Control Techniques for Boxelder Bugs

by Phume Mdluli

When most people hear of pests, they assume these are only those in their interiors, causing considerable visible damage. While these are no doubt the most common and destructive among pests, outdoor pests are also quite destructive. Among the typically overlooked outdoor pests are boxelder bugs. These have bodes shaped like sunflower seeds and red or orange body edges. They are often approximately half an inch long and are found in boxelder trees hence their name.

You might see little or no need for a professional pest control service for your Salt Lake City property when you notice boxelder bugs in your exteriors. In winters, however, these bugs invade your interiors when looking for warmth. While they do not sting, bite, transmit diseases or cause structural damage, they are a real nuisance and source of filth when left to proliferate unchecked. Moreover, the boxelder bugs will discolor your walls and floors with their droppings and indent the stems of indoor plants. The following are some of the control methods professional employ to get rid of these pests.

Host Removal

The permanent and most satisfactory option of controlling boxelder bugs is the removal of their host. The hosts, in this case, are female or seed-bearing boxelder trees. This is not as simple as uprooting the tree since the roots left behind will still form a habitat for pests. Professional host removal will focus on getting rid of even deeply grown roots to effectively rid your property of boxelder bugs when other control methods fail.

Outdoor Chemical Control

The efficacy of most pesticides, when applied outdoors, is significantly reduced owing to temperature and wind changes. Pesticides are, for instance, quite effective when used in warm temperatures, while cold temperatures often denature them. Unfortunately, boxelder bugs are often active in temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. To this end, outdoor chemical control for these pests usually takes place in the warmer months to avert their spread in cold months. Pest control experts also use several techniques to minimize the odds of the chemicals’ denaturing by outdoor elements. The chemicals used are sprayed around trees, fences, and foundation walls.

Application of Caulk Compound

This is used as a preventive measure for the infestation of box elder bugs in your indoors. The caulk, in this case, will be applied approximately three feet off the ground in your building’s cracks and crevices. This way, the points of entry of these pests will be effectively sealed off. Diatomaceous earth and borax are also at times used to seal off your property.


Vacuuming the colonies of box elder bugs from your property will also effectively get rid of the pests. The vacuum used is a bagless, wet-dry canister containing about a half-inch of soapy water at its bottom. This soapy water suffocates the bugs. The primary challenge with this control method is the location of box elder bug colonies.

According to naturalists, virtually all creatures under the sun play a role in the ecosystem. There is, however, no documented role of boxelder bugs. To this end, the above control methods when used on your property will not destabilize the ecosystem’s balance in any way.

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