Boxelder Bugs are black plant bugs. They have thin orange or red-orange borders on their elytra (wing coverings). A short orange line runs down the middle of the thorax. Large red eyes bulge out the sides of its head and two tiny red spots on top of the head sit near them. Nymphs (juveniles) look different from adults. They have red bodies with an orange or yellow spot in the center of it. Their undeveloped wing coverings are short and black. They commiserate with older Boxelder Bugs, commonly form large congregations on the sides of homes, or on trees, but especially near Boxelder bushes, from which they are named. They 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. Typically, Boxelder Bug can be found in parks, gardens, meadows, fields and forests. Adults, their larvae, and their growing nymphs drink nectar and sap from flowers, trees and other plants, but rarely with enough vigor to destroy them. The feeding may slightly deform fruits and their large numbers may startle observers, but they are not dangerous.
General Characteristics Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns.