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Boxelder Bugs

Boisea trivittata

Otherwise known as the box bug, boxelder bugs are in the same family as stink bugs, releasing a similarly bad odor when crushed.

Boxelder Bugs
Color Dark brown to black body, lined in orange-red bands
Legs 6
Size 1/2 in (12mm)
Antennae True

What Do Boxelder Bugs Look Like?

Younger boxelder bugs, or nymphs, are bright red and darken to brown or black as adults, keeping a red band along their bodies and wings. They have long, flat bodies that resemble a sunflower seed in shape and size. 

What Do Boxelder Bugs Eat?

While they feed on a variety of plants, boxelder tree seeds and leaf buds are this bug’s favorite meal. They’ve also been known to feed on many species of fruit trees. The damage boxelder bugs cause to plants is not usually significant, but on a smaller tree or with a large infestation, there can be noticeable damage.

How Long Do Boxelder Bugs Live?

Boxelder bugs can live up to one year in good conditions, but most only live for a few weeks. They’re very susceptive to the cold, dying if they don’t find shelter.

What Attracts Boxelder Bugs?

These bugs are first attracted to a food source like boxelder or fruit trees. As the weather cools in the fall, they then find their way into homes. Boxelder bugs also gather in numbers on warm rocks, buildings, or trees.

How To Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs

To remove boxelder bugs, you can use a dish soap and water solution to spray or soak them, or vacuum them up. Seal any openings around your home, including the foundation and windowsills. Close all electrical coverings, as the bugs are attracted to heat and can find their way into your home through the electrical system. Removing boxelder trees, trimming them, and sweeping up all “helicopter” seed pods can also help reduce bug numbers.

If you find yourself with a boxelder bug infestation, call us for a quick and efficient removal

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