Box Elder Bugs

Box Elder bug swarm

5801  My name is Cynthia Reason and I’m a reporter with Metroland Media Toronto.  I was wondering if you can tell me if the insects in the attached photo are Box Elders Bugs or not?  We’ve had a couple of concerned residents contact us about a fairly large swarm of them in York, and we were hoping to shed some light.  Also, would you be willing to comment for the story, addressing the fact that they are merely a nuisance pest, but not necessarily harmful? Thanks for your time! Cynthia. 

Yes the photo you sent is a typical swarm of box elder bugs.  Apparently this is common in Ontario at this time of year.  They are seldom seen in B.C. so I personally never had to deal with them when I was in the pest control business for 20+ years.   They are harmless to humans and any damage to vegetation is minimal.  If they die in wall cavities of a home, the carcasses can be a food source that will attract other pests such as carpet beetles.  Please see  for more information.  If they become too much of a nuisance, a simple, inexpensive and safe control solution is to spray the clusters with soapy water.  (Safer Soap is available at most garden shops)  There are more suggestions on the web page.
Larry Cross,   Webmanager.