Boxelder bugs are 1/2-inch long bugs with red stripes on their wings. During the spring, the young hatch in boxelder trees, as well as maple, ash, and fruit trees. They eat twigs, leaves, and seeds during the warm weather, and hibernate in warm, dry places, like your home, during the winter.
Boxelder bugs Will Try to Move into Your House in the Fall
When fall arrives and the weather starts to turn a little cooler, boxelder bugs begin to find your house very attractive. The 1/2-inch long bugs with red stripes on their wings and long snouts start looking for a place to spend the winter. They don't eat fabric, but they can stain it with their excrement. When you crush them, they make an awful smell. They can bite, too.
Keep Screens and Windows in Good Shape
Boxelder bugs want in. If there's a hole in your screen or a crack around a window, they'll find it. Make sure everything is sealed up tight.
Use a Shop-Vac on Them
If you have a lot of boxelder bugs, suck them up with a shop-vac and then destroy the bag. That way, you don't have to smell the awful stench when you crush them.
Use a Control Product on Them
Because more bugs may enter your home on the next warm day, it is a good idea to control boxelder bugs outdoors before they enter. Keep boxelder bugs from coming indoors by applying a product such as Ortho® Home Defense MAX® Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter¹ around your home's foundation as well as indoors around door and window casings and along baseboards. Always read and follow label instructions.