Location: San Diego, CA
October 1, 2011 8:54 pm
These bugs have recently appeared in large amounts and are prolifically mating. It is late September and the weather has been hot and dry. I have recently planted a field of Protea flowers. Can you tell me what they are and if they will harm my plants?
The Red Bug, Scantius aegyptius, is a non-native introduced species that was first reported in California in 2009. According to the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research website: “The most noticeable impact of S. aegyptius in California will likely be the presence of large numbers of nymphs and adults migrating from drying annual weeds into adjacent developed areas. These migrations consisting of thousands of individuals can be very conspicuous and lead to large aggregations on small patches of host plants causing concern to local residents who notice these obvious aggregations.“ That would indicate your Protea flowers are not in danger.