Many insects use bright colors as a defensive mechanism to protect themselves from being eaten by other insects. Also, bright colors warn the other insects in their proximity to stay away. If you are wondering how to identify bugs in my garden, read below! You are most likely to sight red and black bugs you can find in your garden. So, here is the list of the most common bugs for your reference.
1. Two-Spotted Stink Bug
The two-spotted stink bug is one of the most commonly found stink bugs and is also, called the double-eyed soldier bug. You can identify these bugs by their bold markings. Most of them are not red and black, but they always have two spots on the back of their heads. So, this is one way on how to identify bugs in my garden. Stink bugs have a unique shape with mouthpieces designed for sucking food. While some of the stink bugs feed on plants, the rest feed on other bugs. However, the two-spotted stink bugs are known to feed majorly on the Colorado potato beetles. (See How Do You Get Chiggers Out of Your Yard?)
2. Cotton Stainer Bug
Although cotton stainer bugs are pretty-looking, they cause damage to plants such as cotton trees. Both the adults and the nymphs feed on the seeds of the cotton plants and during the process, they cause a yellowish discoloration to the plant. Before the usage of chemical pesticides to control these bugs, there was a major economic downfall in the textile industry. However, the cotton stainer bugs do not limit themselves to just the cotton plant. They feed on everything ranging from hibiscus to oranges.
The striking markings and bright colors on firebugs are bound to attract you. This is another way for how to identify bugs in my garden. Although the firebugs are not native to America, they are usually found around lindens and mallows in the US. It is easy to spot them during their mating season as they are mostly found in mating aggregations. The firebugs are tiny black and red bugs, with a measure of about 10mm. These bugs have a black triangle and two black spots on a red background. (See How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Indoors?)
4. Scarlet Plant Bug
Scarlet Plant Bug is also one of the red and black bugs you can find in your garden. These bugs feed off and damage their host plants. Individual scarlet plant bugs are usually named after their host plant. For example, the scarlet laurel bug feeds on mountain laurels. They have brilliant scarlet outer margins and are black in the center. Even though quite small, about 5-7mm in size, these scarlet plant bugs catch your attention due to their bright colors.
5. Milkweed Assassin Bug
Milkweed Assassin Bugs are called assassins for a reason, as they prey on all soft-bodied bugs ranging from beetles to caterpillars. They are also one of the many red and black bugs you can find in your garden, with orange or red-colored bodies and distinctive black markings on their wings and thorax. The common name of these bugs comes from their resemblance to the larger milkweed bug. An amateur can easily get confused between the two because of their similar markings. Read Assassin Bugs: Why They Are Good for the Garden here.
6. Eastern Boxelder Bug
The Eastern Boxelder Bugs can be found in the eastern Rocky Mountains as they love the sunny weather. During the fall, these invade homes, and for this reason, they are referred to as pests. These bugs are measured to about half an inch long and have red-colored outer margins. One can also find a red stripe down the center of the pronotum. The Eastern Boxelder bugs feed on the sap taken from flowers, seeds, and leaves of the plant they live on. They mostly choose to live on maple trees, oaks, and ailanthus.
7. Bee Assassin Bug
The Bee Assassin bug is not just a threat to honey bees but all other arthropods they come across. These assassin bugs wait silently for their prey to land within their reach, before attacking them. You can find sticky hair on their first pair of legs. The Bee Assassin Bugs use the sticky hair to hold down their prey. They are all mostly black in color, with red or yellow markings on either side of their abdomen. The Bee Assassin Bugs can bite you too if handled carelessly. This answers your question about how to identify bugs in my garden. (See Why Do Earthworms Come Out in the Rain?)
Out of all the red and black insects out there, ladybirds are one of the prettiest beetles. They are mostly red or yellow in colour with black spots. Additionally, you can also find black and white, dark blue, and orange-colored ladybirds. This is one way for how to identify bugs in my garden. These ladybirds use their bright colors to warn their predators from coming near them. Ladybirds also ooze alkaloids from their abdomens and also foul-smelling hemolymph that seeps down from their leg joints. These substances deter the would-be-predators and prevent them from feeding on ladybirds. Amazing defense mechanism, isn’t it!