Tiny Orange Bugs - Knowledgebase Question

Payson, UT
Avatar for gnewt
Question by gnewt
May 27, 2000
I have little orange bugs EVERYWHERE. They are smaller than a pin head and leave an orange stain if you try to brush them off. What are they? What do they do? And are they harmful? Thank you!

Name: john f
Hamilton Ontario (Zone 6a)
A comment from johndforbes
June 2, 2018
They could be spider mites, which, if that is the case, are usually gotten rid of with a natural insecticidal soap. Or you can easily make your own by diluting Dr. Bronner's organic liquid soap in a dollar store spray bottle. (Get either the mint or the eucalyptus.)

Jacksonville, FL
Avatar for Gadsden
A comment from Gadsden
June 2, 2018
They might be chiggers if they're in woodsy or wild areas. Chiggers are a kind of mite. Here in Florida they're often found in Spanish moss.
If your bugs are on cultivated plants and flowers they're probably not chiggers. Chiggers bite humans and other animals, not plants (that I know of...).

Answer from NGA
May 27, 2000
Everywhere, as on all your plants? If so, then they are likely aphids which are small soft-bodied, sucking insects. They come in a variety of colors, including orange and usually congregate in groups. They can simply be washed off plants with a jet of water from a hose. Doing this for a few consecutive days usually eliminates the problem. Soap sprays are also effective. If they have already done damage to the plant by their sucking, then prune the infested part and enclose in a plastic bag to eliminate the destructive insects. Lady bugs have voracious appetites for aphids so don't use chemical sprays which will also harm the beneficial lady bugs!

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A comment from Claudiamcgol
June 2, 2018
Or the larvae of harlequin bugs

Clairton, PA Zone 6(USDA has c
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A comment from lclehman1
June 2, 2018
I would count the number of legs-6 legs would be an insect and likely an aphid; 8 lgs and they could be a velvet mite- one of the good guys- a predator of other mites and small insects

Name: Dru Weaver

Avatar for chasinmoney
A comment from chasinmoney
June 2, 2018
Clover Mites - See google description matches your info identically!! Smiling


Clover mites will crawl from the ground to invade your home through cracks and tiny openings around windows and doors. Inside, you may find them crawling around window sills, on walls, or directly on windows. No larger than a pinhead, these red bugs will leave behind a tell-tale stain when smashed. For the most part they feed on clover, grassy lawns, plants and weeds and tend to appear by the thousands in the spring and fall months.

Avatar for jaqjarboe
Answer from jaqjarboe
June 2, 2018
It looks like there are lots of possible answers. You can bring an example into your local extension office to show to a master gardener. It would be really helpful to see the bugs. I would guess spider mites, but it is hard to say without seeing them.

Irvine, CA
Avatar for pinklotus
A comment from pinklotus
June 3, 2018
If they are not moving and seem more like a powdery stain or small orange dots it could be rust disease (fungal infection) - try organic fungal spray after removing the affected parts if possible.

Newport News VA
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A comment from yosal
June 4, 2018
it would be nice if we could post pictures. i have orange aphid like creatures on my serviceberries that have orange powder around them. I'm hoping ants will find them

Avatar for feelfree3399
A comment from feelfree3399
June 20, 2018
They are Clover Mites.

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