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Bug ID please!

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Bug ID please!

Post  martha on 6/11/2010, 4:30 pm

Pest or beneficial?

I tried to get a photo, but the little buggers wouldn't stand still. They are beetles or beetle like. Some of them were completely orangeish-red, some the same color but with black stripes on or around their wings. Although none of them flew off, and they were not happy about being disturbed. There are tons of them in my garlic bed??? which is supposed to attract almost nothing.

I do not think they are lily beetles.
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Re: Bug ID please!

Post  Megan on 6/12/2010, 8:06 am

Sorry, I have NO idea. Will ask around, though.
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Re: Bug ID please!

Post  camprn on 6/12/2010, 10:47 am

Can you try to get a photo, that would help us all. Thanks.
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Re: Bug ID please!

Post  MsMinchin on 6/12/2010, 7:51 pm

Did they kind of resemble earwigs at first glance? And did they hold their hindquarters up kind of like a scorpion does? I found some fitting this (my) description in my garden and spent the whole morning researching it. Though mine didn't have any wings yet. I am trying to get a photo .
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Re: Bug ID please!

Post  martha on 6/12/2010, 11:52 pm

Ms. Minchin, what I am planning on doing tomorrow is to catch one or a couple in a zip lock bag, photograph them, and either release them or kill them, depending on what I find out about them.
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The bug is a boxelder! Help!

Post  martha on 6/13/2010, 3:29 pm

It's a boxelder bug. Okay, it is many, many boxelder bugs. I have been reading and researching and am now officially tearing my hair out in frustration.

I have read:

they pose no threat to gardens
they ate someone's entire tomato crop
I should cut down the maple tree
It won't hurt the maple tree
It's a waste of time to cut down the maple tree
I should cut down the maple tree
They do not always have prolific years (explaining my lack of exposure to them)
They bite
They do not bite


And the one thing on which they all agree......


They will congregate in huge numbers on the side of the building in the fall, get into the building, and have no hesitation to invade the living spaces. The original part of the restaurant was built in the 1770's. How airtight do you think it is? How would you feel about going to a restaurant and having a party of boxelder bugs sharing your space?

How sorry am I feeling for myself right now?

Whine, whine, whine.

Any advice, experience, suggestions?
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Re: Bug ID please!

Post  camprn on 6/13/2010, 5:08 pm

After your ID and doing some research (and not relying on anecdotal reports) these critters are not a garden pest. I would not worry about them. Enjoy your garden. Very Happy
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Re: Bug ID please!

Post  Chopper on 6/13/2010, 5:48 pm

That building must have been through a lot of boxelder bug infestations in its day. Well before health inspectors however. This, too, shall pass. Nature has a way of correcting itself.

Maybe you could feature them: "Entertainment Tonight by the Boxelders!" Or get a pest guy in?

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Re: Bug ID please!

Post  martha on 6/13/2010, 10:38 pm

Oh, yeah. I forgot. 200+ year old house....restaurant....we already have a pest guy that comes once a month to make sure we don't get extra visitors!

I think I must be tired not to have thought of that - thanks, Chopper!
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Re: Bug ID please!

Post  Chopper on 6/13/2010, 11:45 pm

Don't feel bad. My son and I met my sister in downtown Boston for lunch (she works there). We went to McCormick's and Schmink's in Fanueil Hall area - nice place - fancy schmancy - Ted has eaten there - and as we were being seated, a cockroach ran across the table. Needless to say we were moved and given a free lunch, I believe - manager came over and everything.

The funny thing is that we had all worked in restaurants before - here, NY and L.A. and none of us was the least bit put out! You cannot have food in a big city and not expect some wildlife to want it too. You can only keep them down to a dull roar. That and gardens.

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Boxelder bugs

Post  ander217 on 6/14/2010, 11:26 am

We had a "gathering" of boxelder bugs in our bedroom window a couple of years ago. I'd never seen them before in my life, and I've never seen them since.

Maybe they scheduled this year's reunion at your place. Smile
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Re: Bug ID please!

Post  flintlock28 on 6/14/2010, 3:40 pm

More than likely, you have a Boxelder tree nearby.

My Father in law used to get them every year, all over his House...they were not destructive, just a nuisance hanging out on the side of the house. I'm not sure if they damage Gardens or not.

A buddy of mine stopped by one day, and told my Father in law that you will always have them, until you take down the Boxelder tree(s)...he's quite a "tree" guy. After the three trees were removed...viola! no more box elder bugs.
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