Boxelder bugs

Identification

  • Colour Black, red and orange
  • Size 11 to 14 mm long
  • Also known as Maple bugs
  • Description Have three distinctive, reddish-orange stripes on their thoraxes. When their wings lie flat, these stripes overlap to form what looks like a letter X.

General Facts

Why do I have boxelder bugs?

Boxelder bugs, also known as maple bugs, primarily suck the sap out of the seed pods of female boxelder trees, but have been known to infest maple and ash trees, as well as fruit trees, including cherry, plum, peach, and apple. On sunny days, boxelder bugs gather on home exteriors (usually on the south side where the most there is the most sun), while in the winter, they seek warmth and food in wood piles, inside barns and sheds, or around window casements, gaining entry through gaps around foundations, open vents, and unscreened windows and doors. These boxelder bugs emerge in spring to lay red, oval-shaped eggs that will hatch into nymphs, which will immediately start feeding on seeds, foliage, twigs, and fruit.

How worried should I be about boxelder bugs?

Boxelder bugs do not bite or cause structural damage to homes, but are a nuisance because they invade in large numbers. The bugs also inflict cosmetic damage to trees, leaving behind speckled leaves and scarred fruit. Crushed boxelder bugs emit a foul odour and can stain structures, while their excrement can stain draperies, furniture, and other linens. Dead bugs can also attract other insects, such as carpet beetles. Because boxelder bugs infest in such overwhelming numbers, it's crucial to get help from a professional pest control service to apply exterior perimeter treatments effectively and safely.

How can I prevent boxelder bugs invading?

Seal gaps around foundations, Repair door and window screens, Cover open vents Plant male boxelder trees instead, Vacuum up boxelder bugs

Other pests related to Boxelder bugs

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