How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs Outside & In the House


If you pay close attention to insects in the fall, you will notice that there is a sudden influx of Boxelder bugs around your home, and inside your house. It is important to note that these bugs do not pose any threat to your family, but they will irritate you to no end.

The main problem that people face when dealing with Boxelder bugs is their droppings. Boxelder fecal matter is well known for staining fabrics and surfaces in your home, potentially causing serious cosmetic damage to your belongings. If you are ready to show your rude house guests the fastest way out the door, you may need the help of a quality exterminator.

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Where Do Boxelder Bugs Live?

These obnoxious pests typically show their ugly faces in the fall months, when temperatures are comfortable and food is plenty. Since food is scarce in the winter months, these bugs try to take advantage of the fall abundance. Boxelder bugs typically spend the winter hiding in small cracks and crevices. They also spend a lot of time hanging out in box elder tree trunks, which is where they go their name. Unfortunately, the problem starts when these bugs cannot tell the difference between their favorite tree and your home. After all, they both provide shelter from the outdoor elements.

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These bugs love to come into homes when winter hits and they like to hang out with your family through the winter months. They make their home in your attic and small wall spaces throughout your home. You will most likely find them hanging out in areas where sun hits the wall or near your heat sources.

If you have the patience, they will slowly make their way outdoors in the spring, but being trapped in your home with bugs all winter can easily become unbearable, especially since these bugs are such horrible, messy house guests. Not only do they welcome themselves into your home, but because of the pheromones they release, they also invite their friends, especially if you kill them.

Killing Boxelder Bugs

Unfortunately, there are not many chemicals that are approved for home use to wipe out Boxelder bugs. The best way for a home owner to get rid of these bugs depends on where they are located. If they are outdoors, you can easily spray them away using a garden hose. If you do not have a garden hose, you can use a shop vac to suck them, up and dispose of them. However, if they are inside your house, you will have to use another method.

Sweep or vacuum these bugs up with a shop vac. Empty the bin on the shop vac immediately and take out the bag so they do not escape back into your home. Boxelder bugs are known to smell extremely bad after they die, so you do not want their carcasses laying around.

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If you prefer not to use your vacuum for this job, you can mix soap and water in a spray bottle. Laundry detergent seems to be the most effective for this job. In order to kill the bugs, you must get it directly on the bug.

Insect Killers

If you are looking to use a chemical to get rid of these bugs quick, make sure that the chemical you choose is formulated for indoor use. If you use outdoor insect killer, you could be putting your family in harm’s way.

After you spray, you should make sure to sweep or vacuum up all of the insects that you see, both living an dead. This is because after they sit for a few days, they will begin to smell worse than anything you have ever smelled.

Since these bugs tend to attract one another using pheromones, once they die the population can easily balloon. In order to ensure that your bug problem is eradicated, you may want to hire a professional exterminator.

Professional Exterminators

Exterminators have access to chemicals that the average person does not. This is because many pesticides are carefully regulated and controlled because of the potential hazards they pose to the public in large quantities. Since exterminators have hands on training and understand the risks associated with using them, they can obtain them a lot easier.

A professional exterminator also has training on what chemicals work on specific species and which ones do not. By using the wrong chemical, you are increasing an insects immunity to pesticides, and potentially causing them to become useless in your battle against insects. By using the correct chemicals, professional exterminators are able to get rid of a population of insects in a given area, developing almost no immunity in the surrounding area.

No matter what type of bugs have invaded your home, you and your family do not have to live along side them.

By David Jackson

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and sharing what I learn at I aim to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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