Your website states that box elder bugs do not harm plants. For years, after...

Asked September 3, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT

Your website states that box elder bugs do not harm plants. For years, after living in Prior Lake and Bloomington, I am battling box elder bugs that kill one of my favorite plants. I have seen it called Heliopsis Helianthoides, False Sunflower Sunstruck and Oxye Lorraine Sunshine. The box elder bug eggs cover literally every inch of every branch/stem of the plant and unless I notice and spray them soon enough, the plant dies every time! I just noticed this morning that it was happening again. The plant is starting to die. I took a picture for you - since I sprayed this morning, the bugs have fallen off the stems/branches and are laying on the leaves. Thought you might want to mention on your website that box elder bugs can kill a plant. This is the only plant I've had that this happen to. Bobbi

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. The insects in the photo appear to be aphids and they can cause damage or even death of a plant. See photos of them and read to learn more here: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/aphids-in-home-gardens/

See boxelder bugs and read about them here: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/boxelder-bugs/

I think the nymph stage of the boxelder bug could be confused with the red/brown aphids. Check out your insect pest closely.

Thank you for contacting Extension.