Box Elder Bug   Print   |  Home  |  Close Window
Boisea trivittata is a species of true bug, commonly known as the boxelder bug, box elder bug , maple bug, or red shouldered bug. It is found primarily on maple and ash trees. The adults are about 12 1/2 mm (1/2 in) long with a dark brown or black coloration, relieved by red wing veins and markings on the abdomen. Nymphs and immature bugs are bright red.

These insects feed on the softer plant tissues, including leaves, flowers, and new twigs. Unless the population is exceptionally large, the damage to plants is minimal. During years when their population soars, they can damage useful shade trees.

In autumn, they can become household pests. The adult insects seek wintering hibernation locations and find their way into buildings through crevices. They remain inactive inside the walls (and behind siding) while the weather is cool. When the heating systems revive them, they begin to enter inhabited parts of the buildings. In the spring, the bugs leave their winter hibernation locations to lay eggs on maple or ash trees.

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