black with orange markings, six legs with antenna (Boxelder bug adult)

by Linda Katel
(Watchung, NJ)

top view of insect

top view of insect

top view of insect
bottom view of insect

Have found several of these insects in my home. Basically black with orange marking on top and bottom, six legs and antenna. Insect is about 1/2 inch in length.

Comments for black with orange markings, six legs with antenna (Boxelder bug adult)

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Boxelder bug
by: Jules

a box elderbug ? There are a lot of different markings. Do you have box elder trees?

Boxelder Trees
by: Linda K.

We do not have boxelder trees, but have boxwood bushes, same family?

Boxelder bug adult
by: Moni

Linda
Yes, you have boxelder bugs.

These insects feed primarily on boxelder trees and related maple trees, not boxwood.
Boxelder bugs feed primarily on the seed-bearing boxelder or maples trees by sucking sap from the leaves, tender twigs and developing seeds. They do little damage to boxelder or maple trees. There can be one to two generations per year.

In the fall the adults seem to collect on the south side of our homes and find a way to get in. They do not eat anything in the house. They are just a nuisance! As we get a few warm days they seem to be more active.
They will eventually die indoors.

Boxelder bugs overwinter as adults and in spring leave the hibernating locations under piles of boards, rocks, leaves, grass and other debris close to the house. Females begin laying eggs in crevices of tree bark, stones, leaves, grasses and on other objects near boxelder trees. Bright-red nymphs appear about the same time new tree leaves develop.

Control measures in yards and gardens are best handled by prevention.
Adults can fly 2 or more miles to hibernate, so tree removal is extreme (you could remove female boxelder and maple trees, especially around the house, and/or plant male trees)
Eliminate possible hiding places such as any boards, rocks, leaves, grass and other debris close to the house. Rake leaves and grass away from the foundation, especially on the south and west sides of the house. Be sure to caulk and close off any openings where boxelder bugs could enter the house. Screen all windows, doors, crawl spaces, exhaust and roof vents and louvers.

In fall when clusters of the bugs are seen, either vacuum with a shop vac outdoors or just vacuum the ones you see indoors.

Boxelder bugs do not bite.

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