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Box Elder Bugs: The Red Black Beetle Menace

The Red & Black Beetle Menace:

box elder beetle

Boxelder Bug

It’s that time of year again here in Wisconsin (and many other places in the United States) where warm spring or autumn days bring out those menacing red black beetles known as Boxelder Bugs. On sunny days, Boxelder Bug’s aka Beetles begin collecting into large groups searching for a place to over winter or emerge from hibernation. They don’t bite, but the shear numbers of their swarms are frightening and create a major nuisance. Don’t mistake these beetles with Asian Beetles that look like Ladybugs.

red and black beetle

the Box Elder Bug before it’s soapy demise.

Just Trying to Stay Warm:

If you have an outdoor pool or bar area, or any south facing structure, both varieties will attempt to find a crevice in which to spend the winter. They don’t harm structures and perhaps they could act as additional insulation for older homes (grin). Autumn isn’t the only time you’ll see these little critters, they also emerge in the spring time to “do their thing” and reproduce. This is a great time to wipe out the tiny masses of newly hatched beetles.

No Mercy:

I’m sure you are wondering how to get rid of those red and black Box Elder Bugs, and if you’ve tried bug spray, you’ve already found that it does not work. They seem immune to the stuff and just keep on crawlin’.

The only way I have found to eliminate them is using an Ortho Sprayer filled with several cups of Dish Soap or  Laundry Detergent. Yup, you read right, liquid dish soap or laundry detergent. Set the sprayer on the 2 oz setting, just so the mixture creates a foam.

Alternatively, you can use a pump sprayer – fill with water first, then add just a squeeze of lemon dish soap. Any scent will work, we just need it to form soap bubbles. That’s basically what stops them.

kill red abd black bugs

any liquid soap will do, but RAID won’t stop ’em

Kills Bugs Dead and Leaves a Fresh Clean Scent:

For some reason, this concoction will kill them in their tracks. I’d love to know how this really works and I found this by accident while cleaning some garbage cans. At 1 to 2 oz per gallon concentration, the spray does not hurt plants & trees. I told a few people about this and now the whole neighborhood is in on the Box Elder Bug War. As we’ve learned, any cheap liquid dish soap works as will any non-phosphorus laundry detergent. If there are any Entomologists out there that can answer this mystery, feel free to comment.

UPDATE – How it Works: One reply below has shed light as to why a simple soap & water solution will kill them; Apparently these insects breath through tiny holes in the side of their abdomen called spiracles. The soap solution creates a bubble film that effectively plugs air flow to the spiracles and they quickly suffocate. Thanks Ken and Mark T!

dead box elder bugs

kill large numbers of these invading pests and leave your home smelling fresh and clean

Here is the gruesome aftermath of a good detergent wash down. You don’t need the volume of suds shown in the photo, 1 oz per gallon of liquid soap should kill 98% of Box Elder Beetles.

Increase the dosage if needed.
Very effective and leaves a fresh clean scent!

Follow up:

If they’ve already made it inside your home, use a small wet / dry shop vac to collect them intruders and place a few cups of soap & water in the collection canister to kill them.  Find the entrance and plug it with liquid spray foam, such as “Great Stuff” or a similar brand.

Be pro-active: In spring and early summer, watch for tiny swarms right after they hatch and soap ’em down good so they can’t spread, mature and reproduce.
Caulk & Seal: all openings – while this won’t deter the bugs from gathering, it might keep them out of your home.

Have fun “cleaning up”  those pesky bugs!

This article was originally published on our www.barplan.com website and was moved here with our permission.


By |2018-06-25T06:12:03+00:00October 1st, 2007|Commentary|108 Comments

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  1. jdabner September 30, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Thank you for the information…We have billions of these things on our property,so…I am assuming that we will smell like a laundermat for awhile.

  2. countrybartk October 5, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you so much for this tip we have been dealing with these bugs for 2 yrs now and they just cover the side of the house and the garage. We have tried everything and this has worked great.

  3. steve October 5, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Box Elder bugs seems to have years when they are really bad and appear in large numbers, while other years they are rarely seen.
    The years 2006 and 2007 were very bad for us in central Wisconsin, but 2008 has been much better. The Asian Ladybug also seems to run in cycles.
    It’s either due to weather conditions or a general breeding cycle.

  4. John October 12, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Having a real nasty problem with them this year, in the countryside north of Madison. Trying everything to get rid of these bastards, but my house was built in the 70s so theres a few gaps where they can get into my house and I can’t do a lot about it. Any thoughts on dealing with them once they come inside?

  5. Christen December 13, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I have these in my home! They were coming up in drove in teh spring and I tried to get them all but they have made it in and I am tryign to find a way to get rid of them. You are DEAD ON about the laundry detergent. In my basement by the washe ron the floor today I saw several dead ones where I had spilled some detergent!

  6. A. Murray March 6, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I have an indoor infestation of Box Elder Beetles. After reading the information published here, I decided to try the cures offered.

    Regarding laundry detergent: Any brand will probably do the job. I used the cheapest thing I had in the house, a no name brand, totally generic. Results: The beetles, when dropped into a solution of water and detergent died within approximately 30-40 seconds.

    I also tried Simple Green. The results were the same, but more expensive.

    After testing detergent, I tried dish washing liquid. I used Sun and Earth, an organic, non harmful to the environment product. It worked as well as the detergents. This product is safe to dispose of into the garden, or on the lawn. It is environmentally friendly.

    My tests were conducted by the immersion technique. I don’t know what the ratio of water to product used would be for spraying.

    As to having these pests in the home: This isn’t for everyone, but I have been hand picking them from the window area where they congregate, and from the floor, plus any other surface I can reach. I had been squashing in a tissue, but not being squeamish about these things, I just started pinching them between my fingers. It’s a very fast thing; they are gone before they know what’s hit them. After trying the liquid solution, I am keeping a container handy in areas where they congregate, and just dropping them into it.

    Obviously you don’t store the corpses. I just fish them out after a catch of 10 or so. As I mentioned, I’m not squeamish.

    By the way, I haven’t noticed any foul odor from hand killing them. The more of these things you kill in your home, the greater your advantage you will be in controlling future indoor generations. I am dealing with two sets of young now.

  7. Bonnie April 4, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Does anyone know if this would be effective in the yard? I have them all over my property, on the ground. They fly in the air. I have livestock, and am wondering if this would be safe to spray on trees and areas where horses could possibly graze on. I also have cats. Have had many exterminators out, unfortunately, they either won’t spray grounds, or it doesn’t work. Am concerned about spraying anything that might harm animals. Help please

  8. junior April 4, 2009 at 11:49 am

    I have so many of these that I will try anything

  9. Ken May 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Insects breath through little holes in their sides. The soap solution stops up these breathing holes and the insect dies from lack of air. Any soap residue on the leaves of the plants will make any chewing insect have a very bad stomach ache until it rains and washes the soaap off,

  10. Monica May 29, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    They’ve moved south, we have them in Cincinnati and have for the past two years. We’re going to clean these suckers now…literally.

  11. BOB June 7, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    We have Box Elders down south as well though it doesn’t seem to be quite as bad as you guys and gals have it in Wisconsin. The soap generally suffocates the bugs.

  12. Bar Stool Boy June 17, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Holy moly. Glad you gave a solution. I’ll stock up on some soap.

  13. MommyJes June 20, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Wow! I am pretty far away from you guys. Im all the was in Oregon. I had been trying to figure out what these beetles were. We got them about 2 or 3 years ago and they have been a huge pain. They are everywere and get inside all the time. Thank you for you tip. Ill be sure to try it out

  14. Jessica June 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I’m in WV and these bugs were bad a few years ago and then I didn’t see them for a while. well this year they’re back and bad as ever!

  15. Jessica July 11, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I live in Sacramento, California. We have had pest control here 3 times, does no good. These beetles are everywhere!! 2 diiferent sizes of small ones and the adults everywhere.

  16. Michael July 13, 2009 at 7:21 am

    I have them here in Pittsburgh. And as everyone has said, they are almost impossible to get rid of. Superbugs, if you will? I also found that mixing Ortho bug killer that is plant friendly works also. It is in heavy doses. But Raid and other things seem not to work. Has anyone found something that they will carry to the nest and kill the pack?

    I like the detergent idea..I will try

  17. Amanda July 19, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    We’re new here in Barron, Wisconsin and the oustide of our house was COVERED in HORDES of these black and red bugs. I remembered them from childhood in North Dakota and told my husband that I thought they were called Box Bugs. Boy, was he happy when he found this site! He rapidly threw together an empty spray bottle with Dawn dishsoap and water and went to town. Nothing amuses a guy like killing mass amounts of insects in a matter of seconds.

  18. Shalan July 23, 2009 at 2:13 am

    I live in Idaho and when I was a kid we had a tree that was always covered with them. As an adult, I moved back into that childhood house for a while and they were still there and going strong. They swarm all over the outside walls but we had very few indoors. We would go to the biggest group and smash as many as we could at once. They would flee but after a short time more would be back and we’ld do it again. It was very messy but seemed to be effective after a while. This is good info because we never could get all of them. I just wanted to let everyone know that Idaho has them, too.

  19. Beetle Menace September 5, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    They are in Oklahoma as well! I noticed a couple and before I knew it there were hundreds in my backyard. I’m going to go kill them now!

  20. Gary G. September 9, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Can someone give me a good idea of how much detergent to use in a gallon of water….. I am infested with these bugs from hell…. No professional exterminator is worth the money

  21. Gary G. September 9, 2009 at 5:54 pm


  22. admin0 September 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    It says in the article “1 to 2 oz per gallon”.
    So just grab a shot glass and use two shot glasses for each gallon of water. All you need is enough to make foam. The foam suffocates the little bastards within seconds. I assume you are using a pump sprayer?

  23. Diana September 21, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Glad to find this article. We are all way in Merritt, British Columbia, Canada. My Cottonwood tree and side of our deck was infested with them. I tried insecticidal soap, which was effective on some, but not so environmentally friendly. I’m happy to find that simple soap and water will do away with these bugs. Hoping now they won’t find their way into the house.

  24. SJ October 27, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    UPSTATE NY and they are here too! Seem to “Swarm” in the warmest room, the living room with the pellet stove. We have a 250 yr old house and there are so many gaps. I will try this and let everyone know. Fingers crossed!

  25. Steve October 27, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I have been killing these critters all year and wiped out some huge swarms of the tiny newborns this spring, so this fall I haven’t had as bad a problem with them, but they are still pretty bad. I switched to lemon JOY dish soap that I buy for $1.00 per bottle at the local dollar store. Dawn or any other liquid soap will work. For those worried about plant or environmental damage, just be sure the soap is a non-phosphorus variety, which most are. The ORTHO sprayer connected to your garden hose does a great job and clears large areas in seconds. Set it to 2 oz per gallon or just until the spray creates suds. It has never killed trees, grass or shrubs (arbor vitae) so get out and kill those little bastards!

  26. Tisha January 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    Glad to find this! We have them in our home in Colorado now! I have seem them years ago, but wanted to see what they are called. Thanks for the remedies!

  27. dishsoap abuse commity January 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

    dont kill the elders, they are peaceful. if they are coming inside in mass, find their entrance and block it and let them stay outside or where they were…
    killing that many elder souls mite set off some voodoo..
    while promoting violence with soap will surely seal your deal~


  28. Mark January 16, 2010 at 10:12 am

    there’s always one nut job out there….;^D

  29. Lisa January 28, 2010 at 3:48 am

    we rented this house and there was’nt that many bugs until the summer came and they were every ware i ask the land lord what kind spray to use and she told me but thats not working so i am going to try the soap. hope it works.

  30. Lisa January 28, 2010 at 3:48 am

    we rented this house and there was’nt that many bugs until the summer came and they were every ware i ask the land lord what kind spray to use and she told me but thats not working so i am going to try the soap. hope it works.

  31. Sarah F March 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    We rent a place as well and the main reason we rented was because of the big fenced in yard for the kids. Well they are too scared to be out there because of the bugs flying everyone. They always seem to smack me in the face. We did the soap thing and got rid of what seemed like a million. Then winter came and now winter is almost over and wouldn’t you know it they are back. Must be early hatchers so I am gonna hose it down again. The landlord has cut all the trees down so it must be a neighboring house, but my entire deck and house and patio door were covered in them last year. Trying desperately to avoid it happening again this year. I put regular dawn dish soap in a couple of squirt bottles and water and let the kids squirt away then I finish the job with a hose. It does work. I guess I was just hoping for a more permanent solution.

  32. Sarah F March 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    We rent a place as well and the main reason we rented was because of the big fenced in yard for the kids. Well they are too scared to be out there because of the bugs flying everyone. They always seem to smack me in the face. We did the soap thing and got rid of what seemed like a million. Then winter came and now winter is almost over and wouldn’t you know it they are back. Must be early hatchers so I am gonna hose it down again. The landlord has cut all the trees down so it must be a neighboring house, but my entire deck and house and patio door were covered in them last year. Trying desperately to avoid it happening again this year. I put regular dawn dish soap in a couple of squirt bottles and water and let the kids squirt away then I finish the job with a hose. It does work. I guess I was just hoping for a more permanent solution.

  33. cat March 11, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Amazing. used a spray bottle and generic dish soap.. started spraying and they started coming out (and dying) by the hundreds!

  34. Luke March 17, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I learned that it worked very well on yellow jackets if anyone has problems with them. Put a mixture of the soap solution with some Mt Dew or other soda in a small open container/plastic bowl. The yellow jackets will be attracted to that instead of your picnic or BBQ, will start to eat from it and they die then and there.
    Here is some info on why soap may work from Colorado State University:
    Hope this helps

  35. ashley April 21, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Im going to try that today I have so many its crazy. When you walk in the house they come in with you. When we take the trash out their on your clothes its a mess. I almost got bug spray so now Im going to hold off on that and try the soap. I hope it works cause Im getting to the point I want to move. In oct its lady bugs and in the summer time its these bugs.

  36. admin0 April 23, 2010 at 9:32 am

    It’s spring time in Wisconsn and if you look closely you’ll find those Box Elder Bugs are “Gettin Busy” fornicating in leaf and mulch piles usually in sunny locations. Stomp their nasty little guts out now by spraying the horny little devils down with your soap mixture and you will proactively stop hundreds of thousands of them from ever being born.

    In a few weeks you’ll see the newly hatched offspring as small red squirming masses. If you look closely, you’ll see that it is actually thousands of babies getting ready to leave the nest. Hose ’em down now! War is Hell, ain’t it?

  37. Kenda May 27, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I am in Virginia and I have lived in my house for over a year and last year we did not have this problem but this year they are coming out in big numbers I was constantly spraying my poarch off but they would come right back…thanks for this article we tried the soap yesterday and just waiting to see if it’s effective!

  38. admin0 May 27, 2010 at 9:46 am

    If mixed properly, you don’t have to wait long, maybe 30 seconds to a minute. They choke pretty fast.

  39. Peggy Hindt June 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    We live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This is the first I’ve ever heard of these bugs. I saw them this morning swarming my yard! I found this site and followed the advice! I used one or two squirts of Dawn Pure Essentials in a 5 gallon bucket of water from the garden hose. Then I just splashed everything with it. Walk, house,drive, grass, trees, plants etc. They died by the hundreds. Thank you so much for the great advice!

  40. Annie June 28, 2010 at 7:52 am

    We’ve got them in Boston too. Ugly little things. The soap works wonders. I’ve been using a bucket and cup. I will go out and get the Ortho spayer so I can cover larger areas. We haven’t had them long so I think we have a good shot of eliminating them.

  41. Daniel July 31, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    THAY!, Thith workths Thwell!

    I find you don’t need allot of soap to do the trick, I go on a daily hunt to find where they congregate…..Millions gone every day….
    This only works at the time of spraying them, for a more permanent solution go to the feed store and ask to search the bug spray MSDS sheets carried by the supplier and look for a product containing the primary ingredient Deltamethrin, of course it is toxic but so are the bugs…..this should continue to kill them for a longer period, supposedly a year¦.


  42. Daniel July 31, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    THAY!, Thith workths Thwell!

    I find you don’t need allot of soap to do the trick, I go on a daily hunt to find where they congregate…..Millions gone every day….
    This only works at the time of spraying them, for a more permanent solution go to the feed store and ask to search the bug spray MSDS sheets carried by the supplier and look for a product containing the primary ingredient Deltamethrin, of course it is toxic but so are the bugs (admin says, no, the bugs are not chemically toxic, just mentally toxic)…..this should continue to kill them for a longer period, supposedly a year¦.


  43. Daniel July 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Some are under the impression that they can just spray the house and kill the bugs, the soap methode MUST be sprayed directly on the bugs….. It will not kill any returning bug.

  44. Diane August 26, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Just moved to Arnprior Ontario. Never seen these bugs but were in mating like fiends in July, now there are clumps of red things (eggs) everywhere, especially in a hug Manitoba maples. Used Raid and is seemed effective but expensive. Will try the dishsoap. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

  45. Steve August 26, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Raid won’t work on these buggers – only the soap & water mixture seems to work by quickly suffocating them.

  46. Dave October 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I was so glad to find this page. I’ve never seen these bugs before, but about a month ago they started showing up on the side of my house.
    Like the op, I tried sprays, with little result, but the soap & water thing – works great (and I confess, I mix it a little heavy, I want to make sure the little buggers suffocate). Thank you.

  47. Jenn October 15, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Dishsoap & Water in a spray bottle worked great for me too – sprayed directly on the bugs.
    HOWEVER, even though these are all over my neighbourhood (in Brantford, ON Canada), there seems to be a lot more on my house. Coincidentally, I am the only one attempting to get rid of them…
    Is it possible that as they die, they give off a scent or something, so that their friends come too???

  48. Jeff October 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    This is a sure fire fix for those nasties. I tried to use Sevin insect killer and they turned around and looked at me, laughed, and continued to crawl around my house. I used this recipe and was vacuuming them up by the dozens.
    Thanks for the fix. Now my girls can play outside without being grossed out.

  49. Richard October 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I use Dawn dishwashing detergent. Dawn has a surfactent quality that coat them without having to foam. we use it in the fire department to fight chemical fires also.

  50. Deb October 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    I have box elder tree in my yard (a tree with the helicopter dropping leaves). I’m thinking about getting rid of the tree because they are attracted to the tree. Summer was tough they were everywhere dropping from the tree to covering the house were every the sun was shining. I live in Upstate NY. I have been infested for the last 3 years.

  51. linda October 30, 2010 at 10:28 am

    We have them in northern NY also, i can’t stand them, they give me the willies, i had a warm day and i went to open the glass sliding doors, and it was covered with them ugh, my granddaughter and i sucked them up in the vaccum. gives me the creeps.

  52. Carmen November 19, 2010 at 6:05 am

    We have them in Windsor, CT. I asked people and even went to Home Depot and they could not tell me what they were, but provided me with an Ortho product that killed them, I will try the soap if I see them again.

  53. Richard January 30, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    My comment is a question: we have been squishing these bugs all winter long. Is there a way to eliminate them from the house in the winter utilizing your detergent method? Also, will they move outside in the summer? Thank you for your help.

  54. Neely February 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    YOU are my hero! I am in NC and for some reason these bugs live only in this one corner outside of my condo (noone else’s). They LITERALLY drive me crazy and I have been on a killing spree for the past two years. I was so excited to see your solution and I couldn’t get outside fast enough to try it. No doubt…it worked! Thanks so much for restoring my sanity. 🙂

  55. Julie Sears February 21, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    We have had the infestation of these bugs for the past two years. They were clustering around the the backdoor and on the patio. Last evening, I used the soap and water, within 5 minutes a few hundred bugs were crawling out from under the siding and jumping into the solution and gone within a few minutes. I did it again today and still had at least 50 do the same thing. Thank you from Johnson City, TN.

  56. Mark T. March 16, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Im here in southern ontario, close to detroit mi. and the last few years ive been seeing alot of these little suckers, this years bad . so thanks alot now i know what they are called and hopefully how to deal with them. By the way i agree with tha tother Mark fella —–what a nut job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Oh and also the holes they breathe through in the side of their thorax is called spiricals. One of the few things i remember from high school —-lol

  57. Rich March 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    thanks for the tip> I live in Michigan and just today i walked out and there had to be 1000’s on the brick on the bottom of the house-(i have crawl space). This is the earliest i’ve seen them- but i sprayed them with dish soap and the piles of bugs were dead within minutes.

  58. Cindy March 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I have them here in Northern Indiana too. Just tried the soap and water and it worked. I’ll have to go out and try it for a few days in a row and see how far that gets me!

  59. Peter March 18, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    UGH!! We are infested with these damn things. We’re in Upstate NY and they are much worse than last year when we first noticed them. I’ll will definitely be trying the soap mixture. We live in an old house (1890) so there’s lots of cracks for them to get in. The situation has really become intolerable.

  60. Jenn March 30, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Any ideas on how to get them out of the heating vents inside the house?

    (I mean without dumping detergent down the vents, lol) ???

  61. Heather April 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Just moved to Wisconsin from Indiana in August and saw them for the first time right after we moved. There were hundreds clustered on a tree at a pumpkin patch we took the kids to and it creeped me out to no end. The house we’re buying seems to be attracting them and I sought solace and a remedy here on the net. Thanks so much for the soap/water solution.
    As for those asking about getting rid of the ones inside your house, the most effective way, as stated somewhere above is to use your vacuum/shop vac/dustbuster and vacuum them up and dump them in to a soap water solution to kill them so they don’t breed. As far as getting them out of your vents, my only suggestion is to either wait them out and vacuum them up as they come out, or have someone from an AC company come clean out your vents and do a once or twice over in your house with your vacuum.

  62. vwmike April 11, 2011 at 8:05 am

    were in southern ontario thats in Canada by the way lol!!!!! we have them really bad up here thanks for the tip ive tried everything now the genocide begins

  63. Jenn April 11, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    Okay, thanks Heather – I’ll give it a shot!

    It’s so weird… it’s like they appear out of nowhere. Anyways… I WILL WIN!!! Haha

  64. Sara Romanski April 13, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    The walmart brand dish soap did just fine in a spray bottle.. outside and in!

    Thanks for posting this!

  65. admin0 April 13, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    The cheaper the soap the better. I buy mine at the dollar store, for you guessed it, a dollar. 1 oz per gallon flow rate does the trick. Just enough to whip up a light lather.

  66. Charlie April 17, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Using a Rainbow Vacuum cleaner to suck them up inside your house works great. The Rainbow uses water to filter dirt, dust and yes beetles out of the air (NO Bags). I just flush them away after each cleaning with No beetle smell left behind. Works great.

  67. Rhonda April 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for the tip. I wondered what these little pesks were. We have tried bug spray to no avail. We decided since they did not cause harm, we almost felt bad killing them. However, they are so bad this year (we live in NY along Lake Erie) they will just have to go.

  68. T.R. April 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Scrubbing Bubbles by SC Johnson also works really well.

  69. Glenna April 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I’m in Texas and just found an infestation in my front yard. Thank you so much for the tip. I think they were in my neighbors yard a couple of years ago. Don’t know why it took them so long to make it over here, but here’s where it ENDS! Muhahaha! (evil laugh)

  70. Chantel May 8, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I am down south in Louisiana and have a red mulched area around my mailbox that is completely infested. Thanks for the tip!

  71. mcmahanrm May 19, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Thanks so much, will try this. I believe we got ours with the pine needle mulch we put in the garden and under the trees. We are in NC, so I guess they are travelling south.

  72. Lea May 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I live in Georgia and they showed up on the side of my house last year. This year they are back in the thousands. They are also in the pine straw mulch. I’m going to give the detergent remedy a shot. Hope it works.

  73. Janet May 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Thought I was going to FLIP OUT….can’t stand bugs…..I’m a Yankee living in North Georgia and never seen such a bug. Neighbor who has been in Georgia his whole life had no clue…Home Depot same thing. I tried Miatholon and then kept crawling….Home Depot was shocked. I always heard about dish soap…cheapest and safest for plants. Can’t wait to go out there and battle these buggers in AM….They are crawling on my house….I thought they were from the pine straw that was just delivered???? But no matter where they came from…sounds like they are infesting the country…thanks for the help…dish soap better be the answer!

  74. Steve May 28, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Don’t worry Janet, it will work!

  75. Linda K. June 8, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Thank you, thank you for the quick and easy fix. These bugs are relentless, and they like to fly onto you too. That way they can get in the house. It worked great, they are extemely tenacious bugs. My aunt has vinyl siding, boy did they get a rude awakening. Bless you!!

  76. Marla July 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    WOW….this really worked, just tried it. My grocery store had some off brand of dish soap marked down to .29 cents, it worked great. I tend to overkill things when mixing so I’m sure when it rains my house will be all bubbly. lol Oh well I don’t care I killed what I saw and will wait a bit and go out there again with my new weapon. Thanks to the person who posted this.

  77. wayne July 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I live in portland ,oregon,and I just tried your solution,now I didi this in the morning when the bugs are not as noticeable because the sun hasn,t come out but for few I could find it worked great+ I sprayed any bug I could find and IT killed flys, spiders and who knows what the bugs were,obviously means we don,t have to spend all that $ on insectisides I guess our ansesters were right about finding simple solutions to lifes problems

  78. Brian August 7, 2011 at 11:55 am

    We have had these bugs here in Eastern Ontario for the past 2 yrs and it is wild to see so many in a giant mass. But I have a bug spray that does kill them within 10 minutes just awesome.

  79. Robert from Lafayette Indiana October 3, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Thank you thank you I have tried it all and thought I was going to have to call the pros in, your posting helped me out and saved me some cash, thank you

  80. Angela in North Liberty October 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    This really works, my Preschooler likes to help spray them too. This is more cost efficient than having to pay an exterminator, who would probably just use pesticides.

  81. Jason October 7, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I’ve got these everywhere on the south side of my house, where the ladybug type bugs came to in the spring/early summer. I think the reason they come has something to do with pheromones left behind. Anyway, I bought a can of Dollar Store bug spray and it’s been killing them. I spray it into the areas they gather, and it kills them dead. I’ve got hundreds of bug corpses on my back porch now. Even when I spray just one on the siding, it falls and dies shortly thereafter. If something else happens (run out of bug spray) I’ll try the water & dish soap method as well.

  82. Susan David November 3, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    We are in Georgia and I have just now noticed all these things on our garage and our front door steps. Thanks for the detergent idea and all this useful information! My 10 year old daughter found this site in researching the critters for me! Apparently they are all over the United States!

  83. Michelle November 8, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I just moved into an apartment in southern Ontario, and these beetles were making themselves quite at home inside. They have their own secret entrance or something. I was going around the place like a madperson trying to get them all with a tissue.

    Anyways I stumbled on this site while searching for the name of the things.
    I immediately tried the soap solution (i just squeezed some foam from my dish sponge onto one) and watched in shock and amazement as the thing actually suffocated. Could see bubbles forming on it’s side where it breathes,I felt kinda bad.

    Thanks so much for the tip! Much appreciated!

  84. Mandi November 11, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I live in West Virginia also and my back yard was covered they are all over the side of the house, outbuildings, and trees! They did’nt bother me outside but now that it’s getting cold outside they are trying to take over my house! Today when I was cleaning them out of my windows I found eggs attatched to my shades so they will multiply inside!!! I will definetly try the soap! Thanks everyone for the info! Tired of having the CRITTERS crawling on me I think they migrate towards body heat too!!!!

  85. Kristin January 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    OMG!! Thank you soooooo much!! It has literally made my day!! I read this & went straight to killing them 😉 I live in Georgia & they’re driving me insane…they’re EVERYWHERE!!!!

  86. paige February 25, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Thank you for the helpful info!! My fiance and i just caught our first boxelder in its tracks. Now maybe we can prevent the multiplication of these icky little critters!! Much appreciated!!!

  87. SS September 22, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    There is no reason to be so upset by box elder beetles — they don’t damage anything hanging out on the outside of your home. If they are getting inside, you have a bigger problem than the beetles. You will need to caulk or otherwise seal any fissures they are using to get in since the same gaps will allow drafts in winter.

    (editors note: obviously written & submitted by a Box Elder Bug – lol)

  88. Lynn September 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    THANK YOU!! The local garden center was clueless.

  89. Tracey September 26, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    We have these perty bugs all over our sidewalk outback, all over our concrete stairs, up our house, our back door and sometimes we find them on our kitchen floor GRRRRRR !!!! Thanks for the tip on how to get rid of them, we also use very hot water with the soap and they hate it and die QUICKLY 🙂 Thanks again for this advice. We live in Marion, Ohio BTW

  90. Jim September 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    These things have invaded my house and garage en mass. I have tried all the toxic cancer causing insecticides and these things laugh and thank me for the bath. I think of them as “colorful outdoor cockroaches”. Thanks for an effective remedy that even kids can use safely.

  91. Jim September 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    These pests have been invading my home and property for three years. The last two years I feel as if I’ve been invaded by aliens…hmm…wasn’t there a Twilight Zone episode like that? Anyways, there are literally thousands of them all over my walls, windows, and door frames, in massive orgy-like clusters. They land in your hair, and get in the house when we open the door. They are much like a “colourful cockroach”, multiplying like crazy and laughing at your inability to do anything about them…until now!
    I used all the terrible toxic cancer causing insecticides and the bugs just smiled at me. I just read this website an hour ago, and I have already successfully won a major battle with a spritzer bottle. Tomorrow, I™m getting my back back sprayer loaded up…planned annihilation. Thanks for a tip that even children can employ safely. Buy stocks in Dawn Dish Detergent…haha.

  92. ANDY September 30, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I live in Southern Ontario, Canada (Milton, ON) and we are seeing this bug for the first time here this fall since we moved here 2 years ago. Last year I saw them in Brampton, ON so I guess it was just a matter of time before they made their way over! I hope we have a long cold winter so we dont see these critters for a while. 🙁 Never thought I’d say that!! On the bright side, the bugs arent seen in as large droves as some folks south of the border have experienced.

  93. Jakalack October 1, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I ended up using Windex, because ammonia kills bugs pretty good too. Killed these things quick. Also my dog won’t go near Windex as the smell is too strong. Probably not good for plants, but I used it on my patio door to kill these buggers.

  94. admin0 October 1, 2012 at 8:06 am

    After telling so many people where I live on how to destroy these critters, now I can’t find cheap dish soap anywhere. I usually clean out the dollar general store, but looks like someone beat me to it!

  95. Miranda October 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I live in w. ny and they are crazy here right now. I had no clue what they were til lately. They are attacking my house. Lol

  96. midwesterner October 21, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! These damn bugs are driving me CRAZY.. I’m going out with that soap mixture right now!!!! I’m getting tired of using the flyswatter !!!!!! Wish Me Luck 🙂

  97. Andrew January 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    just moved into a rural house in Prince Edward County Ontario they are all over the sliding glass door and windows especially when the sun comes out or the woodstove heats the room up …they seem to become active with the warmth..I’ve also noticed that they seem to swarm on Manitoba Maples in the warmer weather…don’t know why or what they do there….those trees are like weeds and the wood is good for nothin’, hardly even good to burn , maybe someone can find out how to get rid of the trees and the bugs at the same time..they take up space that could be growing real maple trees. Birds don’t seem to eat these bugs, probably they taste bad to them, and I don’t know if they have any natural preditors otherwise…..wonder why I’ve only noticed them recently…..

  98. admin0 February 24, 2013 at 9:57 am

    winter here , no box elder bugs thank god!

  99. ashley February 27, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I live in moravia n.y thank god for ur. Solution love whoever said dish soap

  100. Joni March 16, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    We bought one of those flee traps with the little light bulb in the top and sticky paper on the bottom. These bugs love the light, so they are attracted to it and when they crawl in to get under the light, they get stuck. It’s best if all of the other lights are off. I just counted 13 in there right now

  101. charlie April 8, 2013 at 11:05 am

    we are in st. catharines ontario..just north of niagara falls..these buggers were swarmed all over our neighbours tree last year, but guess they decided time for a move and ended up on the back of our home nestled in the cracks of the siding…just tried the soap and water solution and Hallejuia they are dropping like flies..thanks for the tip….

  102. Steve May 23, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    It’s springtime, so start looking for the swarms of tiny box elder bugs and wipe them out with soapy water before they can grow into adults and reproduce. Now is the time to attack!

  103. barkeep August 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Thankfully they’ve been pretty scarce in central Wisconsin, in fact, I’m not seeing many bugs at all this year!

  104. Steve April 12, 2014 at 8:18 am

    It’s spring time, so if you see these bug emerging from their winter hiding places, KILL THEM immediately! That way you will stop them from reproducing into millions of offspring.

  105. Samsback May 28, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Spring 2017 and so far only seeing a few box elder bugs emerging from their winter hibernation. Now is the time to watch for swarms of babies hatching. When you see these swarms, it’s best to eradicate them immediately. You can clear a large population with just a few soapy sprays.Numbers so far seem to be down. These bug populations go in long cycles peaking every few years.

  106. Trisha May 31, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    I’m here in Sacramento and the last couple years I have noticed them but this year it’s like the ground is moving there are so many!! Getting a sprayer and stocking up on dish soap tomorrow!! Thanks for the great tip!

  107. Samsback September 13, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Early fall 2017 in the upper Midwest (northeastern Wisconsin) and I’m not seeing hardly any box elder bugs (zero in fact). This week is forecast to be in the low 80’s which usually brings them out in massive amounts as they look for cracks to hide for the winter. Luckily I just got done caulking any holes.

  108. mlxmod October 23, 2018 at 7:44 am

    Fall 2018 upper Midwest and we are not seeing anywhere near the numbers of recent years. In addition, the box elder bugs are darker in color with less of the bright red coloring I’ve seen in past years. Colder temperatures and possibly wet conditions are keeping their numbers down.

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