Boxelder bugs are found wherever boxelder trees (Acer negundo) occur. They are found on or in close association with seed-bearing, female boxelder trees. The adult is 1/2" in length and the black and red cross pattern on its back makes this insect easy to distinguish from related species (stink bug and milkweed bug). They move to structures in the fall seeking hibernation sites in buildings (cracks, crevices, attics, under shingles, etc.). When a boxelder bug becomes active in the spring it will often find its way into your house or apartment. They cause no harm other than occasional spotting of windows and curtains.

Control with insecticides in the dwelling is not usually necessary. Expeditious use of a fly swatter or removal using a paper towel will get the job done. For long term control you must deny access to your home. Careful inspection of your home to determine points of entry and repair of these areas is necessary. A second alternative is to remove seed-bearing, female boxelder trees.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Types of Insects

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