Every spring about this time the Jadera bugs make their return. We know that by the phone calls and visits to our office about “thousands of small black and red bugs on the walls of my house.” They emerge in this area in spring and to a lesser extent in the fall, causing panic among those with goldenrain trees in their yard or neighborhood.
The Jadera bug (Jadera haematoloma)
Also known as a scentless plant bug, the Jadera bug feeds on the seeds of chinaberry trees, goldenrain trees and several other plants. They have been reported over most of Florida (not as much in the Panhandle) and as far as Texas and California. Their populations can become quite large, covering walls, tree trunks and other structures.
Not To Worry…
The Jadera bug is harmless- they do not bite, damage structures or vector diseases. They are not considered a plant pest because they feed exclusively on seeds. They can be a nuisance on lawns and in playgrounds because the squashed bugs can stain clothes red. Chemical control is not necessary because the adults are only present in large numbers for a short period of time. After a few weeks the bugs mature into adults, lay eggs for the next generation and disappear. To obtain long term control of these bugs you may want to remove all goldenrain trees from your property, which are listed as a CATEGORY II invasive tree on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council’s (FLEPPC) 2017 List of Invasive Plant Species.
You can read more about Jadera bugs on University of Florida’s Featured Creatures: