Monday, February 28, 2011
This past weekend as I was pulling into my driveway I noticed a large mass of insects crawling on my neighbors foundation. Closer inspection confirmed that what I was seeing was actually Box Elder Bugs. This time of year, these insects are very active, especially on warmer days.
Boxelder bugs are elliptical and about 0.5 inch long. The thorax has 3 red stripes; the leathery parts of the wings are outlined in red; and the eyes are red. The remainder of the insect is dark gray or black.
Adult boxelder bugs emerge from their overwintering shelters in March and early April and feed for about 2 weeks before mating. These insects prefer sunny areas and, therefore, are found most abundantly on trees in a southern exposure and on sides of buildings facing south. Eggs are deposited in masses of 10 or 11 eggs usually in bark crevices.
These insects are more of a nusience than anything and control is not normally needed. However, if you would like more information on how to control these insects see: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/houseplants/ort040e/ort040e.htm