Saturday, February 7, 2009

Invasion of the Boxelder Bugs!!!

After an especially cold week of lows in the single digits, the temperatures suddenly soared into the low 60's today! You gotta love wintertime in the Southeast! I got the urge to go out and see if I could find any insects to photograph. Sometimes on a warm winter day some adult insects will emerge from their winter hiding places. I took a walk in the woods near our house, no insects were to be seen. As I walked behind our house I saw a Ladybug crawling on the siding, that was no surprise. The rear of our house faces the south, so it is much warmer. Suddenly, I saw a large black mass in the corners of the concrete steps leading to the back door. Well, I got my wish, I found some insects... hundreds of them! They were warming themselves on the wall and steps.

Boxelder Bugs
Boisea trivittatus

A single Boxelder Bug

Boxelder Bugs are "true bugs", they have the "bug-eyed" look, crossed wings, and a triangle on the thorax. Fortunately, these insects are harmless. Because they are black and red, I would assume they are distasteful to predators. They do not bite or sting, but they can be very annoying when they get into the house. Here is a website that tells more about them:

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