Identifying Small Black and Red Bugs (Box Elder)

November 11, 2008

A swarm of black and red box elder 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



November 17, 20080 found this helpful
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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 Jane (Guest Post)
December 17, 20080 found this helpful
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They are called Box Elder Bugs.

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April 9, 20130 found this helpful
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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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December 8, 2011

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


December 8, 20110 found this helpful
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I am in GA too & we had the same black /red bugs. From the research I did they are Box Elder bugs, they come from Box Elder trees. You must have the trees nearby . The bugs are creepy & are a nuisance, but not harmful. You can kill them by pouring very hot water on them (of course bug spray works too), just have to keep at it.


They are attracted to light colors - white, deck wood colors (they swarmed my deck & white siding on house for weeks). Plug up any holes where ever they are swarming so they do not get in the house. They will go away eventually.

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