Okay... talked to my friend.
They are definitely box elder bugs. She would like to plant this year, so she is going to:
1. Try cleaning the garden space (which has not been used for 7 years) and getting rid of the detritus before tilling and sowing, hoping the bugs go as well.
2. Use solarization if 1. doesn't work. Unfortunately, it would require spending more money than she wants to.
3. Plant a relatively inexpensive garden this summer to see what happens. The ultimate goal is to raise inexpensive organic food. She's saving to come visit me.
Thank you to everyone for their help. A special thanks from my technology-deficient friend. (Could YOU live without the internet now????)