red and black bugs?!?!?!!?

awat72(OK)June 16, 2005

My yard and patio has been taken over by bugs that are red as young, and turn black with red stripe when mature. I cannot identify the bug, and don't know if it is beneficial or not. My guineas won't eat them, and I hate the idea of using DE or poison, but I can't kill them with my shoe fast enough. Any suggestions or identification will help.

One of my friends said she heard the forresetry depratment released similar described bugs to eat something in the river, but I kayaked this evening, and didn't see a one in the river.


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Are they box elder bugs? There was something about them on television the other day. Call your county extension office to be sure because if they are box elders you need to get rid of them before they lay eggs and start again.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 12:19PM
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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)


A little better description of the insect might help. What are they doing? Are they on specific things or just overwhelming the landscape? Mating perhaps?


    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 12:56PM
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Could it be the milkweed bug? I had them last year, but they didn't do much damage to my milkweed. It died all on its little own.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 8:12PM
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YES! I'm being overrun with this little buggers myself! They are almost diamond shaped and the adults FLY when bothered. They live in the mulch. I have thousands of them. I'm going to go look up Box Elder bugs and see if that's them. I have no idea if they are harming plants. I never seem to catch them on any plants, just in the mulch. I swear, it looks like the ground is moving there is so many of them!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 11:05AM
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I just googled Box Elder Bugs, and Yep. That's them. Everything I read says that they don't do damage to plants. Soap and water apparently works on them. I'm going to go experiment!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 11:15AM
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I've not had boxelder bugs, but apparenlty some plants, like cedar trees and golden chain trees, attract them to your yard. Which is why I wouldn't plant either very close to the house. You might want to look them up and see what attracts them. I don't think it's the mulch, since I've never had them and have been using cedar mulch for years.
But who knows. Google and find out.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2005 at 11:46AM
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They are living in my mulch in mega quantities and they are destroying all of the hostas! I have never had as many as I do this year.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 4:27PM
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I do as well! They are over running my yard, especially in the mulch areas. I sprayed them with a recommended insecticide from Home Depot but they have returned in massive quantities!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 5:02PM
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