Garden Care

Will Vinegar Kill Boxelder Bugs? How To Use It Properly?

When dealing with boxelder bugs, many homeowners search for effective solutions to eliminate these pesky insects. What do boxelder bugs hate? It could be vinegar and other bug repellents.

Will vinegar kill boxelder bugs? Let’s find out the answer.

Will Vinegar Kill Boxelder Bugs?

will vinegar kill boxelder bugs
Box Elder Bugs

No. Vinegar spray can repel boxelder bugs, but it is not a possible method for killing them. Boxelder bugs are resilient and can withstand vinegar, so you can use it as a repellent.

To effectively eliminate bugs, it is recommended to find other ways.

What Is The Best Type Of Vinegar To Repel Boxelder Bugs?

Pure white vinegar is typically the best choice for repelling boxelder bugs.

It is because it contains acetic acid, which has a foul odor or unpleasant smell that can deter the bugs from congregating in an area.

Additionally, white vinegar is affordable and less likely to stain fabrics and other surfaces than other vinegar types.

Using white vinegar to repel bugs is a natural and non-toxic alternative to chemical insecticides. It’s totally safe for your pets and family members. If used regularly, it can also prevent the return of bugs.

How To Use Vinegar As A Boxelder Bugs Repellent?

Step 1: To begin, take a spray bottle and fill it with pure white vinegar (and water if necessary). It is crucial to use white vinegar as other vinegar types tend to leave stains after evaporation.

Step 2: Apply the vinegar spray to areas where you observe many boxelder bugs in your house.

Check every corner, including windows, door frames, closets, and warehouse boxes, where these bugs are commonly found.

Step 3: Apply a paint of vinegar spray to the zones where bugs can emerge in your house, especially near maple trees and ash trees. You can spray on the whole tree if needed.

Step 4: Spray on the places where you suspect the bugs will move through. It will block their way into your home.

Is It Safe When Using Vinegar To Repel Boxelder Bugs?

Yes, using vinegar as a natural box elder bug repellent to repel boxelder bugs is generally considered worry-free as it’s a natural and non-toxic solution.

Homeowners often use vinegar mixtures to keep these bugs out of their homes and gardens.

You should note that when applying vinegar, take precautions such as wearing gloves or a mask. For some people allergic or sensitive to vinegar, it’s best to avoid contact with the eyes or skin.

If ingested or inhaled, vinegar may also irritate the throat and lungs. As with any household cleaning product, remember to keep the vinegar out of children’s reach and follow the instructions carefully.

What Are Other Ways To Get Rid Of Boxelder Bugs Naturally?

how to kill boxelder bugs naturally
Other Ways To Get Rid Of Boxelder

Soap Spray

The soap in the water acts as a surfactant, which breaks down the waxy outer layer of the boxelder bugs’ exoskeleton and causes them to dehydrate and die.

To make this homemade boxelder bug spray, mix a small amount of liquid dish soap or detergent in a spray bottle filled with water.

Spray the mixture directly onto the bugs or surfaces where they are likely to gather. You can repeat the process if needed to keep the bugs away.

Horticultural Oils

Apply the solution directly to the boxelder bugs and their eggs. Pay special attention to areas where bugs congregate, such as around windows and doors.

It’s best to use the solution when the bugs are active, usually in the morning or late afternoon.

Depending on the severity of the boxelder bug infestation, you may need to reapply the horticultural oil solution many times.

Note that horticultural oils are not a long-term solution and may not completely eliminate bugs.

Thus, you need to apply it every couple of days and repeat it often to prevent bugs from returning.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

How to kill boxelder bugs naturally? Diatomaceous earth is an organic method and an effective way to control bugs and aphids on kale and other trees.

It helps to absorb moisture and oil under bugs’ exoskeleton.

First, find the areas where bugs congregate, such as window frames, doors, and wall voids.

Next, sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the areas where the bugs are present. You can apply the powder evenly with a handheld duster or a dusting cloth.

This process takes 2 to 3 hours. You need to wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling this diatomaceous earth. Like horticultural oils, DE can be used like a homemade box elder bug trap every few days.


Vacuuming bugs is a common and effective way to get rid of these pests. 

Once you have finished vacuuming up the bugs, turn off the vacuum cleaner and remove the bugs in the vacuum canister. Seal it tightly and dispose of it in an outdoor trash bin.

Clean the vacuum thoroughly to remove any remaining bugs or debris from the machine. Finally, use soapy water to clean the area you just vacuumed bugs.

Neem Oil

box elder bugs vinegar
Neem Oil Kill Boxelder Bugs

Neem oil is considered a home remedy for boxelder bugs and an environmentally friendly natural solution as it’s a vegetable oil.

To get this mixture, mix 2 tablespoons of neem oil with 1-2 cups of water. Stir well, then pour into a bottle and spray on areas with bugs.

Since this is a non-toxic repellent, you can spray it as much as you want until the bugs are eliminated.


How To Prevent Boxelder Bugs From Entering Your House Or Garden?

You should avoid growing female boxelder trees and regularly spray natural boxelder bug repellent on locations and paths where bugs are likely to appear. Use natural repellents to prevent health effects.

You should seal cracks and holes in walls; seal gaps in walls, window sills, and window screens to prevent the bugs from entering the house.

And keep your home neat, clear weeds, trim branches (ex: blue spruce), and take care of the garden regularly to avoid forming hiding places for bugs.

How To Deal With Bugs Hiding In Hard-To-Reach Places?

You can use water to spray on the clusters of bugs because the water can get to every nook and cranny.

Although this method does not have a long-term effect in eliminating the bugs, it can prevent boxelder seeds for a certain time. Alternatively, you can use neem oil, soap, and vinegar.


Will vinegar kill boxelder bugs? No. Vinegar can only eliminate these bugs, but not eliminate them.

Instead, you can use boxelder bug killer home remedy such as dish soap mixture, horticultural oils, diatomaceous earth, or neem oil to treat them.

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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