Box Elder Bug March 2023 #822716

Asked March 17, 2023, 6:43 PM EDT

We live in West Salem, OR. The front of our house has a lot of cedar planking. The box elder bugs are really thick on the south-facing cedar planks. Will they eventually go away? What can we do? THX!

Polk County Oregon

Expert Response


This was one of our most asked questions in the fall, and it was a featured question on our website:

I suggest checking out the answer. Let me know if you'd still like to connect with an entomologist.

McKenzie Heryford Replied March 17, 2023, 7:36 PM EDT
McKenzie, thanks for your prompt response. I enjoyed the article.
I would like to connect to an emptymologist; will you please facilitate that for me?
Thx again,
Diane J

On Fri, Mar 17, 2023, 4:36 PM Ask Extension <> wrote:
The Question Asker Replied March 20, 2023, 1:01 PM EDT

Of course. You will hear from them shortly.

McKenzie Heryford Replied March 20, 2023, 1:06 PM EDT
Last summer and fall produced a bumper crop of box elder bugs in many places across western Oregon. The bugs you are seeing now are from that generation that overwintered. They are now getting active and looking for box elders and maples to lay their eggs, but with the still cool temperatures, the bugs will congregate in warm spots (like your south facing walls). 

You can hose them off with a strong spray of water, but it's likely new congregations will form until warmer spring weather sets in. Once the weather warms, they will disperse. Then they will start congregating again in the fall. Whether you see big groups in the fall depends on how big the populations get over the summer. 

Other than being a major nuisance, the bugs aren't really harmful. 

This webpage has some additional information:
Stuart Reitz Replied March 23, 2023, 10:51 AM EDT
Thank you! Very helpful.

On Thu, Mar 23, 2023, 7:51 AM Ask Extension <> wrote:
The Question Asker Replied March 23, 2023, 11:31 AM EDT

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