Boxelder Bug Nymphs

Subject: Red and purple beetle
Location: SE Michigan
June 25, 2016 4:48 pm
Hi bugman!
I just noticed thousands of these guys hanging out in my backyard mostly around decorative grass and dry whirlybirds. They vary in size and amount of yellow and seem to like to clump together.
Signature: Lisa M

Boxelder Bug Nymphs
Boxelder Bug Nymphs

Dear Lisa M,
These are immature Eastern Boxelder Bugs,
Boisea trivittata.  Adults are winged.  Both adults and nymphs form large aggregations leading to popular names like Democrat Bugs or Populist Bugs.  According to BugGuide they feed on the seeds of the following trees:  “Acer grandidentatum (Bigtooth Maple), A. negundo (Boxelder), A. saccharinum (Silver Maple), A. buergerianum (Trident Maple), and Sapindus saponaria (Soapberry).”  You must have a nearby maple tree.  Boxelder Bugs do not harm the trees and they are not dangerous, but they can be a nuisance if they are too plentiful.

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