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gma2rjc 07-06-2009 10:28 PM

Boxelder bugs - ????
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Should I get rid of them, or are they harmless?

Do they eat other bugs?

I see them in the yard and on the south side of the house every summer. I've never seen this many of them though.

Here are a few pictures of them. Could they have caused the damage to this Boxelder tree limb?

Leah Frances 07-07-2009 08:42 AM

I happen to enjoy these spastic bugs when they hop around. But I don't have a female box elder in my yard so I only get them in 'manageable' quantities. I think they are funny. They move into our windows to overwinter, so I have to vacuum them out every now and then so they don't clog up the weep holes. And they are rarely known to bite.

A pretty bug that doesn't eat my plants or my house and won't bite me = :thumbsup:

According to the colorado state extension they are nuisance bugs that eat the seed pods of female box elder trees (sometimes maple seed pods). Their eggs are can be laid in cracks in the bark, but the larva do not eat the tree. So, it is unlikely they damaged your tree.

They recommend a soap/water mix directly applied to the bugs to control them and vacuuming them up if they intrude into your house.

gma2rjc 07-08-2009 08:29 AM

Thanks Leah. I know what you mean about them getting in the windows. We had an old window in the basement where they always gathered. I used to vacuum them too. When that window was replaced, a few of them still got through to the inside of the new screen.

I guess I'll leave them alone outside since they're not hurting anything.

Maintenance 6 07-10-2009 12:39 PM

I've been told that you can keep them from crawling onto your house by sprinkling Tide laundry detergent around the perimeter. I've never tried it although I have a lot of them in certain areas. I also don't know if there is any significance to "Tide" as opposed to any other powdered detergent.

gma2rjc 07-10-2009 12:46 PM

Hmmm.... that's interesting. I'll give Tide a try. The worst that can happen is they'll get their little feet clean before they walk on my window. lol

I'm going to go try it right now, I'll let you know if it works M6.

gma2rjc 07-11-2009 04:44 PM

Well, I tried the Tide and they don't seem to mind it. They're walking all over it and climbing on the window again.

It was worth a try though.

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