pesty bug similar to love bug
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
October 4, 2010 11:27 am
This bug is about to run me out of my house in Birmingham, Alabama. It looks similar to a love bug, but is very plump with a red body. I have heard somewhere that it is attracted to the seed of my Chinese lantern tree. It is basically a year round pest, but especially bad during the summer. It seems to love the heat and direct sun. Although it helps, the exterminator has not been able to get rid of it.
You have Red Shoulder Bugs, Jadera haematoloma, and though you consider them to be a nuisance that needs to be eradicated, they are not a harmful species. According to BugGuide, they are found in : “Yards, gardens, riparian areas, and other areas, in association with host plants. Often in large aggregations to feed on leaking tree sap, other dead smashed insects, or seeds that have dropped to the ground from trees overhead. Also forming aggregations in winter to hibernate, often in association with human residences.“ BugGuide also notes: “‘J. haematoloma feeds on a variety of plants but prefers balloonvine (Cardiospermum spp.; Sapindaceae) which grows in southern Florida. Additional hosts include other Sapindaceae, Acer spp. (Aceraceae or Sapindaceae), Ficus spp. (Moraceae), and Althaea spp. (Malvaceae). In some areas the bugs are observed feeding so often on goldenrain tree seeds (Koelreuteria spp.; Sapindaceae), that they are referred to as ‘goldenrain tree bugs’.’ – Frank Mead and Thomas Fasulo, University of Florida.” It would seem that if you cannot tolerate the presence of Red Shoulder Bugs, your efforts would be better spent removing the plants that are attracting them rather than to continue to spend money on exterminators whose efforts will also kill many beneficial creatures during the indiscriminate spraying of toxins in your yard.