Help - Unidentified Insect

I posted a message on alt.binaries.pictures.gardens regarding an unidentified insect. I was hoping someone could help me identify this insect and to see if it is beneficial or harmful. My garden is swarming with them. Any help would be really appreciated. TIA
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On Wed, 1 Jun 2005, ~patches~ wrote:

Many of us cannot access alt.binaries.x.x because of fighting amongst ignorant government officials, IT workers, etc (I am in a large academic institution in Sweden and cannot access this). I would like to try and identify this beast. Please send me the picture and I'll see if I can at least place it into the correct insect family.
Dominic-Luc Webb snipped-for-privacy@canit.se
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Dominic-Luc Webb wrote:

The bug has been identified. It is an box elder bug. Apparently it is harmless but can be an annoyance indoors. Thanks for your help.

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Also, regarding the unknown beast, whenever providing a picture, we can all benefit from some foresight in how such pictures are taken. Good lighting to get clear idea of colors, a marker of some kind (ruler, etc) to indicate size and any other salient features (eyes, antenae, wings, etc) can be very helpful and might save time and confusion. This is no reflection on your pictures, TIA, since I have not seen them yet. If you feel you already have good picture, don't worry.
It might also help to get some idea what these bugs are eating and any plants or other organic materials they congragate around or tend to avoid.
Dominic-Luc Webb
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