Red and Black bugs hanging out in flower bed

eclipsemgp(6)June 1, 2006

I just noticed today that there are an ton of red and black bugs hanging out near my flower bed. They are not on the flowers yet, but they're getting close.

I found a picture on the internet that also lists them as Unidentified red and black bug.

Any ideas what they are and if they are going to start to go after my flowers?

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Pretty bug.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 6:06PM
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someone will surely correct me if i am wrong. but, from my last year's memory, i say a boxelder "nymph." not sure if nymph is the right term. the nymph actually looks like a red aphid to me, and this pic shows a growth stage b/t that one and the adult stage.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 6:44PM
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You got it. One google image search for box elder nymph brings up a ton of pictures similar to the one I referenced. Thanks a lot, garden web is the best.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 6:51PM
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i love a mystery solved! :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 9:14PM
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thanks for this bug id!

I was google image searching "red beetle" and "red and black beetle" and "red bug with black wings and white markings on back" for about an hour last night (and I have to say: yeccch) before I found this thread. At first I thought my little nasties might be a red lily leaf beetle, then I was leaning toward a red aphid, but my new freeloading garden guests are too large.

So as soon as it was light out I went out and took another look at the little buggers, and shortly thereafter got the id from this thread. Bingo!

Now that I know who I'm dealing with I'm waiting until my husband and neighbors are away at work. So they won't see me when I drag my vaccuum cleaner outside with an extension cord and start gleefully sucking up the swarms of box elderbugs off my plants.

To set the mood for a proper romp 'em-stomp 'em think I'll crank up some heavy metal on my ipod and dance around while I exact sweet payback on their primrose-chomping, hexapodal little red hineys.

p.s. I spent a lot of time at - very cool site but gardenweb's the best! thanks, y'all.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 14, 2007 at 7:01AM
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Up here in Saskatchewan a lot of people refer to these bugs as "Halloween Bugs" as they tend to show up between the middle of September to the end of October. I'll put some pictures of them "swarming" to, (I'm assuming here) keep warm? Also, the pictures show them in almost every stage of development.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 6:51PM
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OK, I posted the pics to the Garden Gallery under the title "red and black bugs" under the category of "Bugs and Butterflies". As for the bugs, I'm letting them be as I don't have any box elder bushes and they don't really seem to be doing anything. I mean it's fall, most of the trees and bushes are losing their foliage and it'll be winter here in about 4 weeks (more or less) and they'll all be dead or hibernating.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2007 at 7:04PM
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Box Elder bugs, probably kind of a misnomer, eat pollen from about any "Acer" plant species, maples, of which the Box Elder is one. They are around all year, are harmless critters and in the fall look around for some warm, cozy place to spend the winter and that is, anymore, our houses. They find their way in though cracks in the protectivce envelope of our houses, the siding, so the best way to keep them out is to carefully inspect the exterior of your house and caulk any and all points of entry since other, less desireable, thingys can use these same cracks, points of entry, to get inside.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2007 at 8:31AM
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botanybob(Northern Idaho)

Box elder bugs have sucking mouthparts and thus must feed on plant juices, not pollen. Their preferred food is the developing seeds of the female box elder tree, pollen being produced by the male tree. Removal of female box elder trees is one way to control this pest.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC IPM - Box elder bugs

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 4:14PM
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Is there something that I can spray or sprinkle these bugs with to get rid of them? Like maybe some kind of spice? I don;t want to use a pesticide if I don't have to.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 1:04AM
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i have these same red buggers all around & also ittle whhite flying bugs??,never seen them before ,could it be all the rain we been getting???

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 12:28PM
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I have these bugs all over my yard and house suddenly. I wasn't too worried and was thinking they would die when the frost comes, but now that it's getting colder they're ALL heading to my cold frame. So the inside wall of my cold frame is lined with these bugs!! I'd love to get rid of them, but don't want to use pesticides. Any other options? Vacuum cleaner? Really?

Thanks for any ideas

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 12:43AM
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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

Just be sure to seal the vacuum bag before you throw it away! Insecticidal soaps are fairly effective, but it has to be a direct hit. Desiccates them (dries them out) by breaking down the coating on their exoskeleton.
By the way, they also are very fond of goldenrain tree.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 3:32PM
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Many sources of "information" about Box Elder bugs state, and appear to imply, they only exist where there are Box Elder trees growing. We have no Box Elder trees, to my knowledge, within 50 miles but we do have tons of these Box Elder bugs moving inside now. I have also seen, apparently conflicting, information that Box Elder bugs eat only the seeds of the Box Elder, or they somehow pierce the tree or a leaf or something, and suck the plants sap, or they only eat the pollen the tree produces.
They will feed on any Acer (Maple) species as well as Ash (Fraxinus) species.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 7:25AM
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