You are here:

Entomology (Study of Bugs)/tiny red bugs like ants, with whispy legs


red bugs
red bugs  
I've found these outside in daylight on my stucco on the patio. What might these be?  Are they dangerous? Pests?  Not to worry?


Thank you for the photo. These are difficult for me to ID because the photo is out of focus and I can't see any of the body structures clearly.

However, from your location and description and the color and general body shape in the image, I have a guess. Included are photos so you can compare. If it doesn't look right, let me know.

I think they could be juvenile Boxelder bug nymphs. They are harmless to humans but reproduce quickly and can become house/yard pests. Do you have some trees around your house that they could be feeding on? Maple, Boxelder trees, fruit trees?

Here is an image of a Boxelder bug nymph:
Here is an image of an adult Boxelder bug:
Here is an image with a few life stages:

Please let me know if you think this identification looks right! If it doesn't, tell me why and I will see if I can figure it out from that information.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jessica Mellinger


I can answer questions about invertebrates native to California, including insects commonly found in homes. If you have an identification request, please attach a photo to your question.


I was involved in collection and identification of invertebrates for the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division for six years. Also, I provided these same services intermittently for the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment for many years. I have been a member of since 2009.

Department of the Interior: United States Geological Survey, Davis Field Station; University of California, Davis Aggie Alumni Association; UC Davis Center for Neuroscience; U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs

I have two B.A.'s from the University of California, Davis and two Associate's degrees from Sacramento City College.

Awards and Honors
Special Thanks for Achieving Results award from the Department of the Interior

©2017 All rights reserved.