Red Shouldered Bug

Subject: Indianapolis Beetle
Location: Indianapolis, IN
March 29, 2014 7:08 pm
We saw this bug at a house we are considering buying. Should we be concerned about an infestation? Is it a type of cockroach?
Signature: Corey C.

Red Shouldered Bug
Red Shouldered Bug

Dear Corey,
This is a Red Shouldered Bug,
Jadera haematoloma, and it is basically a benign species, however, when they have a food source and conditions are correct, they can become quite plentiful when they gather in aggregations, and then they might become a nuisance.  Red Shouldered Bugs feed on the seeds of various plants, including the Goldenrain Tree, Koelreuteria sp.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults and larvae tend to feed in groups, and favor developing seeds and fruits of their favored hosts, but will also suck sap from foliage, flowers, buds, or oozing stems. They feed on a variety of plants primarily in and related to the family Sapindaceae. Favorites include Balloonvine (Cardiospermum species) and Goldenrain Tree (Koelreuteria sp.), both in Sapindaceae, and they regularly use Soapberry (Sapindus sp.; Sapindaceae) and Maple/Boxelder (Acer sp.; Aceraceae). Additionally, reported on a variety of other plants, especially feeding on fruit, including Chinaberry (Melia azedarach; Meliaceae), Fig (Ficus spp.; Moraceae), Althaea (Malvaceae), Plum, Cherry, & Peach (Prunus sp.; Rosaceae), Apple (Malus sp.; Rosaceae), Grape (Vitis sp.; Vitaceae), Ash (Fraxinus sp.; Oleaceae), etc. Adults sometimes gather around human food leftovers and other smashed insects to feed as well.”  BugGuide also notes that the Red Shouldered Bug:  “Also forms aggregations in winter to hibernate, often in association with human residences.”

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