Boxelder bugs emerge from their overwintering sites during spring as the weather starts to warm up. Adults feed on low vegetation and seeds on the ground during spring and early summer. Shortly after feeding, mating begins. Then starting in mid‑July, they move to female boxelder trees where they lay eggs on the trunks, branches and leaves. They are rarely found on male boxelder trees. Boxelder bugs may also feed on maple or ash trees.
Both nymphs and adults remove plant fluid from newly developing leaves that may result in distortion of the foliage. Severely infested foliage may appear chlorotic (yellow). In addition to foliar feeding, boxelder bugs may also damage flowers, tender twigs and the seeds of boxelder. Populations of this pest have been reported to prefer development on the female trees; thus, monitor for this species on these trees. It is, however, because of the boxelder bugs propensity to enter homes that causes the most folks to dislike them. Although the insects cause no direct damage to the structure, contents or the occupants, their presence is a nuisance.
© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl