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box elder bug


Adult boxelder bugs have a unique appearance in that they are black and have red or orangish outlined wings. Their bodies have an elongated oval shape and they are capable of flying. Young boxelder bugs look a bit different than the adults. Not only are they smaller in size, but they are almost completely red and are wingless.

Biology and Behavior

box elder bugs congregating on a house

  • Boxelder bugs feed on soft plant tissues (leaves, flowers, and young branches) of the tree that they are living on. Using their specialized mouthparts they suck liquid out of the tree.

  • Except in the cases of very large infestations, boxelder bugs do not inflict much damage to the trees that they are feeding on.

  • Boxelder bugs live outside until late summer or early fall when the weather begins to cool and then they move inside of buildings to find a safe warm spot to spend the winter in.

  • Boxelder bugs are attracted to the warm sunny sides of buildings and congregate in large numbers on them where they often take advantage of cracks or gaps in exterior walls or around windows and doors and make their way inside.

  • During the winter boxelder bugs hide behind walls, in attics, and crawl spaces and in the spring they move back outside when the weather warms up to begin feeding and breeding once again.

  • Boxelder bugs are considered to be a nuisance pest and aren’t a danger but can, however, stain personal items, furniture, and curtains with their excrement.

Boxelder Bug Prevention Tips

  • Inspect the exterior of your home and seal any cracks or openings in the exterior walls or foundation.

  • Caulk spaces around windows and doors.

  • Fill in spaces around utility entrances.

  • Repair holes or tears in screens.

  • Install door sweeps on the bottom of all exterior doors.

Action's Boxelder Bug Control Services


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