Boxelder Bug


Actual Size: ½”

Characteristics: Flat and oval; black with reddish-orange markings on the back.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Known for infesting boxelder trees. Drawn to warm and sunny areas.


  • When crushed, they emit an offensive odor.
  • Wings lay flat over their bodies, overlapping each other to form an ‘X’.
  • Congregate in large numbers on sunny surfaces, especially in the fall.

Boxelder Bugs in San Angelo

Boxelder bugs are classified as true bugs and are named after their primary host, the boxelder tree, which can be found all over the United States. They typically feed on the leaves, flowers, and seed pods of box elder trees, although they might occasionally be found on maple and ash trees. As fall approaches, these bugs tend to gather in groups as they search for a spot to overwinter, which can sometimes become a nuisance.

You may notice boxelder bugs either when they enter homes to find shelter for the winter or when they emerge in the spring as the weather gets warmer. Like many other pests, their behavior tends to coincide with seasonal changes.

Boxelder Bug Habitat

During the fall, adult boxelder bugs gather on the south sides of trees, rocks, and buildings to bask in the sun and warm themselves. As their numbers increase, they may take flight and head towards nearby buildings or other sheltered locations to hibernate for the winter. Once inside, they typically hibernate within the walls of the structure. It’s important to note that boxelder bugs do not reproduce inside homes.

To enter homes and buildings, boxelder bugs use various entry points such as windows, doors, ceiling lights, soffit and dryer vents, outdoor faucets, and the siding of a home.

Boxelder Bug Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Boxelder bugs are generally not considered biters, although there have been rare reports of defensive biting. These bugs do not possess a sting and are not known to cause damage to homes. However, it’s important to note that their feces can leave stains on light-colored surfaces. During the winter months, individual boxelder bugs or small groups may enter homes and accidentally fly into windows, bathtubs, and sinks, often gathering on the floor near their chosen overwintering spots.

While they don’t cause harm, boxelder bugs can be bothersome and may leave stains on curtains, furnishings, and clothing with their excrement. When crushed, they emit an offensive odor. If you are struggling with an infestation and want to get rid of these pests quickly, contact your local pest control professional for assistance.