Box elder beetle infestation

Asked March 12, 2019, 4:22 PM EDT

Hello, our home in rural Washington county is infested with box elder beetles. The only method we've come across for managing it at all is a vacuum cleaner inside and spraying them outside with soapy water which apparently suffocates them. But all of this is hardly making a dent. We are overrun! Any other options for controlling this population? Predators? Plants they don't like? Help!

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

Hi,

Repeated vacuuming is what we usually advise with nuisance insects like box elder bugs. As you may know this species doesn't feed on people, pets, homes or furnishings but just tends to cluster on buildings and trees and be an annoyance. Just continue vacuuming them up until they are gone. Then, try to find out where they got in and seal them out.

At this time OSU Extension doesn't have a recommendation for pesticides, biocontrols or the like for controling these insects.

If you have a wet/dry shop vac you can put some soapy water inside to drown the insects and reduce the chances that some might get out of the trash or wherever you dump them.

You can read more about how to deal with box elder bugs and similar creatures here: https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/insects-and-spiders-out-find-shelter-winter

Thanks for contacting Ask an Expert.