Box Elder insects

Asked April 11, 2015, 3:53 PM EDT

Has anyone witnessed a box elder but use a spider web like string to swing to a hiding place??? Has anyone disected a box elder bug to see if they contain the webbing material??? thank you Mart

Yakima County Washington

1 Response

It certainly seems like box elder bugs can outwit even an entomologist. I spend a lot of time trying to exclude them from my house, yet they still manage to get in. Nevertheless, I have not witnessed box elder bugs using this strategy to escape predation. I am not aware of any member of the Hemipteran order in North America that has the ability to make and utilize webbing. They do nevertheless have a most effective defense mechanism. Box elder bugs will release a pungent odor upon being disturbed to discourage predation. I hear that they taste as bad as they smell. Thus when they congregrate in large numbers, insect predators will only eat a few before realizing just how distasteful any insect that has this warning coloration is!