Boxelder bugs are about one half inch long and elongate oval in shape with the dorsal side flattened. Their color is dark and dull gray with red lines along the sides of the prothorax forming a distinct “X” on the top.
Primarily around woods, Trees and gardens. When in dry environments, the Boxelder Bug can be found invading any structure which will offer needed moisture. Brick walls, wall voids, decaying plant mater and mulch can often be inspected to find large numbers coexisting.
Principally sucking juices from the boxelder tree, but are found on maples,
and fallen leaves from fruit trees.
Gradual metamorphoses, with piercing-sucking mouth parts. Eggs are hidden in bark crevices or left on leaves and sometimes on seed pods in spring. Nymphs appear in late spring or early summer and develop rapidly. Adult females overwinter. 1 or 2 generations a year
Although this insect does little damage to trees, it causes deformities and blemishes in fruit. They may stain curtains and other resting sites with fecal spots and produce a foul odor when crushed. In autumn, huge swarms of females can be seen near buildings, looking for a place to overwinter.
Boxelder Bug Management:
Since the box elder mostly feeds on box elder and maple trees, planting a male box elder tree will eliminate the food source and the trees will become less attractive. Insecticides are only somewhat successful, meanwhile the box elder does little damage to the tree itself spraying is truly not necessary. Still, by treating the area where they collect can reduce the number of box elders entering the home.