How Do I Get Rid Of Boxelder Bugs On My Chicago Property?

Boxelder Bug infestation.
This bug is a classic nuisance bug. They will not harm you or damage your home. So what's the big problem? It's the sheer number of bugs that will invade all at once that is the issue.

What Is A Boxelder Bug?

These bugs can be found where boxelder trees grow. They feed in the trees and lay their eggs there. Once the colder weather comes, they will migrate to your cozy warm house over winter. You cannot misidentify this bug, because its coloring and markings are very distinctive.

  • Red and black with markings on the back.
  • ½ inch long.
  • Six legs.
  • Two antennae.
  • Sunflower seed-shaped body.
  • Two wings. 

The problem usually isn't being able to describe or recognize this bug, it's knowing its name. Boxelder bugs are not synonymous with pest control efforts in the ways that ants or spiders are, making them pretty low on the list. That is until you get invaded.

Problems Associated With This Bug 

There really aren't any major problems that are caused by the boxelder bug, but they are not without negative traits. They are capable of biting, but it is very unlikely that they will do so.

  • They will feed in the young leaves of the Boxelder tree, causing the tree to have discolored leaves. You may think your tree is sick or has some sort of tree-borne disease, only to have the arborist come out to your home and tell you it's just the bugs. That's a bill you could do without.
  • They will occasionally feed on the fruit of your plum and apple trees.
  • In the autumn they will gather in large numbers to sun themselves on your deck, side of your building, or patio.
  • Once winter arrives, the boxelder bug will invade your home in very large numbers, looking for a cozy spot to live until it warms up again.
  • They leave reddish-orange stains all over your home and furniture when they poop.
  • When they are smashed, they emit a foul-smelling odor.
  • Dead boxelder bugs attract dermestid beetles that will feed on the remains. 

If you can live with hundreds of bugs making themselves at home in your house then this is the pest for you.


The basic list of pest prevention tips applies here as well.

  • Seal up any holes or cracks with caulk.
  • Repair windows and screens.
  • Inspect door sweeps.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of the house. 

As for the ones that have already made it into the house, use a vacuum cleaner to suck them up. As we said earlier, dead boxelder bugs attract dermestid beetles. So to avoid this using the vacuum cleaner is a simple and effective solution.

There are common places where insects will enter a home. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on these locations to monitor any potential problems

  • Where baseboards meet the floor.
  • Where pipes enter the wall.
  • Below sinks.
  • In the wall voids behind outlets.
  • Where cables and pipes enter the home.
  • Around door and window frames.
  • In the corners of attics and closets.
  • Cracks and crevices around the home. 

Best Way To Make Them Go Away

Aerex Pest Control is accustomed to ‘occasional invaders’ like the boxelder bug. We have been serving the greater Chicago area since 1948 and we are very familiar with the types of creepy crawlers that we have in Illinois. Our methods are tried and true and will bring a quick end to your problem. A year-round service plan would ensure that you never have this problem again. Call for a free estimate today.

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