Another common true bug (Hemiptera) that is very common in the fall on, around, and in our homes, is the Western Boxelder Bug. They are multi brooded and in mid summer one could find all of their stages from egg to adult in a given location. But it is primarily late instar nymphs and adults that one finds seeking shelter in human abodes at this time.
Boisea rubrolineata are brown and black bugs with a crisp pattern of red veins on the leathery part of the wings, and a red border and midline on the pronotum. Similar shaped and colored insects, in particular Boisea trivittata, have black veins on the wings.
Western Boxelder Bugs are utterly harmless creatures that feed primarily upon Big-leaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) in their natural habitat, but will feed on a variety of maples, ash, soapberry, and even roses, in anthropogenic habitats. But the damage they do is slight. Some people do find them to be an irritant when they invade our homes in droves, but they are merely seeking shelter and will not damage household plants or lay eggs indoors. Vacuuming them up is an option, but a better one, if these creatures really bother you, is to seal your home against them, and hand catch and remove the invaders you find.
Size- Length 9-13mm
Habitat- Usually where maples are present
Range- Region wide except for high elevations
Eats- Prefers Big-leaf Maple both as a larval host and adult food source
Flight Season- Can be found year around, but not active during the coldest months.
4 thoughts on “Boisea rubrolineata (Western Boxelder Bug)”
Very reassuring! Thank you for the PSA;)
So when bugs come inside, they are basically making a mistake, right? No food in there, so unless they find a way out, they will starve to death. Are they near the end of their life anyway?
Sometimes, but not the Boxelder bugs, or the conifer seed bugs. They will hibernate indoors. It’s not a mistake, they are seeking shelter.
And you’d be surprised how much food bugs and spiders could find even in a very clean house.