How to Get Rid of Boxelder Bugs in My House

The boxelder bug, also known as boisea trivittata or stink bug, is a common nuisance found around female boxelder trees as well as maple and ash trees. Often the bug will seek shelter in homes and other buildings during the fall to get ready for winter hibernation, entering through any open crack or crevice. In the spring, the bugs gather in large groups on the sunny side of a building or home. The bug emits a strong, unpleasant odor when crushed and can also stain surfaces with a reddish color creating further nuisance for homeowners.

Use laundry detergent to help kill boxelder bugs.

Soapy Water Solution


Step 1

Fill a spray bottle with approximately 2 tablespoons laundry soap.

Step 2

Add water to fill the bottle.

Step 3

Set the spray bottle nozzle to stream.

Step 4

Spray the solution directly onto the boxelder bugs.

Step 5

Use vinegar, if you wish, in addition or as a substitution for laundry detergent.

Step 6

Repeat as necessary. The bugs will die relatively quickly, within a few hours, and it is advisable to dispose of them either by sweeping them up or vacuuming and discarding the remains in an outside trash receptacle.

Vacuum Solution


Step 7

Add the hose attachment to your vacuum.

Step 8

Vacuum up bugs as often as needed.

Step 9

Empty the vacuum bag or canister on a regular basis. The bugs will likely still be alive and should be dumped outside away from home so they do not migrate back.

Boric Acid

Step 10

Locate open crevices and areas where the boxelder bug gathers.

Step 11

Spread boric acid along surfaces the bug comes into contact with, such as window sills.

Step 12

Fill open crevices and cracks with boric acid. The bugs will either avoid those cracks and if they are already there the boric acid will likely kill them.


Step 13

Purchase an insecticide specifically designed for wasps or one that lists boxelder bugs on it's label. Thoroughly read the instruction on insecticide.

Step 14

Spray poison on the bugs directly and they will die within hours. Collect dead or dying bugs via vacuum or by using a broom to sweep the bugs into a collection container. Dispose of the container outside, away from the home in an outside trash receptacle.

Step 15

Repeat as necessary.