Currently viewing the category: "Box Elder Bugs"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bug?
Location: Northern California foothills
November 29, 2015 5:18 pm
I live in the California Gold Country, halfway between Sacramento and Reno, NV. The elevation here is about 2500 ft. We have been in a prolonged drought, but have recently had a little bit of rain. I have lived in my house for 3 years and never seen these bugs before. About a month ago when the night time temperatures got cooler these bugs appeared on the sunny side of my house. The seem to enjoy sunning themselves but also seem undeterred by temperatures at or slightly below freezing. They particularly gather on window screens and windows. They fly or they run quickly when approached. The are about 1/2 to 1 inch in length and they have some red on their underside. They are very active during the day and I don’t see them after dark. They don’t seem to be doing any damage but there are a growing number of them and I am a bit concerned about them getting into my house and causing a problem. I have seen a few on my neighbor’s house but they seem to prefer my yellow house that gets a lot of sun. Oddly, my cat and dog who typically will play or catch bugs leave these guys alone. Any idea about what they are and should I be concerned? Thanks so much for your assistance.
Signature: Barbara

Western Boxelder Bug

Western Boxelder Bug

Hi Barbara,
This is a Western Boxelder Bug,
Boisea rubrolineata, and it is considered a benign creature though they are prone to forming large aggregations that can become a nuisance if they are plentiful or if they enter the home.  The behavior you describe is very common for the species.  When weather cools down, they will enter homes to hibernate, but they will not cause you or your home any damage.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much! Glad to know I can let them be without worrying that they are eating my home.  Have a wonderful day!
Barbara

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Beetle
Location: West Chester PA
November 15, 2015 10:19 am
Found this sun-loving bug on the wall and between the window and screen. In groups.
Signature: Kathleen

Eastern Boxelder Bug

Eastern Boxelder Bug

Dear Kathleen,
The Eastern Boxelder Bug is not considered a pest species, but when they are present in large aggregations, many folks consider them to be a nuisance, especially when they enter homes to hibernate with the onset of colder weather.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug party
Location: grand rapids michigan
June 24, 2014 3:54 pm
Found several piles like this today, sitting right out in the open. Any idea what they are? At the least they make for interesting photos.
Signature: dave

Aggregation of Eastern Boxelder Bugs

Aggregation of Eastern Boxelder Bugs

Hi Dave,
This is an aggregation of Eastern Boxelder Bugs, also known as Democrat Bugs.  Your image depicts various instars or stages of growth in immature nymphs.  Adults and nymphs will congregate together in very large masses.  Eastern Boxelder Bugs are considered benign, though they have been know to enter homes to hibernate, making pests of themselves.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unknown true bug
Location: Bentonville, Arkansas
December 7, 2013 8:28 am
These guys have been very common around and occasionally in my house especially in the fall. We live in a subdivision but our backyard is surrounded by forest. This guy and another were dead on my front windowsill by December 6. I feel like I saw live ones during a recent warm snap. Today the temperature was as low as one degree F. This may be why they are dead now.
Signature: Adam Schaffer

Boxelder Bug

Boxelder Bug

Dear Adam,
We often get reports of Eastern Boxelder Bugs,
Boisea trivittata, like the one in your photograph entering homes to hibernate when the weather cools down.  Boxelder Bugs are benign creatures, but they can make a nuisance of themselves if they are plentiful.  See BugGuide for additional information on Eastern Boxelder Bugs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red Bug ID…Please
Location: Golden,BC., Canada
September 20, 2013 3:51 pm
These bugs seem to have appeared very quickly and I have never seen them in this area berfore. I need to know if they are harmful to my family or my home. They also seem to be multiplying very quickly. Any info you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Signature: Claude Poirier

Eastern Boxelder Bugs

Eastern Boxelder Bugs

Hi Claude,
Eastern Boxelder Bugs, or Democrat Bugs as they are also called in parts of the midwest south of the border from you, do not pose any threat to your family or home, but they can become a nuisance if they get plentiful, especially since they have a habit of entering homes to hibernate when the weather begins to cool.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Ottawa Canada
March 27, 2013 6:11 pm
I started to see these bugs last year. They start out as tiny pin head size bugs that are totally red. There are thousands in a nest which looks like a moving bunch of red dots. As they grow they start to become black untill they are mostly black with a little red. They also can fly. They were everywhere in the fall. Thousands of them all over my house and I saw a lot of nests on my property. They seem to be harmless as they will walk on you and not bite. The only bother is the sheer number and now that spring has come, they seem to be coming from nowhere. I am just curious as I have never seen this bug in my life. They seem to be about 1/2” full grown, six legs and two antenna. Thanks.
Signature: Harry Van Hofwegen

Our Automated Response
Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can.

Hello:
Thanks for your email.  Crazy thing, but I have looked for a long time and I just stumbled on an image of this bug so I just figured it out.  It is a Boxelder bug.  I have never seen them around my home ever until last year and now I have thousands of them.  I appreciate you guys and the work you do for people.  I hope they will leave soon because they are annoying.
Cheers,
Harry

Eastern Boxelder Bug

Eastern Boxelder Bug

Hi Harry,
We are happy to hear you quickly identified your Eastern Boxelder Bug once you discovered our site.  We have numerous postings of the aggregations the Eastern Boxelder Bugs form, especially in late summer and autumn.  They feed on the seeds of boxelder trees and other maples, so we assume you have a large maple tree or trees near your home.  Boxelder Bugs also enter homes in the fall to hibernate.  Boxelder Bugs often have isolated populations that are very numerous, but several hundred feet away, they are noticeable absent.  Their populations might also fluctuate greatly from year to year.  We suspect if the conditions are right for them in your yard, they are most likely there to stay.  We will be away from the office for a few days for the holidays, so we are postdating your submission to go live later in the week.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination