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Boxelder Bugs

In the fall, the number one insect that individuals worry about is the Asian Lady Beetle. Last fall, we didn’t see many of them. However, I did get a few calls about Boxelder Bugs. Fast forward to last week and I have started getting calls about Boxelder Bugs once again.

Like the Asian Lady Beetles, Boxelder Bugs are a nuisance because they invade homes once fall temperatures begin to drop. Adult Boxelder Bugs are dark brown to black in color with red lines on their backs. Their young are wingless and have red bodies with a yellow line down the center of it. Adults are about a half an inch long while their young are considerably smaller.

In the fall, Boxelder Bugs are known to squeeze into cracks in the foundation, windows, doors, and under siding and shingles in search of a way into a house. Thus it is important that you take time to seal off all openings to your house. Once in the house, they search for a warm location to hide in while the temperatures remain low outside. Then as temperatures begin to fluctuate, they come out of their hiding place. The reports of these mysterious bugs showing up in houses right now suggest that Boxelder Bugs think it is spring and time to go outside.

Once in the house, you can get rid of Boxelder Bugs by using household insecticides containing pyrethrins or resmethrin. Please remember to read and follow all labels when using any insecticide. However, it might be easier to use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the Boxelder Bugs instead. If you would decide to simply squash the Boxelder Bug, don’t worry about a strong odor forming as they do not stink like Asian Lady Beetles. For more information about Boxelder Bugs, contact your local Purdue Extension Office to receive a free copy of Purdue publication E-24-W, “Boxelder Bugs.”

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay Co. or 829-5020 in Owen Co. or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:
March 9—Wabash Valley Master Gardeners Assoc. Seminar, 9—3, $40, Ivy Tech in Terre Haute 

March 11—Showring Success Seminar, 6:30-9 pm, Cloverdale, Call 937-407-4027 for more
March 14—Extension Homemakers—Greene County Spring District Meeting
March 15—Quad Co. PARP, 8:30—1, $10, Apache Sprayer (Mooresville), Call 812-829-5020 for
                    more info
March 17—Science Day, 2 pm, Clay Co. Exhibit Hall, Call 812-448-9041 to find out more
March 18—Clay Co. Mini 4-H Meeting, 6 pm, Clay Co. Exhibit Hall
March 18—Clay Co. Extension Board Meeting, 6:30 pm, Extension Office