- adults: 1/2 inch; black body and wings with three red lines on back
- nymphs: smaller and are bright red with black legs and wing pads
- eggs: cylindrical; orange to red and laid in clusters
Host Plants, Diet & Damage
- seeds of maple trees; primarily boxelder tree seeds
- feed on sap from boxelder seeds
- occasionally cannibalistic
- occasionally cause damage to non-host fruit, such as apples
- no damage done to trees
- nuisance: congregate around buildings; can come indoors and annoy occupants
- overwinter in cracks, crevices, leaf litter and in buildings
Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage
- overwinter as adults in and around homes
- become active in March with warming temperatures
- adults lay eggs on and near boxelder trees around budbreak
- two generations per year; overlapping life stages present
- nymphs and adults are the damaging stages
- No damage to trees; nuisance pest only.
- Remove unwanted/volunteer female boxelder trees (i.e., with seeds) in the area if possible.
- Seal cracks that may allow bugs to enter buildings.
- Vacuum to remove indoor and outdoor populations.
For more information, see our Boxelder Bug fact sheet.