red bugs

sammy zone 7 TulsaSeptember 1, 2012

I haven't posted for ages, but I need some help now.

Can any of you tell me what these little red bugs are? I asked last year, but they were not near the house, and nobody knew what they were. They are larger, and are on the windows trying to get in.

I just hope I can copy pictures still.

It worked. I sure hope you can tell me what it is. This is the same bug, just different forms (ages).

Sammy

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Lisa_H(7)

Could it be an eastern box elder bug?

Here is a link that might be useful: Nymph Eastern Box Elder Bug

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 10:53PM
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macmex

I think the first one is a nymph of the wheel bug, a kind of assassin bug. We have a lot of them this year, and I'm glad, as they do prey on grasshoppers and Japanese beetles, etc. I have to keep catching them, from in our house, and relocating them outdoors.

George
Tahlequah, OK

Here is a link that might be useful: Wheel bug article with pictures

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 7:08AM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Oh, George, so sorry, but I have to kill them. They also eat my butterfly larvae - Gulf Frits, Monarchs, etc., so they are not allowed to be in the garden.

Is the first photo of very tiny red bugs? If so, they may very well be Wheel bug nymphs.

Lisa is right, too, box elder bugs will definitely try to get inside the house.

If you have milkweed plants, milkweed bugs look very similar as well.

Susan

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 12:51PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Do they bite humans? Can they be pests inside the house? They are coming from the dogs' yard, and we don't ever want to spray there. The dogs have been eating them, but we really have a lot of them. They are crawling in the grass, and are all headed for the house. I am thinking of putting some Borax on the window ledges, and maybe a few places around the yard. Do you think that would help?

Thanks for the links. One link showed a bug just like the large one, and I think it was a box elder bug. It looks like they are attracted to our neighbor's maple tree.

Sammy

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 2:04PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Sammy, I don't know if they bite. We had them on a western soapberry tree in our yard when we were kids and I don't remember them ever biting us when we climbed the tree or played under it.

They will come into the house. I am not sure if Borax would work, but food-grade diatomaceous earth is usually recommended for keeping them out of the house and outbuildings. You also could try sticky traps. Some people put those close to the house and trap the box elder bugs on them. If they do make it into the house, you'll have to find and caulk any cracks that they might be finding their way through.

It makes sense that you see them near the neighbor's maple tree, because box elders, like maples, are in the Acer family.

Dawn

    Bookmark   September 2, 2012 at 3:56PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Found another one of these evil caterpiller munchers this morning.

Susan

    Bookmark   September 3, 2012 at 1:19PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan, I know you don't like them when you see them in your garden and I understand that, but I love them when I see them in the veggie garden. They eat so many pests!

Dawn

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:28PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

The ones here are eating mostly honeybees. I think the honeybees have enough problems w/o the Assassin Bugs. Poor things!

In reading about them, I found out that one of their most favored plants is Sunflowers. That is where I have found all of mine, and usually with a dead Honeybee in its grasp.

Susan

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:20PM
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macmex

Yes, they do love honeybees. But then, so do most predatory insects, including the Praying Mantis. I simply try to relocate them to my peppers, or some other plant that attracts fewer bees. They also LOVE grasshoppers!

I noticed that Arbico sells assassin bugs.

George

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:09AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan,

Eating the honeybees? Oh, that is just awful. I do agree that it is important to protect the honeybees from the Assassin Bugs.

Like George, I sometimes move them to places where I want them. That doesn't mean the bugs will stay where I put them, but I do think it helps to redirect their attention sometimes. Unfortunately, predatory insects are going to put themselves where they can find something to prey upon.

George, I love Arbico. You can find almost any beneficial insect there that you might need.

Unfortunately, at our house, the grasshoppers outnumber the Assassin bugs by probably 100 to 1. It seems like our hopper population is soaring since it rained, so we probably have an all-you-can-eat grasshopper buffet for the Assassin bugs. The birds here have been eating so many grasshoppers that they almost look too fat to fly, but we still have huge numbers of hoppers. I think the grasshopper population in most years is just about the worst thing about gardening in a rural area with lots of open rangeland.

Dawn

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:34AM
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