Pest Guide: What are Boxelder Bugs?

Boxelder Bugs Basics: What to Know

Boxelder bugs are common pests for homeowners in the greater D.C. area. Known for their striking black bodies with red highlights and shield shape, boxelder bugs can grow to ½ to ¾ of an inch long. They often move into homes in winter when looking for warmth from the cold. While these pests aren’t dangerous, they can release an unpleasant smell when crushed and leave droppings on surfaces that stain them.

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The Boxelder Bug Lifecycle

Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs live in and around boxelder trees, which change with the seasons. This dictates the seasonal patterns of boxelder bug life cycles.

  • Eggs: Boxelder bugs lay eggs in spring, typically in boxelder trees. Their reddish-brown eggs tend to blend in easily with the bark of the trees. But this can also make it challenging to detect them indoors if they nest on wooden surfaces.
  • Nymphs: Several days after being lain, the boxelder eggs hatch. As nymphs, they will grow for several weeks and molt five times before growing into adults.
  • Adults: As adults, boxelder bugs will mate and look for places to lay their eggs. They can fly up to two miles to find a new nesting area.

Given their ability to travel, if your neighborhood has boxelder trees, your home may be a prime target for winter nesting by boxelder bugs.


Common Questions About Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs like to eat the soft parts of boxelder trees. They enjoy munching on the leaves, twigs, flowers, and, of course, the sugars and saps.

Boxelder bugs can be attracted to the following around your home:

  • Cracks or gaps in your home’s envelope.
  • Trees that give sap, such as maple or boxelder.
  • Sun-facing corners of your home with recesses.
  • Outdoor or balcony lights.
  • Boxelder bugs often infest the same house more than once.

Trying to eliminate a boxelder bug infestation alone is not a good idea. They can be difficult to remove entirely and can be difficult to remove if located in hard-to-access parts of your home.

Tips for Preventing Boxelder Bugs

  • Seal gaps around your home.
  • Install screens on windows and make sure there are no holes.
  • Install covers and screens over gables and other vents
  • Removing boxelder, maple, or ash trees near your home.
  • Preventative pest control treatments will help protect the exterior of your home to deter Boxelder Bugs
  • Keep foundation, mortar, and weather-protective measures up to date and repaired.

How My Pest Pros Helps Eliminate Boxelder Bugs

Effective Boxelder Bug treatment and prevention starts on the outside of your home. My Pest Pros has more than a decade of protecting homes in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland from pests including Boxelder Bugs.

Our trained pest experts know the areas to identify potential how Boxelder Bugs can get in your home and help prevent them using EPA-approved products. With an effective treatment plan, our professional team not only eradicates current problems but also provides preventative care. With our protection plans, you can be sure that Boxelder Bugs won't stand a chance.

For ultimate protection, our professionals will work with you to find a customized solution for your ant problem, today and tomorrow.

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