Boxelder Bug Control in Your Home

This nuisance is not one you have to take lying down.


Boxelder bugs are black with reddish or orange markings on their back. Their body is a slightly flattened, elongated oval, about 1/2 an inch long with six legs and two antennae.

Boxelder bugs, also referred to as maple bugs, are truly just a nuisance pest. They don’t usually bite but they can when being handled. They can pierce the skin with their mouthparts, leaving a red spot that can be mistaken for a mosquito bite. Like stink bugs, if you crush boxelder bugs, they will produce an unpleasant odor that can attract other bugs. In addition, boxelder bug poop can discolor fabrics in your house since it is reddish-orange and can stain. While they do not fly, because of their red markings, these black and red bugs can be confused with spotted lanternflies. Boxelder bugs are sometimes mistakenly referred to as boxelder beetles; however, they are not classified as part of the beetle family.

  • Can stain and discolor fabrics
  • Will emit a foul odor if crushed
  • Can bite and leave red marks
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How to Detect Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs congregate in large numbers on warm rocks, trees, and buildings where the sun hits in the fall. Once the temperatures start to drop, they will migrate as a whole into homes or any building to wait out the winter. Boxelder bugs are difficult to detect since they tend to hide in small cracks and crevices in walls and can grow into a boxelder bug infestation easily.

How to Prevent Boxelder Bugs

Since they can enter your home through very small cracks and crevices, make sure you are caulking around windows, doors, and fixing any issues in your foundation. That can help keep boxelder bugs out. If you see them in your house, you can vacuum them up but it’s best to call in an exterminator to develop a comprehensive boxelder bug control strategy.
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