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Are Boxelder Bugs Harmful?

Some pests can be annoying while others pose a more significant threat. When a bug moves into your home, you need to know what you’re up against. One pesky intruder is the boxelder bug. When temperatures drop, these pests slip inside and wait for winter to pass. Check out why you don’t want boxelder bugs living in your home.

Are Boxelder Bugs Harmful?

Boxelder bug on plant

Boxelder bugs are mainly just a nuisance. These pests don’t have stingers, so they can’t sting. If they feel threatened, they could potentially bite. This can cause an irritated red mark on your skin. However, it’s very rare for boxelder bugs to bite. Though not harmful, these pests can also release an unpleasant odor when crushed.

Why You Don’t Want Boxelder Bugs in Your Home

Boxelder bug in home

Even though boxelder bugs aren’t dangerous, you still don’t want them in your home. Check out why these pests can be problematic.

Size of an Infestation

Boxelder bugs like to be in groups. In fall, they gather on the sunny side of homes. These pests release pheromones that attract other boxelder bugs. This can lead to a large infestation in your house. Though these pests will remain dormant in winter, once spring arrives you could have quite a few bugs crawling around your home.

Damage to Your Plants

These bugs feed on the leaves and seeds of boxelder, maple, and ash trees. Their feeding doesn’t typically cause harm to the overall health of your plants and trees. However, it can lead to discoloration and leaf curl. Boxelder bugs also feed on some fruit including apples and plums, which can cause blemishes on the produce.  

Damage to Your Household Items

Boxelder bugs can be a little messy. If they are active in your home, they can cause some damage. Their droppings can leave behind red stains on surfaces. These stains are typically spotted on upholstered furniture, curtains, walls, and clothes. If you happen to crush a boxelder bug, this can also leave behind a stain.

How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs

Yard Bug Spray and Home Bug Spray

If boxelder bugs move into your space, there are things you can do to get rid of them. We’ve made a list of tips to help keep your home free of these bugs.

  • Seal Entry Points: Check for and seal any cracks, gaps, or holes where boxelder bugs could enter your home. Replace worn window and door screens. Ensure weatherstripping and door sweeps are in good condition.
  • Take Care of Your Yard: Regularly mow your lawn and trim vegetation. Remove yard debris and fallen leaves or seeds from boxelder trees. Store firewood several feet from your house.
  • Vacuum: If these pests are in your home, you can use a vacuum to remove them. Make sure to empty the contents of the vacuum into a sealed bag. Dispose of the bag in an outdoor trash bin.
  • Use a Garden Hose: If you notice these pests gathering on your house, you can spray them away with a garden hose.
  • Create a Protective Barrier: Spraying the perimeter of your home and yard with a plant-based insecticide spray can help keep these pests away. Our Yard Bug Spray kills pests on contact and provides residual repellency. Our Home Bug Spray can also help to control these pests.
  • Spray Your Plants: To protect your plants and trees from boxelder bugs, you can spray them with our Beetle & Boxelder Bug Killer. It can help to control boxelder bugs and their eggs.

Boxelder bugs may not be dangerous, but they still don’t make the best roommates. Bug-proofing your yard and home can help keep these pests away. If you’re dealing with a pest problem, we’re here to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products for a more environmentally and family-friendly solution.


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