Golden Rain Trees Attract Hordes of Jacksonville Visitors – Golden Rain Tree Beetles

March 6, 2020


The golden rain tree is a common landscape tree that punctuates any backyard nicely with its yellow springtime flowers. This decorative tree blossoms throughout the summer with its flowers eventually replaced by delicate paper lanterns dangling from its branches. These inflated seed pods persevere throughout the fall and winter. During the summer months, the bright yellow flowers attract pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds. However, as the flowers go to seed, it offers a valuable food source for insects, particularly the golden rain tree beetle. This harmless insect is also known as the golden rain tree bug, the Jadera bug, the red-shouldered bug, and the soapberry bug.

golden rain tree beetle on plant

The golden rain tree is a common landscape tree that punctuates any backyard nicely with its yellow springtime flowers. This decorative tree blossoms throughout the summer with its flowers eventually replaced by delicate paper lanterns dangling from its branches. These inflated seed pods persevere throughout the fall and winter. During the summer months, the bright yellow flowers attract pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds. However, as the flowers go to seed, it offers a valuable food source for insects, particularly the golden rain tree beetle. This harmless insect is also known as the golden rain tree bug, the Jadera bug, the red-shouldered bug, and the soapberry bug.

What are these purple and red bugs all over my house and yard?

If you’re starting to notice an infiltration of purple and red bugs all over your yard and in your home, you’re likely experiencing a problem with the golden rain tree beetle. Up close and on their own, these beetles are rather striking. They are identifiable by their sucking mouthparts that they use to pierce through the exterior of seeds to extract their nutrients. As nymphs, they are mostly bright red with a black thorax, antennae, and legs. As they age, adults grow to be about ½ inch in length. Adults have a black body and legs with lateral red markings and bold red eyes.  Oftentimes, these bugs are confused with boxelders but can be distinguished by their proximity to preferred plant life. Boxelder bugs likely will not congregate around your golden rain tree. They prefer Japenese maples or boxelder maples.

When will I see golden rain tree beetles in my yard?

We are fortunate enough to enjoy warm weather all year long here in Jacksonville. As a result of our desirable climate, we have insects in our yard throughout the four seasons. The golden rain tree beetle is no exception.  In cooler climates, this bug will hibernate, however, here in Florida you can find these bugs feeding on your golden rain tree seeds throughout the year, and we’re noticing a surge in these insects right now.

Are golden rain tree beetles dangerous?

These bugs may be a nuisance, but they are not dangerous. They often congregate in large numbers to feed on sap, flowers, buds, and seeds. Though you may find them in any lush landscape, their favorite food source is the seed of the golden rain tree.  They will also feed on other trees belonging to the sapindaceae family or soapberries.  In reasonable numbers, these insects will benefit your garden.  They can be unsightly, especially when they cover the entire tree in such large and dense numbers that the bark appears to be moving.

How do I get rid of golden rain tree beetles?

Watching these bugs scale trees or run around through the grass in hordes can be somewhat off-putting for some property owners. The best way to eliminate golden rain tree beetles from your property is to remove their food source. You can do this by removing the golden rain tree itself, however, for many homeowners, cutting down this ornamental tree could be quite traumatic. Therefore, it may suffice to clean up fallen seeds that serve as a food source for these bugs. You can do this by raking them up when they fall to the ground and keeping them off your grass through regular yard maintenance.

Lindsey Is Always Here to Help

Though the golden rain tree beetle is mainly a nuisance, it can be problematic in large numbers, especially if it finds its way into your Jacksonville home. Though they won’t infest a home, they can get inside, and when they are crushed, they will cause spotting on walls, carpeting, or clothing. If some do make their way inside, its best to vacuum them up and dispose of the vacuum bag. Generally speaking, treating these pests does not require pesticides, but if you’re experiencing a problem with these unwanted invaders, Lindsey Pest Services can help you with identification, removal, and techniques to keep them from returning to your property. Reach out to us today to speak with one of our friendly representatives who will happily answer all your questions about golden rain tree beetle control.




 

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