Infested with red insects! What are they? Help!

KSOhioAugust 15, 2012

Suddenly, we are completely infested with thousands of these all over the garden and yard. Never saw an infestation this widespread of anything before. Seems to have happened within the last 2-3 weeks.

Any ideas what they are?

One pic attached, and another pic of several of them together at different stages is at this link:

http://i50.tinypic.com/2u4qwat.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful:

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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

Good ol' boxelder bug. Unfortunately insecticides are pretty useless unless you get them with a direct hit, as they are sucking insects and don't get enough poison into their systems. A direct hit with horticultural soaps will do just as much good with less environmental impact.
hortster

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 5:09PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

That's a nymph (youngster) box elder bug

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:28PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

though they mass in hordes.. i have never seen any damage related to them ...

i fact .... mowing the lawn yesterday .... i also saw them en mass ...

i have never done anything about them ...

if they are in personal areas [lol ... the deck/porch .. not the real personal areas..] .. sweep or vacuum them.. otherwise ignore them ...

ken

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 8:24AM
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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

In this area they seem to congregate more heavily in the general vicinity of boxelder (only a few around here) and especially goldenrain tree (many around here). Removal of either will lessen their density, but they are indigenous and will always be a PITA.
hortster

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:41AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The nymphs are very susceptible to a quick spray of insecticidal soap. If I had thousands of them in my yard and around my home, I'd mix a small amount of product in my little pump sprayer and do some spot spraying of the hoards now...before they reach the adult stage and are breeding like crazy.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 1:17PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

speaking of which.. they have no decorum.. just doing the nasty anywhere they please.. whats that all about..

and to top it all off .. they face opposite directs..

most likely ... waaaayyy more info than you wanted.. lol ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 3:58PM
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KSOhio

Thanks guys! Definitely box elder bugs!
Good to know they are reletively harmless, we have some organic spray with a "patented" blend of thyme oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil and so forth, also I think it is a soap as well, which says it will control and repel box elders. I read something about diatomaceous earth also helping. When they are so numerous, I've read about them possibly rarely damaging some fruits, and invading homes, so hopefully we can at least repel and control the population explosion that seems to be happening. No box elder trees around here that I know of.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 5:08PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Please don't overdo it! Don't spray anything all over the garden when all you need to do is reduce the numbers of these nymphs. And diatomaceous earth is so deadly to a wide variety of arthropods, beneficials included.

Truly, get after them ASAP with an insecticidal soap sprayed ON the nymphs. They evolve from this fragile stage to an adult quickly.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:22PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

As a rule there is no reason to spray any kind of poison, organic, of low toxicity, or what not, to control these buggers since they are of little nuisance outside of your house. In your house may be different.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Boxelder bugs

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 7:38AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It only makes common sense to evaluate the population first....then make a decision about what to do.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:41AM
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