Love is in the air, and so are Love Bugs. If you've ever spotted these bugs in your garden, chances are you've never seen them, eh-hem, flying solo. Continue reading to find out where the Love Bug got its name and whether it's a garden friend or foe.
Latin name | Cenaeus carnifex
Common names | Love bug, Fire Bug, Red Bug, Milkweed Bug
Family | Pyrrhocoridae
True to their name, the ubiquitous love bug is most often encountered in the garden in mated pairs on seedheads of herbaceous plants.
These bugs, also called Red bugs or Firebugs, are small and oval in shape, have black legs and antennae, and two black triangular markings on the abdomen.
Although they look similar at different stages of their life cycle, only adults are winged. The short-wing forms on these bugs are a common observation. These bugs are generally 3-4mm in width and 10-11mm in length.
Cenaeus carnifex feed on plants and are commonly associated with species of Malvaceae and related plant families, and are abundant under herbs. They feed mainly on falling seeds, especially that of commonly invasive mallow.
Spot this critter in your garden? Share a post using the hashtag #LoveBug
For more information, check out the pest profile for Cenaeus carnifex below.