Do Boxelder Bugs Bite?

Last updated: 6/8/21

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

While many people may have found large groups of boxelder bugs in their yard or sitting on the side of their house, there is no reason to be afraid of these insects—boxelder bugs do not bite or sting.

What Are Boxelder Bugs?

Boxelder bugs, sometimes called boxelder beetles, are small, black insects with colorful red accents. They are about half an inch in length and can be found in all regions of the United States. Boxelder bugs live in large groups with hundreds of insects per group and commonly live near boxelder, maple, and ash trees, as their seeds are the Boxelder bug’s food of choice.

You can sometimes find boxelder bugs sitting on the sides of your house, as they are attracted to sunny, heat-reflecting surfaces such as windows, concrete, and house walls that provide warmth. Occasionally, a group of boxelders can find their way into your home through holes in your window and door screens and cracks in the siding of your walls.

Are Boxelder Bugs Dangerous?

Despite their bright colors, boxelder bugs are not dangerous. These insects do not bite or sting and pose no threat to your family or pets, though they can release a foul-smelling odor when crushed.

How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs

The best way to get rid of Boxelder bugs is to vacuum them up and dispose of the collected bugs immediately to prevent their odor from spreading throughout your home. Vacuum up the bugs is hassle-free and quick, and efficient. Seldom are chemicals recommended for control of the boxelder, and most companies will tell you to leave the Boxelder alone.

How To Prevent A Boxelder Bug Infestation

You can take some precautionary measures to prevent your home from an invasion of boxelders.

  • Remove all debris from around the house, under shrubs, and other hiding places such as under rocks, in woodpiles, and leaves. This will ensure that there will be no places for the boxelder to hide.
  • Close off any entrances boxelder bugs may use to get into your house—repair any holes in window and door screens, seal larger cracks with silicone or silicon-latex caulk, and consider installing door sweeps to all exterior entrances to keep the bugs out.

While the boxelder bug is not harmful, it can sometimes be a nuisance. If you have trouble handling an infestation, consider calling a professional pest control service to resolve your pest problem quickly and safely.

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