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

Subject: What’s that bug?
Location: Northeast California, USA
November 29, 2016 11:47 am
Theis big is found in Northeastern California, USA. They are about 1/2 to 3/4 inches in length. Brown/black in color with red-orange marking I got along their backs. They can fly but not far and as they fly the open wings reveal a red body.
They seem to emerge from areas at the bottom of the house walls and are most active on warm days – especially in the spring and early winter ( i.e. Times when we have cool nights and warm days). They seem to nest near the house foundation and are very active on warm days following cold evenings. They seem to find their way into the house around door frames and sliding patio entrances.
What are these bugs? Are they harmful to people, pets or property (i.e. Like termites).? If harmful, is there a ecological control protocol that could discourage these bugs from nesting around the house?
Signature: Trevor

Western Boxelder Bug

Western Boxelder Bug

Dear Trevor,
This is a Western Boxelder Bug,
Boisea rubrolineata, and according to BugGuide:  “Particularly noticeable in fall (often invade homes in search of shelter to hibernate) and in spring (when they emerge).”  We apologize for the very tardy response, but as our automated response states, we have a small staff and we cannot answer all the mail we receive.  We are currently selecting postings to go live to our site when we are away for the holidays, so your submission will go live at the end of the month.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Variant?
Location: Portland, Oregon
November 11, 2016 5:09 pm
These two hemipterans were playing touchy-feely near Portland, Oregon. One is obviously a Western Boxelder bug, but the other one is leaving me slightly perplexed. Although the photograph doesn’t do it justice, the shield bug was essentially black and gold, almost as if highlighted with goldleaf. I suspect it is just a variant of the brown marmorated stink bug; I’ve seen ones with brownish, or reddish, or greenish hues, but never one that that seemed to sparkle in the sun. In any case, after about a minute of inter-species investigation the two bugs went their separate ways. Your thoughts? I know you’re probably inundated with identification requests, so if this is just another BMSB, please feel free to ignore the inquiry.
Thanks,
Signature: David Hopkins

Stink Bug and Western Boxelder Bug

Stink Bug and Western Boxelder Bug

Dear David,
We have corrected the spelling error you requested.  In our opinion, this is NOT a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug because according to BugGuide:  “The brown mottled color and banded antennae are distinctive” and your individual has solid colored antennae.  This might be an African Cluster Bug,
Agonoscelis puberula, which we found on BugGuide, though BugGuide does not list the range for this invasive species in Oregon at this time.  Our biggest doubt regarding that as the identification is that BugGuide indicates it is “very pubescent” or hairy, and your individual appears to be quite smooth in your high quality image.  So, for now we cannot commit to a species identification, and we really like your inter-species investigation with the Western Boxelder Bug.

Possibly African Cluster Bug and Western Boxelder Bug

Possibly African Cluster Bug and Western Boxelder Bug

Thanks for your very prompt reply, Daniel.  I noticed the lack of antennal banding, as well, although there does seem to be some variation in the widths of the light and dark bands on the brown marmorated stink bug.  With a little imagination (well, with a lot of imagination, actually) hints of white at the antennal joints might be made out, but not enough to be considered banding.  I think you’re right that it’s probably not an African Cluster Bug; not only is it not very pubescent, it lacks the light “Y” or trident shape commonly seen on the scutellum.  For now, let’s call it Verus mysterium!
Dave

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: bug unknown
Location: Northern Virginia
November 10, 2016 6:05 am
We found this bug around our house. Especially when then weather is warm. Not a firefly. Not sure what it is. Thanks for identify!
Signature: Not sure

Eastern Boxelder Bug

Eastern Boxelder Bug

This is an Eastern Boxelder Bug, commonly called a Democrat Bug because of the large aggregations they sometimes form.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Are These Jadera Bugs eating this mouse?
Location: Brevard, North Carolina
October 8, 2016 8:42 pm
Are these Jadera bugs eating this dead mouse?
Signature: Eric

Eastern Boxelder Bug Nymphs eat dead mouse

Eastern Boxelder Bug Nymphs eat dead mouse

Dear Eric,
Though they resemble Red Shouldered Bug nymphs,
Jadera haematoloma, as you can see in this BugGuide image, but these are actually Eastern Boxelder Bug nymphs, Boisea trivittata, based on this BugGuide image.  According to North American Insects and Spiders:  “All instars eat maple seeds; later instars are carnivorous scavengers of insect carcasses as well. All developmental stages congregate on sunny surfaces, especially wooden surfaces proximate to their food source.”  Your image indicates they are opportunistic, and they will scavenge more than just insect carcasses.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red beetle
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
June 14, 2016 7:52 am
I think these are the babies of a black and red beetle. They have swarmed my echinacea!
Thanks for helping to identify.
Signature: Kristen

Democrat Bugs

Democrat Bugs

Dear Kristen,
These are immature Eastern Boxelder Bug nymphs, not beetles.  They are sometimes called Democrat Bugs because they aggregate in large numbers.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination