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Box Elder Bugs

As seasons change and nature’s creatures seek solace, homeowners often share spaces with uninvited guests. The Box Elder Bug stands out with its distinct appearance and habits. 

At Mint Pest Control, we understand that while nature plays its course, homeowners need peace of mind and a bug-free environment. That’s why we’ve curated this comprehensive guide to Box Elder Bugs. From identification to ensuring they stay away from your home, dive deep into the world of these bugs and arm yourself with the knowledge to handle them.


Box Elder Bugs, scientific name Boisea trivittata, are usually black with distinctive red markings on their wings and behind their heads. They are approximately half an inch long and have a flat, elongated oval shape. Their wings lie flat over their bodies, forming an ‘X’ shape. Young nymphs are bright red and become darker as they mature.

Common Box Elder Bugs Species

Boisea trivittata

The Eastern Boxelder Bug. This is the most common species found in many parts of the United States. It is often the species people refer to when they mention "boxelder bugs."

Boisea rubrolineata

The Western Boxelder Bug. As its name suggests, this species is found primarily in the western U.S.



These bugs prefer the outdoors and are usually found on boxelder, maple, and ash trees, especially during warmer months. They use these trees for feeding and laying eggs. Box Elder Bugs migrate indoors to find shelter as the weather gets colder. Inside homes, they are generally found in walls, attics, and sunny, warm areas near windows.


Box Elder Bugs primarily feed on the seeds of boxelder trees, but they also enjoy the sap from ash and maple trees. They use their piercing-sucking mouthparts to extract plant fluids. Despite their feeding habits, they are not known to cause significant damage to these trees.

Box Elder Bugs (2)

How to eliminate Box Elder Bugs

  • Prevention: Sealing gaps, cracks, and crevices in the foundation, walls, and windows can prevent these bugs from entering your home.
  • Diatomaceous earth: A natural remedy, sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your house or in places where you see them most.
  • Soap and water: A mixture of liquid dish soap and water can be sprayed directly on the bugs, exterminating them on contact.
  • Vacuuming: Regularly vacuum areas where they congregate, especially during an infestation.
  • Professional treatment: Persistent infestations might require professional pest control services. If you suspect an infestation, Mint Pest Control offers tailored treatments that ensure complete elimination.


Are Box Elder Bugs harmful to humans?

No, Box Elder Bugs are not known to bite humans and are not poisonous. However, their excrement can stain light-colored surfaces.

What attracts Box Elder Bugs to my home?

These bugs are attracted to warmer areas. They might come indoors seeking shelter from cold weather or if there are boxelder trees nearby.

Can Box Elder Bugs fly?

Yes, they have wings and can fly, but usually crawl around or remain stationary.

Do Box Elder Bugs infest indoor plants?

No, their primary food source is the boxelder tree seeds and sap from certain other trees. They don’t typically harm indoor plants.

How do I prevent a future infestation?

Regularly inspect the perimeter of your home, seal any gaps or cracks, and consider professional pest control services if you have a recurring problem.

Eliminate pest invasion all year round

Innovative EcoBloc technology creates a fortified barrier against bugs

We deploy an arsenal of environmentally responsible and effective UV and water-resistant products which include micro-encapsulated formulas that target pests and ensure long-lasting protection.


We thoroughly inspect a property to detect pest activity, possible points of entry and the most effective treatments.


Our team will provide a report with inspection results and our professional recommendations for the most effective treatments.


Using our proprietary 4 Season Eco-Bloc Technology, we address all agreed-upon issues. We maintain ongoing reporting for easy referencing.

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