Boxelder bugs are about ½ in. long, are black or red, and have thin red stripes on their back.
Interesting Facts About Boxelder Bugs
– These bugs feed off of boxelder trees, maple trees, and other similar plants by sucking out their juices.
– These bugs when not feeding on their trees are attracted to reflective surfaces of buildings up to a half a mile away. One could plant non-host trees to provide shade to the south and west sides of their home as a long-term prevention solution.
– When their populations grow larger, many will climb around the walls of houses and buildings near their host trees and some may find ways inside.
– During winter, these bugs will look for shelter. One will frequently find them at bases of trees, building foundations, fencerows, and inside homes.
– Boxelder bugs are commonly found in most areas of the U.S.
Problems Caused by Boxelder Bug Pests
These bugs are usually just pests by their presence, but they can cause slight damage by leaving fecal stains on resting places like curtains. They can penetrate skin with their specialized mouthparts, but it is not likely and it will only cause slight irritation.
Boxelder Bug Prevention
As a long term solution, one can get rid of the problem host trees these bugs feed on if not too expensive, and/ or plant non-host trees on the south and west sides of the building as to not attract them to the reflective walls.