Bed Bugs, Stink Bugs and Boxelder Bugs

Bed bugs are blood—sucking parasites of humans and other animals.

The nymph stages and adults all require blood to develop and survive.

They live in cracks and crevices near their hosts and travel at night to get blood meals.

These small insects have well-developed eyes, and their antennae can detect the heat and carbon dioxide given off by animals. Bed bugs depend on humans to survive and spread; there are no natural or reservoir populations of this insect. They are spread in luggage, bedroom furniture, and bed frames. Adults live nine to 12 months and can survive long periods without feeding.


Stink bugs suck the sap from ornamental plants and agricultural crops. The brown marmorated stink bug is recognized by pale bands on the antennae and abdomen. It develops from egg to adult during summer. Adults are formed in fall and, at that time, they look for a protected place to spend the winter. They gather in large numbers on the sides of building, and then move indoors around doors and windows. These bugs; become active and crawl around during warm periods in winter.


Boxelder bugs are red and black with red lines on the back; immature stages have red abdomens. They suck the sap of leaves and seeds of various trees, including maple and boxelder trees. Adults and nymphs are found primarily on the trees that have seed pods.

In fall, the adults look for a place to spend the winter;

they gather in large aggregations on the sunny side of buildings, then may move inside through cracks and crevices around windows and doors. On warm winter days and in early spring, they become active and may crawl about the house.

Kudzu bugs are closely related to brown stink bugs; they have similar feeding and overwintering habits. These bugs suck the sap of the kudzu plant, which grows as a vine in many regions of southeastern U.S. However, they can feed on other plants. When adults search for overwintering sites, they often come to the perimeter and sides of houses and large buildings.

Backswimmers and water striders occur naturally in ponds and lakes, but they also can invade swimming pools. They can fly to pools from nearby natural habitats. Backswimmers are predators of other insects, but they can bite people.

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