Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs  are a common nuisance insect to many homeowners. Even though they are active all summer long, they are rarely noticed as a nuisance until fall when they congregate on the South and West side of the house and other buildings.

You don’t have to own a Boxelder tree to have Boxelder bugs, due to how mobile they are. They feed on many different plants including; maple, ash, many fruit trees, grapes, strawberries, grass and many more.

Overwintering adults emerge and fly from a block to 2 miles away to feed on host plants. They soon mate and the females lay eggs. Eggs hatch in 10 to 14 days and the nymphs begin feeding.

After a number of nymph stages, they reach adult stage, mate and produce a second generation.  As temperatures cool down in the fall, they leave the plants they are feeding on to find a protected area for the winter. This is when they can become a nuisance, by congregating on homes and buildings. These gatherings generally occur on the south and west sides of buildings and on warm days throughout the winter they will emerge to warm up in the sun.
Although nymphs may be present in the fall, only adults can winter over to mate next year.


Since the only problem with boxelder bugs is that they are a nuisance, keeping them out of the house or buildings is the first step. Caulk windows and doors and make sure they are in good working order and reduce possible places where they may enter.

Outside the building: In the grass, landscape, mulch, plants and such, a granular application may be appropriate, HY Turf Ranger or HY Bug Blaster II Granules  are the best choice. Apply and lightly water to activate.

Another choice would be to use a spray, HY 38 Plus is the best, most effective choice, the addition of HY Spreader Sticker to the mix will help kill, chemical tolerant adults. Another choice is NG Insecticidal Soap, this is a contact control only.

If they do get into the house; a dry application would be NG Diatomaceous Earth. Apply in the areas you see them. Spray choice would be HY Kill-a-Bug II RTU, it can kill by contact or residue.
The longest lasting choice for indoors or outdoors is HY Multi-Use Dust, an application can last up to a month.