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Boxelder Bugs

Biosea trivittata

  • Icon-Size

    1/2in long

  • Icon-Color

  • Icon-Bite


  • Icon-Wings


Top-view illustration of a boxelder bug.
Side-view illustration of a boxelder bug.
Close up image of a boxelder bug crawling on a plant.
Several boxelder bugs crawling on a tree.

General Information

While boxelder bugs don’t harm people, they can be a nuisance because they sometimes enter homes and other buildings in large numbers looking for warmth and shelter. Learn where they live, what they look like, and how to help prevent a boxelder bug infestation in your home.

  • Boxelder bugs have beaks that they use to suck plant juices, but they do not bite.

  • Any warm, winter day may “wake up” these bugs and bring them into your living areas.


  • Boxelder bugs are black with orange or red markings across their backs.1

  • Their wings lay flat over their bodies and overlap each other to form an “X.”1

  • In the summer, boxelder bugs live outdoors on trees and shrubs.

  • When it’s cool, these bugs will gather together in large numbers in sunny areas such as on home siding, concrete, porches, and tree trunks.

  • Boxelder bugs feed on trees and shrubs in your yard. However, they rarely create noticeable damage to plants or trees.

  • As the weather cools, they will come inside seeking warmth and shelter for the winter.

  • Occasionally, very large outbreaks of boxelder bugs may cause damage to plants, fruit trees, and fruits.

  • Boxelder bugs can stain surfaces, such as walls and curtains, with their feces.1

  • Large indoor boxelder bug invasions can be a nuisance to homeowners.

  • Caulk any points where boxelder bugs can get inside, including entry points from the outside or neighboring units.

  • Repair or replace damaged screens on window and door screens to help keep these bugs out of the house.

  • Help control boxelder bugs in the home by vacuuming regularly.

  • Use pest control sprays labeled to help kill boxelder bugs.

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