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?
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.