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need help identifying
We have these beetles on the outside of our house and some in our basement. We live in central Indiana. Do you know what they are and if they can be problematic? Thank you,
Jody

Hi Jody,
The Boxelder Bug is one of our commonest query subjects. There is tons of information on our site and online in general.

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Bug on House — Please Help Identify
Bugs like the attached are all over my house. They can fly. Please help me identify them.
Thank you!

This is an Eastern Boxelder Bug, Boisea trivittata. We get so many identification requests in the fall that we have decided to make it the bug of the month for November. Boxelder Bugs are True Bugs with incomplete metamorphosis. The immature nymphs are wingless replicas of the adults, but appear more red as the wings are not covering the coloration on the abdomen. Boxelder Bugs are noteworthy in that they form large aggregations of nymphs and adults, and they seek shelter indoors as the weather cools. Turn to BugGuide for additional information. We have numerous advertisers who guarantee to exterminate them, but there are also several home remedies that have reported success rates.

Soap against Boxelder Bugs
(02/03/2005) A WAY TO ELIMINATE BOX ELDER
HELLO, I AM FROM NEW YORK STATE AND WE HAVE A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH THE BOX ELDER BEETLES. THEY ARE ALL OVER OUR TREES, OUR POOL DECK AND OUR HOME. OUR NEIGHBOR ONE DAY WAS DOING HER LAUNDRY AND SAW ONE IN THE BASEMENT SO SHE SPRAYED IT WITH A DETERGENT SOLUTION SHE HAD IN A BOTTLE. THE BEETLE DIED IN NO TIME. AFTER THAT WE WOULD FILL UP OUR 2 GALLON SPRAYERS AND PUT A CAP OR TWO OF LAUNDRY SOAP IN IT AND SPRAY THESE BEETLES. THEY DO DIE FROM THIS SOLUTION. THIS IS A CHEAP SOLUTION AND A NON TOXIC SOLUTION.
DEBBIE FENCLAU

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Box Elder Bugs
How did BE bugs also become called Democrat Bugs?
Steve Paige
Topeka, KS

Sadly, Steve, we don’t know the true origin of the common name Democrat Bug. We can only surmise that it has something to do with the aggregations which to some people look like the Democratic National Convention.

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Need some assistance
We found these “nasties” on our Rose of Sharon in Hernando, Mississippi. We spent sometime looking on the Web for an Identification on them but cannot seem to find a good resource for identification. Can you please help? There seems to be two different species, or a young and adult in this photo. Thank you so much for your assistance and if you could direct me in how to remove them from my plant life as it is not helping the leaves and buds on the Rose of Sharon.
By the way we loved your site!
Sincerely
Bryan Howard

Hi Bryan,
You have Hemipterans, both the winged adult and nymph. These are True Bugs, related to Stink Bugs. Despite the conspicuous marking, we cannot find a good exact identification in any of our sources.

Update (05/29/2006)
We now know this is Niesthrea louisianica, a Scentless Plant Bug that is found on Rose of Sharon.

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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,
Melissa

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…
Dawn

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These bugs are all over my workshop/shed. They have red eyes and fly. There are literally thousands of them. They mass in giant clumps. What are they, I’ve never seen them before.
Thanks.

We usually get group portraits of Box Elder Bugs (Leptocoris trivittatus)

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