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Boxelder Bug

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COMMON NAME:  Boxelder Bug

SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Order Heteroptera, family Rhopalidae, Boisea spp.

SIZE:  Adult--1/2"

IDENTIFICATION:  True bugs with grayish brown to black coloring and red highlighting.

BIOLOGY AND LIFECYCLE:  Eggs are laid in cracks of bark and on leaves. Nymphs are bright red. Adult females hibernate in protected spots and produce two or more generations.

HABITAT:  Building structures, boxelder and ash trees. Will enter structures especially in the fall.

FEEDING HABITS:  Feed mainly on the seeds of female boxelder trees. They will also eat foliage and flowers of ornamental plants and orchard crops. Injury is usually minimal.


NATURAL CONTROL:  Birds and lizards.

ORGANIC CONTROL:  Plant oil products will kill them, if it’s really necessary.

INSIGHT:  Cut down the boxelder trees if you really don't want these bugs around. They may become a nuisance by congregating on trees, porches, and walls. They don't bite or harm anything around the house.

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