How To Identify a Boxelder Bug – Three Unique Traits

While you may not want to get close enough to find out, most insects have distinguishing characteristics that make them easier to identify. Our pest control Toms River NJ experts share three unique traits that are common to boxelder bugs.


A boxelder bug’s vivid colors are their most readily evident feature. It begins when young boxelder bugs hatch. The nymphs are tiny, measuring only about 1/16″, but they have a bright red color.

As the nymphs grow into adulthood, they reach about 1/2″ long and change to black with orange and red markings. Most significantly, they develop three stripes on the prothorax, which is the area right behind the head.


On many winged insects, the wings are relatively prominent. They may extend from the body or have unusual shapes and markings. The wings on boxelder bugs lay flat over their bodies, overlapping each other. When looking at a boxelder bug, the wings appear to form an “X” shape.


It’s not a visual feature, but it’s the most noticeable and unpleasant. Boxelder bugs give off a pungent odor when disturbed or crushed. This trait helps ward off predators, and it’s a good reason to get professional pest control Toms River NJ if box elder bugs invade your home.

Need Toms River NJ Exterminators? Call Allison Pest Control

Our professionally trained technicians can safely and effectively eliminate boxelder bugs and other pests from your home or business. Contact us today to schedule a free inspection.

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