Boxelder Bug

This bug may be seen in large numbers, but it's more of a nuisance indoors than a problem outside.
Box Elder Bug

Box Elder Bug

Related To:

Somewhere, sometime, chances are you'll be asked, "What are all those red and black bugs swarming all over my maple tree? There are thousands of them! How can I get rid of them?"

This bug is a nuisance but it doesn't bite, and it's not a landscape pest. The biggest hassle the boxelder bug presents: it's attracted to warm, dry places in the winter, and in cooler climates in the fall, large numbers may try to enter homes.

The boxelder bug has three stripes on its prothorax (the first segment behind its head), a key identifying feature that distinguishes it from squash bugs and small milkweed bugs.

Only adult boxelder bugs survive the winter. In the spring, the female lays her eggs in the female boxelder tree, and the young, bright red nymphs feed on the leaves, seedpods and flowers of the boxelder(and sometimes on maple and ash) trees.

The bugs usually does little significant damage to the trees. Sometimes it feeds on the fruits of peach, apple, pear, almond and plum trees, causing the fruit to become distorted, but it's not considered a serious agricultural problem.

Next Up

Firefly (Lightning Bug)

Their flashing lights can turn a summer evening into a time of magic. Here's the insect that's responsible.

Beneficial Bug: The Hover Fly

Familiar garden predators like ladybugs and praying mantises often get all the credit for controlling bad bugs. Check out what this largely unsung backyard hero can do.

The Lowdown on Garden-Friendly Bugs

Learn about a variety of insects that can help prevent garden pests from terrorizing your yard.

How to Garden in Just 15 Minutes a Day

No time to garden? Learn 10 easy tricks to multiply minutes in the garden.

Accessible Gardening Techniques

No matter what life throws at you, get back into the garden with these tricks and tools for elderly or disabled gardeners.

Stag Beetle

Not considered a pest, this beetle lives on decaying wood in tree stumps and fallen logs.

Discover the Joys of Pond Gardening

Maintaining a tranquil water garden is easier than you think.

How to Provide Sharp Drainage for Your Plants

If your landscape require sharp drainage, follow these tips for successful gardening all year round.

Dispelling Common Gardening Myths

Unravel a few homespun green-thumb myths with the help of some expert gardeners.

Red-Spotted Newt

This small salamander lives part of its life on dry land.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

What's New in Outdoors

On TV

Home Town

6am | 5c

Home Town

7am | 6c

Home Town

8am | 7c

Home Town

9am | 8c

Home Town

10am | 9c

Hot Mess House

11am | 10c

Hot Mess House

11:30am | 10:30c

Hot Mess House

12pm | 11c

Hot Mess House

12:30pm | 11:30c

Good Bones

1pm | 12c

Good Bones

2pm | 1c

Good Bones

3pm | 2c

Good Bones

4pm | 3c

Good Bones

5pm | 4c

Good Bones

6pm | 5c

Good Bones

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Good Bones

8pm | 7c

Good Bones

9pm | 8c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Good Bones

12am | 11c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Good Bones

3am | 2c

Good Bones

4am | 3c

Good Bones

5am | 4c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.