Did you Know?Boxelder bugs are distasteful to birds and chickens. Many insects that are bright orange are typically bad tasting or toxic to predators.
Boxelder Bugs – Orange bugs collecting on house
Boxelder bugs are commonly found on boxelder and maple trees, though they also feed on other hosts and their fruit.
The body of the adult stage is black with an orange outline. However, the nymphal stage shows more orange. They feed on fruits of host trees and can cause a “catface” distortion. They become most obvious in the fall when they begin to find an overwintering spot in homes. They aggregate in large groups within and on sides of houses.
Adults overwinter in dry areas that are protected from winter conditions such as attics, ceiling corners, voids, and other areas in houses and buildings. As temperatures warm, adults begin to seek out boxelder trees to lay their eggs. Nymphs feed on seeds and as they get bigger, move to other tree parts like leaves, flowers, and fruits. This generation will eventually reach adulthood and lay eggs, which will hatch, develop and become the overwintering generation.
Damage to trees is minimal. Adults and nymphs feed on seeds, fruit, flowers, and leaves. The main issue with these pests is their overwintering habits. They can travel hundreds of yards from boxelder trees to reach a house or building. Often times, they’ll be observed in groups on the sides of houses as well as within houses and buildings.
Because they do not cause extensive damage to trees, there are not a lot of management recommendations for boxelder bugs. Keep in mind, that boxelder bugs prefer the sunny side of building and houses. There are perimeter sprays that can deter individuals from collecting on your house or building.