orange/red eyes and orange/red edge around body. Able to fly – found in large numbers on sunny side of house. Fall 2010 at my daughter’s home in Ithaca, New York
The body is black/brown with red/orange lines marking body segments.
Yes, your bug is a boxelder bug. In the fall they migrate to find overwintering sites and houses provide an insulated, out of the wind, warm spot to spend the winter.
Boxelder bugs overwinter as adults, then in spring leave the hibernating locations under piles of boards, rocks, leaves, grass and other debris close to the house.
Females begin laying eggs in crevices of tree bark, stones, leaves, grasses and on other objects near boxelder trees. Bright-red nymphs appear about the same time new tree leaves develop.
Boxelder bugs feed primarily on the seed-bearing boxelder trees by sucking sap from the leaves, tender twigs and developing seeds. They do little damage to boxelder trees. There can be one to two generations per year. They are not a garden pest.
Control measures in yards and gardens are best handled by prevention. Since boxelder bugs feed and reproduce on seed producing (female) boxelder trees, remove these trees, especially around the house, and/or planting male trees would eliminate nuisance populations. Adults can fly 2 or more miles to hibernate. Eliminate possible hiding places such as any boards, rocks, leaves, grass and other debris close to the house. Rake leaves and grass away from the foundation, especially on the south and west sides of the house. Be sure to caulk and close off any openings where boxelder bugs could enter the house. Screen all windows, doors, crawl spaces, exhaust and roof vents and louvers.
In fall when clusters of the bugs are seen, either vacuum with a shop vac or carefully pour boiling water over them.