Currently viewing the category: "Seed Bugs"
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Subject: Thousands of beetles!
Location: Southern California (Thousand Oaks)
April 17, 2015 3:17 pm
Hi,
My property is covered with these tiny beetles running around – and I would like to know what they are. They vary in size from not much bigger than a flea, to about 1/4″ long. They run in sort of like “fits and spurts”, and if I gently pick one up with a tissue to bring it back outside (some are getting in the house) they leave a brownish/reddish spot on the tissue (looks like blood, but I’m pretty sure I’m not smooshing them so it is probably more of an excretion). A couple of larger ones appeared to have an “X” design on their backs. I would appreciate any help in identifying them! Sorry I can’t get a better picture.
Signature: Thanks, Eve-Marier

Seed Bug Nymph

Seed Bug Nymph

Hi Eve,
This is not a beetle, but a True Bug, but there is not enough detail in your image to provide a more specific identification.

Daniel,
Thank you for your reply.  Here is a picture of a larger one where the design on its back is visible.  Can you ID it?  Thanks so much!
Eve-Marie

Mediterranean Seed Bug, we believe

Mediterranean Seed Bug, we believe

That is a big help Eve-Marie,
We believe you are being troubled by Mediterranean Seed Bugs,
Xanthochilus saturnius, a species well represented on BugGuide where it states:  “native to Europe and the Mediterranean, adventive in NA (WA-CA) and now locally abundant … earliest NA record: CA 1994 can be very abundant in grass seed fields in so. OR.”  According to the Pacific Northwest Insect Management Handbook:  “The Mediterranean seed bug, Xanthochilus saturnius, is very small with even more distinctive markings of black-on-tan. Behind the head is the thorax with a jet black band followed by a band of stippled brown. The large triangle between the wings (scutellum) is also jet black. A light stripe outlines the scutellum, and the posterior edge of the leathery portion of the wing, forming a distinct X. There are also three other jet black blotch markings on the wings. Oregon reports “It can be very abundant in grass seed fields in southern Oregon, indicating that it does feed on grass seed.” For that reason, it continues to be “regulated in foreign trade”. Even though they do no damage to house, humans, or pets, these seed bugs become a huge annoyance and costly to exterminate when they migrate into households.”

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Subject: Little black and orange bugs
Location: Mojave, California
March 26, 2015 12:47 pm
I work in Mojave, CA and a bunch of these little guys live right outside my workplace. The thorax is a blackish/grey color while the abdomen is bright orange with symmetrical black spots. The wing coverings are orange with black shapes and two little white dots. They have six legs, two antenna, and are about the length of a thumbnail. They’re always out and about during the day, and most of them appear to be mating at this time. I tried looking them up online but couldn’t find anything so hopefully you can help me out!
Signature: Lexi

Mating Small Milkweed Bugs

Mating Small Milkweed Bugs

Dear Lexi,
These are mating Small Milkweed Bugs,
Lygaeus kalmii, and they are generally found in conjunction with milkweed, though they may feed on other plants as well.  You can read more about Small Milkweed Bugs on BugGuide.

Small Milkweed Bug

Small Milkweed Bug

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Subject: hemipteran nymph
Location: Valley View, South Australia
February 27, 2015 9:58 pm
I found thousands of tiny bugs climbing my back fence from the ground upwards this morning and wondered what they were. I took the attached micrograph using a USB microscope. The background grid is 5mm squares
Signature: Geoff Smith

Possibly Seed Bug Nymphs

Possibly Seed Bug Nymphs

Hi Geoff,
Since these Hemipterans are immature nymphs, they may be difficult to identify to the species or genus level.  We believe they are Dirt Colored Seed Bugs in the family Rhyparochromidae, and they do not look too dissimilar than these unidentified nymphs from Australia, and they also resemble these nymphs from California.
  Whenever a species appears in a heretofore new location, we suspect it may be an invasive, exotic, introduced species without natural predators.  The climate in California and Australia are similar enough that species from either location can easily adapt, so they may be native, or introduced, and since they look so similar to the California sighting, it is possible they are the same species, and that one or the other, or both, are introduced.

Many thanks Daniel
I agree with what you’ve said – interestingly the block behind my house has recently been cleared and the bugs are swarming all over the fences around this newly bare ground. They are all still there today and the ants don’t appear to like them, although I noted that a small spider had eaten just a few of them overnight. I accidentally squashed a few against my hand when I first noticed them and they smell unpleasant.
Regards
Geoff

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Subject: Tiny brown bugs everywhere!
Location: Central California
November 17, 2014 4:26 pm
Woke up this morning to hundreds (!!!) of these little bugs at our back door. They are teeny tiny, only barely bigger than a flea. Others in the area have noticed they are swarming too, starting yesterday. If it helps any, we are located along the Central Coast of California
Signature: Morgan

Probably Dirt Colored Seed Bugs

Probably Dirt Colored Seed Bugs

Hi Morgan,
These appear to be immature Dirt Colored Seed Bugs in the family Rhyparochromidae, but we are not certain of the species.  Sometimes when fields are cleared, there is a migration of insects to gardens.  We are not certain of the species, but you can read more on the Dirt Colored Seed Bugs on BugGuide.

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Subject: Bug everywhere
Location: Roy utah
November 13, 2014 8:47 am
This bug has been in my house everywhere festering in Curtians blankets clothes anything! It’s making me feel like a dirty person no matter what I do I can’t get rid of them and I think they bite there was one in my daughters diaper I put on her the other day and she grabbed her privates and cried so I took her diaper off and there the bug was! Why are these is my house everywhere what can I do to keep them out! What kind of bug is it please help!
Signature: Jaimie

Probably Dirt Colored Seed Bug

Probably Dirt Colored Seed Bug

Dear Jaimie,
This is probably a Dirt Colored Seed Bug in the family Rhyparochromidae.

So where does it come from? How come they are everywhere in my home what do I do to keep them out do they bite are they dangerous?

We can think of two possibilities.  One is that their habitat was destroyed, possibly with the clearing of a weed covered lot, and then then moved to your property.  Another possibility is that they are coming indoors to hibernate.  Dirt Colored Seed Bugs are not dangerous, but as you noticed, they can be a nuisance if they are plentiful.  See more on Dirt Colored Seed Bugs on BugGuide.  There are also some images on the Utah Pests website.

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Possibly Seed Bug Infestation

Seed Bug Infestation:  Oxycarenus lavaterae

Subject: Naming bug
Location: Malta (Mediterranean)
October 16, 2014 10:03 am
I have had a literal infestation of this bug lately in my garden. Can you help me identifying it?
Signature: Paul

Hi Paul,
These are True Bugs, possibly Seed Bugs in the family Lygaeidae, but we have not had any luck with a species identification.  We wish your image was of higher resolution.  Can you identify the fruit upon which they are feeding?

Ed Note:  Paul commented back with a species identification of Oxycarenus lavaterae and we are able to confirm that thanks to this posting on BioLib.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination