Box Elder Bugs

Hi Bugman,
I live in a very cold winter climate, where usually seeing bugs this time of year is unusual..I have found several bugs in my home, since about October or so, that are beetle-like with strange red stripes on the back. It appears to have wings, as when I kill them, the wings come up from the body. You can’t really see the wings like on other bugs, though, unless you are looking for them. Can you help? I had a ghastly thought at first that it could be a cockroach, but, I am pretty confident it is not. Being they are alive now, they must be coming from somewhere inside my home. In the event you can identify from my flimsy description, could you also clue me in on what to do to get rid of them and where to look for them?
Thank you,

Dear Melissa,
I believe you have Box Elder Bugs which sometimes hibernate, aggregating in huge numbers, inside homes. They are seeking protection and could be somewhere in the basement or some dark closet, probably somewhere near the point of entry. They may have come in through a crack or a window when it was just beginning to get cooler. Sorry I don’t have any extermination advice. Try checking with your local exterminator. Here is a photo sent in by Tom last year.

Democrat Bug!
I’ve been hearing about a "politician bug". My searches brought up every devious politician in history and I couldn’t find anything out about a "real" bug. I write musical plays and just completed one that translates the world of butterflies into a clown environment. My next musical will be about lovebugs, placing the lovebugs in a southern town where the bugs are a gang who shows up twice a year and is intimated by the people living there, even though they’re supposed to be the pests. The idea of writing a musical portraying bugs as politicians intrigues me, with all the characteristics and instincts of this bug, perhaps set in the White House, and especially since this bug is nicknamed after politicians. Have you heard of this?
Dawn Labuy-brockett

Hi Dawn,
I was intrigued with your latest message, and couldn’t believe the Asian Longhorned Beetle would go by such a common name. Here is a site which attributes the name Democrat Bug to the Box Elder Bug. No information on the origin of the name though.

Thanks so much for the help! I got thrown off with a site named a picture of an Asian Longhorned Beetle "Democrat". It was indeed the boxelder I was looking for. I had a feeling at the beginning that boxelder was the bug, but I got misled. You are right!!! The bugman rules!
It’s been a pleasure…

Leave a Comment