Boxelder Bugs in Shelby Township 48316, 48317; Macomb Township 48042, 48044

Liberty Services of America, Inc. dba Spider Man Pest Control 586-294-3111 provides professional extermination services in Macomb County, eastern Oakland County, the Grosse Pointes, and up the coast to Algonac and Harsens Island in St. Clair County.


The boxelder bug is a pesky insect which can be inundating in the fall.  They can be found wherever there are female boxelder trees are found.


Adult boxelder bugs are about 1/2 inch long, black with orange-red wing edges, red lines on the back and red eyes.  They feed on the seed pods, leaves and flowers of the female boxelder tree or sometimes female silver maple trees, but the feeding damage is not usually very obvious.


Boxelder bugs will enter structures to look for protection from winter weather. They can travel a couple of blocks from their host tree to enter homes through gaps around windows, vents, rooflines, etc.  Once inside, they may wander about until the weather gets colder. At that point, they will settle in places such as attics, wall voids, or ceiling voids.  They will sometimes appear on warm, wintry days, but reappear more abundantly in early spring as they search for a way to get back outside. The good news is that they don't reproduce while inside.


Boxelder bugs can sometimes be controlled by power-spraying the host tree(s) in early summer when nymphs are feeding.  The other control opportunity is in early fall when the adult bugs congregate on lower tree trunks or sunny foundation walls before moving to overwintering sites.


To help reduce issues with boxelder bugs, clean up foundation debris (boxelder seed pods) and seal entry points on the structure.  Once they are inside and hiding, control is difficult.  They can be vacuumed up, but can give off a foul defensive odor if they are crushed.  Their reddish faces may stain fabrics.


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Source: Pest Control Technology magazine, Sept 2019