Best practice for re-siding a house, with the goal of reducing Box Elder Beetle invasions

Asked April 16, 2019, 4:13 PM EDT

We live in a home in a forest, and it has an annual invasion of box elder beetles. We spray several times in the fall with a soap solution, which is helpful. But we still vacuum hundreds of beetles in the home each day through the winter and early spring. The house was built in 1979, and was never sealed well to begin with, which is the root problem we want to address. We are currently talking to a builder and plan to remove the siding and reside the house this summer. In the process we will identify and seal any crack, hole, etc we can find. But I would like to ask what the "best practice" recommendations are for (re)siding a home, with the goal of reducing box elder infestations, and balancing sealing it with the need to allow a house to breath and not rot, here int he Pacific Northwest. What can you suggest/recommend for this? Thank you, John

Washington County Oregon insect issues building construction

7 Responses

Thank you for your question, John. As you've already figured out, prevention is the best way of keeping them away. There aren't many articles on construction techniques that go much beyond this concept, as this Extension article recommends: And here is another article with suggestions about outdoor preventative methods:

Insofar as rot-resistant building materials are concerned, this is a bit outside of the Extension system's coverage, and either your builder or an architect should be consulted. I'm afraid the best we can tell you is that the box elders aren't interested in your building materials. They just want heat and shelter. Good luck!

Thank you Kristina for answer and the the two links. I think the first link you suggested, , is not what you intended, as it refers to Rooting Rhododendron and Azalea Cuttings. Did you have another link in mind?

I will also search on building forums and see if anyone has more specific suggestions for me on how to best "caulk and seal" under the new siding.


I’m sorry! Clicked on the wrong window! And here is another:

Thanks! Those links look a lot more like what I was expecting! Do you know, by the way, what type of tree they like here in Oregon? I suspect the vine Maple trees, as we have a lot of them and no Boxelder trees here in the forest.

You’re correct, John. They infest more than box elders, and they can travel 2 miles!

Much appreciated!