Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Boxelder bug


I have been getting the boxelder bug (wing black with orange marking) and can't seem to get rid of them.  I line in Cohoes, NY no maple trees are around.  My windows are sealed for the winter.  

I get maybe 2 a day maybe every other day.  I don't know what to do.

I have looked on the computer can't find an answer for my problem can you suggest anything.


Dear Betty - It's a good thing that boxelder bugs simply are nuisance pests rather than something that can cause real harm because short of hermetically sealing your house, there is virtually no way of excluding them completely. Also, in spite of their name, they will feed on a number of trees other than boxelders. See http://tinyurl.com/aw5sm4e for a Cornell University fact sheet on these insects that includes some commonsense management suggestions.

Hope this helps,

p.s. - Where I grew up in North Dakota, we had thousands of these congregate on our south-facing chimney on sunny but cool days in autumn.

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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