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Small Black and Red Bugs


I have little black and red bugs that look like lightning bugs (but with no light) in my car. What are they and how do I get rid of them?

Stephanie from Ft. Payne, AL



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By Julie 49 565 11/11/2008

We live in eastern Tennessee, in the city, with no garden or flowers. There is just woods on both sides of us about 20 feet away, but not in the front or the back of the house. These same bugs are outside in the leaves and have not came in the house, but try to stay on the house or outside windows. They look like a bug I saw when I was small 40+ years ago.

My mom called them "stink bugs" because they stink with a strong odor when you kill them. Their backs are hard and look like an amour. I have to say I have not seen these before, just something similar when I was a young child. I would like to know what they are, too, and if they bite. My grandson was trying to catch them but I told him no not knowing if they will harm you if they bit.

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By emgoodrich 3 10 11/17/2008

We had box elder bugs at my Mom's house 2 years in a row or maybe it just seemed like 2 years. We didn't do anything to them and they eventually went away. We haven't seen them at all this year. I'm not sure if they realized there are no Box Elder trees around for them to eat or what. They were living under her porch. I live in Western Pennsylvania.

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By Karla E. (Guest Post) 11/19/2008

We have em here in Oregon too! So glad to hear the Dawn works on them.

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By Jane (Guest Post) 12/17/2008

They are called Box Elder Bugs.

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By kelly anne (Guest Post) 12/27/2008

I had just moved into my house earlier this year around the spring time. We have never had to many bugs until I saw two boxelder bugs on my bedroom floor right by my bed. I panicked. I hate bugs and I can't sleep at night knowing there could be some in or near my bed. So I quickly researched and thanks so much for the advice. I sprayed soap and water absoluetly everywhere. Even in my bed and on my sheets. Ill probably spray here and there everyday to prevent any more coming in. Hopefully the soap and water spray really soaks in for protection. Its my only hope. Thanks so much for the helpful advice (:

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By hope (Guest Post) 01/20/2009

I too have them in my house.

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By keith (Guest Post) 02/01/2009

What part of the day is best to spray these bugs?

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By Sharon 1 02/03/2009

The last photo posted with large groups of bugs with the date 15/09/2008 in yellow is NOT a photo of Box Elder Bugs. They are some other type of bug.

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By CarlaJ (Guest Post) 02/11/2009

I am in Tampa FL and I am so glad I found this posting because I have been fighting with these bugs for years but never knew what they were! I found some insectiside at Home Depot that kept them away for a year and a half but then they came back. I can't remember what spray it was I used (I had to hook it up to my water hose) and have been lazy about trying to look for it again. I will try the soap and water trick and see if it works. But they definitely come in as if they live with me and like someone said earlier either too lazy or too dumb to move when you try to kill them:-)

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By Rafael 1 03/28/2009

I also have this problem in Tampa, FL with these little red bugs called Box Elder Bug's. For years I have look for an answer on how to get rid of them and I am going to use the recommended water and Dawn soup. I will also try a mix of dawn with a drop of Gain. To see what the combination will do. Hope it works. I will also try it on the flowers and my back yard.

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By Jack Stryker 7 06/07/2010

I have found that the safest way to kill and deter insects either crawlers or fliers is with the cleaning product 409. It is very cheap and no chemicals to breath in. The ants really hate it as do the bees.

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By James N. 1 03/14/2013

I live in Lincolnville, KS and the temp today for up to 72, causing these annoying bugs to come out in "swarms", I used orange Mr. Clean mixed with water and Dawn on them and it killed them instantly. Thanks for the advice. They are Box Elder beetles, and spraying them coats them in a thick film causing them to suffocate. Also Eco-friendly and washes off easily.

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By Randall A. 1 04/09/2013

Funny, I have a yard full of Box Elder bugs (glad to have a name now) every Spring and they're no problem at all. I think it's because I use natural gardening and they appear to be breaking down the tree leaves that I deliberately let be after Fall. So as long as they have a purpose, they seem to be fine!

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Here are questions related to Small Black and Red Bugs.

Question: Getting Rid of Small Red and Black Bugs

I have little red and black bugs. They're everywhere. There's a nest outside and there's millions. Help :(

By Jack from Atlanta, GA

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Most Recent Answer

By Shari M. 1 7 12/09/2011

I have them too and went out and spent $11.00 on a can of bug spray from the hardware store. When I sprayed them it was if I was spraying them with water. Nothing! I read up on them and what kills them is water and a bit of Dawn dish soap in a spray bottle. They just fell of the side of the house and died. Just know that they are not harmful to humans or your home.

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