African Painted Bugs

Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Jamul, CA
August 22, 2015 1:04 pm
I am located in Jamul, Ca just about 40 minutes east of San Diego. I was watering some plants and these bugs came out of the ground and are now all over the fence and this plant which is similar to tumbleweed bit produces yellow flowers in the rainy season. Was wondering what it is?
Signature: Teri

African Painted Bugs
African Painted Bugs

Dear Teri,
You have an infestation of recently introduced, Invasive Exotic African Painted Bugs,
Bagrada hilaris, a species we first noticed in our own garden in 2009, a year after they were first reported in California.  It sounds like they are feeding on mustard, a common plant in the cabbage family that has naturalized in Southern California.  Our original prediction is that they will become a significant pest to the agriculture industry as they reproduce so rapidly.

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