Aggregation of Democrat Bugs

Subject: Rare bug
Location: Illinois ,Springfield
September 23, 2012 11:29 am
I’m seeing these bugs every where in the neighborhood they are red and black tick likened they a threat
Signature: Jason bardwell

Democrat Bug Aggregation

Hi Jason,
We had been waiting for over a week to get a really great image of an Eastern Boxelder Bug aggregation when we made this posting two weeks ago.  Your image is a much better documentation of the large aggregations of nymphs and adults that the species form, and we are including your photo in both its original form and a cropped version that reveals the details better.  Eastern Boxelder Bugs are also known as Politician Bugs, Populist Bugs or Democrat Bugs, no doubt because their appearance in large numbers coincides with election season, and the gatherings are likened to crowds of people who show up to hear candidates speak.  We are replacing the original featured posting with your image and letter, and we are copying our original information that was used in the prior posting.

You encountered an aggregation of Eastern Boxelder Bugs, Boisea trivittata.  They can become a bit of a nuisance when they get plentiful, but they are basically a benign species that does not harm the tree since they feed on the seeds of boxelder and other trees, and their feeding does not do any damage to the trees themselves.  Eastern Boxelder Bugs hibernate during the winter and they have been known to enter homes, often in large numbers, to escape the cold.  They appear in great numbers in sunny locations, often on the southern exposures of houses, and generally during warm fall days.  Boxelder Bugs are also called Democrat Bugs, Populist Bugs or Politician Bugs according to BugGuide, most likely because their appearance seems to coincide with the political conventions and gatherings just prior to election season.  Our staff has been following election coverage recently and we have been hoping to get a nice photo of an Eastern  Boxelder Bug aggregation so that we could create a new featured posting.

Eastern Boxelder Bug Aggregation

3 thoughts on “Aggregation of Democrat Bugs”

  1. Hi i am having the same problem its been 2yrs. we cant even sit out side we put bug killer but they still come bk. if we take down all of our tree will that help? is there an end to this? HELP

  2. hello me and my family are having the same problem. our apt is very very old, and they cover all our windows. so bad they over lap each other. we didnt see any all summer long, now that the weather is cooling down, they are coming back again. what can i do to keep them away. they are so bad i have three boys and they actually scare my kids due to how many their are, we cant even step outside…. Please Help

    • Boxelder Bugs are perfectly harmless, so you should educate your boys that they do not need to be afraid. We understand that they are a nuisance, but we do not provide extermination advice.


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