This past summer we have seen a number of red and black bugs flying about but recently there’s been a downright invasion! They are swarming any sunny wall and window and trying to get into our homes… What are they these buggy beasties? Well, they are known as boxelder bugs, quite natty looking with their red and black bodies and red wings. They are members of the true bug family, Rhopalidae, and are related to leaf hoppers, shield bugs and stink bugs
Their main host is the boxelder tree, Acer negundo, sometimes known as the Manitoba Maple. The larvae and adults feed on the leaves, flowers and soft growth of the boxelder and the keys of other maples and ash trees. The boxelder is generally considered a messy weed tree subject to limb breakage and pests like these guys.
As such boxelder bugs pose no threat to your garden plants but can be a nuisance when they congregate in large numbers like now. They are looking for a place to hibernate so make sure they don’t get in your house. As soon as you heat your house for the winter they will all wake up! You can get pest control to come in an deal with them if you have an strong aversion to them but they are part of nature and will disappear when the weather gets cold. To prevent a reoccurrence, take down any boxelders in your yard.