Unknown insect in my yard

Asked June 24, 2019, 7:38 PM EDT

Hello, I have never seen these insects before! They were found on a small pile of maple wood we had trimmed from our tree a few months ago. The smaller ones are red and as they grow larger they darken. Soft bodies. Very fast, don’t fly, and don’t appear to be eating the wood. They have multiplied quickly! We ended up using a torch to kill as many as we could. Please help us identify! Thank you. Photos included

Marion County Oregon

2 Responses

Your images appear to show developmental stages of box elder bugs. They do not typically cause significant damage to the landscape but can become a real nuisance. If you have a shop vac that is another way to collect the bugs. Be sure to use a disposable and empty the bag in the trash right away.

Refer to the resources below for images and more information.

  1. “Box Elder Bugs” USDA Forestry

  2. National Pesticide Information Center (a collaboration between Oregon State University and USDA http://npic.orst.edu/pest/boxelder.html

Thanks so much for your quick response! Yes, it sure looks like that’s what they are. I will try your suggested way of getting rid of them. I’m thankful to know they are not a particularly “bad” bug!

Julie Seth
julie seth