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Boxelder Bugs

We’ll get rid of
whatever’s bugging you.


Adam’s exterminates Boxelder Bugs by applying an insecticide treatment to the foundation and exterior parts of your house before the Boxelder Bugs congregate and enter your home. All cracks, crevices and any possible entry sites are carefully treated with an EPA proven residual insecticide, with particular attention given to the sunny sides of the structure. Treatments are generally done in late August or September.

Now is a great time to make a reservation for a fall Boxelder Bug treatment, so you don’t forget to call later. Pay nothing until we do the treatment.

Although boxelder bugs (Leptocoris trivittatus) cause little or insignificant damage to boxelder trees or other host plants, they can be a nuisance pest in and around structures.

Known Issues

  • Structure Invading

Active Seasons

  • Fall

Boxelder Bug Treatment Options

One-time Fall Invader Control

Adam’s exterminates boxelder bugs and other “fall invaders” by applying an EPA proven residual insecticide treatment to the foundation and exterior of your home before the pests congregate and enter your home. All cracks, crevices and any possible entry sites are carefully treated, with particular attention given to the sunny sides of the structure. Treatments are generally done in late August or September. The service is warranted for 3 months.

Premier Fall Invader Prevention

Adam’s premier fall pest service provides year-round control of boxelder bugs and other “fall invaders.” An EPA proven residual insecticide is applied to the foundation and exterior of the structure. Special attention is given to potential entry points, such as eaves, doors, windows, any cracks and crevices, and the sunny sides of the structure, typically the S and SW sides. Treatments are generally done in late August or September. The Premier Fall Invader Prevention service is an ongoing annual service, so you never forget to schedule treatment. The service is warranted for 12 months.

Premier Perimeter

Need to prevent more pests than just boxelder bugs? Adam’s Premier Perimeter Program includes a minimum of 3 preventive barrier treatments around the exterior perimeter of your home for year-round prevention of common household bugs, including insects, spiders, and boxelder bugs. Your Pest Management Professional inspects for pests, and then applies a season-specific, non-repellent, residual material to control common household pests before they can get inside. Comes with a 12-month guarantee.

Premier Home Pest Prevention

Adam’s best value for prevention and control of common household pests, including boxelder bugs! Adam’s Premier Home Pest Prevention service provides year-round pest prevention with a minimum of four visits throughout the year. Service visits focus on the exterior of your home, where most pest problems originate. And should a pest problem ever occur between scheduled visits, the plan includes additional treatments at no additional charge. This program includes common household pests like spiders, centipedes, sow bugs, and roaches and seasonal pests like wasps, multicolored Asian lady beetles, ants, and mice, as well as boxelder bugs.

More About Boxelder Bugs

How Do I Know If I Have Boxelder Bugs?

Adult boxelder bugs are easily seen and can be found in very large numbers on the warm south and west sides of structures in early autumn.


  • Adults are about 1/2 inch in length, black with three red stripes on the prominent plate-like structure that covers the middle region of the body (pronotum).

  • Nymphs are red and gray. They resemble adults but do not have fully developed wings.

  • Eggs are yellow when first laid, but gradually become red as nymphs develop inside.


 No. Boxelder bugs are nuisance pests; however their dead bodies may attract unlikable insects that feed on them.


  • Boxelder bugs do not cause any direct damage to the structure, contents or the occupants. However, they may stain white surfaces if crushed.

  • Starting in mid‑July, boxelder bugs can be found mainly on seed-bearing boxelder trees. There is usually no noticeable injury to the trees from boxelder bugs feeding on the leaves.


  • In the early spring, typically in late April to early May, boxelder bugs become noticeable to the eye again as they congregate on the sunlit sides (south/west) of the building. Then they fly off to a convenient host to lay eggs and start their lifecycle.

  • From mid-May to mid-July, adults and nymphs congregate on the low vegetation or ground near the female boxelder trees feeding on the fallen seeds produced the previous year.

  • From mid-July to mid-September, boxelder bugs congregate on the trunk of female boxelder trees and ground.

  • The migration of the second generation to the sunny sides of buildings usually begins from mid-September to mid-October. Adult boxelder bugs typically can fly several blocks, although in some rare cases they will travel as far as two miles.

  • Boxelder bugs are especially attracted to warm areas on buildings with a large southern or western exposure. Thousands of boxelder bugs can congregate on a single structure, while neighboring buildings may have relatively few.

  • Adult boxelder bugs hibernate through the winter in cracks and crevices in and around buildings.

  • On sunny and warm winter days, a few overwintering adult boxelder bugs may become active and can be seen around windows or warm places.

  • Boxelder bugs are attracted to light. Therefore, boxelder bugs may enter homes through open windows or doors, especially at night when interior lights are on. Once indoors, boxelder bugs can be seen hiding or clustering near light fixtures or around windows and vents.


  • Boxelder bugs feed by sucking sap from the leaves, tender twigs and developing seeds.

  • Although the primary host plant of boxelder bugs is the seed-bearing boxelder tree, boxelder bugs have been occasionally observed on other plants such as, apple, ash, maple, almond, strawberry, etc. However, boxelder bugs usually cannot fully complete their life cycle on these occasional hosts.


  • Boxelder boxes develop by gradual metamorphosis from egg to nymph, and then to adult.

  • In spring, female boxelder bugs lay irregular masses of eggs on leaves, in cracks and crevices of the host tree bark, or on grasses and stones near the host plant.

  • Egg masses may have from 10-25 eggs.

  • Eggs usually hatch in 11-19 days depending on temperature and relative humidity.

  • Newly hatched nymphs pass through five nymphal developmental instars. This may take up to 60 days before they become adults by mid-summer.

  • New adult boxelder bugs mate and females lay eggs to start the second generation.

  • In the fall, boxelder bugs congregate on the trunk of female boxelder trees or on the ground level by the host plants, then they migrate to the sunny sides of buildings. This is when they become most noticeably visible to people.

  • The onset of the harsh winter weather causes all immature stages of boxelder bugs to die, while adults seek overwinter shelter, which may be your house.

  • During overwintering time, boxelder bugs do not feed or reproduce.


  • Studies have shown that dry and hot summers indicate a potential increase in boxelder bug numbers. This fact helps us to predict the infestation levels of boxelder bugs each year.

  • The consumption of dead insects (conspecific necrophagy) has been documented among the boxelder bugs during the hibernation. This phenomenon increases the survival rate of the overwintering adults. Whereas, cannibalism is also known among nymphs in the field.