Boxelder bugs are a common nuisance pest throughout the USA. Adult insects are about ½” long and are black with red markings or lines on their back. They feed on deciduous trees such as maple, but are found on many other shrubs and plants. They don’t do a lot of damage but become a nuisance when large numbers of them build up around the home. Boxelder bugs will gather on tree trunks, fences, walls, and other areas that are in the sun and gather heat. Especially those with a southern or western exposure.

These nuisance insects seek shelter in protected places to over-winter. They attempt to enter homes, sheds, barns, and other structures in the fall. They enter through cracks and crevices, under siding, around windows and door frames, and along foundations. Prevention is the key to stopping this invasion. Apply a residual insecticide outside at least twice a year. Treat walls and foundations where they gather in number, and around entry points such as window and door frames. Treat shrubs and small trees around the house where they rest. Always follow label mixing rates, and precautions when using insecticide concentrates. A spring/ early summer treatment as boxelder bugs emerge, and again in fall when they are looking for shelter are necessary. Extra treatments may be necessary in between these two, occasionally. Check label directions for minimum spray intervals.

Find and seal cracks and crevices around the homes exterior and fill with an appropriate expanding foam sealant. Cover vents and other larger openings with a fine mesh hardware cloth. Any bugs that enter the home can easily be removed with a vacuum cleaner. An insect spray or dust labeled for indoor use can be applied around interior window frames and baseboards for added protection.

The following products are available for boxelder bug control are at Burns Feed Store.

 Products for indoor use:

  • Black Flag Extreme Home Insect Control, gal. ready-to-use.
  • Fertilome Indoor/Outdoor Multi-purpose Insect Spray, 16oz. aerosol
  • Bonide Diatomaceous Earth Dust, 1.3lb. shaker bottle

Products for outdoor use:

  • Hi-Yield Bug Blaster Bifenthrin 2.4, pint concentrate
  • Tempo SC Ultra, 240ml concentrate
  • Bonide Eight Insect Control, pint concentrate