The Q&A Archives: What Kind Of Bug Is This And How Harmful Are They To My Garden?

Question: I have a small garden and I have noticed a red and black type flying beetle that goes from plant to plant. I killed one of them and then saw another. They have been around my squash plants and corn and beans.
My grandfather is a gardener and he does not recognize them.
They are oblong with red wings and black on the body. Please tell me if they are harmful and what I should do.

Answer: Without seeing the insect I'm only venturing a guess, but they could be Red Milkweed Beetles, especially if the head is red, as well. You might try looking in an insect book to see if you can find the beetle. The Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Insects has terrific pictures! (ISBN# 0-394-50763-0.

They probably won't need control, but we won't know for sure without positive identification. Check your local library or bookstore for the Audubon book before you decide the plants need to be treated.

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