State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500549
The boxelder bug occurs throughout the range of its principle host in
the U.S. The nymphs (immature) are bright red in color; adults (12-14mm
in length) are dark brownish-black with three red stripes on the thorax
and red wing veins. The wings are thickened and leathery at the base
and membranous at the tip. The wings at rest are held flat over the
back with the membranous tips overlapping.
Boxelder bugs feed on pistillate (female) flowers, fruits, foliage and
tender twigs of its preferred host, boxelder, but also may feed on
other maples, ash, and even apple, grape and plum.
In the fall they will swarm towards houses looking for suitable
hibernation sites and will congregate in large numbers on porches,
exterior walls, foundations, and walkways. They do not feed on
foodstuffs, fabrics or furnishings, but they may feed on some
houseplants. They can bite, and will do so if carelessly handled. They
may stain resting areas on walls and curtains with brown fecal
material, and they produce a disagreeable odor when crushed.
If you choose to use an insecticide out of doors, spray boxelder bugs
on tree trunks, foliage (diazinon 25%EC carbaryl 50% WP and
insecticidal soap). Do not use carbaryl on house or other buildings.
Indoors: vacuum them up.
For a complete listing of suggested control options for all home, yard
and garden insect pests contact your local Extension Service, found
under local government in the phone book.
Read and follow instructions on the pesticide label. Heed all warnings.
Check with your physician if you have any concerns regarding your
personal health risk.
Revised by Tom Ellis, M.S., Department of Entomology
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educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade
names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those
not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
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are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender,
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status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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