Get Rid of Box Elder bugs

By DoMyOwn staff

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Box Elder bugs are tricky little pests, and not always easy to get rid of. A control program for getting rid of Box Elder bugs should include a combination of the measures listed below, and will take more than a one-time application. Box Elder bugs generally revisit the same yards and homes year after year. While you may significantly decrease the population this year, don't let your guard down. An effective control program involves persistent yearly reapplications.

                       Not sure its a Box Edler Bug? Visit our Box Elder Identification page

Step 1) Nonchemical Boxelder Control Methods

  • Exclusion -- You can "seal out" Box Elder bugs and other similar pests to a large degree by caulking cracks around utility openings, fixing broken doors and window screens, plugging cracks in siding or roofing, and performing other similar exclusion activities. Concentrate on the sunny side of the structure, since that is where most Box Elder bugs enter. If you area able to seal up enough cracks, it will make a difference. DO NOT do this while you are having the problem though. Wait until the numbers are at a minimum. Otherwise you may end up trapping them all on the inside, and you'll be seeing them for months no matter what you do.

  • Physical Removal -- Believe it or not, turning on your vacuum cleaner is the quickest, cheapest, and most effective way to get rid of Box Elder bugs by reducing large numbers.

Step 2) Chemical Pesticide Application

  • Perimeter Treatments - Use a perimeter treatment on the outside and inside of your home in early fall, before the winter migration. This creates a pesticide barrier to control Boxelder bugs and will prevent them from entering. Demand CS and Suspend, are both excellent perimeter products that leave a long lasting residue. Spray Demand or Suspend in a continuous band around the entire perimeter, including attic vents, eaves, windows, doors, siding, and any other possible points of entry. To assure lasting control of Boxelder bugs and other similar pests, repeat treatment using a garden sprayer such as the Chapin Premier every couple of months throughout fall and winter.

Last Resort!) Removal of female Boxelder trees-

Box Elder bugs are most often associated with the female Boxelder tree, where they feed and reproduce. As a last resort, if nothing else seems to be working, you can always get rid of Box Elder bugs by removing the host trees. This option is not practical for everyone, especially if you have neighbors that are not willing to remove their Boxelder trees. The winged adult Box Elder bugs can fly up to several blocks and will find their way into your yard anyway.

What does the female Boxelder Tree look like? In the spring, the blossoms of female Boxelder trees are long, slender, and hang down, while the blossoms of male trees hang upright and are small like little umbrellas. In the fall, only the female Boxelder tree produces clusters of seeds, similar in appearance to the "helicopter" seeds of maple trees. These seed clusters remain attached in winter.


Other Professional products labeled for Box Elder bugs: recommends the following professional products to help you get rid of Box Elder bugs.

  • Bifen IT: For perimeter application around doors, windows, baseboards, and other areas where Box Elder bugs may enter the structure.
  • Cy-Kick Aerosol: Apply as a crack and crevice treatment where Box Elder bugs may be harboring or hiding.
  • Cynoff EC: Apply around doors and windows and other places where these pests may be found or where they may enter premises. For outdoor application, apply by brush or as a residual spray either by hand or power sprayer. Apply to surfaces of buildings, porches, screens, window frames, eaves, patios, residential lawns only such grass areas where Box Elder bugs are found.
  • DeltaGard G Granules: Treat perimeter of structure with a 5 to 10 foot band of granules.
  • Drione Dust- Provides quick control of dozens of standard household pests, and keeps on working for up to 6 months if left undisturbed.
  • Talstar One: Offers indoor and outdoor control of Box Elder bugs, along with 75 other common pests.

View our entire line of Lawn and Garden Pest Control Products



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