How To Kill Boxelder Bugs And Prevent Them From Coming Back

The boxelder bug primarily eats on trees but can also be sometimes found on plants. They do not kill a tree but they can cause some damage. They can also quickly become a nuisance.  Boxelder bugs are easy to see as they are generally a bright red but can also be black. They have reddish lines that run down along its back. Below is some information about how to get rid of these bugs both outside and inside and prevent them from coming back.

Box Elder Bugs on Trees

Box Elder bugs suck sap out of trees and they penetrate the plant tissue. Once the bugs get on the leaves they secrete juices to make the leaves dissolve so they are easy for them to eat. Once the bugs start eating on the leaves, they will leave spots on them and the leaves may curl up and turn yellow. Unless there is a very wide infestation on a tree, this is more of an aesthetic issue.

Spray your trees down with horticultural oil to help prevent them from getting onto your trees. Spray the oil thoroughly making sure you get under any loose bark. Only spray the tree in early spring while it is still dormant, before the new buds start to appear.

Box Elder Trees in House

The problem with box elder bugs is that once the weather cools down, they will find shelter, generally inside a home and/or garage. They do not cause any structural damage to your home.

Because these bugs generally hide in places you cannot get to, contact a local pest control company to come to your home to remove them for you. This will ensure all of the bugs are killed.

To prevent the box elder bug from coming back again, sprinkle some borax or food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) generously around the foundation of your home. You can find DE at garden centers that sell organic supplies or order it online.   

Make sure the weatherstripping around all window frames is in good condition, and check under the roof eaves for openings and in any cracks in the foundation. Make sure the weatherstripping at the bottom of doors leave no space. Put a fine mesh screen over all roof openings.

Ask a pest control company about other tips on how you can prevent these bugs from getting into your home and to keep them off your trees.