Boxelder bug
Boxelder bugCourtesy Bruce Marlin

Beware, boxelder bugs may have a huge population explosion this fall. Turns out boxelder bugs operate on a ten year cycle. Between years seven and ten, the bugs tend to be the most reproductively active. What year are we in? Year eight.

Boxelder bug characteristics

As an adult, boxelder bugs reach a length of ½ inches. They are mostly black with red lines decorating their backs. Typically, these bugs become a nuisance during the fall and early spring.

Boxelder bugs eat a host of plants. However, they tend to favor boxelder seed pods found on female boxelder trees. If there is a female boxelder tree in you neighborhood then the odds of having a boxelder infestation increases.

Boxelder bugs seek shelter in protected places. Typical shelter areas include cracks or crevices in walls, doors, under windows and around foundations. The bugs particularly favor south and west exposures.

Boxelder bug eradication

Here are some tips if boxelder bugs sneak into your dwellings:

  • Caulk or seal all cracks and spaces found in your foundation, siding, windows, doors and other entry points
  • Exterior insecticide treatments (chlorpyrifos, diazinon, permethrin)
  • Soap mixtures
  • Call pest control services
  • Vacuum up boxelder bugs

Lastly, remember boxelder bugs are not able to survive more than a few days indoors and are essentially harmless. So check now, make sure your house is sealed before the boxelder population explosion hits!

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (31 votes)

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (31 votes)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (43 votes)

Your rating: None Average: 4 (43 votes)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Charles's picture
Charles says:

If the bugs are essentially harmless, why are you so worried and determined to exterminate them?

To me, it seems more dangerous to be handling and spreading a toxin such chlorpyrifos around the home than to have a few (or even many) harmless bugs that can't survive indoors anyway.

posted on Sun, 08/27/2006 - 3:05am
Elisabeth's picture
Elisabeth says:

Awareness pertaining to boxelder bug populations paired with a hypothesized population explosion this upcoming fall was the main objective of this post. Individuals certainly embrace different likes and dislikes. More times than not, when an unwanted bug creeps into a person’s house they try a rid of the foreign visitor.

Charles, you are correct in stating utilization of chlorpyrifos is toxic. In fact, upon research I discovered it has been banned in retail due to compromising the nervous systems of exposed organisms. The EPA’s decision to phase out chlorpyrifos was due to the potential health risks to children. However there are other eradication options for individuals who wish to rid of boxelder bugs inhabiting their homes. Refer to the original post for further insight. Thank you for your comment.

posted on Sun, 08/27/2006 - 12:38pm
Bug Doc's picture
Bug Doc says:

Everyone says that these bugs die instantly when sprayed with soapy water. But I question that after repeatedly reading that the problem is just as bad the next day. I have some related experiences to illustrate this. {These bugs may have more in common with roaches than we realised, too.}
1) Once when I was a young kid, I prepared a very, very hot shower. When I was finally ready to get in, I found a big centiped had died {drowned & cooked??}. I stopped the water and fished it up with a tissue. As I was admiring it, before tossing it into the garbage can {it really was a huge and lovely centiped}, it suddenly "self-resusitated". {Self-resusitation occurred after it was completely dry again.} I was happily amazed, trapping it in a glass, and releasing it into the woods adjacent to my property, following my shower.

2) Working in an Army hospital, one soldier found a really huge flying cock-roach {Palmetto Bug}, and placed it, with a spot of food & water, in a zip-lock bag onto our bulletin-board for others to see. That Friday, someone threw the bag into the microwave and nuked it, blowing up the bug. They put the bag back up, "for others to see". I saw it. It was cooked, dead, and blown into a few pieces.

Monday morning, we were all quite surprised to see Mr. Roach back to life, and happily running around his ziplock bag. {His abdomin was not completely healed, and he had 'eaten' much the pieces from his body that had blown-off, for the nutrition....}
I suspect that the soapy water is only stunning the bugs, not killing them. Someone who has these bugs might be able to run a controlled test to see if they, in fact, do "self-resusitate" afterwards. This would certainly explain why, even after killing thousands of them a day, the problem continues to get worse, not better.

If it turns out that the soapy water spray does really kill them, then besides the house, garage, and fence; perhaps the trees, shrubbery and ground they love so much should also be sprayed.

For general indoor bug control of all bugs; a non-toxic Glue Trap with a nite-lite over it works wonders. At night, every bug in the house seems attracted to the light; and will rest/warm under it.... It's also great to monitor the types and quantity of bugs that visit your home; gnats, flies, spiders, moths, centipeds, Boxelder Bugs, and even a hornet once...

While my neighbors and family have swarms of gnats in their kitchens around their garbage can, mine are clear year-round. I have less dead bugs on my window sills even after six months, than my sister has in a week. Just as surprising, is how few bugs are in the traps after 3 -6 months; and yet my home remains bug-free. Perhaps because I catch them the very first night in my home, I never have to battle the following generations. It also works by itself, and doesn't need constant tending from me.

This works great for general bug control. I'm not sure of the effectiveness of this for an infestation, but it would probably even help that.

I make a disposable tray from foil, with the edges raised, to set the glue traps on. {Though miniscue, the small amount of heat from the nite-lite does seem to cause a bit of the glue from the trap's cardboard to run onto the surface below. It is very difficult to clean up.}

posted on Thu, 12/03/2009 - 3:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

A note on Cockroaches from living with the pest for a few years. We tested many different scientific experiments to rid our apartments of them. During some research I found some information saying that their brains are in their stomachs and if you do not completely destroy the brain the bug will continue to regenerate and heal. This goes from nuking them in the microwave to freezing them for months in the freezer. Sticky traps and stomping work best. Within less then a month my apartment only had bug behind the scenes (under stove, heater, and other unstompable places). Thought I would throw that out there. Biggest issue in the new place is the box elder bugs.

posted on Thu, 09/23/2010 - 10:55pm
Pdog's picture
Pdog says:

I'm a high school science teacher (so I know a little bit about bugs & other Arthropoda).
The reason soapy water kills the bugs is that the soap film covers their spiracles, suffocating them.
Bugs breathe through little holes that generally run in lines down the sides of their bodies. Covering these holes (called spiracles) with soap film is a fast, efficient, & cheap way to eliminate them.

However, because of this it won't do you any good to spray soapy water on the trees or grass. You must cover their "breathing holes" to kill them.

I've used the soapy water method to kill squash bugs & various other garden pests for years. I'm yet to see one self rescesitate. Hope this helped clear things up a bit.

posted on Thu, 11/06/2014 - 6:34pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

When the outside of your house becomes covered in the seven to eight digits of these bugs, and you can no longer tell what color your house was, then you will understand what is meant by "population explosion." They will get into every nook and crany of the house, including your bed, food, etc. I would rather have a bees nest in my house than these horrible little bugs. They infestation will last for 8 months out of the year, you will do anything and everything to be rid of them, and you will strongly consider moving rather than dealing with them an longer.

posted on Fri, 10/13/2006 - 12:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i agree greatly. this is one bug you don't want to mess with.

posted on Tue, 06/24/2008 - 3:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I agree too! Even in the dead of winter I kill atleast 10 a day!!! I am sick and tired of them! I don't know what to do? I would rather move. Yesterday I killed over 50 in my house, and my south side is already covered with them. I wake up every night to one crawling on my arms or face. Hope I haven't eaten any in my sleep. UGH! Help!

posted on Fri, 03/20/2009 - 7:20am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I agree - I am having acute attack of the elder beetles and they are ruining my siding and infesting my home's interior - have you found anything that helped you? I have searched several Home Depot's /Lowes etc and cannot find a treatment that specifies the eradication of these pests.

posted on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 10:27am
Cecil's picture
Cecil says:

I've found a product that seems to kill them if you can find them outside. I found them on a tree next to my house and when they were young in the bark dust next to my home. I will spray the house about 1 foot to 2 feet from the house (on the ground) and then up the wall about 1 foot or more as necessary. The product is called Cyonara 9.7. I found it at
I bought it two years ago and spray it three of four times a year. This year they have been almost non existent. Good luck.

posted on Fri, 09/04/2009 - 1:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Re: boxelder bugs - best thing I've found so far is to fill a 1 gallon sprayer with water and add about 3/4 cup Dawn dish soap. Spray on directly. Kills them within 60 seconds. I've gone back the next day to check and they are still there, dead, laying in clumps. I've been using this method for several years. I'm cutting down 2 boxelder tress this fall to try and eliminate the problem for good.

posted on Sat, 10/16/2010 - 11:56am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Why there not hurting any thing out side! I can understant if they started coming into my house, because I would prefru no little creepy dead bus hang around inside my house. But still there not doing any thing besides living.

posted on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 2:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

lots of luck on getting rid of the trees, not gonna happen with getting rid of the bugs, our trees have been gone a very long time, and the bugs are still all over. they live outside, and very few come into the house, it is 70 years old.

posted on Sat, 03/17/2012 - 8:35pm
2manyelders4me's picture
2manyelders4me says:

Yes that really works. I was skeptical at first, but tried it and soap/water mixture is really effective. I also had to cut down trees n such, but now I find them hiding under the vinyl siding now. So I've been spraying my backyard area,grounds n remaining trees with the soap everyday. Started with what seemed like millions of them, I now got it down to around hundreds of them. We will see what next spring will bring.

posted on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 6:08pm
crazygirl's picture
crazygirl says:

i am having the same problem at my house they are everywhere and i have no idea if they btie or if they eat roses!!!!!!

posted on Sun, 04/10/2011 - 12:04pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I agree! I bought this house almost two years ago and the infestation at that time was so terrible that my kitchen floor was literally red and I couldn't even look at my walls or celing without seeing a minimum of 10 of the things!! In the two years that I've been here I have managed to kill off many, many, many of the little freaks of nature. However, even now, two years later, I am sitting here going crazy. For the most part they aren't crawling around on my floors anymore and I don't see dozens of them wherever I look. However, last night when I sat down to supper, I killed 5 or 6 of them that decided to start crawling on me in the first 10 minutes of my meal. And today, in the 8 or so hours that I've been awake, I've already killed approximately 15-20 of the little creatures that have decided that it's fun to crawl on me. I personally think that they are disgusting and I'm tired of constantly having these creepy things crawling all over me all the time. I'm sick of them and would do anything to get rid of them. I've already emptied one can of Raid this past weekend on a nest that I found outside under my deck. Last summer I put brand new siding on my house and within two weeks I had at least 300 of them crawling on the new siding that I dropped with the Raid can. I can't tolerate them anymore.

posted on Mon, 08/17/2009 - 3:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You can also spray them with cheap firm hold hairspray or Lysol spray.

posted on Sat, 04/23/2011 - 11:09am
AmieAnonymous's picture
AmieAnonymous says:

Actually they do live indoors, as I have many in my basement

posted on Thu, 03/15/2007 - 2:55pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

they are also outside bugs and my parents say they are gross!!! my thoughts are they are not harmful but are very buggy!!=)

posted on Sat, 08/02/2008 - 12:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I dissagre with that statement. There are many in my plants in my backyard.

posted on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 11:12am
Riley's picture
Riley says:

Do they ever anouy you? If they do than how do they anouy you?

posted on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 11:12am
melody's picture
melody says:

is an exterminator even worth my money

posted on Sat, 03/28/2009 - 6:11am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

There are thousands on one side of my house. I am not exaggerating. And most of the are attached butt to butt and walking like choo choo trains because they're mating. They lay eggs on my windows and my walls. The young that hatch look like tiny red aphids and they are everywhere.They get inside my house and my car and the leave poop stains everywhere because their poop is liquid. It's disgusting! If you don't think they're a problem you've never had to deal with them!

posted on Tue, 08/04/2009 - 5:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Rfile: I can not mow my lawn without them landing all over my face and body. Try doing yard work with these things landing on your eyes and face, non-stop.

posted on Sun, 06/13/2010 - 2:54pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think this has something to do with the texture of the basement as well. My parents basement was always full of them on the cement walls and they would wander around in the carpeted/paneled room just for funsies. I think it has something to do with protection from the icy cold/wind, but still nice damp cool area.

posted on Thu, 09/23/2010 - 11:06pm
Diane's picture
Diane says:

Box elder beetle infestations are fairly gross as seen by most people. Nine years ago, just having bought my house and erected a board fence (next to my neighbour's box elder tree), I was seriously thinking of putting my house back on the market, since the "nests" of bugs sitting on top of the fence at one time would be the size of a football. Their presence made sitting next to the pool extremely undesirable and their eradication was next to impossible. I started with a liquid soap spray (which did work temporarily), gradually moving to stronger insecticides. I am now sufficiently put off, that next year (when they should be at their peak of reproduction), I'm taking a blow torch to them. Having spoken to a local pest control company, I've realized that there seems to be no simple way of ridding oneself of this type of pest infestation ~ hence the blow torch. If anyone else has a better solution, please advise!

posted on Fri, 08/10/2007 - 6:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Well, Charles, let me explain to you. We bought and moved into our home last December and were overpopulated with these critters. They were EVERYWHERE!!! I would vacuum them all out the rooms and in no time at all, usually the same day, there were more of them!! Having company over or having dinner for family was a nightmare because they all thought you didn't keep house very well, bugs crawling all over. I will do whatever it takes to kill these guys off and not be allowed back into my house!

posted on Thu, 09/20/2007 - 1:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The bug may be harmless to the structure of the house and the people inside, but they leave this unsightly brown bug pooh everywhere they die. Having to wash the walls, doors and base boards weekly is a big pain in my a**. And don't forget about waking up to one crawling all over you in the middle of the night.
Bring on the bug spray!!

posted on Sat, 09/22/2007 - 1:15am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in Minnesota. We have vacuumed thousands of these pesky insects. They can't survive indoors? Here we are in mid January and they are everywhere!!!!

Is there a "bug trap" or something non toxic in order to eradicate this problem?? HELP.

posted on Wed, 01/09/2008 - 8:30am
box elder B-GONE's picture
box elder B-GONE says:

Try Box Elder B-GONE. It kills them, and is not chemically toxic- all the ingredients are listed as minimum risk chemicals, so safe to use. Always test on a spot, but in general you should have no problems with staining. Nice to use to at least kill the ones you see. Also nice you don't have to worry about chemicals.
Minnesota based company too!!

posted on Fri, 03/07/2008 - 5:47am
birgit's picture
birgit says:

I have been invaded by these things and felt embarrassed as hell when anyone came over.
every year we have been in this house they have gotten worse...
NOW I have a method of KILL that wont make non target animals or people sick!!!

posted on Tue, 05/26/2009 - 2:18pm
Birgit's picture
Birgit says:

The spray works GREAT.. wiped out a huge colony outside.
Now wait for winter when they try to come in !

posted on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 6:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

where did you get this product and did it work? Can it be used in a car?

posted on Mon, 10/19/2009 - 7:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

They've completely taken over my upstairs bathroom... I've contemplated feeding them to my anoles, that's why I googled them, I wanted to know if they were toxic at all. My dog eats them, but he's weird so any odd behavior is never discernable from his regular behavior...

posted on Wed, 03/26/2008 - 6:20pm
nando's picture
nando says:

they go away soon and they are harmless. Im from ill and after they left we go hit with ladybug infestation and they arent harnless they eat your crops and bight so there is something to look forward to.

posted on Fri, 03/28/2008 - 4:36pm
Max Power's picture
Max Power says:

Please don't refer to the nasty Asian Beetle as a Ladybug....because they are NOT the same. Though they look damn near identical, side by side they are very ease to tell apart. The Asian Beetle is actually more orange & will bite where the Ladybug is a deep red & nice.
I feel bad that this poor bug is being mistaken for such a nasty invader....GO BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY !!!

posted on Sat, 05/21/2011 - 5:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Box Elder bugs my be harmless but in mass they become a major pain. They are found everywhere in your home if they fing a single point of entry. At any given time I can count 100 of them on the south wall of my home.

posted on Sat, 03/29/2008 - 4:55am
carrisa's picture
carrisa says:

bugs!!!!!they feel disgusting!! what if they were in ur bed one night?would u freak? or would u not mind?

posted on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 11:33am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

actually, the fact that a full blown infestation is more like an invasion. Imagine your front porch, 10 x 10, 1 inch thick with these beetles...... I don't like that, but happens every spring into the summer.

posted on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 3:46pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sun, 06/22/2008 - 12:24pm
James Bond's picture
James Bond says:

I like to collect these bug and use them against my foes.

posted on Sat, 07/12/2008 - 6:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

actually they bite, because I had two of them on me and I felt a pinch. It itched for about a week so i went to the doctor and she said all that it was was that the bug bite me, and it would continue to itch for the next week

posted on Mon, 10/13/2008 - 7:43pm
l3gg5's picture
l3gg5 says:

I have been researching this bug all day and have ran across a few "bug bite" cases but the whole reason i was looking the bug up was because one bit me today. i liked the bugs till a few hours ago. the weird thing is it knew where it bit me because it went all around my finger as i held it & it bite me in the same spot. i think this year im going to let my cats go bug hunting lol.

posted on Wed, 03/23/2011 - 12:17pm
emmanuel's picture
emmanuel says:

I agree. These and asian beatles get so much attention and hatred, it's amazing. Both are a nuisane, but I deal with them only when they get inside and use my handivac to vacuum them off the walls. Otherwise, I leave them alone and they return the favor.

posted on Sun, 11/16/2008 - 11:12am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The bugs maybe "harmless", but I really enjoy going outside if not to relax in my yard then to work, I CANT stand millions of these harmless bugs all over the front of my house, looking like a new decortive brick. When I go outside to plant they are all over me, especially my hair! YUCK! My daugther really doesn't enjoy planting with me anymore and I despise it too. I pay the mortgage around here by golly! I did find a Terminix Tech to treat the whole outside of my house, Messed up my windows, but the bandits have not been back.

posted on Thu, 01/08/2009 - 10:27pm
Tonya's picture
Tonya says:

Finally someone that has experienced some of my frustration! I have fought these things going on 3 years now OUTSIDE....thousands of them sunning on my deck, my windows, my work shed, my siding, my trees while I'm trying to work in my flower beds. I have spent countless hours fighting them. The 1st year I had to figure out what they were once they came in on some bulk mulch we bought and put throughout out entire yard! After figuring out they weren't the precious lightning bugs that people said..."don't kill" which I wouldn't because they aren't annoying! I bought so much dawn dish soap that I'm sure their stock went up that year! Only to burn half my plants up in the process of NOT killing off the bugs so much (it takes so much to drown them)! They died off for the spring only to come back in the fall but not as heavy just long enough to lay some more eggs!! By now I pretty much know these nasty creatures. 2nd year, they're back in mounds everywhere...I try a new pesticide Malathon,...worked great but you have to keep it up, I was exhausted. I become obsessed with not seeing these things anymore! We finally got rid of all the mulch realizing that's where they came from..but too late they're already infested into other places and that's where I stand going into year 4. I don't have the time or energy again to fight them with a pesticide every day after work until I see them no more! I guess I will have to chuck it up, pay an exterminator and hope they can do it for me! We'll see!

posted on Sat, 03/14/2009 - 4:45am
Todd in Virginia's picture
Todd in Virginia says:

They are not harmless. Several days ago box elder bugs infested my car. And by infested, I mean that hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds piled into the vehicle and made it their new home. A HUGE swarm. It's been like something out of "Poltergeist" or the "Omen". I mean, Jeez, what did I do? Park my car at a cursed indian burial ground or something???

It's a fairly new car and thankfully they have not made it into the passenger area of the vehicle. Instead they have overun every nook, cranny, seam, and hollow part INSIDE the vehicle (in the frame, in the engine, in between the doors). I never realized how infinite the possiblities were for a complex structure like an automobile to hide 800 hundred or so clever bugs.

I have spent two solid days with a shop vac sucking up hundreds and hundreds of these bugs and spraying poison by the spray bottle into my car (I even took the day off to keep at it). This has NOT wiped them all out.

Luckily the bugs don't stay hidden for too long because they like to come out and sun themselves. The bad news is that they're smart like roaches. They see you coming and they hide.

In terms of infestation, Box Elder bugs are like nothing I've ever see. Horrible!!

posted on Thu, 10/29/2009 - 10:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ummm bc they are GROSS- and when there are 100 of them in your bedroom with you, trust me, you want them OUT

posted on Mon, 02/22/2010 - 11:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We have a box elder tree in our yard and the bugs can be a real nuisance even though they dont bite humans or anything of that sort,we thankfully dont have a problem with them inside the house. When it is hot in summer we love to sit outside in our small yard under the shade of our large tree,but when it starts to get full of 50 billion box elder bugs it's just misery to be out there,one thing is they make some kind of spit that just oozes down all over the place and there are just such a massive amount of them and they are just everywhere making it impossible to be out back under the tree.

posted on Mon, 04/26/2010 - 1:39pm
Susan's picture
Susan says:

Honey that's not spit that poop!!

posted on Tue, 06/15/2010 - 5:43pm
Cherisse's picture
Cherisse says:

Box elder bugs absolutely bite. One got into my shirt and I have two large itchy bite marks on my chest and one on my inner elbow. It's been three days. I'd like for the red marks and itching to go away, soon.

posted on Wed, 08/06/2014 - 1:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My house/yard is totally overrun by them. The reason people hate them is because they are so unsightly. Last August it got so bad that it looked like my house was polka-dotted - huge massess of hundreds upon hundreds of these bugs.

Plus they secrete/poop somethings that must be acidic and it discolours my siding. *sigh*

posted on Wed, 07/21/2010 - 6:03pm
hunter's picture
hunter says:

that's true. one of my neighbors has boxelder bugs in the crack of the hinges of the door

posted on Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:42pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Has anyone else noticed that they seem to shed their legs and what looks like part of their wings? I am not sure at what part of their life cycle this happens, but
I have found clusters of these "carcass parts" amidst plants,curtains etc. They seem to emerge from this phase completely black markings on body or legs.
I haven't been able to confirm this on any website researched thus far, I sure would appreciate any feedback on this matter.

Sure wish they'd wear little tiny diapers...ick!

posted on Sat, 09/18/2010 - 9:04am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't mind bugs, but I hate to be constantly knocking them off me. I do not want to be spraying chemicals to exterminate them, i have old hardwood floors in the house with a finish that water spots so spraying a soap water mix is not an answer. the foundation is field stone and the cellar floor dirt. The treatment I like best is to spread diatomaous earth around the foundation. that is the safest answer and I believe it can be obtained reasonably as it is used in swimming pool filtering systems

posted on Mon, 03/07/2011 - 6:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

must be you have never woke up in the night with them crawling on you...

posted on Thu, 03/17/2011 - 8:49am
North St Paul Man's picture
North St Paul Man says:

You might be on to something, Charles. I live in Minnesota, and I have the same problem. But I use this as an advantage. I like to study what they do during the winter, and I have some data on them. The Boisea trivittata, or the Box Elder Bug, like to stay in packs. They seem to like the shade. They will attach (like, or befriend) to anyone who will look after them. Because of this, they might get too close to spiders (and in my case, cats). They wont eat, but they do take in large amounts of water. If you want to research them, and care for them(which I am crazy enough to do), just follow the instructions above. It might help to let them survive for another year.

posted on Sat, 03/19/2011 - 9:43am
Jeffro from Michigando's picture
Jeffro from Michigando says:

LOL, Charlie, you OBVIOUSLY have never had a boxelder infestation on the side of your house or have them get into your house in the hundreds. Tell you what, go get a boxelder tree and then we can all bring our unwanted bugs to your house...

For the record, dishsoap is HARDLY a toxic chemical. I feel quite comfortable spraying it around the outside of the house.


posted on Mon, 04/11/2011 - 7:56pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

for me i wanted them gone. there was millions of them on the frount of my house and getting inside.

posted on Sun, 01/15/2012 - 12:25am
bugged out!'s picture
bugged out! says:

My vaccuum seems to be part of my kitchen now. I suck up boxelders every day. I have tried many things to ki them. This year we will be spreading diotomacious earth ever where, since we also have an ant problem too. Have too many boxelder trees to get rid of... I reall want to move. But it's not an option yet.these critters have ruined meals.... :o( some people say to use ground cloves sprinkled around to keep them at bay. So we are going to try natural things....

posted on Wed, 03/07/2012 - 1:37pm
mccleod's picture
mccleod says:

If you saw how many were attached to my house right now, you would change your tune.

posted on Sat, 03/10/2012 - 1:56pm
Howie's picture
Howie says:

You had to have been there Chas.

posted on Mon, 06/18/2012 - 12:58pm
slaytan's picture
slaytan says:

You have obviously never had your home infested with box elder bugs. They stink when killed & leave excrement all over walls & siding. I can't stand know it all hippy douche bags like yourself.

posted on Wed, 08/08/2012 - 12:37am
Anonymous.'s picture
Anonymous. says:

the population explosion is tremendous you would not believe the amount of bugs that can be born in a single day hundreds of thousands I have a female box elder tree outside of my house and these bugs are taking over the neighborhood

posted on Fri, 08/31/2012 - 3:46pm
Simone's picture
Simone says:

I couldn't agree more, Charles. And add that I've had one or two "pet" Box Elder bugs sheltering through a good part of the winter here with me in Montana. They are quite conscious, learn to not fear my hands, and make interesting company. I've taken a vow not to kill, so was originally inspired to support my little companions because of that. If I put one out now, it will die before daylight. Thus I've killed it. But I'm glad I did get to know them because the one I have now is quite amusing... he's hanging out on the phone for the evening. And tomorrow I may find him by the plants, who have plenty of foliage for such a small appetite.
Perhaps more compassion and less poison is a good basic attitude for life.

posted on Wed, 11/26/2014 - 10:05pm
MikeB's picture
MikeB says:

Everything I read about Boxelder bugs says that they will only lay their eggs on the boxelder trees. However, I have 100's of clusters of eggs around my house, in the texture of the cedar shakes, in the corners of windows, along the drip edge of the roof line. What gives? I power washed the house a couple of weeks ago to knock down the eggs, but the bug population hasn't been abated and they are right back to laying eggs on my house. I've been spraying them with an insecticide specifically designed for Boxelder bugs (I don't know the active ingredients off hand) but it doesn't seem to be doing anything to knock down the numbers. They are pooping all over my house and it is quite gross. Do you have any suggestions? I do not know of any Boxelder trees in the immediate area, however several of my neighbors have very large silver maple trees and I have a couple of sugar maples.

posted on Fri, 09/01/2006 - 1:45pm
Elisabeth's picture
Elisabeth says:

Through researching an answer to your question, I have found numerous reputable sites stating people run into problems when selecting to rid their homes of boxelder bugs. For some, power washing is a success while others use insecticides. Some people even resort to vacuuming to rid their house of boxelder bugs!

I have emailed Professor Ascerno, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota, and asked him your question. I will post back when I have an answer.

posted on Tue, 09/05/2006 - 2:44pm
Elisabeth's picture
Elisabeth says:

Jeff Hahn from the University of Minnesota's Department of Entomology replied:

"The warm spring and dry summer we experienced were very conducive to boxelder bug numbers and they are well above normal in abundance this year. This is why you are seeing so many. While they prefer boxelder trees, they do not feed exclusively on them; they also may feed on maple or ash seeds. Eggs can be on the ground where seeds occur. In years like this one, when numbers are so high, eggs can be laid just about anywhere as food resources become more competitive. Boxelder
bug numbers have been noticeable since late June. I know what you are seeing as I have large numbers of the nymphs around my house.

Controlling them will be difficult, as anything you do will be just temporary. Soapy water can kill them (test a small spot before treating the entire house to be sure that it doesn't
stain). There are many insecticides that are registered for use around the exterior of homes which you can use. You will have to repeat any application you make. Otherwise it is a matter of waiting for colder weather to arrive. Immature boxelder bugs will not survive the winter."

posted on Fri, 09/08/2006 - 7:41am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hello bockelder bugs are gross!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sun, 02/18/2007 - 2:15pm
Nicole's picture
Nicole says:

I have the same problem as MikeB. I even found some eggs on my couch pillow. I freaked out and threw the whole couch out, wondering where else they have layed their eggs.

posted on Wed, 09/06/2006 - 5:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I would search the whole house and see if there are more eggs

posted on Fri, 02/16/2007 - 11:03am
MikeB's picture
MikeB says:

Thanks for the additional research. In the mean time I've been working to eliminate their food supply by using the bagging attachment on my mower and sucking up the maple seeds. I've also been blowing the seeds off the front stoop and driveway daily. The numbers seem to be down, but it may just be the cooler weather over the last week too.

posted on Fri, 09/08/2006 - 10:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Your wrong

posted on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 6:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

And you posted that comment about two years after the original poster. Point?

posted on Fri, 10/31/2008 - 9:28am
Brianna age 6's picture
Brianna age 6 says:

Boxelder bugs r invading our backyard!

posted on Fri, 09/15/2006 - 9:45am
Special Ted's picture
Special Ted says:

I am being overrun by these Boxelder bugs. I seem to have them in my shop year around. In the winter months they seem to come out and fly around in the shop when I turn on the heat. There is no plant life in this shop and it was built 3 years ago so I can't imagine a food source of timber rot or mold or???. Also I am wondering if they are canibals. I find piles of body shells in the corners of the service door(this happens to be the only source of natural light)which I suspect they may be attracted to.
Do Boxelder bugs go dormant and re-animate the following season?

I am concerned that they have gotten into the attic of my house. Has anyone noticed signs of them surviving if not thriving inside of a house?

Thanks for any input.

posted on Wed, 09/27/2006 - 11:00am
harmony's picture
harmony says:

We too have had hundreds of these bugs coming indoors. The Box elder trees were removed two years ago but the bugs persisted. I got serious about it this Spring. Next to the house, under the porch and under some leaves the bugs were simply teeming. Hundreds and hundreds of them. I was using a can of Wasp spray to get rid of two Wasp nests next to the back door and when I saw this infestation of Boxelder bugs I just started spraying! It worked! I then cleared out all the grasses and leaves any where near the South side of the house and just sprayed. It was obviously their nesting place. I covered them with spray! The next day, the bugs were gone...not ONE remained.
Now that fall has begun a few have returned. I have once again used the Wasp spray all around the edges of the house and the windows and the areas they were nesting. I use a mask and gloves.
I know it is a strong chemical but I tried ALL of the options that were less aggressive with no success. There are no flowering plants near, just ornamental grasses so I am hoping no bees will be affected.

posted on Thu, 10/09/2008 - 5:44am
Battling the Box's picture
Battling the Box says:

We were too late. We've got them by the thousands, literally, all through and on our home. They are inside our siding, throughout our garage and attic space. We have too many tress around our property to fight them. DO they go dormant in the winter? Are there any bug bomb (gas) type products that will kill them. We've spraying the house with soapy water every day and they die, but are instantly replaced. HEEELLLLPPP!

posted on Tue, 10/03/2006 - 8:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this place is cool

posted on Wed, 10/18/2006 - 11:53am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My girlfriend's apartment building (in East Lansing, Michigan) is infested. Interestingly, they seem to stay in the common areas -- we haven't seen any inside the apartment proper. Plus, it only seems to be her building -- other nearby buildings are not affected.

I sprayed the doors and windows of the main entrance with Raid, and that seemed to get rid of most of them. (Of course,t he very next day we had a cold snap, which no doubt had a lot to do with their disappearance, too.)

-- Gene

posted on Thu, 10/19/2006 - 2:29pm
Dr. John's picture
Dr. John says:

I just bought a home in East Lansing, and am infested, too. Never had them when on the westside of Lansing. I kill a couple in my home every day; I realize this is very modest compared to many of you, but they are still disgusting. And I hate the smell they make when they are smashed (it is, undeniably, somewhat satisfying to stomp them).

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 7:12pm
harrington's picture
harrington says:

I live in East Lansing too at Berrytree and they are absolutely disgusting and EVERYWHERE. All over my windows and i've been spraying the cracks on my door and windows with soapy water and they are still getting inside. I so far am only killing a few everyday, but I have NO clue how they are getting inside....this is a pain in the butt...

posted on Sun, 11/01/2009 - 4:22pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

In my house there are literally thousands!!! It scares me really bad. I once counted 60 all at the same time. I alos vacuumed up 37 of them , which I thought was unusually alot. I think that they can somehow liv ein my house because they seem to be striving in it. Please somebody help me get rid of these nasty bugs!!

posted on Sun, 11/12/2006 - 8:54pm

There are THOUSANDS! of them on the siding & HUNDREDS! inside the house. Most die within a few days but some last all winter in the house. Just vacuum them up.

posted on Sat, 11/18/2006 - 7:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I would like to know why box elder bugs sit on my garage door when they can be in all different places besides there but i think it has something to do with the color of the garage it is white

posted on Wed, 11/29/2006 - 11:37am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have lots of them on my garage door.

posted on Sat, 12/02/2006 - 9:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i hate boxilder bugs

posted on Sun, 12/03/2006 - 8:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that they are really nice and harmless they are the cutest bug on earth.

P.S. they make good pets!

posted on Wed, 12/27/2006 - 2:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 7:28am
HB's picture
HB says:

They are cannibalistic.
The pretty red ones are the young, then they turn gray, I am turning gray too with what's left of my hair after pulling most of it out, out of despair.
I'm on the Gulf coast of FL and our seasons are different.
There are no box elder trees in the area, but the little buggers look like a biblical infestation here.

posted on Sat, 12/12/2009 - 5:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

OK> you can have all of them.come and get them !!!!

posted on Thu, 03/10/2011 - 8:46pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

they make GREAT pets! whether or not you want them... NOT

US northeast, spring2011, these bad boys have been springing to life indoors, but come fall I now know all about them, and what to do. yesterday I didn't even know for sure what kind of bugs they were. Thanks all for the help.
Dave T. NY

posted on Fri, 03/18/2011 - 10:31am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

these bugs are pretty much harmless. i have no idea why people are so scared of them and stuff.

posted on Sun, 12/03/2006 - 1:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Because they are pest. You don't see just a few, I have hundreds. I read somewhere that they are attracted to yellow and guess what color my house is.....yellow. They cover the front of my house on the south and southwest and east where the sun hits. They are gross....I think they are such a nucience I spray them with soapy water and I could stand out there all day and spray with soapy water and they just keep coming back! They get under our siding and shudders door mat, mulch, or just lay around all over the porch and our garage door. We are selling our house and I am afraid that they will not the sell...who wants a house with bugs all over it.

posted on Thu, 05/03/2007 - 7:38am
AnonymousBeth's picture
AnonymousBeth says:

I am sick and tired of them crawling all over me when I am trying to eat, sleep, and just plain do ANYTHING!! Since I woke up roughly 8 hours ago I have killed approximately 20 of the creatures that have decided to crawl on me. I can't do anything anymore without one of these bugs crawling on me. They are nasty and gross, their poo stains, and they stink. But, if you'd like, I'll gladly save them in a jar and ship them to you and you can have the "pleasure" of dealing with them.....

posted on Mon, 08/17/2009 - 4:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i have boxelder bugs all over the front of my house. i didnt know what they were so i looked them up. tonight i get woke up but one biting my arm! they were mostly outside but now they're making their way in. do i call extermnator or is there a cheaper remedy and what (if anything) will happen where i got bit? besides not being able to sleep for fear another one will crawl on me!

posted on Sat, 10/10/2009 - 12:23am
Stephanie Peterson's picture
Stephanie Peterson says:

I want to know how boxelder bugs fit into the ecosystem as prey. Are they an "island" of their own in the food chain? Could there be a ecologically responsible expansion of a population of predators to naturally control the boxelder bug population? What research has been done on this idea?

posted on Wed, 12/27/2006 - 1:53pm
katrozzi's picture
katrozzi says:


As far as I know, the Preying Mantis is it's natural predator. I'm not sure what else is. I too have an infestation of these this year, and I will be switching to diazanon. I'm tired of the natural way.

posted on Tue, 10/09/2007 - 1:55pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

My husband sprays diazanon around the outside perimiter of our home 2-3 times a year and we still get them. But, compared to a lot of other places it is only a few. We no longer have masses. Maybe the spring spray kills at least some of the eggs. We do seem to have less each year.

posted on Sun, 10/12/2008 - 10:26am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Around my house, through out much of the fall we had woodpeckers constantly pecking at the boxelder bugs. Unfortunately I don't know how much they really helped as it still seems, and I guess is very likely, they are coming out of the wood work.

posted on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 11:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that we already use enough chemicals (eg. on food, for house cleaning, etc.) so why should we use more on box elder bugs. The toxins used to exterminate the bugs are probably mre harmful thatn the bugs themselves.

posted on Thu, 12/28/2006 - 4:30pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We live in North Georgia and have never seen these boxelders before!!!! We have them all over the side of our house and they get in every night! What to do, what to do??????

posted on Thu, 01/04/2007 - 6:12pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I know someone who has them all over their house are they of harm to you? What happens if you are sleeping and you have them crawling on you? What if you eat one or they crawl into your ears.

posted on Wed, 01/24/2007 - 2:12pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

They're harmless. They don't bite, they don't sting. One crawling on you while you're sleeping, wouldn't cause anything more than a ticklish sensation. I don't think that anyone's studied the toxicity of ingesting large numbers of boxelder bugs, but I'm sure one won't kill you. And I suppose one could crawl into your ear, but since they don't bite or scratch, it would likely just crawl right back out again.

posted on Wed, 01/24/2007 - 3:34pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You all seem content to say boxelder bugs are harmless - well I was just woke up by one that crawled into my ear. I dealt with it for about 20 minutes - it sounded like my ear was popping and I started to think I had wax issues until he finally crawled back out. I can't even sleep again now - I AM DESPERATE TO GET RID OF THESE BUGS!!! My 3 yr old daughter woke up screaming two nights ago because one was crawling on her arm and I can hardly get her to sleep in her bed now. These bugs are taking over our lives at this point.

posted on Fri, 03/30/2007 - 2:36am
Lochinvar's picture
Lochinvar says:

Boxelder bugs are certainly a nuisance. Using dishwashing liquid mixed with water will kill them immediately. Once I had hundreds of the little buggers on the south side of my home. I filled my gallon sprayer with water and I added about a fourth cup of dishwashing liquid (Palmolive or Ajax seem to work well) and I began spraying. Most of them were headed to bug heaven before I was finished.

posted on Fri, 07/20/2007 - 12:30pm
Seth's picture
Seth says:

Thank you Lochinvar! Thank you soo much!

The outside of my house has been infested with box elder beetles. I didnt know what to do. Terminix pest service came out and told me that there was nothing that really worked to kill them, and that I should not worry about them because they will most likely stay outside and not bother us. We'll they WERE bothering me! They covered my deck! You couldn't take two steps without crushing twenty of them!

I tried filling my gallon sprayer with water and dish soap like you said and it worked wonders! I'd say the big ones lasted about 10 seconds, but most of them died in about 5 seconds. I felt like "Rambo" out there, killing by the thousands. It was quite fulfilling. I think im going to start spraying once a month to keep them away. The only drawback was that the dish soap dissolved my deck sealer, and now i have to re-seal it. Oh well, $15.00 and an hour of spraying will seal it right back up! Small price to pay if you ask me.

Thanks again!

posted on Mon, 09/10/2007 - 3:32pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You can use a new product called box elder bgone. It works better than any soap and doesnt stain like soaps do. Also wont hurt the deck sealer either. Ive used it and its GREAT!!

posted on Sun, 08/17/2008 - 9:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Ummm...BS they don't bite! I have been bitten by three just today! While the bite is not toxic, it sure does sting. That is certainly enough of a bother for me!

posted on Tue, 05/24/2011 - 9:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

They did. Spent all night in ER. Pulled three live ones out if her ear with a lot of blood and excruciating pain she had.

posted on Sat, 06/21/2014 - 10:00am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We have seen them by the millions on a south wall at Alexandria MINN.

posted on Thu, 02/15/2007 - 2:17pm
wyatt's picture
wyatt says:

once at my house 2 boxelder bugs came from my grandpas house in my dads car and now every summer they comeback in the hundreds. i hate it because when i open the garage door with the number pad i kill about 5 every time i push a number

posted on Thu, 07/24/2008 - 7:02pm
Deanne Marie's picture
Deanne Marie says:

I have an system cut in around the perimeter of our basement called the Beaver is simply to let any water from the inside roll to the out sides of the basements walls and drain into the main drain to lead out to the sump pump drain tube. Is this were these boxelder bugs can get in as well???? I vacuum about 300 a day off my walls, steps, ceilings, cords and everything! They dont even just look for flat surfaces! These guys are acrobats as well!!! Any more suggestions?

posted on Sun, 02/25/2007 - 12:22pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Are they ok to feed to my pet Bearded Dragon?

posted on Sun, 02/25/2007 - 12:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't know why people are freaked out by boxelder bugs! They've actually helped my daughter get over her fear of insects. We find about one a day somewhere in our house and pick them up to put them outside. They tickle a bit when they're on you but very gentle. I'm not saying I love having them inside but really don't want to kill them. I'd be much more concerned about other insects such as as mosquitos, bees, wasps etc. They can be dangerous and spread diseases.

posted on Sat, 03/03/2007 - 9:40pm
weeks's picture
weeks says:

Amen to that. My 6 year old daughter was terrified of bugs and spiders. Now it's not so bad. She'll never let them crawl on her but she doesn't scream every time there is a bug in her room. This is all due to the Box Elder bug which I've shown her you can hold and let crawl on you. My 18 month old boy picks them up all the time. He crushes them between his fingers, he eats them, laughs when they crawl on his arm. He tries to hug them but more often than not his head smashes them. ;) It's great entertainments and he's never gotten sick from them. They are harmless!

As far as keeping them out of your have to seal the windows and doors and dryer vents, etc. with caulk because the bugs will go in there at night to sleep and then in the morning when they want to go outside to sun themselves again they go the wrong way and end up inside your walls, etc. It's worth the investment to caulk your house anyway because it saves on your heating/cooling bill. A good way to find drafts is to hold up a think piece of thread by all the places listed above and if it moves you know there's a crack to be sealed.

Anyway... that's all.

posted on Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:29pm
AnonymousMarissa's picture
AnonymousMarissa says:

If you think you have probelems, you should see my house! It's full of those litte creatures!


posted on Sun, 03/04/2007 - 1:49pm
katwoman's picture
katwoman says:

Oh my gosh these creepy crawlie things are going to make me crazy!!! I am going to kill them.. I don't think there is nothing wrong with killing these things, they aren't endangered and I sure don't want them in my house! I am going to destroy these thinggys.....

posted on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 8:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

at my house we get box elder bugs and they like our house because its really warm and the suns shines alot.

posted on Sun, 06/08/2008 - 11:54am
Milce Ekim's picture
Milce Ekim says:

Well, they are still life! Show some respect for the poor arthropods!!!

posted on Sat, 03/10/2007 - 10:54am
SG's picture
SG says:

Milce - you obviously don't have a clue about the scope of the problem. I live in the Portland, OR area. In October, we see 100,000s of them on our house. It's like a Hitchcock scene - the house literally swarms with them. The problem is their population is exploding beyond normal measures. From October to May, they'll be swarming the house. When it gets cold, they climb into any nook and cranny, jamming 1000s of them in a big swarming mass. Any time the day warms up above 40 degrees, they start crawling out. There will be so many thousands of them in any given area on south and west facing walls, that you won't be able to stand still. Regardless that they don't bite, it's still an insanely gross experience. I'm a guy ... a big burly, guys guy. I ate worms and bugs as a kid to gross out the girls. I served in the USMC. I've seen war time. Yet, they gross me out big time. You ever have hundreds of them crawling all over you, swarming in your nose, your eyes, in your ears? You open a window and 20 minutes later, youv'e got a hundred of them in your bedroom. For some reason, they love the back of my neck. I can't tell you how many times I've woken up with them crawling on the back of my neck. I've gone to work, been sitting at my desk, and then one crawls up on my neck - it had hitchhiked a ride with me to work, then crawled on my neck. I was having sex with my wife once, and she had 3 of them on her legs. It just plain freaks you out after a while. We can't enjoy our patios because there are thousands of them in the way. We can't have guests over because it's just plain disgusting, and your friends, no matter how much you explain it's just a bug infestation, nothing to do with your hygiene, they all think your a sick S.O.B. and won't come by any more. Ever have one crawl across your dinner plate? I'm not making any of these up. They are truly a pest by shear fact of their numbers. Plus they shit all over the window ledges, and you have to wash the windows and ledges every week or two to get rid of all of the little brown shit stains they leave.

I will kill them. I will decimate them. I will murder every last one of these bastards. I invest in real estate, and I've had two properties that swamred the houses. You simply can't sell a house from November until April at best since no one in their right mind will buy a house who's exterior walls are crawling like they're alive. Ever see a hysterical house wife scream and smack her husband, demanding they leave immediately, just when you hoped to finally close the deal on a property? We're talking 6,000 to 8,000 sq ft mansions. Very swank property. It's cost me tens of thousands if not more in lost money.

Blow torches, chemicals, soap sprays - I don't care what it takes, I will eradicate them at the first signs. I have a guy that works for me now that just goes around once a week to all of the properties in my portfolio and sprays them with soap water every week to keep the numbers down. This is war. Not one I'm going to lose.

Pay attention to these postings - they're telling a story of people completely fed up and grossed out with the infestations.

posted on Sun, 03/02/2008 - 6:10pm
art's picture
art says:

SG is right. I also live in Oregon and these box elder beetles are pests. My house has rough sawen horizontal cedar siding and these guys get underneath the siding and every other nook and cranny. The warmth of the sun brings them out. they mostly like the south and west facing sides. There are many maple and ash trees on the property. What I do to get rid of them is vacuum them when come out to sun themselves. To coax more out of their hiding places I tap on the wall, they crawl out and get vacuumed. It's a two story house so I have to climb a ladder to get many of them. I did this October and Nov. 2007. I thought I got them all. No. there must millions of them. They'er back, end of Feb. now Mar. 2008 I have vacuumed thousands more of them. Other people have written in that they vacuum. But have not said what they do with them after they vacuum. I bury them alive. Although many are dead from the trauma of the vacuum some are still crawling around. Shovel, dump vacuum container, cover with dirt and grass, tamp down. I really hate killing the poor things. But when a dozen or two get inside the house, it's time for them to go. It's real buggy when I watch TV an.d one falls from the ceiling onto my head, face, chest. Chemicals are a last resort. I wish the birds would eat more of them. So the vacuum will be getting a workout for the next few months. If anyone has a better idea, without chemicals, let us know. Maybe biological?

posted on Tue, 03/11/2008 - 7:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I feel like I"ve finally lost it, but I put a couple quarts of water and some dishsoap in the bottom of our wet/dry shopvac. I keep the motor part far away from the hose & don't plug it in until the top is sealed on the canister & the water is put away. I realize WATER AND ELECTRICITY DON'T MIX. I've been vacuuming them up. If the trauma of the ride through the hose doesn't kill them, they drop into the soapy water. I have yet to see a live one inside the vacuum. I dump the soapy mess out onto an obscure spot at the back of our yard, rinse out the shopvac & call it a day, again, unplug the motor & put the motor and extension cord away before bringing out the hose.

I'm hoping not to have to resort to chemicals as I have raspberries growing in my backyard also. I was spraying them with soapy water & they just didn't seem to be dying.

posted on Mon, 08/10/2009 - 9:28pm
Bug Doc's picture
Bug Doc says:

You should post a picture of the problem, so its true scope can be seen by those who are used to only one or two, and think these bugs are harmless.

posted on Thu, 12/03/2009 - 1:42am
Milce Ekim's picture
Milce Ekim says:

wow. I obviously do not understand the problem at all. the most I got at my house was a population of approximately 50 which is by now completely gone, and has been for a while. I was completely unaware that the problem was this large, and I apologize for misunderstanding.

posted on Fri, 08/06/2010 - 10:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We have a cedar shingle house and these bugs are everywhere!!!! It's only March in Ohio and already my house is covered. I am constantly killing these bugs, they are all over my kitchen which faces South. It wouldn't be so bad if there wasn't so many of them. You can't come in through my back door without bringing several in with you. I wish there was something mor you could do about these pests!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 03/10/2007 - 2:39pm
Louise's picture
Louise says:

These bugs are driving me nuts! I have little girls at my house for my daughters birthday and they are freaking out! I feel like I have roaches. Once they are inside your house, how do you get rid of them?

posted on Sat, 03/10/2007 - 7:37pm
Scared out of my pants!!!!'s picture
Scared out of my pants!!!! says:

You all are psyco!!!( but in a good way !!! :) Those bugs are gross and annoying someone needs to make soemthing to get rid of these annyoing things. They make me sick. Anyways what do we do just let them live in our house and scare people all the time!!!

posted on Sat, 03/10/2007 - 8:15pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Suck it up, bugs are bugs, and there always going to be there...besides, dragonflys eat misquitoes [sp?]

posted on Sun, 03/11/2007 - 1:20pm
Suzj's picture
Suzj says:

I just came in from outside and I have hundreds of these box elders on my garage door and around the foundation of the garage. I am on the computer looking for a way to kill them, nip them in the bud so to speak. This is the first or second really warm day here in Northern Wisconsin. We moved into this house in the fall and had them then in the same spot. Do they "winter" and come back in the Spring? It appears that they are emerging from the crack between the drive and garage foundation. I have a cedar sided house with shaker I doomed? Will they live there all winter? I am waiting for it to get dark and I am going to pour bleach in the cracks. From what I have read above, they appear to be indestructible as are the asian beetles which I have had minor experiences with. I did see several pesticides at various site claiming to be the answer but I would love to hear what others have done. I too am disgusted by these little guys, harmless or not...THEY ARE GROSS! If you have any answers, please post. Thanks! Suz in Wisconsin

posted on Mon, 03/12/2007 - 3:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I am from MN and have been going crazy all spring, I have been killing literally hundreds of them every day. We have them in all shapes and sizes, I have never seen anything like it. I spray them with Dawn dish soap mixed in water, it kills them on contact but they seem to reproduce at incredible rates. It is becoming an obsession.

posted on Tue, 06/19/2007 - 7:47pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have been to a number of sites to try to find a way to get rid of these gross little things!!!!

The first thing tomorrow I'm off to the store for caulking for the windows (inside and out), spray foam for any cracks in the foundation and siding, a sprayer for soap/water mixture, and a few cans of Raid couldn't hurt either!!

I'm sooo sick of these things, I have tons outside and luckily I have only found a few inside. Just about every site I have gone to says 'oh just vacuum them up'. Give me a break!!! I don't want them inside at all!!!

Hopefully this will help....the next step is to chop down, put up by the roots, and/or burn down that damn Boxelder tree in my neighbor's yard. Okay, sorry that was a little extreme, I'm really not the crazy lady next door! I just want these bugs DEAD!!!

posted on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 9:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


I agree. We just bought a house and a stipulation we required the seller to remove the tree from in front of the house. Well, they are still there and I'm ready to call the bank and tell them we are going to do a voluntary foreclosure. I've been there and seen them and it's disgusting. They look like roaches with wings. I've read so many websites on how to keep them down. Well, I WANT THEM GONE. It's terrible when you buy a house and would rather have your credit go to toilet than worry about these pests. Why buy a house when you can't live it in or even have company over? There has got to be a more permanent way or getting rid of these bugs. Are they attracted to certain colors of the home? Do I have to paint it purple or black to keep them off the house? We had locusts in MD one year and the state used a chemical and got rid of them. I'm about ready to go to the city where we just purchased this home from and have them do something about them. You can't live this way and I shouldn't be put out of a home I haven't even moved in yet because of these darn things. I'm sorry but, a vacuum cleaner and dish liquid is not a fix. It's a temp solution and just to say they aren't that bad when you come from a home pests free it is gross. I'm seriously debating on foreclosure and let the darn things have the house.

posted on Sun, 05/04/2008 - 7:29am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Well, anyone who is saying that having these bugs in your house is no big deal certainly doesn't have an infestation in their house! Everytime I walk by our west-facing patio door, it is covered with bugs, and there's more crawling across the carpet towards the couches, and more flying around. This is not the occassional fly or spider kind of issue. It is horrible.

posted on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 11:44pm
brown's picture
brown says:

I live in Michigan and it is only March and the house is full of these awful bugs!!! This morning when I was getting my 8 month old dressed, one was crawling on his neck. I am freaking out. I don't want to use pesticides because I don't want my child to be harmed by them. Soapy water does not work. I have tried everything. I am walking around killing them all the time, PLEASE HELP!!!!!

posted on Thu, 03/15/2007 - 1:38pm
Alicia's picture
Alicia says:

We also have the bugs and they are obnoxious but we have been able to deal with them. We have found that by spraying all the trees in our yard with a non toxic soap and water helps slightly with the population in your house.

posted on Sat, 03/17/2007 - 12:17pm
Louise's picture
Louise says:

Ok, so everyone hates the bugs! What gets rid of them? I don't want to "control" the infestation, I want them GONE! I probably kill 10-20 a day and it's not even warm yet. Has anyone gotten rid of them? How?? HELP!

posted on Thu, 03/22/2007 - 7:27pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

HELP! It's an invasion, they are everywhere, taking over every space they can. I personally think that we are doomed. I wonder if they are good for anything? If a person could come up with at least one good idea to market and sell them, well, that would probably be the only way to get rid of them..... I would probably pay money for that.

posted on Fri, 03/23/2007 - 1:25pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Ok basically everyone says they don't like them. I don't either. Has anyone been successfull in getting rid of them? I have not.

posted on Fri, 03/23/2007 - 4:55pm
frank's picture
frank says:

i thought the object of the month is kind of fascinating with the falcon head.

posted on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 9:15am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

who are "they"?

posted on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 12:45pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I also live in Wisconsin and they are on my house by the hundreds. I went out and bought a 5 gallon sprayer and filled it with water and 1/3 cup of Dawn dish soap. I just walk around the house everyday and spray them. They die within minutes. But they will be back so you have to do it everyday.

Good Luck

posted on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 1:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

blaine, minn. they are here by the thousands. only solution in the house is fly swaters. outside, soap, soap, soap. rake up your leaves, burn them. buzzing in blaine.

posted on Sat, 03/24/2007 - 3:37pm
Joyce/Rome WI's picture
Joyce/Rome WI says:

Boxelder bugs
The south side of our home is covered, along with the bark mulch around the house. They have also entered the house and we are constantly killing them inside. We also have a few large boxelder trees in the area. I spray the bugs and trees with soap and water, but its an unending job. I am thinking of spraying with amonia. Has anyone tried that? Are there insecticide products that can be sprinkled around the foundation to keep them out?

posted on Mon, 03/26/2007 - 1:21pm
Marcia's picture
Marcia says:

Yup,,,that's what I've got too. Lots of them! But they don't bother me, and I try to ignore them. They just don't look too good crawling across champagne colored carpeting. And no one likes to admit their house has "bugs". Just vacuun them up or flush them.

What I REALLY find annoying is a huge blooming of fish flies in the summers when they're having a major hatch. Also (not a bug, but also a natural occurrence), when the cottenwood fluff is so heavy it looks like snowdrifts rolling into the garage. It seems to be attracted to the air-conditioning unit too.

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 2:08pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

kill the box elders, that is the goal!

posted on Tue, 03/27/2007 - 6:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I'm getting ready to chop down my 3 huge maples because I CAN'T DEAL WITH IT! Those of you who say they aren't a problem are NOT LISTENING! My daughter is scared to go in her own back yard because they land in her hair, the grass is TEEMING with them, and no amount of dilute dishwashing liquid (I keep a hose end sprayer full of Dawn for easy killing) does any more than a momentary fix (it's good for my soul.)

I refuse to move, so the trees will have to go.

posted on Mon, 04/02/2007 - 5:59pm
Wayned's picture
Wayned says:

I'm amused by those who say boxelder bugs are gross. Personally, I think they look really neat. And they are gentle. You can pick them up and they will stay on your hand until you put them down or blow them off. They are harmless and have never been bitten. And the fact that your daughter freaks out by them landing in her hair, you need to educate her that they will not hurt her. You are probably part of the problem since you seem to be freaked out yourself. Don't get me wrong. I can sympathize with those who are getting hundreds of them in their house. That is a bit too much of a good thing. But you are simply complaining about them flying around outside. Seems a bit absurd to cut down perfectly good maple trees just to get rid of harmless bugs. Sounds like you have a nice country property. If so, you got to expect more bugs then in the city. And you will most likely see more birds as well. Enjoy them instead of getting your nickers all in a twist. (just a bit of English humor, and no, I am not English, just enjoy English comedy is all.) I'm also amused that someone said they would rather have an infestation of bees. Now that is an absurd thing to say.

posted on Wed, 02/13/2008 - 11:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If you cut down your maple trees you may be disappointed at the results. We cut down 6 box elder trees in our yard 3 years ago, and this year our infestation is worse than ever. I wonder if we took away their home so they decided to use ours!

posted on Sat, 04/19/2008 - 11:21am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

fabulous, we need more of the pesty bugs!

posted on Sun, 04/08/2007 - 1:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Interestingly enough, we have cedar siding which was covered by vinyl. We have removed the vinyl. These bugs were living under the vinyl siding and there were thousands of them. All over the house every time the sun came out. For the time being they are gone. I hope it stays that way.

We have had them on the house for years. They did get inside sometimes, but it wasn't ever a real problem, just a nuisance with a handful every night.

If you mix up a strong solution of dish soap in a spray bottle it will kill them when sprayed directly on them. No need for the strong chemicals, it is quite effective.

posted on Mon, 04/16/2007 - 9:40pm
boxelder catcher's picture
boxelder catcher says:

I just caught a boxelder, they aren't bad but are cute!!!!!!!

posted on Sun, 04/22/2007 - 9:22am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

SUCCESS!! We went to Home Depot and bought insecticide and a sprayer. We sprayed the outside of the house - where the brick meets the siding, along the roof shingles, around the windows, around the gutters and downspouts, etc, etc. We did it about three weeks in a row. It's been a month and so far only a few box elders in the house. I'm sure we'll need to do it again but it's 99.9% better!

posted on Mon, 04/30/2007 - 6:06am
GabbyJim's picture
GabbyJim says:

At LAST! After reading, and reading, and reading - someone says they found a cure! *ALAS* **SOB** They didn't say WHAT insecicide they used!

OH! WOE IS ME! Now I'll have to continue my search.

HOWEVER, I believe I am powerfully blessed! I recently rented an old house that has been vacant for - by some reports - four YEARS. There were dead Boxelder beetle husks in the air ducts by the hundreds (not thousands!) and a few bugs inside the house - and hundreds more crawling around the attic vents - and some living inside the overhang of the ship-lap siding. But I don't seem to have NEAR the problem that SOME folks are having. Perhaps these critters don't like Utah's high altitude and wet winter?

None the less, I find them annoying. They cluster on the window that faces south when it warms up (this is mid October and it's just beginning to have alternating days of warm and cold weather - with the occasional rain / snow shower).

I keep a "Dirt Devil" handy and suck them up when I seen them crawling around the inside of the house - I have a part time temporary job at a Home Depot store, so I'll ask the lawn and garden trouper and try to get an answer.

Meanwhile, I give thanks for my blessings - and for a Wal*Mart Dirt Devil that only cost me something on the order of $15 over a year ago. (Yeah, it says don't wash the filter - replace it - but replacements are expensive and washing seems to be harmless - so long as it is completely dry before putting it back in. -- I suppose some day it will fall apart or get clogged beyond washing, but until then.......)

posted on Tue, 10/16/2007 - 7:29am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Did the box elders ever completely disappear? I read your posting and wonder what you used to spray them. They are everywhere in my house and I can't sleep!

posted on Fri, 02/13/2009 - 12:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

ohmygosh! boxelder bugs are SO disgusting! i have some at my house, and they are nasty! i hope that they die forever

posted on Mon, 04/30/2007 - 10:23am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think box eldr bugsare gross.

posted on Sun, 05/06/2007 - 10:48am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I don't like box elders

posted on Sun, 05/06/2007 - 12:49pm
Bethany's picture
Bethany says:

I don't like those bugs either. We live in Minnesota and we have them on our house too!

posted on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 12:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have a problem with these bugs too. Mainly outside, luckily I only have a few inside the house. This is what I have done that seems to work to knock down the population.

Every couple of weeks I spray the outside of the house where the bugs are the most with a can of Raid. I also spray down all the bugs on the south side of the house with the garden hose everyday, except for the day when I sprayed the Raid. I did this for a couple of months and there are a lot less bugs around!! I have found only a few dead bugs inside the house between the window screen and the window. I also caulked all gaps in the siding and around the windows on the south side of the house. Doing this is a lot cheaper than some of the insecticide products out there, a can of Raid and a tube of caulk cost a few dollars and spraying down the house just takes time.

I'm sure this is an on going thing until my neighbor cuts down his tree. But at least the Box Elder bugs did not get the best of me this year! And I don't have to deal with them inside the house any more! Hope this helps....good luck!

posted on Mon, 05/28/2007 - 5:33pm
Aidan's picture
Aidan says:

I have a female Boxelder tree in my yard so I am used to Boxelder bugs.

posted on Fri, 06/08/2007 - 10:01am
Jordyn's picture
Jordyn says:

I hate bugs and I think boxelder bugs are not very cool. I always wake up to find at least 3 on my pillow.

posted on Fri, 06/08/2007 - 10:05am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have a female Box Elder Tree in my small backyard, my neighbor has the male tree. We have the worst infestation ever, they are everywhere, and I cannot spray the Dawn quick enough to kill all the herds, living on various parts of the fencing, ground, base of our house, and it is really starting to tick me off. I am tired of cleaning them out of my pool. I would love to cut the tree down, but it is the only tree we have to shade our house. I just dont get it, where are they all still coming from, I have killed numerous, adults while mating, larva, and immature herds, but still more just keep congregating. I need a new plan, any suggestions?

posted on Mon, 06/11/2007 - 1:48pm
Anonymous1977's picture
Anonymous1977 says:

You need to cut down that female tree. It is not the male tree in your neighbors yard, it is your tree. That is their food supply, and they will continue to multiply by the thousands, until you cut it down. You'll just have to plant a new tree - but from what I hear - do NOT plant a maple, as that is an alternative food source for them.

posted on Tue, 03/11/2008 - 11:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

No one has mentioned any damage that these bugs have on the trees. I found an infestation of them at the base of a 15 year old King Crimson maple that died two winters ago. Could they have been the demise of the tree? I have an unbelievable maple tree several yards away and I can't tell you how awful it would be if we lost that tree. Do these bugs kill the trees they eat?

posted on Sat, 06/16/2007 - 6:57pm
bryan kennedy's picture

Upon my first searches I found some sites say that box elder bugs cause little damage to trees. But the entry for these suckers on Wikipedia says that when their, "population soars, they can damage useful shade trees." Unfortunately none of these entries list definitive sources for these claims.

This lead me to look a little further for some more authoritative information. The state of California's Integrated Pest Management Program seemed like they ought to know a thing or two about these bugs and their entry on boxelder bugs is very thorough. After reading through this I think I can safely say that boxelder bugs are likely not a big danger to trees. Here it is in their words:

The bugs do little damage to ornamental trees. They may occasionally cause puckering or distortion of fruit in commercial orchards, but this is rarely a significant problem. They do not injure people or pets, but when they come indoors they can be annoying and may spot curtains, furnishings, and clothing with their excrement. When crushed, they give off an offensive odor. They do not breed indoors. If trapped in basements or houses, they will eventually die.

They go on to say that the only real management concern they have about boxelder bugs is keeping them out of homes where people will be annoyed by them. Luckily they don't breed indoors so if they become trapped in your building they will eventually die out...but yeah then there is that awful smell....

Final conclusion, boxelder bugs, still somewhat evil, but not totally evil.

posted on Sun, 06/17/2007 - 11:22am
Mom5's picture
Mom5 says:

DO you know of boxelder bugs ever causing allergic reactions, if you smash them, does it cause eye soreness or itching?

posted on Tue, 02/26/2008 - 10:25am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I am in central Illinois. A few months ago in mid-April, we bought red mulch for a few plant bedding areas - - - I think they had the box elder eggs in them, because about a month ago, they began literally crawling with them. It is almost surreal to watch when the box elders are little because they are red and the mulch is red, and there are so many of them, it is almost as if the mulch is moving. I have used the dish soap method with some success, but have had to reapply a few days later. I am going to keep doing it every few days for the next few weeks and see if I can't get rid of them. They are only about two feet from my house and from the sounds of it, I don't want to have them there when it gets colder.

posted on Thu, 06/21/2007 - 8:57pm
Wendy's picture
Wendy says:

RED MULCH from Home Depot. Yes, last fall my husband purchased from Hojme Depot REd Mulch and that was the beginning. Where did you buy your mulch from?-Wendy

posted on Sat, 09/29/2007 - 2:31pm
birgit's picture
birgit says:

same here....Red mulch from Home VA

The Boxelderbug-B-gone works great...harmless as long as you do it early in the day to avoid beneficial insects.

I have two ancient maple trees...I cannot get rid of them...

posted on Wed, 06/17/2009 - 8:49am
lindsey's picture
lindsey says:

I live in north central illinois, and I have never seen such a display of over populating boxelder bugs. They have literally killed my established mum flower, they are in the process of killing my new Clematis plant. They have completely covered our siding and left brown marks all over it. We have shrubs all along our house and the bushes look like they have red berries on them from all the nymphs. I have washed away THOUSANDS of eggs around our door frames, all over our deck, all over our siding and windows. But it has done nothing to help with the problem. I find hundreds laying dead all over our rug in the basement. They are disgusting, taking over, and driving me insane.
We have 2 Hard Maple trees in our yard, and that's all. These trees do produce alot of "helicopters" or seedlings that fall to the ground and in our gutters. We have had a major population of maple seedlings this year also. I need some advice on what to do, to get rid of them. There are thousands all over our sidewalks crushed.
Also, the adult ones are always in pairs walking butt-to-butt. What is this??? SOMEONE HELP PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My lillies, mums, rose of sharon, bushes, clematis, roses, are alll completely covered in hords of them. Does anyone have any helpful advice, please?

posted on Sat, 06/30/2007 - 6:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


find an old spray bottle and fill it with about 30% dawn dish soap and about 70% H2O (WATER), spray directly on the bugs and they will sufficate and die in about sixty seconds!!! ~~*this works great.....they used to be all over my pool but i used this and now they are all gone*~~

posted on Tue, 07/03/2007 - 2:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Or you can just squish them, they are totally harmless to people, but you can choose what you would rather do; chemicals or no chemicals.

posted on Tue, 07/03/2007 - 2:38pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have thousands of these bugs which return to my commercial building every year, I have found that Jungle Jake soap which I purchase from a local store {fleet farm} kills them almost instantly. Much better results than any commercial insecticide has had. I understand that the fatty acids in the soap are what kill them so I'm sure that there are many other brands that would have the same results. Also, we are supposedly on year eight of a ten year cycle for these evil creatures so hopefully we will be done with them soon. To all you that say these bugs dont hurt anything, take a handfull of helicopter seeds, put them in your house , and see if you still feel the same way.

posted on Tue, 07/03/2007 - 7:51pm
Michele's picture
Michele says:

Anyone have any luck cleaning up the yucky black excrement of box elder bugs?? I have a wooden swingset covered in it! I have tried every chemical cleaner in my house, brillo pads, scotch pads, even bug and tar remover for your car. I've gotten some off, but its still nasty.

posted on Sun, 07/22/2007 - 12:13pm
Vince's picture
Vince says:

We've had a serious population of box elder bugs since we moved into our home in suburban Chicago 4 years ago. We should invest in Dawn dishwashing detergent because we use a LOT of it to kill these pests. We're taking a more proactive approach this season by spraying outside regularly and killing as many per day as possible, hoping that the southern side of our home isn't wallpapered with them come September. Has anyone tried this and have you had good results come fall? We literally kill thousands per day, either adults, young adults or newborns emerging from their eggs.

posted on Wed, 07/25/2007 - 4:23pm
Carla's picture
Carla says:

Also in suburban Chicago and 2 years ago they infested my kitchen..we live on 2nd floor of an old house and tree is in neighbor's yard (they don't seem to be bothered by them!). We killed 30-40 daily. They are BACK this summer and ARE mating INSIDE the house and laying their eggs on the blinds and I guess they don't need the tree for their life cycle. This year they're in every room and if you have guests that are unfamiliar with them they LOOK like cockroaches as they crawl along the wall or across the tabletop. They also seem more aggresive this year as they fly into our hair.

posted on Sun, 07/29/2007 - 9:23am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

More box elder bugs equals harder constrution times. My dad works outside alot, and he keeps getting them in his hair... They stick everywhere, so it's uncomfortable to sleep in campers and cabins.
Happy Trails!

posted on Tue, 08/07/2007 - 1:06pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

we have had them in our house for up to 6-8 mos after an infestation as described above in kansas last year.

posted on Tue, 08/07/2007 - 2:00pm
AUDRA's picture
AUDRA says:


posted on Thu, 08/09/2007 - 11:09am
Diane's picture
Diane says:

We live outside of Toronto, Canada and our neighbour has a box elder tree next to our fence. I have no problem with bugs in general, but when there's an infestation of them, it's more than a little hard to take. Yes, they do seem to thrive on white clad, southerly exposure buildings and a laundry detergent/water spray does them in. However, with the large numbers I'm talking about, they either fly or fall off the fence or scuttle away before I can kill them all (natch!), so I could devote all of my spare time attempting to rid my property. Next year, I'm going to take a blow torch to them (of course being careful of my wooden fence), in hopes of catching more of them at one time. I wonder if anyone knows of a "systemic" insecticide which could be watered into the box elder, thus invading their food supply?? Thanks!

posted on Fri, 08/10/2007 - 6:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in Waterford Ontario and I am over run as well with these bugs. I just read this whole column and it sounds utterly hopeless to get rid of them. I have found regularly spraying raid around my windows at least keeps them out of the house, but bbq-ing on my deck seems out of the question as that is the west side and they are awful to try to sit with!!!! August seems to be the time I see them start coming around..ugh!!!!Thank god they don't bite and are kind of stupid bugs in that all they do is crawl (and fly a bit) around and re-produce.....

posted on Mon, 08/13/2007 - 11:55am
Ellie's picture
Ellie says:

I live in northeast Wisconsin and this is the second year I've had the bugs. It is worse this year than last. Since April I have been spraying twice daily for about 1/2 hr. each time with a solution of 1/2 water, 1/2 laundry detergent (I buy the big 100 oz. bottles for $1.99 and have bought at least 8 bottles this year). The soap mixture kills them on contact, but they just keep coming. Yesterday I was in my driveway (they are worse there, it is a southern exposure) and a round clump, approximately 18" in diameter, plopped out of the tree above me, there were literally hundreds of them in that clump. It was so gross. I'm of the opinion if I keep spraying and just keep up with it that is all the less eggs that will be laid. Thank goodness they're not in my house (my house is newer and hopefully sealed pretty tight). I work for a municipal parks department and our City Forester who is a bug expert says there is absolutely no way to get rid of them permanently - and he is a bug expert - he has read everything he can for me. To hire an exterminator they would have to spray both sides of every leaf in your yard (which is impossible) and then your neighbor's trees will have them anyway. To cut down the trees won't help - they are already established. I swear after that big clump yesterday I want to sell my house - they're just so disgusting!

posted on Sun, 08/26/2007 - 5:00am
Maggie's picture
Maggie says:

I live in Peterborough Ontario. We have a huge Manitoba Maple tree at the side of our driveway. I have almost lost my mind over these bugs. One year I counted every one I killed inside my home. Five hundred and sixty-three. I became a professional at picking them off the curtains with a kleenex and snapping them. Last year they almost seemed distinct. This year they are back with a vengeance. I just read the board and made a soap/water solution. I killed hundreds. Now as I look out my front door, they are beginning to climb the wall again. I feel too grossed out to ask the neighbours if they are having a problem with them. Looks like soap/water is the cheapest way to go. There is an insecticide called Buggslayer but I have yet to find it in Ontario. If anyone finds this product, please post it.

posted on Wed, 09/05/2007 - 1:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in Central Ontario, and have lived in my home for exactly one year. Late this summer I was literally in shock when I checked out what looked like a huge red paint splatter on my shed. It was thousands of bugs!!
I took a sample of the bug to my local greenhouse where they were identified as box elders. My only two trees in my small backyard are box elders.
Needless to say, I have spent hours on the internet reading horror stories of infestations, and non- toxic preventatives ( I have a dog).
For the last month, I have been a one-woman army spraying dish detergent with my hose sprayer on these vile bugs at least three times a day. I have literally become "Rambo", and it is comsuming a huge majority of my time. It is also doing a number on me mentally, because I am terrified that they will invade my home. Yesterday I noticed a few around my patio door (which is off my bedroom!!), and I freaked! It has been rainy and a little cool the last few days, and the numbers I have been seeing are down. ..but they've GOT to be SOMEWHERE!! trees are coming down, because I CANNOT go throught this again. I am also finding their eggs under siding slats and in the grooves of my patio doors, and even on my patio umbrella! Yuck!!! Are there any new preventatives out there????

posted on Thu, 09/13/2007 - 11:09am
Jeffrey's picture
Jeffrey says:

Ok my boxelder horror story: I live about 20 min west of philadelphia, PA. I moved into my house last October 4th and there were tons of these bugs everywhere on the sides of my house. These horrible websites said dont worry they will leave in the winter. They dont, my wife and I were killing 30-40 a day in December and January and on, inside our house. In March I got 2 maple trees in my back yard removed. They continued. So i went on this website that sells this stuff called buggslayer. You spray it on the outside of your house and when the bugs land on it, they eat it and die. the day i got it in april they were out in full force. I sprayed my whole house, and no lie in 2 days they were gone. Now i wondered if it was a coincidence since it was getting hot. Well I just sprayed 2 weeks ago just to be sure. I have seen maybe 5 total outside, and they have not come back. It could be the spray or removal of trees, Im not sure. but so far so good.

posted on Thu, 09/13/2007 - 1:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have a massive amount of box elder bugs this year too. Seems to me that maybe the Creater has a reason for this. They are annoying, but I don't think chemicals are the answer. Think we've messed up the enviroment enough already. I hope they run there cycle, if its true that we are on the 8th year of a 10 year cycle its only a couple more years of these pests in such large numbers.

posted on Fri, 09/21/2007 - 12:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

we have many gross box elder bugs on our home and around our doors and windows. we cannot even open our dorr without one flying into our house. is there anyway of getting rid of these things?!

posted on Sun, 09/23/2007 - 1:17pm
latesha's picture
latesha says:

My tree trunk in my yard is almost colored with these boxelder bugs. Its amazing to look at I mean the whole tree is covered. My car has all this bug poop on it. what doyou guys think of this.

posted on Thu, 09/27/2007 - 6:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in Springfield Oregon and have had a large infestation for the past 6-7 years. Each fall about the end of September when the nights begin to cool, they collect by the 1000's on the south side of my white house. We have no box elder trees, but many other deciduous trees such as maple, alder, and cottonwood. They stick around until it gets really cold. Common insecticides such as diazanon don't work well. The dish soap mixture works OK but they just keep coming. Pyrethrin works OK but is expensive and not easy to find here. The past 2-3 years they've started to show up in the spring also but not as many and for a shorter time.

posted on Thu, 09/27/2007 - 8:21pm
Andrew's picture
Andrew says:

We've got lots of boxelder bugs. They're gross and creepy. Why do they only like one side of our house? How can we get rid of them?

posted on Sat, 09/29/2007 - 3:53pm
bryan kennedy's picture

I've noticed a big jump in the number of people looking for info on Boxelder bugs on this website. So if you have new 2007 stories to tell about these bugs head on over to this new post and leave a comment.

posted on Fri, 10/05/2007 - 10:07am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I'm pregnant for the third time and had to deal with previous years of vaccuming and squishing these bugs with kleenex so my children would not end up eating them. This year I'm fed up and don't have the time to worry about this. I'm looking into calling pest control companies. I just can't believe nothing is working on these bugs. Someone would make a fortune if they came up with an easy solution to eradicate these pests. Strange that their is no natural predator to eat them. I assume birds must think they taste nasty so they leave them alone. If one pest wasn't enough, I've got the asian beatles invading too. Their are days I want to move out!

posted on Fri, 10/05/2007 - 5:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We had this problem as well. They covered the entire front of our house. Yes we did the soap and water thing, and allthough it's fun to kill these guys by the thousands, it's not something I wanted to do everyday. The house was infested as well. Not to mention DARK. These guys would crawl up into our lights. You would see them moving about like an insect horror movie actually blocking the light from the bulbs. Anyway, after about 3 years of this I said F*** it, and called an exterminator. People in post have said that their exterminator said there was nothing they could do. I don't understand that at all. Just one guy came over, and sprayed every nook and cranny in the house. Then went outside, and sprayed the entire house as well, paying special attention to the cracks along the house. Within ONE day most were gone. I saw about 20 the next day around my house, but they were all wobbley and didn't look in very good shape. I actually just sat there and watched as one completely dried up. People are looking for a way to get rid of them. CALL YOUR EXTERMINATOR!! They will spray down your house using a chemical that is in no way harmful to you, your kids, or your pets and the box elders will go away along with anything else creeping around in your house. If your extermintor says there is nothing they can do, tell them they are in the wrong business! Go to your local yellow pages and find another one. My house gets sprayed 2 times a year. The spray lasts for a good 3 months. Where your dishsoap only lasts for about 10 seconds. It costs me $150/year and it's worth EVERY PENNY.

posted on Sat, 10/06/2007 - 3:45am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Do you happen to know what chemical your exterminator used? I've been reading that most extermination treatments are not effective. I need to do something as I'm tired of the soap and water routine since there are replacements that appear just as quickly.

posted on Wed, 10/31/2007 - 7:35pm
josephineAnonymous's picture
josephineAnonymous says:

these bugs r so anooying i find thme eveeydya when i retunr froms school on my fromt door

posted on Sat, 10/06/2007 - 5:14pm
Sick of Bugs in Michigan's picture
Sick of Bugs in Michigan says:

We live in Western Michigan and just purchased a new home. We do not have box elder trees but we do have alot of Sugar Maples. The side of my house and Brick Fireplace are covered with these bugs. We sprayed the whole side of our house with the water/dishsoap solution and the ones that didnt die came through the cracks of the fireplace and ended up inside my house. Make sure to caulk and seal all window and door frames or any crevice thay may be able to enter your home before trying to treat them outside or they will come in. I just cant believe how they come in the thousands.

posted on Mon, 10/08/2007 - 7:38am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

oh,my god

what is the smell,and how do you get rid of it?somebody help..

posted on Mon, 10/08/2007 - 10:42am
Buggman's picture
Buggman says:

Buggslayer Insecticide is available at over 200 stores in the US:

You dilute Buggslayer with water and spray it on the outside of your home. It will kill the box elder bugs you spray directly and will keep killing those that come in contact with it, until winter comes.

Using a new compound called Deltamethrin, it is quite safe and extremely effective. It's also the only concentrated residual insecticide EPA-registered to kill multi-colored Asian lady beetles!

It is water-based, odorless and non-staining even on vinyl siding. (Don't use Raid or other insecticides not registered for that site).

Unfortunately, this product is very new and not available for sale in Canada.

posted on Mon, 10/08/2007 - 6:14pm
Lorelei's picture
Lorelei says:

I just moved to a house and wow they are every where. The lady across the way told me to talk a Gallon of Water, 2 Tablespoons of Dawn Dish Soap and a CUP of Listerine and spray my house with it. Well you know what IT REALLY WORKED. They are now only where I have not sprayed. I am not spraying my trees for fear the soap will harm them, but my house is bug free. I wish all the luck and hope this helps some one out like it has me. Have a GREAT DAY, Lorelei

posted on Mon, 10/15/2007 - 8:27am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Okay, enough about how gross and annoying they are. As a solution, I have been told if you put bird houses out you won't have any of these pests...

posted on Wed, 10/17/2007 - 4:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Great idea...too bad your house will end up caked with bird excrement.

posted on Sun, 04/06/2008 - 11:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i really dont like boxelder bugs...i think that we need to find a solution to get rid of them fast along with the asian beetles.!!!

posted on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 9:34am
Olivia's picture
Olivia says:

I think scientists are so rocking. we need more hot scientist in the world!!!! GO SCIENTISTS

posted on Thu, 10/18/2007 - 10:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It's only been the last 2 to 3 years that these bugs have been a problem & their population has increased every year since then on our house which is 38 years old. What caused this major problem???!!!

posted on Sun, 10/21/2007 - 7:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Why didn't Noah get rid of the pesky things when he had the chance? =)

posted on Mon, 10/22/2007 - 5:31pm
Oregon bug killer's picture
Oregon bug killer says:

We have thousands of these boxelder bugs at work. We tried soap and water, raid, diazanon, malathion, and all we got was clean and groggy bugs. Went to the exterminator supply store. They sold us Dragnet the active ingredient is Permethrin. They are dead! A mist won't do it, you have to get the exterior of affected building wet with the solution. The stuff was about $100 for a quart, but it makes 25 gallons when mixed. Can't kill the trees in the park across the street. Can't look professional with bugs crawling on your desk. And to the person who's neighbor has the infested tree, if the roots extend into your property a product called Spike, a herbicide, applied to your ground where the roots are will kill the tree.

posted on Tue, 10/23/2007 - 3:01am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I met the Box elder bug for the for the first time this September, that was out side my screen window while wash windows. Now it is the end of October and have found only three. Last January we had a mice and the owner baited the apartment BLDG no more mice, could Boxer bug be cannibalistic and is it possible someone pron to allergies have problems due to their excrement's so although they are harmless as far as biting could they be harmful otherwise?

posted on Thu, 10/25/2007 - 10:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Isn't there some treatment that will coat the exterior of our house ( similar to soap ) that will "slow release" and drive these things away for good?!

If not - someone should SERIOUSLY invest in creating it. I would pay good money. I know others feel the same. I just don't have time to do it myself - or I would. If YOU DO decide to create this - and come up with a working model - I would gladly invest - so let me know.

All box elder beetles must die!!!!
( or at least get off my house...)

posted on Thu, 10/25/2007 - 1:04pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I cannot stand these dang things. I cannot keep them outta my house, I rent, so I have to be careful what I do to get rid of them. I'm so irritated by them, that I am about to start torching the house lol. They're inside, as when I'm trying to eat or just rest, I CAN'T, within 3 minutes of sitting down, plop, one comes to irritate me. They're outside, wicked bad... and get this, my house door is on the south side lol... I have to prepare myself for opening the door. These pests have also caused a little bit of trauma towards my 6 year old. She's terrified of the things. As I've read the posts here, I see there's not much I can do..... looks like I call in my father with his pressure washer and have him fill it with a soap mixture. I'm sure that will work for a little while, atleast so I can regain a fraction of my sanity.

Thanks to all for the information in these posts, they were a great help.

posted on Fri, 10/26/2007 - 5:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We live in Michigan and have been bombarded with box elder bugs for several years now and every year they are getting worse. I use to have someone come out twice a year to spray, but it really didn't do much good. Then we heard about the soap and water solution...that works, but when you have millions of them...well you get the picture. I finally convinced my husband to cut down the tree nearest to our house (it's by our driveway), hoping that will do the least for a little while. I am thinking that tree is the female tree because that seems to be where all the bugs hang out in the summer. The worst part is that the front of our house faces the south. It is so bad that we can't even get in the door without at least 50 bugs coming in with us. They leave their poop everywhere inside your house - the walls, curtains, you name it. Whatever they touch, they poop on it. Even the window trim on the outside of our house is covered in their poop. I hate them.

posted on Tue, 10/30/2007 - 7:43pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I just bought a new house this past spring in Central New Jersey, and two weeks ago these box elder bugs began appearing on the side of my house which faces southwest, however, now they are on all sides of the house. I agree with everyone that these bugs are horrible. I have been outside with dish soap and water to hose them down, only to go back outside and have more and more appear. There are thousands of them! I'm hoping that new construction will be tight and I won't get too many in the house (I have found only 5 in the house so far which has freaked me out). I really feel for those folks who have them all over the inside of their house. I have woods behind my house and I doubt I'll be able to locate a box elder tree to cut it down. I will try some of the suggestions from the comments posted to see if I can get rid of the bugs on the house as I'm sure there are thousands that I can't see in the crevices of the house in addition to those that I can see. They are also all over the lawn all around the house. What will happen in the winter? Is that when they come into the house for warmth? I hope not! I can't stand them outside and I will really be disgusted if they swarm inside. I had never heard of these bugs before and now they're everywhere -- on the window screens, on the front door, on the siding -- yuk!

posted on Wed, 10/31/2007 - 7:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have a huge infestation of box elder bugs in my car. They are not inside the car but they are living in the door hinges and all the cracks between the doors. I have swept them up four consecutive days and they just keep on coming. Is there anything that I can do to get rid of them and where are they coming from? I have been parking in different spots and they keep coming steadily every day as soon as the weather warms up. I wipe them off and swwep them constantly. Im stumped. What should i do?

posted on Sat, 11/03/2007 - 1:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i dont like boxelder bugs

posted on Sun, 11/04/2007 - 3:51pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Well, I'm here in Eastern Washington and we have them crawling the south side of our house and at the base of our maple tree. Luckily, they haven't made in roads into the house. I called a Green Exterminator :-) and he will be coming with a product that is a pyrithroid (can't remember the name.) Harmless to beasts of all kinds. He said that you can get an infestation simply by being in their flight path. You don't need to have a box elder around. They do like the maple seeds so, lucky us, they hit the jackpot. Additionally, he mentioned that the reason you want to exterminate is that they will, in the cold weather, head into your home via going up under your siding. Once they're in, they're in. They leave a phermone in nesting places which is why they come back year after year to the same spots, and why you can't get rid of them once they are in your home without professional help (the phermone leaves a trail into your home for the new ones each year.)

I had to laugh aloud at someone's suggestion re getting bird houses. We have freakin' magpies..the most obnoxious, fearless, in-your-face feathered monsters. I see them literally cowering by the sheer force of numbers of these bugs. The dive down pick one off then get the hell outta Dodge. Big help!

The procedure is spendy but we're putting the money out simply to save ourselves further aggravation and potential problems when we try to sell our home. I'll let y'all know what the upshot is after the exterminator does his thing.

Just FYI.

posted on Mon, 11/05/2007 - 1:32pm
NickTr's picture
NickTr says:

How did the box elder extermination go?

posted on Sun, 04/06/2008 - 11:26pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I'm a victim of box elder bugs, not in my house but on my CAR!!! I do not have any box elder, maple, apple trees to attact these critters nor dead insects/fruit laying around (as they are attracted to those too). At first, I ignored the one that was crawling on my car. Took it to the car wash to flush any more out.

Now, that number is up to 5. They like to hang out on the hood of my car and when they see me, they run and hide into the creavasses and hinges throughout my car and especially my headlights.

I can understand the wacky weather in northern NJ but I also see that they love warmth and they love the hood of my car (as I stated before). My concern is now that I found of these have made their way into the AC/heat vent inside my car. It could also be perhaps that I open my door and one flew in (who knows) but I'm afraid that it'll become a problem. So far, the car wash, dealer, pep boys are all useless.

Is there a way to combat this problem? I vaccumed all the vents and outside of my car. I also cranked the AC to freeze or push these critters out. Is there a safe insectide that will not damage my car? Does soapy water work on cars?

Please help. As a precaution, I also vaccumed and sprayed my garage/side wall to its foundation just in case. But my main concern is my car, I don't want it to be a breeding grounds or find crazy nests. Thanks

posted on Wed, 11/07/2007 - 3:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Do Boxeleder beetles lay eggs on/in my house. I have vinyl;l siding and they seem to love to get behind it where I cannot vacuum they up. Are they laying eggs behind the siding and setting up even larger infestations in the future?

posted on Fri, 12/21/2007 - 1:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sun, 12/23/2007 - 10:30am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

mix 2 anti bacterial soaps together put on non-poisonous leaves and place in spots were bugs are.

posted on Thu, 01/17/2008 - 6:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in Minnesota and we have had a problem with box elders for about 4 or 5 years now. We don't get the thousands like some people do but we get enough where it is annoying and we can't really open our front door for fear that one will come in. Some how they have found a way into our laundry room and though we don't have many of them we do have some. They seem to just pop up out of no where. I don't understand where they are coming from. It's winter right now and 7 of them seem to just come out of no where. I have read that they don't breed indoors but if they don't breed indoors then where are these things coming from? And they seem to like me as well. I have had them fly at me and I have had them crawl toward me no matter where I was. I could move and the thing would follow me. They scare the crap out of me. Yes, I know that they are harmless but they are just too creepy for me.

Does anyone know if woodpeckers eat them? this fall was the first time I noticed that what looked to be the female woodpeckers would hang on to the shutters around my window and I would hear them pecking away. I have to say that our population of box elders was smaller than in other years.

posted on Tue, 01/08/2008 - 7:16pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Actually they do last for many months. This web site is inaccurate that they only live for a few days indoors. It is now January in Minnesota and we still have many of them in our homes crawling aroung our homes. I must kill at least forty of them in a couple of hours in the evening. In Minnesota we are definately in the cold winter months and those pesty bugs are still moving around my home. Do I have an investation problem? What are they eatting? How may I kill they off indoors in the middle of winter?

posted on Tue, 01/08/2008 - 8:08pm
Maggie's picture
Maggie says:

It's January in Peterborough Ontario. I have officially lost my mind - I am counting the bugs I am killing in my home. We have had temperatures of minus 20 celcius for a month. Now we are up to +10 and the boxelders have awakened. I have killed 100 of these pests in 3 days. I feel so creeped out!!!!! I read one positive post about an exterminator and I am planning that approach as well as having my heat ducts cleaned again. I was most intrigued about the blow-torch theory - not sure the insurance company will accomodate me with that tho. I will post my results after I exterminate. Wish me luck friends.

posted on Tue, 01/08/2008 - 10:22pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in MN and have many of these pesky creatures in the house........ i have been useing cv-80d farm and dairy to kilk them off and it seems to do well.

posted on Thu, 01/10/2008 - 8:43pm
Nancy Berry's picture
Nancy Berry says:

I live in Ontario, Canada, for the last two years there has been Box Elders EVERYWHERE
they are in my house,in the garage on the side of the pool on the grass, in the trees, on the fence posts, they are the worst infestation of filthy buusg I have ever seen. I can kill them every waking hour. In the fall of 2006 there where millions on the outside of my house, they have invaded the area for miles around causing the same problems as everyone else is having.
My question is why is there not a reliable bug killer for these insects. They are filthy things to have in your home

Nancy Berry
From Ontario Canada

posted on Mon, 01/14/2008 - 2:40pm
 cmoore's picture
cmoore says:

Does anyone know if box elder bugs chirp? I have several box elder bugs hanging around our house this winter and I keep hearing chirping sounds (mostly late at night or early morning) and I wondered if it was them. The sound is similar to a cricket.

posted on Wed, 01/23/2008 - 3:14pm
shauna's picture
shauna says:

I live in a log house. I usually spray around the outside of my house and in the cracks and around the windows with TEMPO every year (Spring & Fall). This spray is pretty effective, especially killing the imature bugs. BUT I opted to not spray last fall and I am really paying for it now. I vacuum hundreds everyday inside my house! You would think that this -15 weather would do them in. Ugh! At least they do not bite!!

posted on Wed, 01/23/2008 - 5:37pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I've been in my house 3 years and every fall it's the same thing. This year has been the worst. I was at the theatre a few weeks ago and I felt something crawling on my face. Yep. It was a box elder bug. At work, all of a sudden, they're dive bombing my head. I know they are MINE, stowing away in my coat, clothes, hair, something, following me EVERYWHERE.

I've taken to naming them, and talking to them. I don't even vacuum them up anymore (my dust buster battery can't keep up). I now stash empty Aquafina bottles in every room, and scoop up the bugs to keep as pets. They stay alive in there for DAYS AND DAYS. Then I watch them lie on their backs and kick while they fight for their last breaths. This one was actually rolling a dead bug over and over with his feet, like a circus performer. It was awesome.

I think I might be going slightly insane.

posted on Fri, 01/25/2008 - 1:10pm
Justin's picture
Justin says:

You people that are against the killing of these things are INSANE. If I had thousands of people crawling all over and inside my house I would probably kill them too. I'm off to arm myself with soap solutions and a vacuum and run around the house like a homocidal ghostbuster and annihilate every last one I see. Just try and stop me. I will post again in a few days to let you all know of my success, or lack therof.

posted on Thu, 01/31/2008 - 1:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

boxelder bugs once covered my whole entire playground.

posted on Wed, 02/06/2008 - 12:07pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I work for a car dealer. It's mid-winter in MN and there are still dozens found dead and alive each day. They are not a very attractive element when trying to impress customers with your showroom and the overall appearance of the store. This is the first year I can remember that they have stayed all winter long. When the weather warms just a little more in about a month or two, no doubt we'll have even more inside as well as climbing the sunny walls of the building. If only the soap remedy could be used as preventative measures.

posted on Thu, 02/07/2008 - 1:40pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I am trying to sell my home and as you all know.....vaccuming works for about 20 minutes and they are back!! I don't really know what to say to someone who is looking at our house and eventually it looks like the carpet comes alive....they re-emerge with a vengence!! HELP!!

posted on Tue, 02/12/2008 - 11:43pm
Marcy's picture
Marcy says:

I found something that works! I recently put up a torch lamp with those very bright, hot skinny bulbs to lighten up my dark living room. The box elder bugs love the light and heat. Unfortunately for them, they get too close to the bulb, and they are fried to a crisp. Unfortunately for us, the smell is none too pleasant. The first time it happend I was scared to death. I thought there was a short in the lamp and my house was going to catch on fire because I smelled burning and there was a small trail of smoke coming from the lamp.

Now it is just the running the joke. You hear a sizzle, a minute later you see the smoke and start to smell it. Dinner time! But hey, I vacumed out about 30 of them after two days.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Its all a matter of what you are willing to put up with. Nasty smell for a few minutes or ten less bugs you don't have to chase down with a tissue or vucumme cleaner.

posted on Fri, 02/15/2008 - 10:57am
Marcy's picture
Marcy says:

"Diatomaceous Earth Kill Pests Naturally - No Chemicals Order Diatomaceous Earth Online Now"

"Diatomaceous Earth
Kills Ants, Fleas, Ticks, Cockroaches, Earwigs, Slugs, Beetles, Flies, Silverfish, Bed Bugs and many other pests, naturally, without harsh synthetic chemicals!"

I have been trying to find out if Diatomaceous Earth works on these bugs. Has anyone tried spreading this all over their yards? It is finely crushed shell that the cuts the bugs and dehydrates them. I've been told it kind of looks like kitty litter. I am going to try it. Let me know if it seems to work for anyone else.

(I have now turned my torch lamp into a box elder bug barbeque. You are all invited over for some crispy tasties!)

Marcy in Utah

posted on Fri, 02/15/2008 - 11:20am
North Fork's picture
North Fork says:

I live in Montana and have been inundated with Box Elder Bugs for the past several years. There are lots of posts here about how to get rid of the critters but I am most interested in the main point of the article, namely their breeding cycle and when we may see a natural reprieve from the 'swarms'. If the fall of 2006 was year eight, then the fall of 2008 should be the last year of the breeding cycle and we should be in for six easier years right? They swarm by the thousands on the west and south aspects of my wood siding in the late fall. In 2006 I saw by far the largest populations, the fall of 2007 was considerably lighter. What's interesting is that we also have had an explosion of two varieties of stink bugs (cute brown 'leaf legged' varieties and the not so cute dime sized black ones)…these guys congregate on the shady north side of the house in the autumn. All of these critters find their way into my home. I can't say I haven't screamed in frustration a few times but, overall, they are quite friendly and interesting and easy enough to toss out the door or vacuum. Two years ago I literally had hundreds of them in the house on any given warm spring day and finally discovered their path of entry (a tube for a bathroom fan that was not connected to the fan and had no flap!). After sealing up some gaps and spraying the outdoor swarms in the fall with a ½ cup to one gallon detergent/water mix to cut the populations a bit I am dealing with a pretty good ration of 25 box elders downstairs and 7 stink bugs upstairs on any given day. Whether I remove them or not it seems like this number is stable so the best 'cure' for the 'problem' has been to take deep breaths and make friends with them. Speaking of friends, I'm shocked at how many people are 'embarrassed' or feel that their friends will 'judge' them or think their house is not clean because they see some bugs…these are not cockroaches, rats or fleas! I 'warn' my friends that they may see some cute little critters and we swap our favorite bug stories and generally have a good laugh over them…I guess I wouldn't have guests over that would be shallow enough to judge me because they saw a few little red-eyed bugs hanging about. At any rate, I think we'll see a break in the numbers and, since my siding is getting old I will probably have my exterior redone in stucco and metal siding before the next 'boom'. Maybe I'll bring a few bugs in after I seal them out for 'old times sake'!

posted on Mon, 02/18/2008 - 12:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Boxelder bugs like the heat and they can live inside. Smash them by by the dozen if you have to. They will eventually die,of course not all of them. They dont like the cold and are very over populated. I wish I could exterminate them all. They are nasty. Im going to try the soap water thing and see if that helps!

posted on Thu, 02/21/2008 - 1:42am
P.N.W Lisa's picture
P.N.W Lisa says:

There back! once again covering the house, and making there way inside the house also. And I mean all over. One of my friends commented to me that, it almost looks like a biblical plauge. Instead of locasts, I have boxelders, taking over my house. They are with me in the shower, on the windowseals, carpet, hair. They are in just any place you can think of. My favorite is waking up several times a night, picking bugs off me. And forget about leaving a beverage on the nightstand, just in case you get thirsty in the night. Chances are you'll drink one up. Ohh, and I like how they get a ride from you. I generally have at least one person a day tell me. Do you know you have a bug on you? Apparently they like to go to the store and shop around with you. Once they make their pilgramage to the side of your home, your never alone. And, I also want to add that, people say they are hamless and don't bite. However they do occasionally sting and the area does get irritated. And as of last night one was in my son's ear. It did not back out. It was stuck simi-deep in his ear canal. It was quite a sene, freaking out, running around trying to find every type of tool we could think of, to get it out. We finally resorted to a thin wire with a teeny dab of superglue on it. We pulled it out and it was moving. I still can't belive it! And to make matters worse, my son is disabled and has difficulty with communication. So, we did'nt know. He did a few times pull on his ear a couple of times. And I did look, but saw nothing. Of course I was'nt antisipating on seeing a bug! So, I thought he just wanted his ears clean. And, I did just that. But, last night as I put him to bed he was still complaining about his ear. And sense my friend just had a ear infection, I decided to pull out the flashlight, to get a better look. I'm glad I did. Poor little man. I feel so bad. We also asked him how long his ear was bothering him and he said 5 days! Not certain if thats accurate, I hope not.
Well, thats my Boxelder story. Thought I'd share. DOWN WITH BOXELDERS!

posted on Mon, 02/25/2008 - 9:49am
bug hater's picture
bug hater says:

Why are we concerning ourself with these bugs? Perhaps no one has noticed that the population of rollie pollies has gotten a wee-bit outta control. Im tired of them, and worms. Please someone come and kill these hideous creatures.

posted on Mon, 02/25/2008 - 10:52am
BrattyJenn's picture
BrattyJenn says:

As someone who was attacked by a nest of angry ground bees, these things are annoying, but little else. I live in Lockport NY, and thousands, inside and out. The other day, they were having a party in my attack!

Incedentally, my rat terrier, Mason, loves to munch on them! My advice is to get a rat terrier!

They are sort of cool looking bugs, though, like an alien insect.....

posted on Tue, 02/26/2008 - 10:28am
Quickly going bonkers's picture
Quickly going bonkers says:

I live in North Plains Oregon. . .a rural farming area. We specifically live in some foothills that are heavily wooded with many different species of trees. Doug Firs, Maples, Poplars, Pines, etc. We were living in my in-laws basement for two years while we slowly built our 'dream home', on the 10 acres next door. The in-laws had the bugs as well, pretty bad. They built there home as well, been there for close to 30+ years. Bugs have only been around for about the last 7 or 8 years. My hope was that 'our' house would be 'tighter' with new windows, smart caulking etc. We have been in our new home for 6 months. We have the bugs so badly. We have a metal roof which I've decided is a huge open door for these bugs. The ridge cap with only spiratically stapled screen underneath on the plywood, just lets them in. Seems to be other places I can't be certain of. Siding gaps. . .our house is huge (3,000sf. finished, 5,000 total) and tall, 25 feet or higher is some places. Sitting on 10 acres of several different types of trees, I would dream of clearing out every tree in sight in hopes of decreasing the population. This is an unrealistic approach, mostly from a money standpoint. I vacume, spray and flush more than I can stand. I am depressed. My husband built this home for us and the kids. I can't even relax to enjoy it. My favorite times of the year are fall and spring. Which have now been replace with dread. I no longer want it to be sunny outside and hope for cloudy days which don't seem to be such an active day for the bugs. I hate to admit it, but I think I need help, professional help. . .It kills me to think of starting the conversation with my husband, if you would call it a conversation, about me not being able to handle these bugs. For those of you who think these bugs are not a big deal. I don't believe you would feel the same if you were here. Yes, my kids are 'conditioned' to them as well. But, I can't let it go. I'm a stay at home mom who doesn't want to be here. I too am very interested in the main point of this post. . .the cycle of these bugs. Is there hope for the next few years? Is this related to global warming?

posted on Thu, 02/28/2008 - 11:09am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We are in NW Oregon and we also have box elder bugs, numbering in the tens of thousands when the weather is just right. Inside we maybe see 10 a day. Our house is sided with cedar shake shingles and they crawl in between and behind the shakes when the sun goes down. We also use soap in the hose-end sprayer which works until the next day. While not deadly they are a real nuisance when trying to entertain outdoors, getting clothes and linens dirty. They leave their brown droppings all over our white trim and when we do use the soap method we end up having to clean our windows each time. Of course there's other things in the world to be more concerned about, but if anyone has a 'cure' we'd pay good money for it.

posted on Sun, 03/02/2008 - 4:02pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I've tried many types of insecticides with little success. I have sprayed them with Diazanon and dusted them with Sevin dust and they loved it , it seemed! I have started spraying them with soapy water and it kills them quickly..but they just come back with reinforcements! I only see them on my white garage..with red doors.. They don't get on my house, THANK GOD!! and we don't have them inside.......I spray everyday as soon as they come out in the sun.

posted on Sun, 03/02/2008 - 6:10pm
abby's picture
abby says:

those boxelders are atracted to my moms white car!

posted on Tue, 03/11/2008 - 11:11am
kelly1's picture
kelly1 says:

I have had to live with these creatures for the past few years too. I have found that they do lay eggs everywhere. I grow flowers under black plastic and when I pulled some up it was totally red with the baby bugs, also around my garden pond. This winter has been the absolute worst in my house. I compare it to a creep show with the bugs crawling around my house. I have yet to see a prediter eat one and I can personally say I can't blame them as I'm pretty sure I got one with my dinner and it was the vilest tasting thing on earth. They are all over my house plants in the afternoon.

posted on Wed, 03/12/2008 - 6:48am
Anne's picture
Anne says:

I started to notice box elder bugs in our home around the Holidays, but just a few. One or two every other day. There seems to be certain rooms which they enjoy the most. Last fall I saw hundreds on the roof line looking out our second floor windows, they seemed to sunning themselves.
Last winter I only spotted less then a dz. over the course of the whole winter.
The boxelder bug population has exploded in the last couple of weeks inour home. The word infestation would apply.
I kill them using a kleenex. Instant death. But 6 more instanly show up for the funeral. They used to be just in the second floor of our home and now they have moved onto the main floor. I am now spotting and removing up to 40 a day every day. I can barely keep up with them. They do not scare me, but freak out the grandkids If the population increases any more, it will really be a hinderance. They will leave poop stains if you don't get to them soon.
My question is what are they feeding on in the house that draws them in. And if they are coming in for the warmth will they camp outdoors when the weather warms??
Our home is cedar sided and I am guessing provides many nooks and crannies for them to lay eggs.
With the extreme cold weather we had a couple weeks ago, one would think they would have frozen to death.

Boxelder bugs are annoying.

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 11:45pm
KFIO's picture
KFIO says:

My property is being over run by these bugs!!! Not to many found in the house thank God, but the outside is another story. They are everywhere. On the fense, trees, sidewalk, ect.. We can not walk out to our dog pen without being covered by these bugs flying up from the dg. I have an exterminator coming over to help me. No other options

posted on Tue, 03/18/2008 - 1:24pm
G W H's picture
G W H says:

Anyone given thought to the cycle described as 10 years and we're in year 8. It is exactly the same same with the ruffed grouse. Any correlation? Any other insect or animal life on the same cycle that anyone is aware of?

posted on Fri, 03/28/2008 - 9:35am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

actually the bugs can cause allergies and they can bite!!

posted on Thu, 04/03/2008 - 10:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Fri, 04/04/2008 - 6:14pm
kc's picture
kc says:

Box Elder bugs do in fact do damage to one's home. We live in a cedershake home which we reinsulated with paperbased blow in insulate. Boxelder bugs LOVE the stuff. Terminex cannot stop the destruction. I created an extremely toxic "soup" and sprayed into the walls thru the hole areas made during the reinsulation. This year (2008) for the first time in two years we do not have the HORRID ordor created by these lil buggers. I cut down four female trees and used stump removal chemicals to fully kill the tree roots. I will spray every two months using Volck oil mixed with insectiside until it snows this winter.
Aside from the damamge to our home, Box Elder bugs also cut our crop of home garden produce in half last summer. They will and DO eat many many plant based items.
They are most certainly NOT harmless. Even in areas where it isnt as bad as here in Utah, they STINK when stepped on, and leave a stain that NO popular stain removing product will treat.

posted on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 11:14am
Debra's picture
Debra says:

I have thousands of these bugs last year i spent all summer using pesticides that finally got me sick then i use dish soap they only killed the ones you sprayed both accounts. we just got the female boxelder tree taking out stump and all but want to replace it with something that wont attract the bug what recommendations do you have to not buy or to buy. I want a fast growing shade tree. Please send me info

posted on Fri, 04/18/2008 - 10:54pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Box Elder bugs are kind of vool! They are black with bright orange stripes on their back, they dont bite or eat wood, they just kind of crawl around and look cool. If any ever get in my house, my cats love to play with and eat them.

I like box elder bugs! ....They ROCK!

posted on Sat, 04/19/2008 - 2:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Does anyone know how to remove the box elder's excrement stain from fabric window shades?

posted on Sat, 04/26/2008 - 10:06am
anonymous's picture
anonymous says:

These things are so annoying! I live in MN and kill about five a day in my room, because I get so much sun around 60% of the ones in the house come into my room, and they aren't shy, so they land right on my nose at 11 at night!

posted on Sun, 04/27/2008 - 1:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We have only seen a few of these in the past, but this year....OH MY!!! I noticed them first in the house, then when I investigated the source (outside), I saw them all over the front of our house, and in between the screens & windows. I started spraying them every day (knowing it was futile....they were ALL mating!!!), and was told their numbers would drop off once the weather got hot. Well, now (late May) I am seeing THOUSANDS of babies in the mulch of my front flowerbeds & all over the sidewalks. Good grief!! These guys did not increase in numbers slowly, this was BOOM! Instant infestation. Yuk!
I know they're harmless, but still....
And we don't even have any box elder trees :(

posted on Wed, 05/28/2008 - 11:54am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This is super duper gross!!
I hate bugs a lot.
An Increase in this bug population is horible!!!!!!!

posted on Thu, 05/29/2008 - 10:24am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

New product called BOXELDER B-GONE - try it!

Google the name and you'll find the product. Environmentally safe.

posted on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 8:54am
corina's picture
corina says:

We have lived in our house for 2 years and this spring is the first time ive noticed these box elder bugs, they are all over the outside of our house and yard. I havent found any in our house yet but i am terrified of an inhome infestation, i can handle a couple bugs at a time but the mass amount of these bugs totally gives me the creeps, they fly onto my 2 toddlers when they go outside, even though they dont bite i cant stand seeing bugs on my babies. We dont have any box elder trees in our yard so where are they coming from??????

posted on Fri, 05/30/2008 - 3:16pm
Amyrose33's picture
Amyrose33 says:

Two years ago, I greatly deceased the bug population by killing the hordes of nymphs that were basking mostly on the trunk of the female box-elder tree in my backyard. From a distance, the huge red area on that trunk looked like someone had spray-painted it. I later cut down that tree and decreased the population even more. This year, I plan to cut down more box-elder trees, which have (themselves) been declared a public nuisance. I will also try the soap mixtures suggested on this site, and search down every cluster of nymphs (photo at that I can find, in the whole neighborhood. – I may even ask for permission.

posted on Thu, 06/05/2008 - 8:42pm
milly's picture
milly says:

Well ive noticed these things about 2 months ago, i didnt pay too much attention to them then and i wish i did they multiplied by the millions and they are so disgusting...they swarm my front porch and it looks as if the ground is moving..The adult ones fly and they seem to fly on whom ever is walking by at the time...well i read in one site that the way to kill them fast is dish washing detergent and warm water...well this really works..even better than bug spray...u should try it...

posted on Sat, 06/21/2008 - 9:13pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


posted on Sun, 06/22/2008 - 2:11pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

how many miles can box elders fly?

posted on Sun, 07/06/2008 - 10:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

to be entirely snarky about it, box elders can't fly. they're rooted to the ground.

posted on Sun, 07/06/2008 - 11:48am
Kyle's picture
Kyle says:

To the guy that said:
"To be snarky box elders can't fly, they are rooted to the ground"

LOLOLOLOLOLOL, I got it, that was hilarious. One of the funniest things I've read in a while. Thanks for the laugh.

posted on Tue, 07/29/2008 - 7:42am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

2 miles

posted on Sun, 07/06/2008 - 1:31pm
topgun330's picture
topgun330 says:

This probably does not do much for the people who have them inside of the house since you may not be too fond of spraying your houses interior with a bunch of soapy water but outside, it works awesome! Within 30 seconds of spraying a boxelder bug with soapy water they were dead, wayyy dead! The problem is that you have to make physical contact with them for it to work. Whether it be spraying directly onto them or wetting the ground enough for them to walk on it and absorb it, it needs to be physical contact. But seriously, it works and you can't get much cheaper of a pest killer than soap and water.

I used Target brand concentrated liquid dishwashing soap (looks like liquid hand soap) (green apple scent if you really wanted to get exact) and room temperature water sprayed out of a handheld spray bottle. If you really wanted to get hard core about it, i would imagine that one of those 2 gallon (or larger) lawn and garden pressurized sprayers would really be nice to use. I will be trying that tomorrow when the ones that went into hiding come back out to chance death!

Happy hunting! Hey does anyone know if that "Boxelder-B-Gone stuff works? Is it worth the money?

posted on Sun, 07/06/2008 - 1:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:



posted on Thu, 02/05/2009 - 3:03pm
Stacey's picture
Stacey says:

I Can Not take these things anymore , I had no Idea What they were until we were completely infested with them. There are hundreds in my house and thousands surrounding my House, Im at a total loss. =( we can't Sit on our back deck and enjoy it as they are covering everything and crawling up us. On me while i sleep, finding them in my childrens hair.

I live in Central Maryland and have never experianced something like this. I would much rather have the cicadas back. If there is anything we can do to never have this arise again that would awesome.

There was a Few around a couple weeks ago but when we got back from our vacation there was thousands and I have never seen them before

posted on Thu, 07/10/2008 - 2:50pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Living in Albuquerque, NM, we have several trees in the Maple family around here. It seems these little bugs LOVE to feast on decaying "helicopter" leaves. Living in the bone, dry high desert coupled with xeriscaping (rock landscaping), it's quite difficult to get rid of excess decaying foliage in which these little critters seem to begin their nests. As these little buggers seem to crawl up out of the ground in waves that resemble armies of locusts, I have attempted to attack some of the areas of infestation with bug sprays. The sad things i noticed was how the adults seem to immediately begin to defend their nests... some fly up and at the offender; while others attempt to hover and cover the youngins. It was amazing to watch them defend themselves. I guess we have some seriously fierce boxelders out here!

Given the suggestions I've discovered here about using dishsoap, I'll be interested in the response/reactions these bugs will have next.

posted on Thu, 07/10/2008 - 4:58pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I've had an endocrine disease since I was 17. For anyone considering pesticides, "registered" or not, think about the fact that many of these chemicals are untested either alone or in combination with each other. You may be getting rid of boxelder bugs or other critters but you may be creating other problems for yourself, pets, or other living creatures. Where does the spray go? Does it wash into the water system? Who can really "study" these chemicals and their interaction with individual bodies and complex ecosystems? There's usually a good natural cure for these things if you just look around. We had a powderpost beetle infestation in our home we were in and I went the natural route. It was a lot of work but we took care of it. When anyone feeds you the line, "no studies suggest harm." Take it literally. There probably haven't been any studies done. I for one have suffered a lot from an endocrine disease so I really think twice when I hear that a lot of the chemicals still legally in use are KNOWN endocrine disrupters and carcinogens. I just think the boxelder bugs outside our house, well, there may be a lot of them but it's cyclical and when the cold weather hits, they'll be gone. My girls love to look at them and hold them. If I really needed to get rid of them, I certainly wouldn't spray a toxic spray and hope that the chemists have figured out if it's O.K. for my girls. How would they know? Who would fund the study? Not the chemical company that's selling it. Well, I think it's time to take a look at the polluted waters and air and soil and it really worth it to get rid of a bug that's not harming you? Oh...I do not like bugs so I'm not being pollyanna about this. There's just usually a natural solution for all of these problems. And time and again, when I hear people say it didn't work...well, they tried one thing and gave up. I could have a toxic chemical sprayed for the centipedes but I'm working on drying up the wet areas of the house and hanging cedar and lavendar. Get rid of the source of the population explosion and find a natural cure. I've done it with wood lice (crustaceans) too. ISH! We tiled the basement and the population, once prolific, is now subsiding. A boxelder won't kill you but what is the cumulative effect of chemicals? How are people spraying so many chemicals and manufacturing so many and then wondering about illness? Anyway, I looked at the boxelders all over the side of the house in big clusters and I just thought...interesting. I mean, it's not like they are biting us, destroying the wood, communicating virulent strains of disease for which there is no cure, or setting up dinner tables in the cupboards. As for the person who threw away an entire couch...ouch!....thanks for the extra crap in the landfill and please don't ever get a magnifying lens for the rest of your house or even your new couch...things are not what they seem and you probably have lots of goodies all around the house. I think the real spray needs to be some kind of "brain spray" that can get us to shift our perspective about critters. I, for one, am not there yet but it's a work in progress.

posted on Mon, 07/14/2008 - 5:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I live in Minnesota and I have noticed the box elder bugs have gotten worse every year. We have 3 maples in our yard and there is a box elder tree in the neighborhood. This year I decided to eradicate them. I vacuumed them off the south side of the house this spring as they were mating. I got as many as I could and eliminated a lot of them. I also scrubbed the eggs off the house. They are all over my cedar shake siding. The adults hide under the siding. about 1 month later, I noticed thousands of babies around the base and foundation of the house. I started pouring boiling water over them. They congregate in piles, so they are very easy to kill. Every day I go out with a kettle of boiling water and pour water over all the piles I can find. I also poured boiling water over the maple seed pods they like to eat, killing the bugs hiding in the pods. I am now down to just a few. I hope to be bug free in a couple of weeks. Boiling water is non-toxic ( I have dogs and cats) and very effective.

posted on Mon, 07/14/2008 - 10:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Has anyone tried spraying the box elder bugs with rubbing alcohol? My son and I used to do this to eradicate wasps They would die within a minute.

posted on Mon, 07/21/2008 - 11:18pm
grieving box elder houser's picture
grieving box elder houser says:

Thank you so much to everyone for sharing your box elder bug stories. My husband and I recently moved to Emmett Id. and are wickedly infested with these bugs. When we first came I was catching these cute little bugs and throwing them out the doors. WELL needless to say after 4 months of infestation and no releif in sight I take great joy in smashing them. Although thats a small feat to our major problem. They have consumed our west and south walls filling our window frames daily. NO more nice guys. We desperately need to address this problem. And for us its a problem.
I'm not necessarily into chemicals as we appreciate our health and our dogs too.
The soap sounds like the slow logical way to go, but I only wish as a gardener I would have identified these pests earlier before the rage set in!
The plan of attack, after reading most of your letters is to call an exterminator (and go on vacation), and get the upper hand. It seems so hopeless as we too have many moving indoors and packing luggage to stay. Then we'll stick with the soap idea. Not sure of the right mix though?
Maybe next year we will have a better idea from the get go and have a front gate detector before they arrive!
Wondering if those bug zappers outside will help?
Again we thank you for all your input because I only wish we had thirty or so bugs..........:)

posted on Wed, 07/23/2008 - 12:33am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is very interesting...vacuuming, hot water...sounds good ! thanks!

posted on Mon, 08/04/2008 - 1:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I had a HUGE problem with them 2 years ago. waking up with them crawling on me. t hey are horrible horrible bugs. I couldnt take it and I bought this stuff called buggslayer. you can only order it online, I wont provide the link, just google it if you like. This stuff works fantastic. you spray your siding and windows and just forget about them.within a week you will see piles of dead bugs on the ground. Since then i notice less and less each year cause I am killing the population. if you have hit your end, give that stuff a try I guarentee it works.

posted on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 8:20am
Baxk Chan's picture
Baxk Chan says:

Ok, you are all wrong. I've had these bugs around where I live for the longest times and they aren't that much of a problem.
a.) You are all saying they will eat your house plants. No, they don't. There's a reason why they are called box elder bugs. Cause they eat the box elder tree. A durr. They are only harmful to this tree. b.) They won't hurt you. I've handle these things since I was 5, and never once got bitten. I love playing with them and they are just so cute! They don't bite, aren't frantic, and are actually very laid-back little guys. c.) Yeah, if a lot get in your house, then seal all your cracks and openings. They only come in your house cause they want shelter.
I can see why they can get annoying but these guys are that big of a problem. You people need to chill out. If you have some and really want to get rid of them spray them with a hose and they won't come back. And I know how these guys don't harm other plants is because they chilled out in my garden in the front of my house and those plants where FINE. So suck with a vacuum or spray with a hose. And seal everything up. Other then that these guys are fine. I love these bugs so really guys stop making them sound so horrible.

posted on Sat, 09/20/2008 - 11:38am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

We have boxelder bugs SOOO BAD this year. I mean, shoot, you walk out the door and automatically, they're flying all over you. You can't step outside without ATLEAST 10-15 of these bugs ON YOU within a few seconds. My, once white house, now looks red. It's awful. And YES, I HAVE been bitten by one of these little creatures. And it is no fun, when you can't sleep at night, because you keep waking up to bugs crawling up your skin. I vacuum them up and by the time I go to the next room, the previous room that I just vacuumed, is already loaded with boxelders. Hopefully they'll be gone soon! I can't stand to look at them anymore!!

posted on Mon, 09/29/2008 - 8:28am
Jules's picture
Jules says:

I just had my first experience with these "horror flick" box things. My brother Tom lives four doors down and happened to be dropping in to visit; he was astonished to witness what was the beginning of my first encounter. Small holes with you know "HOW MANY" of these critters, crawling out and up the front side of my home.,hurriedly they sprayed both regular and industrial strength pesticides at them and they went back where they came from. They even covered the holes with dirt from whence they came. This happened yesterday and thus far there has been NO re-occurrence. PRAISE THE LORD!!!
Well, however non-toxic these things may be; THEY ARE NOT NON CREEPY and i need to know, whats to keep them from returning? Also, how can I be sure? Thanks for your time,
Your Friend ( in bugs ) lol Julie

posted on Wed, 10/01/2008 - 9:27pm
El Destructo's picture
El Destructo says:

I have, on occasion, in the past, viewed myself as the Adolf Hitler of the Box Elder kingdom...washing down the southwest side of my house with detergent and killing hundreds at a shot.... I had box elder trees cut down and taken away... still, they come back. Does anybody know what is the deal with the "stink bug" looking bugs that I find associated with the box elder beetles? These "stink bug" looking bugs are twice the size of the boxelder beetles and look completely different... are they box elder queens? Box Elder Brain Bugs?

posted on Wed, 10/01/2008 - 4:29pm
El Destructo's picture
El Destructo says:

Ah ha!! I discovered the name of what I thought was a Boxelder Brain Bug--it's a Western Conifer Seed Bug. They must like the same warm places that the Boxelder beetles prefer cuz I always find them together.

for picture, see this site:

posted on Fri, 10/03/2008 - 1:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I use a product called TalstarOne it works great. kills instantly. and seems to keep them from coming back. Had none last year, have a few now...but not for long.
TalstarOne is 7.9% Bifenthrin and the rest inert ingredients. Google it to buy online.

posted on Fri, 10/03/2008 - 2:45pm
Ishmael's picture
Ishmael says:

my granny had a major bug problem, mainly because it was just too much house for her. couldn't get a lick o' help from the proffesionals. For soem reason their methods seemed to be only temporary. Anyway, I'm gonna use some of these tips to help her out. thanks guys.

posted on Sat, 10/04/2008 - 10:59am
Sjw34's picture
Sjw34 says:

Box Elder bugs are annoying!! We lived in a house that was covered front to back with wooded area and obviously there were some box elder trees around....we could NOT even use our front door! They completely COVERED the front of our home....they are especially bad when the sun hits the front of something. Needless to say, I was soooooo happy when I got to move!!

posted on Fri, 10/10/2008 - 9:23am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

So, I'm pretty sure what I have are boxelder bugs but they do not smell and they do not leave pooh as others have stated.....I would love someone to tell me that they are not boxelder bugs :o)

posted on Fri, 10/10/2008 - 6:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

boxelder bugs are creepy and they cral up walls and then they stand there and never move for a long period of time. boxelders bugs have weird issues!!!!!

posted on Sat, 10/11/2008 - 10:44am
Skeeter's picture
Skeeter says:

I totally agree!!!! Boxelder bugs are really creepy, especially when they fly because they always tend to land on you!!!

posted on Sun, 10/12/2008 - 2:59pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Dear Anonymous,
So, I'm pretty sure what I have are boxelder bugs but they do not smell and they do not leave pooh as others have stated.....I would love someone to tell me that they are not boxelder bugs :o)

They are not boxelder bugs.

Now that I have delivered your one true love, want to get together for some drinks or something?

posted on Sun, 10/12/2008 - 10:36pm
Donna Jackson's picture
Donna Jackson says:

I am having a real problem with boxelder bugs. This is a problem I have parking my car in the lot at work. I have tried to park in different spots with no luck. These bugs I swear are attacking my car. I drive a cream colored VW Beetle convertible with a black top. I don't know if there is something about my car that is attracking them, but there are so many that I can't open my car to get in without them coming inside. I have tried knocking them off, vacuuming them and they just keep coming back. Is there a way of getting rid of these pests or something I can do to discourage them from getting on my car. The worse part is I take them home with me and then they are all over the outside of my house as well. I need help.

posted on Mon, 10/13/2008 - 10:19am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Well if you can, try parking in a parking garage, if you cant, then get some dish soap, and put it in water put it over your car and let it dry, it will leave spots, but it will keep the bugs off. that is what i had to do.

posted on Mon, 10/13/2008 - 7:46pm
kwlundy's picture
kwlundy says:

Boxelder bugs like to warm themselves in the sun as it gets colder. You are probably getting them on the black convertable top becauue it is warmer than its surrounds since black absorbs more light. DO

posted on Fri, 10/24/2008 - 2:03pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i hate box elder bugs they are all over my house they will not leave we even tryed spraying our house with our house to get them off it didnt work

posted on Sat, 10/25/2008 - 12:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that u r so right about bugs. they are so gross!!!!!!! they are in my house toooo!!!!! omg!!! so alike huh...... hahahahaha!!!!! lolz!!jk

posted on Fri, 10/31/2008 - 12:15pm
spikeybaby11's picture
spikeybaby11 says:

Are they done for the season?

posted on Sat, 11/01/2008 - 7:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Donna Jackson-
Well if you can, try parking in a parking garage, if you cant, then get some dish soap, and put it in water put it over your car and let it dry, it will leave spots, but it will keep the bugs off. that is what i had to do.

posted on Mon, 10/13/2008 - 7:46pm
El Destructo's picture
El Destructo says:

The answer to boxelder bugs? Kill them all. No mercy. Dishsoap inundation, flyswatters, cut down the boxelder and green ash trees, whatever it takes. If you have an inundation, you'll know why I say: Kill'em all.

posted on Tue, 10/14/2008 - 4:33pm
Carla from Joppa, Maryland's picture
Carla from Joppa, Maryland says:

This past week has been a box elder nightmare. All of a sudden last Monday morning (10/13/08) there were thousands of box elder bugs on the outside of my house - worse than in any of the other 14 years I've lived here. I know they are drawn to the huge silver maple tree in my back yard, but I will try anything to avoid having to remove my tree - plus I've noted that other folks have removed their trees and still have a recurring problem with the bugs. So far, none have shown up inside, but I caulked what I hope was every possible entry point last year. I've found that Ortho Home Defense Max does kill these little suckers on contact - I've had to sweep my deck constantly this week because of all of the little box elder bug carcases all over it. Each day there have been fewer and fewer bugs. Hopefully, as this is year ten of their cycle, we'll all get a break from them for the next few years !

posted on Thu, 10/16/2008 - 6:56am
El Destructo's picture
El Destructo says:

Kill them all. Show no mercy. This is the first time I've heard that they like maple trees. I thought they only liked boxelder and green ash, but it makes sense. All trees have green stuff to eat. I knew a woman who used a vacuum cleaner to suck them off the wall. I tried that and it gummed up the vacuum cleaner so bad I had to buy a new one. I hate'm. Can you tell?

posted on Wed, 10/22/2008 - 9:35am
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

El Destructo! That's so fierce!

I bet the inside of your vacuum looked... hilarious.

posted on Wed, 10/22/2008 - 10:09am
El Destructo's picture
El Destructo says:

I still patrol the sunny side of the house with a flyswatter. People ask, "Why is he swatting the side of his house?". It's the boxelder bugs--I have a "no mercy" policy because to show the slightest bit of tolerance is to invite a new infestation. At least they're no longer waking me up in the middle of the night crawling on my legs in bed.....

posted on Thu, 10/23/2008 - 4:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Chemicals a last resort? I don't think so. Those little bastards need to be decimated with a shock and awe campaign if you want to get their numbers under control. I'll use Triazicide or any other permethrin based chemical, and I'll use a LOT of it. These chemicals break down in the environment into harmless chemicals in a fairly short time. To fear using them is just ignorant. Do some research on permethrins. The only thing they are going to kill is bugs (and fish if sprayed directly into the water, but not from runoff from normal spraying). Then get to the hardware store and get some chemicals, a hose-end sprayer, a garden hose, and a ladder. Spray every square inch of your property. You won't have mosquitoes either.

posted on Thu, 10/23/2008 - 12:23pm

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