Boxelder Bugs Are On the Move This October | Prevention & Tips


With the cool fall air slowly creeping in, boxelder bugs and other seasonal pests have begun to seek shelter inside homes and buildings in anticipation of the winter months ahead.  Often found basking in the sunlight in and around buildings, especially on south-facing walls, boxelder bugs seek out cracks and crevices that will lead them to sheltered area just before winter arrives.

Although these pests are relatively harmless, they can be a huge nuisance to property owners as they have a habit of migrating in large numbers.  Additionally, their excrement has been known to leave stains on walls, curtains and other areas inside the home.

Boxelder bug infestations typically begin in the fall, when the bugs begin moving indoors, and will last until early spring when they emerge from hibernation and make their way back outside. In order to avoid these pesky bugs this fall and into the spring, I recommend taking a few preventative measures before the weather turns cold.  And the best place to start is being able to identify the intruder.

What is a boxelder bug?

  • Adult boxelder bugs are about a half inch long, with flat wing that lay across their backs.
  • The bugs are black with distinctive orange or red markings.
  • They are named after the Boxelder trees they feed on, but have also been known to consume Ash, Maple and Cherry trees as well as other seed-bearing plants.


A nuisance pest:

  • Boxelders do not bite or cause damage to property; however, they have earned a reputation as a nuisance pest due to their tendency to migrate indoors in large numbers each fall.
  • Thriving on sunlight, boxelders can be spotted around windows, crack and crevices basking in the sun’s rays.
  • They can also be found in walls or attics, hibernating for the winter.

Black and orange bugs congregated on the sunny side of your house in fall are likely boxelder bugs. They are not harmful to plants and people, but certainly are annoying. The immature bugs feed on ground level vegetation throughout the summer. The adults move to female boxelder trees, a type of maple, and occasionally to other maples and ash trees to eat and lay eggs. Their feeding does not harm the trees. The problem usually occurs when the adults seek a warm sunny spot, usually the side of your home, to warm themselves in fall. As temperatures cool they often find their way indoors through cracks and crevices. Repair and fill any crevices to keep these insects out of the house. Manage high populations by vacuuming as they congregate or spray the side of your house with soapy water. Test the siding first to make sure the soapy solution will not change the color of your siding. Removing the tree is not guaranteed to solve the problem. Adults can fly and may find their way to the sunny side of your home. Better to seal the house to keep them out or learn to live with these annoying pests.


Prevention and tips for exclusion:

  • Check for damaged screens doors in roof and soffit vents and in bathroom and kitchen fans.  Replace or repair them as necessary.
  • Seal areas where cable TV wires, phone lines and other utility wires/pipes enter buildings.  Do the same for outdoor facets, dryer vents and similar objects.
  • Seal exterior cracks and openings with caulk.  For larger spaces, use polyurethane expandable spray foam, copper mesh or another appropriate sealant.
  • Install door sweeps at all exterior entry doors and install a rubber seal along the bottom of garage doors.

With just a few simple fall pest-proofing steps, you can ensure that your home remains free of boxelder bugs now and into the spring season. And, as an added bonus, these tips will help you seal up any cracks that will let cold air in before winter arrives!

Immediate assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contactour certified pest control technicians in Janesville & Madison about your bug pest control needs at 608-201-0807 today.

Contact Us To Get Started!No time to meet? No problem! If you are unable to meet with our technician at the time of service, we can still assist you. Your keys and codes will be completely safe with our licensed and certified technicians. To schedule an appointment for residential or business service, contact Bohmz Pest Services by calling 608.201.0807 today or by visiting our contact page.