How To Get Rid Of Boxelder Bugs Inside Your House

In this guide, we will discuss how to get rid of boxelder bugs inside and outside your home.

Talk of a bug with a lot of indiscretions, that’s boxelder bugs for you. They usually don’t have predators because they emit a nauseating smell that makes them taste awful to any attempting predator. More so, they have resistance against a wide range of chemical insecticides.

Judging by the way they move, they seem to be aware of the fact that they are invincible. As innocent as Boxelder bugs appear to be, you don’t want them around.

Boxelder Bug Extermination Methods

They don’t sting, they are not carriers of bacteria or viruses, and won’t reproduce in your home. They will most likely be hibernating if they are in your home during the winter.

Those flying insects with red or orange spots on their back are also known as maple bugs, Zug, or democrat bug. And they do not have predators because, like skunks, they emit a foul odor as their defense mechanism whenever they feel threatened.

If you own a maple tree, ash tree, or boxelder tree, you will always be forced to welcome the unwelcomed guest into your home. Unfortunately, those bugs may visit your home even though you don’t have a tree in your yard. As long as your neighbor owns their favorite kind of tree, you are not immune to their visitation.

I wonder why these bugs are not classified as an agricultural pest. They are capable of damaging not only boxelder trees, your ash and maple trees are also in trouble. They use their sharp mouth part to suck juices from the seeds of the tree until it starts to wither.

They also feast on cherry, peach, plum, and apple trees, and are also responsible for scars and fruit deformation. They suck juices out of fruits and cause dimples on some, which results in corky tissues of some plants. Their activities are the cause of strawberries’ premature dropping.

The bottom line is, you don’t want these bugs inside or outside your home, which means that you have to take immediate action against them.

How To Eradicate Boxelder Bugs

Although boxelder bugs are not recognized as agricultural pests, it is not illegal to get rid of them if you find them disturbing, as they are.

The following are the things you can use to permanently get rid of boxelder bugs whether they are outside on your trees or inside your home;

  • Water

If you love your ash tree, maple, or boxelder tree and you don’t want to get rid of it for fear of the bugs; you can take the first step of basting them off with water using your garden hose of a water gun.

This method may provoke them a lot, but since it is outside, their impact will not be as adverse because the outside air will take away the awful smell in no time.

But then, the blast of water will not completely eradicate them ut it will reduce their population. And if you keep blasting them, it will discourage them from making your tree their home.

The aftermath may probably be, some of them fleeing inside your home. So you must be ready and ensure that all openings in your home are covered and secured.

  • Diatomaceous Earth

Even though these bugs can resist a wide range of insecticide, diatomaceous earth will get through to them and exterminate them.

This substance comes in the form of a powder. It is toxic to all kinds of insects, including this daring boxelder bugs. It might not be poisonous but you should ensure you have your gloves when spraying it.

Just sprinkle the DE all around the base of the infested tree, you can use your hand duster to do this or your hand.  You can also spray DE on the stems of the trees, to ensure that all parts are covered.

It would help if you sprinkled more of the powder all around the openings or entry into your home. But if rain washes it away, you need to apply it again.

Apply DE religiously until you are satisfied that your home is free of boxelder bugs. You can apply DE to get rid of the pests in both interior and exterior part of your home.

  • Vacuum Cleaner

While it is easier to get rid of the bugs with diatomaceous earth within the home, the dead bugs will attract another pest. That is another headache you don’t want to have.

The way to avoid this type of situation is to limit the use of DE on the outside. And then, use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the bugs inside your home.

Another mistake you don’t want to make is; using a fly swatter to get rid of the bug. This will not only leave an irremovable stain on your carpet or floor; it will emit a foul odor that is difficult to get rid of.

Just apply your vacuum cleaner to any bug you see. You can use this cleaner to get rid of the bugs one after the other till there is none left. This is easy since the bugs will not reproduce inside your home

  • Homemade Solution

The natural homemade liquid dish soap solution will help in getting rid of boxelder bugs. All you have to do is to get an ordinary liquid dish soap- avoid moisturizers and degreasers.

Pour a cup of water into an empty spray bottle and add at least two tablespoons of the dish soap into the spray bottle. Allow the solution to dissolve properly.

Your solution is ready to use, so you can begin to spray to the areas where the bugs have been spotted in the home.

This solution is most effective when used indoors.

  • Pyrethrin Insecticide

Yes, boxelder can indeed resist all most all kinds of chemical insecticide. But it has been discovered that it has no resistance against a pyrethrin based residual insecticide.

So when getting an insecticide, ensure that you purchase the one that is a pyrethrin-base, and this chemical is better used on outdoors, windows, doors, vents, and all openings an entry points into the home.

Spray this pesticide around your tree and all cracks and crevices outside. Also spray on all entry points into your home, to stop the fleeing bugs from entering our home.

After the bugs are dead, ensure that you seal up any crack and opening into your home.

  • Citrus Essential Oil

As much as these bugs have big guts, they detest the smell of citrus oil. To get rid of the bugs, all you have to do is make a citrus oil spray and spray it all around your home.

Spray it enough to allow the aroma to fill the environment. Once these bugs perceive this spray, they will immediately exit your apartment

Using citrus oil to repel the bugs can work effectively inside your home

  • Herbal Plants

Herbal plants like cloves, sage, lavender, and mums are plants with very strong that boxelder bugs hate so much. If you can make pots of these plants around your house, it will repel the insects.

Using herbal plants in the home will be useful if you are already treating the bugs outside the home. Once the plant is being treated with a residual insecticide or with DE, it will be difficult for the bug to run into the house for safety.

However, if you don’t want to plant any of the herbs, you can get the leaves, crush it and sprinkle it all around the entrance of your home to prevent bugs from coming in.

  • Remove Female Boxelder seedpods

Another way to curb boxelder bugs infestation is to remove all female seedpods of the plant. A female boxelder tree produces a new shoot and serves as a comfortable shelter as well as food for the bugs.

If you want to get rid of the bug, but you also love to have a boxelder tree around, the better option is to plant the male boxelder plant.

  • Trapping

If boxelder bugs are in your home, the last thing you want to do is to get rid of them by killing them with a fly swatter or with anything. They will release their foul odor immediately, and God helps you, the smell last in your home for only a few days.

You can get the solar light trapper- this will be very effective around the time, the bugs like to visit your home, during the winter. These bugs like a warmer temperature so will be more likely attracted to the light.

You can also use the yellow glue trap is also very useful because of its brightness; it will attract the bugs and then trap them.

Make sure you check your trap time after time, once you find one trapped bug, you should dispose of it immediately.


Even though boxelder bugs don’t bother, they can leave very irritating and irremovable stains on your walls, carpet, cracks, and crevices. Apart from this stain, there’s no telling when they feel threatened that will make them release their awful smell in the air

To avoid an infestation, you have to be prepared for them in winter, especially there if a boxelder, ash, or maple tree planted somewhere not far from your home.

Please do not attempt to kill them with a fly swatter or with a broom; that attempt will most likely be disastrous.

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