|Box Elder bugs are primarily a nuisance pest, annoying residents by
crawling on exteriors and inside dwellings on warm fall and winter days.
They also may stain draperies and other light-colored surfaces and produce
an unpleasant odor when crushed, but these are not major problems. They
do not reproduce during this period. They may attempt to feed on house
plants but do not cause any damage. On rare occasions, they have been
reported to bite humans.
Boxelder bugs feed on a variety of plants, but their favorite food is
box elder seed pods, which are found only on the female boxelder tree,
and occasionally maple seeds. These bugs seldom develop in sufficient
numbers to be a nuisance unless a female boxelder tree is in the
The Box Elder bug overwinters as an adult in protected places such as
houses and other buildings, in cracks or crevices in walls, doors, under
windows and around foundations, particularly on south and west
exposures. In the spring when tree buds open, females lay small, red eggs
on leaves and stones and in cracks and crevices in the bark of female
boxelder trees. The eggs later hatch into young nymphs that are wingless
and bright red with some black markings. These young bugs usually are
found on low vegetation near boxelder trees until seeds are formed on the
tree, on which they start to feed.
Haley Pest Control offers Pest Control and Termite Control in Lawrence, KS and in Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, Leawood, Shawnee Mission, Stanley, Topeka, Kansas, Baldwin, Eudora, Kansas City, Basehor, Linwood,
Ottawa, Tonganoxie, Mclouth, Perry and Lecompton. We offer Pest Management and Exterminator services for the
following counties: Douglas, Johnson, Jefferson, Franklin, Shawnee, Wyandotte
and Leavenworth, KS.
Removing female boxelder trees or golden rain trees is the most
permanent solution to the problem, although this may not be practical or
desirable. Chemical control can best be obtained by spraying the nymphs on the host
trees before the adults have had a chance to migrate. Power spray
equipment is usually required and a professional should be hired to do the