One thing people always worry every year is the sudden appearance of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of these small critters that seem to show up out of nowhere. But there’s no need to fear, they’re not out for you, your garden, your clothes, or your home.
These little black red and black critters are the golden rain tree bugs, also known as the jadera bug, red shoulder bug, or the soapberry bug. All these little guys do is eat the seeds, leaves, and stems of their favorite veggie; the golden rain tree. They also snack on chinaberry and baloonvine plants. They can be a bit of a nuisance, but only thanks to their numbers and the effort you must make to avoid mushing them.
If they really are giving you fits, raking up the seeds of their favorite tree, and blasting them with a stream of water from your hose should knock them loose and send them out of your garden, because when there’s no food, there’s no bug.
Don’t expect much help from mother nature in your quest to rid yourself of this bug, though, as spiders and birds keep them off of their menu. Why? Well, they simply taste disgusting to the predators.
Even so, don’t expect to ever be ENTIRELY rid of them, as they breed failry quickly and as long as you have goldenrain trees, you’ll likely have this little bug as well. Not only that, but they can fly, and their eyesight is surprisingly good for a small bug, and they can spot their favorite tree from quite a distance away.
And if you’re worried about the tree itself, there’s no need. The little guys love to eat the seeds and stems of the tree, but ultimately cause no real harm to it and will never kill it. The best you can do to contain them to your yard or just otherwise keep them out of key spots in your driveway is to take a leaf blower and blow all of the tree’s seeds that the bug likes ot snack on somewhere else.