Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Boxelder Bug - (Boisea trivittata)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 8/21/2014

Large clusters of Boxelder Bugs can look intimidating, but this home invader won't bite.

Boxelder Bugs commonly form large congregations alongside homes,on trees and especially near Boxelder bushes. They also prefer the warm and sunny sides of buildings. Females will overwinter inside walls and lay eggs on leaves in the spring.

Boxelder Bugs are not harmful to humans, but they will secrete a staining dye if crushed. If they are found indoors, it is best to remove them with a paper towel, or vacuum cleaner with its hose attachment, to avoid creating a mess. They do not emit any odors.

The Boxelder Bug can be found in parks, gardens, meadows, fields and forests. Adults, their larvae and their growing nymphs drink the sap from flowers, trees and other plants, but rarely with enough vigor to destroy them. The feeding may slightly deform fruits.

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Category: True Bug
Common name: Boxelder Bug
Scientific Name: Boisea trivittata

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Hemiptera
      Family: Rhopalidae
       Genus: Boisea
        Species: trivittata

Adult Size (Length): 11mm to 14mm (0.43in to 0.55in)

Identifying Colors: red; black; gray; orange

Additional Descriptors: clusters, infestation

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Arizona; Arkansas; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Vermont; Virginia; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.