Photo by Melody

Western Boxelder Bug (Boisea rubrolineatus)

Order: Hemiptera (he-MIP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Rhopalidae (ro-PAL-ih-dee) (Info)
Genus: Boisea
Species: rubrolineatus


No positives
2 neutrals
4 negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Costa Mesa, California
Fremont, California
Fresno, California
Mokelumne Hill, California
Simi Valley, California
Stockton, California
Orlando, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Boise, Idaho
Divernon, Illinois
Ellinwood, Kansas
Taylor, Michigan
Mebane, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
The Dalles, Oregon
Lubbock, Texas
Manassas, Virginia
Petersburg, Virginia
Winchester, Virginia
Kirkland, Washington

By PotEmUp
Thumbnail #1 of Western Boxelder Bug (Boisea rubrolineatus) by PotEmUp

By lily1014

Thumbnail #2 of Western Boxelder Bug (Boisea rubrolineatus) by lily1014

By lily1014

Thumbnail #3 of Western Boxelder Bug (Boisea rubrolineatus) by lily1014

By jmorth

Thumbnail #4 of Western Boxelder Bug (Boisea rubrolineatus) by jmorth

Member Notes:

Neutral kennedyh On Aug 21, 2006, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria
(Zone 10a) wrote:

This bug was previously known as 'Leptocoris rubrolineatus'

Neutral Joesgirl On Sep 2, 2008, Joesgirl from Stockton, CA wrote:

My neighbor and I have TONS of these little guys from late spring through mid summer, mostly in places where they can hide under rocks or thick foliage. There are no boxelder plants in the area but I've heard that they will eat maple seeds which are in abundance from my neighbors tree. They don't seem to bother or harm anything and don't invade the house so we just let them be.

Negative Dedda On Jun 17, 2009, Dedda from Petersburg, VA
(Zone 7a) wrote:

we bought an old house..some bugs on the outside of the house in a big deal (did not know what they were)....ha!
5 years later they INVADE the house in the winter,they cover the maple trees out back, are in the lawn, and today I noted the did damage to one of my orchids -
many 'clusters' on a brassavola cross,this plant has very THICK leaves.... once rinsed off, discovered chewed tiny pits, turning brown..
also saw them chewing on the cadaver of a small baby bird.
my son just updated me.. 3 total dead baby robins out ot the maple tree.. I wonder, did they drive them out of the nest :( - death to these terrorist bugs!

Negative ChrisDOrlando On May 12, 2010, ChrisDOrlando from Orlando, FL
(Zone 9b) wrote:

I have been battling these buggers for a few years now with Triazicide. The type I have are very red backed when young without any sign of the black wings. The wings develop later. These awful things really don't seem to be harming any of my plants a great deal, except, they do congregate on my Night Blooming Jasmine & now it has holes on the lower leaves. The bugs are coming from another yard that abutts mine, and in the 25 years my family has owned this property, the owners of this other yard have never cleaned-up the property or sprayed for bugs or even attempted to kill off their rat population. It's an Absolute Jungle! Oh, & a junk collector of mostly metal. Their yard is covered by a full canopy of many types of trees & these bugs are breeding there & then coming to my yard for new food sources. In Fall, they made it to the front door of my home & then the windows & so on & tried a little B & E. I feel sorry for anyone dealing with these guys because there just isn't a good answer that I've found to ridding your property of them for good. I also use 5 Tbsp. liquid dtrgnt. to 1 gal of warm water & it helps for about a week.

Negative LimerickRanch On Sep 28, 2010, LimerickRanch from Mokelumne Hill, CA wrote:

Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) fosters a swarming plague of these bugs. They eat everything, even California native redbud seedlings, California fuschia, roses, iris, etc. They crawl up your legs and arms if you attempt to sit or work around them. They attract & support a huge mouse population, and both invade the house. They leave behind tarry streaks on walls and windows. Limited success with ground spraying of Permethrin. Wood Ash discouraged them from rockwork as long as it was dry. A real nightmare.

Negative schain On Jan 17, 2011, schain from Ellinwood, KS wrote:

These little creatures covered the sunny side of my house in the summer and even invaded the house. I woke to find them crawling on me at night. Two years in a row a late frost killed the blossoms and thus the seeds on the silver maple in my yard. No seeds - no bugs. To get rid of the bugs either get rid of the host tree or rake, bag and dispose of every maple or box elder seed in the yard. I was fortunate enough to be able to sell the house and leave the problem to the new owner.

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