boxelder bug on exterior of house

Boxelder Bugs

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What do boxelder bugs look like?

Boxelder bugs are most commonly black with reddish markings. They emerge from their eggs as red-colored nymphs and continue to have a predominantly red coloration until they reach their adult stage. In all stages, these insects have six legs, two antennae, and a flat, oval shape. The adult insects are about ½ an inch long. You'll find black and reddish bugs congregating with the younger red-colored nymphs. They're hard to miss. 

boxelder bugs congregating outside arizona home

Pest Facts

Did you know?

  • Boxelder bugs are referred to maple bugs in some Canadian folklore.
  • Their feces can stain walls and furniture.
  • Boxelder bugs do not reproduce inside.

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Do boxelder bugs bite?

These insects are not known to bite humans. The main issue with boxelder bugs is that they are an incredible nuisance. They congregate on trees and create an eyesore, and they can enter structures in large numbers. 

Are boxelder bugs harmful?

Many insects are harmful due to their ability to pick up germs and spread them. An insect doesn't have to bite you to pose a threat. Is this the case with boxelder bugs? We're happy to say that it isn't. These insects don't usually get into garbage and other unsanitary places where germs are picked up, and they don't explore kitchens and pantries to access food. 

Are boxelder bugs dangerous to plants?

No. Boxelder bugs present little threat to the plants on your property because they feed primarily on seeds and tree sap. They are just nuisance pests. If you see them in your yard, there is no reason for concern.   

Are boxelder bugs seasonal? 

If there is a season for these pests in Arizona, it is in the summer and fall. In most cases, they go into diapause during the winter months. Higher than normal activity is often seen after particularly dry or hot summers.

What are boxelder bugs attracted to?

These insects are most often found on properties that provide a food source, and they most commonly feed on the ungerminated seeds and sap of boxelder, maple, and ash trees. If you have these trees, you are likely to have trouble with boxelder bugs.

They're also attracted to moist habitats as these places provide protection from the sun and locations in which to find the moisture they need for survival. A property with lots of vegetation is attractive to these pests. But they can come onto your property for no reason at all.

How do I get rid of boxelder bugs?

At Greenway Pest Solutions, our local Arizona pest control company specializes in boxelder bug control and stand ready to eliminate these nuisance insects and other pests. Request a boxelder bug control quote today!

How can I stop boxelder bugs from infesting?

You may begin by removing the food sources that attract boxelder bugs. If you have trees that drop seeds that these insects eat, removing them can remove the problem. If you also address humid exterior habitats, such as dense vegetation, you may reduce activity. When more control is needed, contact your Greenway Pest Solutions service team.

Along with controlling attractants, take steps to keep boxelder bugs out of indoor spaces. These insects don't create entry points to find their way indoors; they must exploit openings that already exist. If you seal these openings, you can prevent boxelder bugs from entering. Use a caulking gun, expanding foam, and weatherproofing materials to keep them out. Once again, your Greenway Pest Solutions team can help. A year-round pest control service plan provides your exterior the protection it needs to keep insects out.  

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