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Boxelder Bug Identification Guide

What are boxelder bugs?

Boxelder bugs are unique looking bugs that live on seed-bearing trees feeding on their leaves, flowers, and young branches. These insects have specialized “sucking” mouthparts that they use for feeding. Their elongated, oval-shaped bodies are black, and their wings are outlined in an orange color. Their black and orange color pattern is why people often refer to these insects as “Halloween bugs.” Young boxelder bugs look similar in shape to the adults but are smaller and are bright red, and they also lack wings.

boxelder bug outside home in utah

Are boxelder bugs dangerous?

Boxelder bugs are not dangerous pests. They spend most of their time outside feeding on trees. A large infestation may cause damage to the trees they are feeding on. When boxelder bugs find their way into our homes not only are they annoying to deal with, but their excrement can stain things like curtains, walls, and upholstered furniture.

Why do I have a boxelder bug problem?

Boxelder bugs spend most of their time outside living happily without much contact with people. That changes in the late fall when boxelder bugs gather in large numbers on the sunny exterior walls of homes and other structures. As they move along the walls, they make their way inside through any cracks and crevices they discover. Boxelder bugs use our homes as a safe, warm place to overwinter. Overwintering boxelder bugs invade in large numbers and, once inside our Utah area homes, are hard to get rid of.

Where will I find boxelder bugs?

As their name suggests, boxelder bugs spend most of their time outside on boxelder trees. They also feed on other seed-bearing trees like maple, ash, and cherry. Boxelder bugs that overwinter in our homes do so in cracks found in walls and floors. When the warm spring weather rolls back around, they move back outside to continue their life cycle.

How do I get rid of boxelder bugs?

An boxelder bug infestation is a frustrating pest problem. The easiest way to get rid of boxelder bugs and other pests is to partner with Pest Pro Pest Control. We provide the effective home pest control and commercial pest control services needed to protect Utah residential and commercial properties from insects, rodents, and other pests.

At Pest Pro Pest Control, we are committed to helping Utah home, and business owners maintain pest-free properties through our guaranteed pest control services. For more information about our boxelder bug control treatments, reach out to Pest Pro Pest Control today!

How can I prevent boxelder bugs in the future?

Keep your Salt Lake City home and yard protected from boxelder bugs with the help of Pest Pro Pest Control and the following prevention tips:

  • Cut back trees, especially boxelder trees, from the exterior of your home.

  • If possible, don’t plant a boxelder tree on your property.

  • Seal up entry points in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline of your home.

  • Fix any missing or damaged roof shingles; place a tight-fitting cap on the chimney.

  • Fill in the spaces around wires, pipes, and utilities entering into your house.

  • Put mesh covers over vents leading into your home.

  • Put weatherstripping around all exterior windows and doors.

  • Repair any torn or loose window or door screens.


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