The Q&A Archives: Red bugs

Question: This spring we found our balcony and the plants on the balcony covered with red bugs-- maybe mites. We used a soap insecticide to eradicate them. After a week they were no longer there. How can we prevent them from returning?

Answer: Without seeing the insect, I can't say for certain what it was (or what control measure might work), but I suspect you were seeing box elder bugs. The nymphs are red and congregate as they migrate in the spring. Insecticidal soaps work well against them. Eventually predacious insects will find the hoarde and will control the population for you. Best wishes with your garden!

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