Box Elder Bugs

Joanie Cooper has been bugging me for some time to find a way to control box elder bugs. These are the ones with the red edge to their wings and which congregate in the fall around most buildings.

Note color of the building they migrate to and then paint some old plywood, poster board or similar material with a similar color (yellow or white work well) and coat it with petroleum jelly, tanglefoot, or some very sticky material. Place the trap where ever the box elder bugs are swarming. Place similar traps wherever box elder bugs are trying to get inside buildings. When your traps are full just scrape the box elder bugs off and recoat the trap.

A home remedy to get rid of box elder bugs–30% dish soap and 70% water in a spray bottle. The spray is a contact poison and will kill box elder bugs.

Place nontoxic diatomaceous earth or boric acid powder in the cracks and crevices around your home to prevent box elder bugs from entering. To be effective these material should remain dry.

Diatomaceous earth: Food grade Diatomaceous Earth is an abrasive powder made from the mineral remains of singlecelled aquatic algae. It is like glass slivers and kills by abrading and dehydrating crawling insects.

Another deterrent is to spray WD-40 around windows and other entryways.

Why do box elder bugs come into our buildings? Because our buildings mimic the caves, tree cavities, or other protected spaces where the insects normally congregate to overwinter.

Good Luck!