Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Red/black beetle


red/black bugs
red/black bugs  
I have asked another expert about this bug in my yard...This is not the bug he thought it may be.

Here was my Q to him:

I recently killed off an ant infestation. Several weeks later a beetle like insect took over and then some. I've never seen them before. They are half red, half black with 3 black horizontal bars on the red half. They never hold still, constantly crawling. They hang out on our cement patio and the side wall of our house. What is this bug and how do I get rid of them?


Thank you for including the image, I would not have guessed correctly otherwise.

These are they nymphs (juveniles, immatures, "babies") of some type of stink bug, shield bug, or related true bug.  The adults likely look very different.  Identifying immature stages of any insect is extremely difficult.

Despite their abundance, true bugs like this are very seldom real pests.  A nuisance, maybe, but not a pest.  Therefore, I am not going to recommend how to "get rid of them."  My whole point being here on AllExperts is to change people's attitudes towards insects, and help them avoid the expense and trouble of pest control in the traditional sense of chemical insecticides, or even professional extermination services.  There are only a handful of insects that warrant such intervention, and, generally speaking, stink bugs are not among them.

Just relax.  See if you can find out what they turn into when they grow up.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.