infestation of box elder bugs

Asked March 3, 2015, 12:44 PM EST

We have an infestation of box elder bugs. I've researched treatments, and spraying with "Dawn" is the best I've gotten. The problem still exists and gets worse every year. This winter they haven't gone away at all! What help/suggestions do you have? The photo I'm attaching is our front door!

Polk County Oregon insect issues box elder bugs lrk

1 Response

Box elder bugs are considered a bad news, good news story. The bad news is that they’re a nuisance from fall though spring when they congregate on exterior walls and sometimes come indoors. The good news is that box elder bugs don’t breed during the fall and winter, nor do they damage people, pets, or your house. Their usual practice is to go into the wall void during the coldest weather, then come out to sun now and then. I wonder if your box elders remained outdoors - where they’ve been visible through the winter - because of the mild season.

A soapy spray can help get rid of them during this dormant phase as can a water spray. Because your image shows rather modest quantities, consider using a vacuum to collect them. A wet-dry shop vac is helpful to dispatch large amounts.

If the bugs are getting indoors, caulk or seal the indoor cracks and crevices now, as well as install or replace weather-stripping. But wait until next July to seal the exterior of your house.

Here is a resource for you: Boxelder Bug