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Boxelder Bugs

Boxelder bugs (or sometimes “beetle”) are common insects that are commonly found on the boxelder maple, as well as ash trees and other maple varieties.

Boxelder Bugs Description

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Typically, full grown boxelder bugs measure to approximately ½ inch in length.


The body of the boxelder bug is a dark brown or black in color, with red eyes and red or dark orange colorations on the perimeter of its wings and the center of its back.

What are boxelder bugs?

Boxelder bugs are a nuisance pest found primarily in the Western United States. Their name is derived from their primary source of food (and area where they tend to most congregate) the boxelder maple tree.

How did I get boxelder bugs?

If you have boxelder bugs in your home and on your property, odds are that you live in close proximity to boxelder trees, ash trees, or other maple varieties that the bugs use as a food source. However, boxelder bugs have a two square mile range so even if you don’t have a maple tree near your home—it doesn’t mean your home isn’t susceptible to invasion.

What do boxelder bugs eat?

As their name implies, the boxelder tree is very important to the existence of the boxelder maple. Boxelder bugs main source of nutrition is the boxelder seed, though there are other tree seeds the bugs will feed on. Boxelder bugs are also known to garner nutrition from maple leaves.

Where are the boxelder bugs coming from?

As we’ve stated, boxelder bugs have a very specific diet, so presumably they’re in your home or on your property due to your proximity to their preferred box elder, ash, and other maple trees. As to how they’ve gotten into your home, well, that usually means taking some time to identify the access points in your home, and, unlike a lot of other pests, they’re often easier to identify when it comes to the boxelder bug.

When the mornings and evenings start to cool off, boxelder bugs get the signal to fly in from wooded areas and find a comfortable place to overwinter. Unfortunately they’re attracted to the warmth of our homes and love to harbor inside the wall voids. Anyone familiar with boxelder bugs knows their tendency to congregate on the sunny side (usually south facing) side of buildings on warm fall and winter days.

Still not sure if you’re looking at a boxelder bug?


Boxelder Bug Tips


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Boxelder bugs are not harmful to people.

Are boxelder bugs harmful to people?

Boxelder bugs are not stinging insects, nor are they carriers of disease.

Do boxelder bugs cause damage to property and homes?

While they do not cause damage to home in the manner insects like carpenter ants do, infestations can be messy. Boxelder bugs have been known to stain fabrics, furniture, and other household items via their excrement.


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Boxelder bugs attempt to enter homes as it gets cold.

As the weather gets cooler (usually early October), the boxelder bugs seek out warmth and discover entry points into the home. For about two to three weeks, our phone rings off the hook as boxelder bugs fly in from the trees to look for home for winter.

During the cold winter there’s a reprieve as the boxelders go dormant. 

Are boxelder bugs more active when it’s sunny?

Sometimes on warm and sunny winter days, homeowners will see the boxelders emerge to sun themselves. Boxelder bugs are known to congregate in large groups—hundreds or even thousands on the siding and windows of homes.

In March and April the box elders emerge from their overwintering hiding places and begin to fly back into the trees. Many homeowners see a noticeable increase in box elder bug activity during these two months.

Are transitions the main pain point for boxelder bugs?

The transition from the home to outside can take weeks and homeowners can again experience large numbers of boxelders on the siding and windows during this time-frame.


can i treat BOXELDER BUGS on my own?

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Exterminating the boxelder bug population completely is difficult with DIY pest control.

Many flying insects like the boxelder bug are incredibly difficult to treat without the help of professional extermination services.


Boxelder bug extermination experts


Why should I call professional pest control?

Once box elder bugs establish themselves in a home they tend to follow the same flight patterns each year and may get progressively worse if left untreated. Although they’re not particularly harmful insects, there’s no doubt that box elder bugs can be a big nuisance. Treatment is advisable when they’re observed on the house in large numbers or when they’re starting to get inside the home.

Prevent a boxelder infestation

Since flying insects like the boxelder are difficult to completely eradicate, proper prevention can keep them out of the home. Examine your home’s exterior — especially those surfaces that get a lot of warmth and sunlight — to ensure that there are no cracks, holes, or openings where boxelders can enter.

If you do see any breaches in your home, be sure to repair them in the manner recommended by home repair experts.

More extreme measures for prevention would include the removal of certain boxelder, ash, and maple trees from your property. It is important to note that male boxelder trees are non-seed bearing, and do not produce the food source that the bugs desire, whereas the female trees will attract the bugs to your property.

Early intervention is crucial for boxelder extermination

If you observe a large number of boxelder bugs congregating on or near your home, we recommend professional assistance.

Because box elder bugs fly, 100% elimination is probably not realistic. That being said, the overwhelming majority of our customers report seeing a huge difference after a single treatment and we consistently get feedback that the result of treatment is well worth the cost. Our goal is to get them out of the house, prevent them from gaining further access into the house, and, if possible, disrupt their flight patterns so that they no longer see your property as a safe haven.

Boxelder Bug Treatment



Our commitment to you and your family is to provide a thorough examination of your boxelder infestation. Only after we’ve completed our inspection and provided you a clear understanding of the situation will we propose recommended treatment options.

Aspen Pest Control Technician Treating the Floorboards of a Portland OR Home


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Aspen uses advanced methods to treat the hidden areas where box elder bugs actually nest in addition to those areas where they’re visible. 

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Initial treatment for your boxelder infestation is where some might end their services, but Aspen Pest Control, this is where our relationship truly begins. Boxelders can be difficult to fully eradicate, but we will work with you to get a solution that leaves you satisfied with the result.

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Secure your home from boxelder bugs 


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Don’t let the stress of boxelder bugs get you down! Partner with a proven and effective team of pest extermination experts. Aspen Pest Control believes our value lies in not only how well we’ve treated your home for pests, but also in how well we’ve treated you as our clients! Our team is committed to your total satisfaction, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to serve you!

Call Aspen Pest Control today and get rid of your boxelder bug problem.

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Vancouver Office:


12104 NE 95th St.

Vancouver, WA 98682


Portland Office:


8305 SE Monterey Ave

Suite 220 Q

Happy Valley, OR 97086

Mailing Address:

19215 SE 34th St

Suite #106-155

Camas, WA 98607

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