What do Boxelder Bugs Eat in The House

Boxelder bugs are common household pests that can cause annoyance and frustration for homeowners. These small, dark-coloured insects are known for their distinctive red markings and are often found in large numbers during the fall and winter months. One of the most common questions people have about boxelder bugs is what they eat in the house. In this article, we will explore the dietary habits of boxelder bugs and provide tips for preventing infestations in your home.

If you spot boxelder bugs in the house and want to get rid of them, hire the professionals from Exterminator Hamilton. 

What are Boxelder Bugs?

Before discussing their dietary habits, it is important to understand what boxelder bugs are. Boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata) are a type of true bug that are native to North America. They are commonly found in the eastern United States and the Pacific Northwest. These bugs are named after the boxelder tree, which is one of their preferred habitats.

Boxelder bugs are small insects that measure between ½ and ¾ of an inch in length. They have a black or dark brown body with red markings on their wings and abdomen. Boxelder bugs are typically found in large groups, and they are known to emit a foul odor when they are disturbed.

What do Boxelder Bugs Eat?

Boxelder bugs are primarily herbivores, which means that they feed on plants. Their primary food source is the seeds of boxelder trees, as well as other species of maple trees. Boxelder bugs may also feed on other types of plants, including ash trees, fruit trees, and grape vines.

When boxelder bugs enter homes, they are usually seeking shelter from the cold weather. They do not feed on human food, but they may feed on indoor plants if they are available. Boxelder bugs have also been known to feed on certain types of fabrics, such as curtains and upholstery. This can cause damage to these materials and can be a nuisance for homeowners.

Preventing Boxelder Bug Infestations

Preventing boxelder bug infestations in your home is the best way to avoid dealing with their annoying presence. Here are a few tips for preventing boxelder bugs from entering your home:

Seal Up Cracks and Openings: Boxelder bugs can enter homes through small cracks and openings in the walls and foundation. Sealing up these openings can prevent them from getting inside. Use caulking or weatherstripping to seal gaps around windows, doors, and utility lines.

Remove Boxelder Trees

If you have boxelder trees on your property, consider removing them to reduce the number of boxelder bugs in the area.

Clean Up Debris: Boxelder bugs are attracted to piles of debris, such as leaves, grass clippings, and woodpiles. Keep your yard clean and tidy to discourage them from hanging around.

Use Insecticides: If you have a large infestation of boxelder bugs, you may need to use insecticides to eliminate them. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully and wear protective gear when using these products.


Boxelder bugs are a common household pest that can be a nuisance for homeowners. While they do not feed on human food, they can cause damage to indoor plants and fabrics. By understanding their dietary habits and taking steps to prevent infestations, you can keep these bugs out of your home and enjoy a pest-free living space.