Box Elder Bug

Pest Status:


Boisea trivittata


oval bodies


black coloring and bright red markings

Colorful Box Elder Bugs get their name from their favorite trees, the Box Elder. They’re fond of entering residences to help ride out the cold, making them a nuisance.

Facts, Identification, and Control

Keep these things in mind.

Facts about Box Elder Bugs

Don’t forget these things.

Where Do They Live?

Box Elder bugs prefer their favorite trees or Ash trees, but they’ll settle for a warm spot in your garage. They’re common in the US and Canada – anywhere Elder trees typically are.

What Do They Eat?

They feed mainly on new Box Elder leaves and seeds plus other vegetation when they need to.

How Did I Get Box Elder Bugs?

They often come in during winter to find a place to hide and stay warm. Cracks in your walls, windows, or under doors could be culprits.

How Serious Are Box Elder Bug Problems?

They’re more a nuisance than anything.

Problem #1

They’re unsightly. They can sometimes swarm in your house, creating uncomfortable conditions.

Problem #2

If they die inside, they can attract other bugs looking to feed on the decaying bodies. It can be a full situation.

Problem #3

If you have their trees, an infestation can cause damage to the foliage and the entire tree if there are enough of them. You could lose some of your favorites.

What Can I Do about Box Elder Bugs?

Indoors, sealing your doors and windows helps prevent them from slipping inside. Use a silicone-based caulk to help. Otherwise, they aren’t dangerous or infectious to humans.

Signs of a Box Elder Bug Infestation?

In your home, you can see them moving around. Outside, you may notice damage to the foliage or the trees themselves.

Box Elder Bug Prevention and Control Tips

Try these things to handle the problem.

Control tip #1

Seal your doors and windows carefully as well as any areas that might cause issues with them coming inside. The good news is that there’s no such thing as a Box Elder bug bite.

Control tip #2

Keeping diseased trees trimmed and treated (or removed) can help prevent infestations outdoors. Check your trees regularly.

Control tip #3

Use a vacuum with a sealed bag to scoop them up as you see them in your house. Make sure they don’t escape and dispose of the bag outside.

Box Elder Bug Professional Pest Control

If you notice that the bugs seem out of control, a professional can help. Box elder bug spray is only temporarily effective. They can diagnose tree infestations or help you eradicate them inside. They know how to get rid of Box Elder bugs in multiple locations. They can provide Box Elder bug control.


What is the lifespan of a box elder bug?

The average lifespan of a box elder bug is one year.

Where do box elder bugs go at night?

Box elder bugs are attracted to light. Therefore, box elder bugs may enter homes through open windows or doors, especially at night when interior lights are on. Once indoors, box elder bugs can be seen hiding or clustering near light fixtures or around windows and vents.

What do box elder bugs hate?

Box elder bugs hate the smell of sage, whole cloves, and lavender.