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Boxelder Bug
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
Common Name: Boxelder Bug

Order: Hemiptera

Family: Rhopalidae

Pest Status: The boxelder bug feeds primarily on boxelder trees causing some damage. However, this insect's behavior of entering buildings during the late fall to pass the winter makes it a serious nuisance pest.

Appearance: Adult boxelder bugs are flat-backed, elongate, narrow, and about 1/2-inch long. They are brown-black with three lengthwise red stripes on the pronotum. The head is black with a red-orange proboscis and long, thin antennae. There are red veins in the wings and the abdomen is red underneath the wings.

Life Cycle: Females lay their eggs in the spring on the trunks and branches of box elder trees and the nymphs emerge within a few days. The nymphs develop into adults during the summer, mate, and lay eggs, which hatch into nymphs of the second generation.

Where to Collect: These insects gather in large numbers on the trunks of box elder trees in late summer/early fall.