University of Maryland Extension

Harlequin Bugs - Flowers

                                                         harlequin bugs

The harlequin bug is pest of flowers and vegetables. However, they are more destructive in a vegetable garden than on ornamentals.  The feeding damage appears as white stippling or spots on foliage of infested plants. They are particularly fond of crucifers such as ornamental kale and cabbage. They also feed on cleome and sunflower. The bugs are black with bright red markings, flat and about 3/8 of an inch long. The bugs lay their very distinctive eggs on the underside of leaves early garden crops. The eggs are tiny, white and barrel-shaped. When eggs are found, destroy them to prevent their hatching. To control the bugs, handpick or use insecticidal soap sprays. 

 harlequin bugs and their damage on a leaf
Harlequin bugs on cleome

 black and white harlequin bug eggs
Eggs of harlequin bugs

group of harlequin bugs hatching
Harlequin bugs hatching out of eggs

 

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.