Chicago Pest Control Blog

What does a boxelder bug nest look like?

Posted by Bery Pannkuk on Wed, Mar 06, 2013 @ 03:00 PM

What does a boxelder bug nest look like?

Well, that's a trick question. Sorry, folks. Boxelder bugs don't have nests! They're just not like the social insects (ants, wasps, etc.) They have a different M.O.

what does a boxelder bug nest look like
Boxelder bug, photo courtesy Ricky Kluge

Boxelder bugs in the house

Boxelder bugs, Boisea trivitta, are common insects throughout the US. They are true bugs and are considered to be of nuisance value only due to the fact that they enter structures, usually on the South West facing sides of these structures. They do not “nest” as they are not a social insect such as ants, wasps and bees. However they do gather in the same areas of structures to seek the warmer areas of structures during the cooler months of the year. They can be seen gathering during the day on warm days when the sunlight warms the sides of structures.

Check out this video that one of our sales reps took while on the job with a technician:


It totally looks like the boxelder bugs in that video are pouring out of a "nest", right? They're just clustering! No nest involved!

How to get rid of boxelder bugs

Control is best accomplished during the late summer and early fall months when the Boxelder Bugs are seeking shelter to survive the winter. They will not cause any damage nor will they procreate. They just want to stay warm!

A good exterior pest control application will keep them from clustering on your building and prevent them from getting into nooks and crannies, where they'll hide over the winter. Your vacuum will be your best friend for eliminating any bugs that have crossed over onto the inside already.

boxelder bugs in crevice


It's going to take some work, but exclusion is the ultimate fix. It's permanent. The whole idea is to keep boxelder bugs out of your home or business. Once they are inside, you usually have to wait until spring when they will seek to get back outdoors in the warm sunlight to find a way to keep them out. So, exclusion is typically a good project for spring.

Here's a list if you feel like DIY is your thing:

  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home with caulk.
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed.

caulking your siding

If you just don't feel like doing all this work, we can help you get it done professionally. Let us give you a free quote for exclusion work. It'll save you so much frustration and money in the future! It's not just going to work for boxelder bugs, but it'll work wonders on pests of all types! Spiders, mice, earwigs, and ants are just a few examples of pests that won't be invading once you've excluded your house professionally. Just think of the peace of mind you'll achieve with no more bugs in the house!

TAP Insulation

This is an amazing solution not only for how to get rid of boxelder bugs in the house, but to save on energy bills and many other benefits. What is TAP insulation Chicago? Here's a brief overview. (And just so you know, we can give you a free quote for this too!)

tap insulation chicago

Thermal. Acoustical. Pest Control. T-A-P is the result of the combination of a pesticide with the best insulation for a patented product that:

  • Controls pests
  • Saves energy and money
  • Absorbs sound
  • Provides a perfect fit
  • Is environmentally friendly
  • Delivers fire resistance
  • Contains all-natural ingredients
  • Is permanent

Get a FREE  TAP quote!

Overwintering Pests

There are several species of insects and other arthropods that have the same behavior, to seek shelter indoors during the cooler fall, winter and early spring months. They are: cluster flies, pollistes wasps, lady bugs and multicolored Asian lady beetles. We lump these pests into a group that we refer to as “overwintering pests”.

asian beetle

paper wasp

cluster fly
Specimen photos by Ricky Kluge at Illinois Natural History SurveyIllinois Natural History Survey

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Topics: exterior pest control, ocassional invaders

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