||Black with reddish or orange markings on dorsum
||Elongate-oval, somewhat flattened with head narrower than pronotum
||1/2” (11-14 mm)
Boxelder bugs get their common name from the fact that they are
often found on and around boxelder trees. This species is native to
the western states, but can be found from eastern Canada throughout
the eastern United States, and west to eastern Nevada wherever
boxelder trees are found.
The boxelder bug population lives and thrives on maple and
seed-bearing boxelder trees during the warmer months where they lay
their eggs and feed on leaves, flowers and seeds.
Occasionally, they will feed on the fruits of plum and apple
In autumn, boxelder bugs become gregarious and congregate on the
south side of rocks, trees and buildings where the sun hits. After
large masses gather, they migrate to nearby buildings or homes to
overwinter. These pests tend to hide in small cracks and crevices
in walls to insulate themselves from the cold winter temperatures.
In late March to early April, adults leave their overwintering
sites to return to their host trees for the warmer months.
Boxelder bugs are not known to bite, but their piercing-sucking
mouthparts can occasionally puncture skin, causing a slight
irritation and producing a red spot similar to a mosquito bite.
When crushed or handled roughly, boxelder bugs may leave a reddish
orange stain from their fecal material that can result in
discoloration of curtains, drapes, clothing, etc.