By Judy Sedbrook, Colorado Master GardenerSM, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Denver
Also known as the Golden Rain Tree bug, this insect feeds on the leaves, stems and developing seeds of the Golden Rain Tree. Other hosts include Rose of Sharon and Chinaberry.
The Red-shouldered bugs resemble the Boxelder bug, having red eyes and red shoulders, and red on the border area of the abdomen. Adults are flat, about 1/2-inch long and 1/3-inch wide. Nymphs are predominantly bright red with the thorax, antennae, beak, and legs being black to brown. As they mature, they develop black markings and wing pads. There may be two or more generations per year.
The red-shouldered bug feeds on the leaves, stems and developing seeds of the Golden Rain Tree. Although it does not generally cause any serious damage, hundreds of these insects may be found congregating in the sun near the trees and on nearby structures. If they find their way into homes, they may cause spotting on walls or clothing.
Chemical control is not usually warranted. Raking up and removing the seeds they feed on should reduce numbers outdoors. If large numbers are a problem, indoors or outdoors, they can be easily vacuumed up. If only a few of the insects invade the home, they can be sprayed with a pyrethrin aerosol.
Photos: Judy Sedbrook
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010