Boxelder bugs are a common pest found in North America, especially in the Eastern and Midwestern regions. These pests are typically black or brown with red or orange markings and feed on the seeds of boxelder trees, maple trees, and ash trees. While they don’t pose a significant danger to humans, they can be a nuisance when they invade your home or garden. In this article, we’ll explore various methods for controlling and eradicating boxelder bugs from your property.

Understanding Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs are known to invade homes during the fall and winter months in search of a warm place to overwinter. They are attracted to the warmth and light that comes through windows and often make their way into attics, basements, or other dark, secluded areas. While boxelder bugs do not cause significant structural damage to your property, they can leave behind fecal matter and a strong, unpleasant odor. Additionally, their presence may attract other pests such as spiders or rodents.

Control Options

If you’re dealing with a boxelder bug infestation, there are a few different options available to you. When deciding which option to pursue, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each and determine which method is best suited for your particular situation.

Organic options for eradicating boxelder bugs

Organic methods are typically safer and more environmentally friendly than chemical options. Some organic options for controlling boxelder bugs include:

  • Vacuuming: Using a vacuum cleaner to remove boxelder bugs is an effective method that doesn’t require the use of chemicals. When vacuuming, be sure to use a hose attachment with a crevice tool to reach into corners and other difficult-to-reach areas. After vacuuming, it’s essential to dispose of the bag or container outside of your home to prevent any bugs from escaping.
  • Soap and water: A soap and water solution can also help eliminate boxelder bugs. Mix a few tablespoons of dish soap with water and spray the solution directly onto the bugs. The soap will cause the bugs to suffocate and die. This method is effective but may require multiple applications for complete eradication.
  • Natural bug repellents: Certain plants and essential oils are known to repel boxelder bugs. These include lavender, peppermint, and citrus. Placing these plants or their oils around your home may help deter boxelder bugs from entering in the first place.

Chemical solutions for controlling boxelder bugs

While chemical solutions are often more potent than organic methods, they can also be more harmful to the environment and potentially dangerous to humans and pets. Some chemical options for controlling boxelder bugs include:

  • Insecticides: Insecticides can be effective at eliminating boxelder bugs, but it’s essential to carefully follow the instructions on the label and take necessary safety precautions. These chemicals can be toxic to humans and pets, so it’s important to keep them out of reach and use them in a well-ventilated area.
  • Diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring substance that’s composed of the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. It’s commonly used as a pesticide and can be applied to surfaces where boxelder bugs are likely to land or crawl. While it’s relatively safe for humans and pets, it’s essential to avoid inhaling the dust form and wear protective gear when handling it.

Seal Cracks and Holes

One of the most effective ways to prevent boxelder bugs from entering your home is to seal cracks and holes in your windows, doors, and other entry points. Boxelder bugs can squeeze through even the tiniest openings, so it’s essential to be thorough when inspecting your property.

The importance of sealing cracks and holes in windows and doors

By sealing gaps and cracks in windows and doors, you’ll not only prevent boxelder bugs but also reduce your energy bills and increase your home’s comfort level. Drafts caused by unsealed gaps can put a strain on your heating and cooling system to maintain a consistent temperature.

How to locate potential entry points for boxelder bugs

Start by examining your windows, doors, and foundation for any gaps or holes. Pay close attention to the areas where utilities, wires, or pipes enter your home. Inspect the seals around your windows and doors, and replace or repair any damaged weatherstripping.

Different ways to seal gaps and close openings

Once you’ve identified potential entry points, you can use different materials to seal gaps and close openings. Some common options include:

  • Caulk: Caulk is a flexible material that can be used to fill small gaps. It’s ideal for cracks around window frames and baseboards. Make sure to use caulk that’s compatible with your surface type.
  • Weatherstripping: Weatherstripping is a more temporary solution that can be applied to the bottom of doors or around windows. It’s made of foam or rubber and is effective at preventing drafts and deterring insects.
  • Mesh screens: Installing mesh screens on your windows and other openings is an effective way to prevent boxelder bugs and other insects from entering. Screens can easily be removed or replaced as needed.

Removing Boxelder Bugs without Harming Them

If you prefer non-lethal methods for removing boxelder bugs from your home or garden, there are a few options available to you.

Non-lethal methods for removing boxelder bugs from your home or garden

  • Trapping: Traps can be an effective way to remove boxelder bugs without harming them. Place a trap in a location where you’ve observed boxelder bug activity, such as a window sill or near a light source. Once you’ve trapped the bugs, release them outside.
  • Vacuuming and releasing: As mentioned earlier, using a vacuum to remove boxelder bugs is an effective method. To avoid harming the bugs, use a nylon stocking or pantyhose over the nozzle to act as a filter as you vacuum them. Once you’re finished, release the bugs outside.
  • Soap and water: If you’d like to clean up an infestation without harming the bugs, use a soap and water solution to spray the area. This will kill the bugs upon contact but is a more humane approach than using insecticides.

Natural Homemade Bug Spray

If you’re looking for an effective, natural way to repel boxelder bugs, consider making your own bug spray.

The benefits of using natural ingredients for making homemade bug spray

Homemade bug sprays are typically less toxic than commercial insecticides and can be made using everyday household ingredients. Natural ingredients such as essential oils are known to repel boxelder bugs and can be used to make a potent, all-natural bug spray.

Step-by-step instructions for making and applying homemade bug spray

Here’s an easy recipe for making homemade bug spray:

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 cups of water
    • 1 cup of vinegar
    • 40-50 drops of essential oils (such as peppermint, lavender, or citrus)
  • Instructions:
    1. Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and mix well.
    2. Shake before using and spray on surfaces where boxelder bugs are present.
    3. Reapply every few days or as needed.


Boxelder bugs can be a frustrating pest to deal with, especially when they invade your home or garden. However, with a little knowledge and a few simple strategies, you can keep them under control and prevent infestations from occurring. By sealing cracks and holes, using natural bug repellents, and practicing good housekeeping habits, you can enjoy a bug-free home all year round.

By Riddle Reviewer

Hi, I'm Riddle Reviewer. I curate fascinating insights across fields in this blog, hoping to illuminate and inspire. Join me on this journey of discovery as we explore the wonders of the world together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *