Subject: Thousands of these tiny bugs in my garden
Location: Tempe, AZ
April 30, 2014 7:30 pm
I have a permaculture garden in the front yard. Mostly covered in wood chips and compost.
I live in Tempe, Arizona. This evening, I saw thousands of these critters crawling among the rocks, concrete patio and among my sweet alyssum plants.
I have a lot of kale in the yard, one watermelon patch, some cucumber, zucchini, and lots of nasturtium among other edible plants.
Not sure what they are. I don’t normally bother with garden pest because I do organic gardening to avoid killing bees and pollinators.
But the shear number of these bugs scared me a little bit.
Please help me identify.
They are tiny, the largest ones I could find is about 2mm. Attached is photo of the larger one and a group of the smaller ones, that were about 1mm.
These were taken with point and shoot camera and cropped really tight to show the insects.
A few days ago, we posted an image, also from Arizona, of a very similar immature Heteropteran that we tentatively identified as a Dirt Colored Seed Bug in the family Rhyparochromidae. It can be very difficult to ascertain a proper identification based on an immature specimen. Perhaps we will soon learn a proper identification if there is a statewide outbreak of these numerous nymphs.
Thank you so much for writing back.
After hours of looking through Google. I came to what is the closet to all the different stages of the bug that is in my photo.
False Chinch Bugs
Looks like my photos match exactly the different stages of the photo they have on the site “Figure 2. False chinch bug adults and nymphs.”
I also posted a lot more photos I took here:
What do you think?
We believe your False Chinch Bug identification might be correct. Nymphs can be very difficult to properly identify. According to BugGuide: “3 (or more) species are introduced N. caledoniae, huttoni, vinitor” which supports our believe that this might be an invasive exotic species.