Biology and taxonomy
These highly specialized insects feed almost exclusively on the seeds of Acer species. The boxelder bug is sometimes known as a garage beetle or may be confused with other Jadera spp., especially Boisea rubrolineata. The name “stink bug,” which is more regularly applied to the family Pentatomidae, is sometimes used to refer to Boisea trivittata. Instead, these insects belong to the family Rhopalidae, the so-called “scentless plant bugs”. However, boxelder bugs are redolent and will release a pungent and bad-tasting compound upon being disturbed to discourage predation; this allows them to form conspicuous aggregations without being preyed on.
Although they specialize on Acer seeds, they may pierce plant tissues while feeding. They are not known to cause significant damage and are not considered to be agricultural pests. Removal of boxelder and other Acer species can help in control of bug populations.
They may form large aggregations while sunning themselves in areas near their host plant (e.g. on rocks, shrubs, trees, and man-made structures). However, their congregation habits and excreta can annoy people, thus they are considered nuisance pests. This is especially a problem during the cooler months, when they sometimes invade houses and other man-made structures seeking warmth or a place to overwinter. They remain inactive inside the walls (and behind siding) while the weather is cool.
When the heating systems revive them, some may falsely perceive it to be springtime and enter inhabited parts of the building in search of food, water, and conspecifics. In the spring, the bugs leave their winter hibernation locations to feed and lay eggs on maple or ash trees; aggregations may be seen during this time and well into summer and early fall, depending on the temperature.
The Box Elder Bug is an American species of true bug, commonly known as the Box Elder Bug, the Zug, or Maple Bug. It is found primarily on boxelder trees, as well as maple and ash trees  . The adults are about 12½ mm (½ in) long with a dark brown or black coloration, relieved by red wing veins and markings on the abdomen; nymphs are bright red.
Box elder bugs becoming a nuisance? Our pest control services can help!
You Will Not Find a Better Group of People Anywhere
“I have known Tom Atkins and the Atkins companies for over 30 years. You will not find a better group of people anywhere. They truly understand what “customer service” really means. Their commitment to building a long term trusting relati…- Gary Drewing ~ Machens Mercedes & BMW -Read More
It’s a Trust Thing with Atkins
"From the top down, you can count on them to handle just about anything around the home. You don’t see a new face every time they show up. You get someone you can count on to do the job right and stand behind it."…- Jack Smith -Read More
Commitment to the Communities they Serve
"Many Accolades can be given to a family owned company that has been successful for 90 years. What exemplifies the Atkins Companies is their commitment to enhancing the communities they serve. Many in our communities benefit daily from the extr…- Randy M. Morrow, Retired Vice President, Boone Hospital Center -Read More
Atkins Treats Our Business Like Family
"We have used Atkins for many years for various services including lawn care and snow removal. We had used other providers in the past but have never found the high level of service with anyone that we always receive from Atkins! " …- Bill Morrissey, President - Kilgores Medical Pharmacy -Read More
Atkins the Best Locally-Owned, Family Business
“It’s my pleasure to congratulate Atkins on their 90th birthday. You have always been the best of what makes a locally-owned, family business great. We have worked with Atkins for all its 90 years and from one local business to an…- Steve Erdel – Chairman and CEO, Central Bank of Boone County -Read More
Keeping Lawns Healthy
“Thank you for keeping my lawn healthy and happy and if I buy another place I will definitely call.”…- Cory S. -Read More
Great Attention to Detail
“Josh and his team did a wonderful job at the Playhouse! They were so good to work with. They understood the importance of doing a very good job as we prepare for a wedding reception this Saturday. I praised them and asked Josh to be sure and tell …- Brick District Playhouse, Debbie LaRue, VP -Read More