Boxelder Bug Pest Control in Milwaukee

Quick Facts
Size ½”
Color Black with reddish-orange ‘X’ marking on the back
Body Flat and oval
Legs 6
Antennae Yes
Wings Yes


  • Boxelder trees
  • Overwinter in plant debris, wall voids, or other protected structures


  • Feed on seeds of boxelder, maple, and ash trees
  • When crushed, they emit an offensive odor
  • During the fall, they cluster together on warm surfaces

Named for their main source of food, the Boxelder Bug is a nuisance in or around homes that are near Boxelder trees. In the fall, searching for warmth, the Boxelder Bug is attracted to the southern or western sides of buildings and will find holes and cracks to enter the structure in order to protect themselves from the harsh winter.

Boxelder Bug Habitat

As their name suggests, the Boxelder Bug is found in and around Boxelder trees, which are their main source of food. During the fall, they seek out warmer areas such as nearby structures to overwinter inside. They are attracted to the warmth of a structure with southern or western exposure and can find their way inside through cracks and holes in the structure. Once inside, they will overwinter in wall voids, attics, or other protected areas and emerge in the spring.

Habits and Dangers

Boxelder Bugs feed almost exclusively on the seeds and fruits of the Boxelder tree but will also seek out other varieties of plant life such as maple seeds, apples, peaches, and strawberries. Boxelder Bugs do not bite, will not cause structural damage, and do not reproduce when overwintering indoors, so their threat is minimal, though they can be a nuisance when emerging in large numbers in the spring. Boxelders can leave stains on walls if squished and will often emit a foul odor as well.

What to do if you have a Boxelder Bug infestation

If you have a Boxelder Bug infestation, you must look to the closest Boxelder tree for a permanent solution. As these bugs almost exclusively feed on the seeds and fruits of the Boxelder tree, they will disappear if the tree is removed. If you have a current infestation, there is little you can do except vacuum them up or sweep them outside.

If you are interested in reducing the infestation for next spring, The Bug Man and Queen Bee do offer a fall reduction service for Boxelder Bugs. If you are interested in learning more about this service or getting an estimate for your home, give us a call! Our office staff will give you an estimate over the phone and get you on the schedule. On the day of your appointment, our experts will treat your entire home with extra focus on the sunny sides that they are attracted to, greatly reducing the number of Boxelder Bugs overwintering in your home. As a locally owned, family business, we take great pride in meeting, and exceeding, our Milwaukee-area customers’ expectations. Contact us today to learn more about our Boxelder Bug pest control services & for your free estimate!