swarm of red and black boxelder bugs in knoxville

How To Identify Boxelder Bugs

Adult boxelder bugs are easily identified by the red colored outlines along their thorax, sides, and wings. Their bodies are black in color. They have wings that lay flat across their back and are able to fly. Boxelder bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts that they use to feed on the soft tissues of trees. Adults can grow up to ½ of an inch in length.

Why Do I Have A Boxelder Bug Problem?

Boxelder bugs feed, live and breed on seed bearing trees like boxelder, maple, ash, apple and plum. In the fall boxelder bugs will become problematic in homes as they invade in large numbers seeking warm, safe shelter to overwinter in. When the weather begins to cool adult boxelder bugs flock to the sunny side of homes. They come into homes through cracks and crevices in exterior walls, vents, and gaps around windows and doors.

Are Boxelder Bugs Dangerous?

Boxelder bugs are not considered to be dangerous. They do not bite or transmit any known diseases to people. When they invade homes in large numbers they are surely a nuisance, emerging on sunny, winter days flying towards your windows. Also, their feces can stain upholstery, curtains, and other fabrics.

How Do I Control Boxelder Bugs?

Controlling boxelder bugs can be difficult because they invade in such high numbers and hide in hard to reach concealed areas of your home in places like behind walls, and underneath of floors. The best way to get rid of boxelder bugs is with the help of a professional pest control expert. At Russell’s Pest Control, we resolve boxelder bugs through our ongoing home pest control programs.  

Boxelder Bug Prevention Tips

The best way to prevent boxelder bugs from invading your home is to stop them from coming in. Seal cracks and crevices in your home’s foundation or exterior walls, seal areas around utility lines or pipes, caulk gaps found around windows and doors, and make sure that screens are completely intact.


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