Red Fire Bug

Pyrrhocoris apterus

Red fire bug

Adult red fire bug (Andre Karwath, Wikimedia Commons)

Red fire bug adults and nymphs (Lestat, Wikimedia Commons)

Red fire bug adults and nymphs (Lestat, Wikimedia Commons)

Identification

  • 1/4 - 1/2 inch long
  • vibrant red and black coloration
  • wings generally shortened and red with two large black spots
  • piercing/sucking mouthparts
  • can emit a foul odor

Nesting Habits

  • found in grass, leaf litter, trees and around or on buildings
  • seek shade¬†during the day

Diet

  • seeds from a wide variety of plants

Significance

  • nuisance pest
  • may congregate in large numbers on structures or plants
  • can stain carpet and fabrics if crushed

IPM Recommendations

  • Caulk or seal openings, foundation cracks and around plumbing, gas or electrical conduits to prevent entry.
  • Install weather stripping around doors and windows and repair screens.
  • Use a vacuum to collect insects indoors and outdoors.
  • Spray congregations directly with insecticidal soap.

For more information, see our Red Fire Bugs fact sheet.