Boxelder bugs in homes during winter are a nuisance that takes any average homeowner aback.
These red and black bugs enter homes in droves and hide in the most inaccessible places of your homes.
In this guide, you’ll find out why there are so many boxelder bugs in your house in the winter.
You’ll also find out how they enter homes and how to get rid of them from your home and yard without hiring professional pest control.
What Do Boxelder Bugs Look Like?
Adult boxelder bugs are red and black insects that grow up to 1/2 an inch in size. They’re oval and black and have orange or red markings on their back and three stripes on their thorax.
Boxelder bugs are true bugs and belong to the family of stink bugs and kissing bugs. They’ve got a long beak-like sucking mouthpart that they use for feeding.
Boxelder bugs become active in spring. And they continue to spread in the summer months till late summer and early fall.
Boxelder Trees Attract Boxelder Bugs To Your Garden Or Yard
The presence of boxelder trees, ash trees, and silver maple trees attracts boxelder bugs. The adults feed on the seeds of these trees.
Fruit trees like apples and plums also attract these insects because they can eat both apples and plums.
However, they don’t cause any severe damage to these trees.
But they multiply fast. Their preferences to hide in your home can make them problematic pests.
And when boxelder bugs are in your home’s exterior in such large numbers, they’ll move inside your home in the late fall and early winter.
Why? Let’s find it out.
Why do Boxelder Bugs Enter Homes In The Winter In Large Numbers?
Boxelder bugs enter homes during the late fall and early winter months to stay warm and to overwinter.
These bugs become inactive during the winter when they enter a period of dormancy until the spring.
The most common hiding places are the attic, wall voids, underneath furniture, and the cracks and gaps around doors and windows.
They want to insulate themselves from the cold by overwintering in these warm areas.
So, how do these bugs enter homes and become pests? There are specific entry points in your home that they use to sneak inside.
How Do Boxelder Bugs Enter Homes?
Boxelder bugs enter homes through open doors and windows and the cracks and crevices on the home’s walls.
They can also sneak through underneath doors and through the gaps between the window panel and frames.
However, other places like vents in the attic, chimneys, and even the cracks on the roof eaves can be their entry points.
Boxelder bugs will gather on the warm and sunny areas of your home’s exterior during the fall. And when the weather cools, these insects sneak inside homes for warmth and places to hide.
Boxelder bugs are not the only bugs that can overwinter in your home. Other biting winter bugs like stink bugs, wasps, and kissing bugs can move into your home.
When spring arrives, these insects wake up from their dormancy and try to move outside your home, searching for food and shelter.
Many people also notice the sudden appearance of boxelder bugs in their homes during the spring and early summer.
Boxelder bugs will begin mating in the spring and try to locate their food source. The females will lay their eggs in the gaps of the box elder tree barks.
Nymphs hatch out of these eggs within a few weeks and turn into adults during the summer. And again, they mate and lay their eggs.
So, boxelder bugs become an annoying nuisance pest very fast. And they spread all over your yard or garden.
How To Prevent Boxelder Bugs In House During Winter?
You don’t have to chop off all the box elder and maple trees on your property.
All you need to do is to take measures to prevent boxelder bugs from entering your house and remove them from the outdoors of your home.
Seal The Gaps To Deny Them Entry
The basic step to stopping boxelder bugs from entering your home is sealing their entry points.
Find out the crevices on the walls, windows, and doors. And seal them.
Look for gaps in the areas of your home’s exterior that receive direct sunlight. These areas are where boxelder bugs gather. So, caulk the cracks in these places.
Install door sweeps on your home’s exterior doors. Also, weather stripping on the windows also closes the gap between the window panes and frames.
Get Rid Of Box Elder Bugs From Your Outdoors
These insects don’t cause any severe property damage when they’re in your house.
But the best way to stop them from entering your home is by eliminating them from the outdoors.
You can get rid of boxelder bugs in your yard by blasting a strong stream of water with the help of a garden hose on them.
Diatomaceous earth is another potent weapon to control them. Scatter it on places where you notice them both inside and outside your home.
The diatomaceous earth will penetrate their exoskeleton, causing them to die.
Spray residual insecticide containing pyrethrin on the boxelder bug.
You can also spray it where they hide in your home. Remove the dead bugs by scooping them off with a vacuum cleaner.
Get Rid Of Box Elder Bugs From The Indoors
You can remove box elder bugs by using methods of physical removal. And you don’t need a professional pest control service to do it.
Use the vacuum cleaner on the boxelder bugs when you see them indoors.
You can also prepare soapy water by mixing two parts of water and one part of dish soap.
Spray it on them. That will kill boxelder bugs.
Box elder bugs produce stains and foul odor wherever they gather.
So, ensure that you remove the stains and stench with a cleaner after removing them.
Should You Crush Box Elder Bugs?
Crushing box elder bugs to control them is the worst. It’s because they produce stench and liquid stains that can be hard to remove.
The stains and the odor from the crushed boxelder insects will attract most insects that feed on dead bugs.
That can lead to pest issues in your homes. Other pests like ants and roaches will follow the scent trail of the boxelder bugs and enter your home.
Do Box Elder Bugs Cause Any Damage Inside The House?
No, they don’t.
The boxelder bug doesn’t lay eggs inside your home either. So, box elder bugs don’t cause an infestation.
Neither they eat anything inside the buildings, nor do they cause any damage.
Boxelder bugs enter homes in winter for warmth, shelter, and to overwinter.
They sneak inside homes through the cracks in the home’s walls, windows, and doors.
This guide revealed how to get rid of them on your property and prevent them from entering your home.