence of boxelder bugs in and around your home. Whether buzzing around your head, crawling on your walls, or leaving behind a mess, their sheer numbers and persistence can quickly become overwhelming and frustrating.

Mitigation and Control

Ready to send boxelder bugs packing? Here’s how:

Stop them in their tracks before they even have a chance to invade your space. Seal up cracks and crevices around doors, windows, and foundations to keep them out. 

Repair any damaged screens and vents, and consider installing door sweeps to block potential entry points. Additionally, removing boxelder trees from your property or treating them with insecticides can help reduce boxelder bug populations in your area.

When prevention isn’t enough, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Chemical insecticides can be effective for managing boxelder bug infestations, but be sure to follow label instructions carefully and use them sparingly to minimize risks to humans, pets, and the environment. Vacuuming up boxelder bugs and disposing of them in sealed bags can also help keep their numbers in check, especially when done regularly during peak activity periods.

But, sometimes, it’s best to leave it to the pros. Here’s why:

  • Expertise and Experience: Pest control experts have years of experience dealing with all kinds of pests, including boxelder bugs. We know the ins and outs of these critters, from their behaviors and habits to the most effective methods for managing infestations. With our expertise, we can quickly assess the situation and develop a targeted treatment plan to address the problem at its source.
  • Safe and Effective Solutions: DIY pest control methods can be hit or miss, often wasting time, money, and effort. On the other hand, pest control experts have access to professional-grade products and equipment that are effective for managing pest infestations. Plus, they know how to use these products safely and responsibly, minimizing risks to humans, pets, and the environment.
  • Customized Approach: No pest infestations are alike, so pest control experts take a personalized approach to each job. We’ll assess your situation, taking into account factors like the size of the infestation, the layout of your property, and any unique challenges or concerns you may have. 
  • Long-Term Solutions: While DIY pest control methods may provide temporary relief, they often fail to address the root cause of the problem, allowing pests to return time and time again. We focus on long-term solutions that eliminate current infestations and prevent future ones from occurring. We can help ensure your home stays pest-free for the long haul by addressing underlying issues like entry points and conducive conditions.

If you’re struggling with boxelder bugs or any other pests in Oregon or Washington, contact us here at Natura Pest Control!

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