• Our love bugs

    by  • June 8, 2011 • Spring • 6 Comments

    Bordered Plant Bug, Largus californicus

    Largus californicus Bordered Plant Bug

    Largus californicus Bordered Plant Bugs

    These true bugs, ones with sucking mouth parts, live in the Sierras of California, especially in areas with lots of pine trees. These are striking looking fellows, with neon colored borders.  They seem to like the patio or at least that’s where we see them most.

    Home for these bugs is the U.S.A., they’re found throughout the country. They don’t seem to damage any plants, in fact, I’ve never seen one on a plant and in this area they’re called love bugs, because when they first appear in May, it’s mating season.


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.

    6 Responses to Our love bugs

    1. July 12, 2011 at 10:50 am

      We have these in Utah too- they call them Box Elder bugs for some reason…maybe after the county someone first saw them in? Either way, they remind me of camping in the Sierra Nevada’s as a kid! We’d camp at a camp ground called Rock Creek and I have such fond memories of swimming and camping there and then going into North Fork for icecream!

      • July 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm

        Huh! Interesting… I looked up box elder bugs and they look so similar….the box elder bugs have more of an orange ‘X’ on them. I have a Box Elder tree, so I’ll have to watch for the ‘Xs’. I’m so glad you’ve been able to vacation in the Sierras…sounds like you’ve been right in my neighborhood! We just went up to Whiskey Fall, which is a little past Rock Creek. So Beautiful!

    2. October 4, 2011 at 7:07 am

      I have these also – I asked the Gardening with natives forum and they IDed them – I didn’t know the bug I saw was the nymph stage of largus succinctus. it doesn’t seem to damage any of my plants either, and is interesting to look at. So much to learn in a garden!

    3. Joybird
      July 2, 2014 at 5:55 pm


      We see alot of the bordered plant bug here in California and they have become a real pest in our garden. They seem to have been attracted by a strawberry patch. As the infestation progressed last year they were beginning to attack all of our crops but mainly strawberries and tomatoes.

      This year I have tried and tried to be proactive and destroy larvae or eggs but they just started hatching here in the sierra foothills and we have nymphs all over the strawberries. UGH! I manually remove and destroy them as they are serious pests.

      Just wanted to share my varied experience here based on the others.


    4. Laurie
      May 13, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      My kids for some reason called them pumpkin bugs.

      • Amanda
        August 5, 2016 at 12:49 am

        We have always called them pumpkin bugs as well. I think because of the orange? I’ve never noticed them in my greenhouse, or in any of my plants along the front side of the house…. however on the backside where it’s predominantly oak & pine, they are prevalent in the early summer.

        To the lady who used to camp at Rock Springs, all of that area has unfortunately changed drastically as of 2 years ago when a bad fire started there at Rock Springs campground and went all the way up to Mammoth Pool Reservoir. It’s so very sad. I still cry every time we drive through it. It was called the French Fire.

        Glad I found this site!

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