Firebug

Family Name

Pyrrhocoris apterus

Characteristics

Type:

Crawling – Non-Flying

Size:

Up to 0.33 to 0.39 inches.

Colour:

Easily recognizable due to its striking red body with two black dots on their back. They also have prominent eyes that seem to come from their shoulders.

Firebugs may be confused with the similarly coloured though unrelated box elder bugs, cinnamon bug, squash bug. Unlike box elder bugs, firebugs have wings but can’t fly.

Behaviour:

They only eat seeds, so they won’t damage your garden. It also seems unlikely that they will be disruptive to our local ecosystems. They have many predators in Europe, including birds, mammals, ants and mites, and are probably being gobbled up here too.

Habitats

Firebugs generally mate in April and May. Their diet consists primarily of seeds from lime trees and mallow seeds. They can often be found in groups near the base of lime tree trunks, on the sunny side.

Tips for Control

Firebugs are harmless to humans.