Box elder bugs, scientifically known as Boisea trivittata, are a common household pest that can be found in many parts of New York State. These insects are known for their distinctive appearance and their tendency to congregate in large numbers on or around buildings. In this essay, we will explore various aspects of box elder bugs in New York State, including their identification, risks they pose, reasons for infestation, typical locations, control methods, and prevention measures.

What are Box Elder Bugs?

Box elder bugs are small insects that belong to the family Rhopalidae. They are typically about half an inch in length and are black in color with red markings on their wings and body. Box elder bugs are known for their distinctive appearance, with their black and red coloration resembling the shape of a box elder tree seed, which gives them their name. Box elder bugs are primarily herbivores and feed on the sap of box elder trees, as well as other maple and ash trees. They are most commonly found in North America, including New York State.

Are Box Elder Bugs Dangerous?

Box elder bugs are generally considered to be nuisance pests rather than dangerous. They do not bite or sting humans, and they do not cause structural damage to buildings or plants. However, they can pose risks to crops, as they are known to feed on the sap of trees, which can cause damage to box elder, maple, and ash trees. Box elder bugs can also be a nuisance when they invade homes in large numbers, seeking shelter from the colder months. While they do not pose a direct threat to human health or property, their presence can be bothersome and undesirable.


Why Do I Have a Box Elder Bug Infestation?

Box elder bugs are attracted to buildings for various reasons. They are known to seek shelter indoors during the fall and winter months to escape the cold temperatures outside. Box elder bugs are attracted to warm and sunny surfaces, and they often congregate on the sunny side of buildings, particularly on south and west-facing walls. They can enter buildings through cracks, gaps, and openings in windows, doors, walls, and other areas. Once inside, they may congregate in large numbers, particularly in attics, basements, and other warm and secluded areas.

Where Will I Find Box Elder Bugs?

Box elder bugs can typically be found on or around buildings, particularly on the sunny side of structures. During the warmer months, they may be found basking in the sun on walls, windows, doors, and other surfaces. They may also be found on trees, particularly box elder, maple, and ash trees, where they feed on the sap. During the fall and winter months, box elder bugs may seek shelter indoors and can be found in attics, basements, and other warm and secluded areas of homes and other buildings.

How Do I Get Rid of Box Elder Bugs?

Controlling box elder bugs requires a combination of exclusion, removal, and prevention methods. Here are some steps to effectively manage box elder bug infestations:

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