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Bugs won’t harm plants, will stain your clothes

Bugs won’t harm plants, will stain your clothes

Golden rain tree flowers and seed pods. UF/IFAS Extension

By Adrian Hunsberger

Q. I found a whole bunch of black and red bugs on my lawn. Are they eating my plants?

J.L., Miami

These insects are called the Jadera or golden rain tree bugs. They feed on the seeds of the golden rain tree and the seeds of balloon vine and the invasive Chinaberry but don’t cause noticeable plant damage.

Avoid crushing them since they cause stains and spraying them with pesticides is not warranted.

You can hose them off with water to move them off walkways and porches. Jadera bugs are seasonal and are most noticed when the seeds have dropped from the tree. If this insect is causing a nuisance on lawns and playgrounds, rake up and remove the golden rain tree pods and seeds.

The golden rain tree is a handsome flowering tree well suited to south Florida soils and conditions. The flowers are yellow and the tree produces pink papery seed pods that look like triangular-shaped balloons that are persistent on the tree for a few months.

Insect Samples

Send undamaged (live or dead) insects in a crush-proof container such as a pill bottle or film canister with the top taped on. Mail them in a padded envelope or box with a brief note explaining where you found the insects.

Do not tape insects to paper or place them loose in envelopes. Insect fragments or crushed insect samples are almost impossible to identify.

Send them to the address of your county extension office, found in the blue pages in the phone book under county government.

Adrian Hunsberger is an entomologist/horticulturist with the UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension office. Write to Plant Clinic, 18710 SW 288th St., Homestead, FL 33030; email dade@ifas.ufl.edu.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/29/2771093/bugs-wont-harm-plants-will-stain.html#storylink=cpy