Boxelder bugs, known scientifically as Boisea trvittata, belong to the order of Hemiptera, more commonly known as true bugs. Boxelder bugs are found all over North America and are frequently observed on boxelder trees, maple trees, and ash trees. Boxelder bugs feed mainly on tree seeds and newly developing leaves, which can result in the discoloration of foliage.
They will also occasionally feed on the fruits of plum and apple trees. They can be identified by their dark brown or black coloration, red wing veins, and markings on the abdomen. Nymphs, however, are bright red. They have six legs and two antennae. Boxelder bugs are strong smelling and will release a pungent smell if disturbed or threatened. This allows them to form conspicuous aggregations without being preyed on. During certain times of the year, boxelder bugs cluster together in large groups while sunning themselves on warm surfaces near their host tree. This behavior can be seen in the fall when they are seeking a warm place to overwinter. Large numbers are often seen congregating on houses seeking an entry point. During the change in season, they can become a nuisance to homeowners as they invade in large numbers. To prevent boxelder bugs from invading homes in the fall, repair holes in window and door screens, seal cracks and crevices with silicone or caulk, and install door sweeps to all exterior entrances.

Common Pests

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