Generic filters
Exact matches only
Filter by Categories
Bed Bug Treatments
Commercial Pest Control
Garden Pests and Lawn Pests
Open to the Public
Other Pests
Pest Control Ants
Ant Baits
Ant Research
Pest Control Birds
Pest Control Cockroaches
Cockroach Baits
Cockroach Research
Pest Control Equipment
Pest Control Fabric Pests
Pest Control Fleas
Pest Control Flies
Pest Control Mosquitoes
Pest Control Products
Pest Control Software
Pest Control Spiders
Pest Control Stored Product Pests
Pest Control Ticks
Pest Control Treatments
Pest Control Wasps
Professional Pest Manager Magazine
Rodent Control
Mouse traps and Rat Traps
Rat Bait and mouse bait
Rodent Research
Running a pest control business
Sales and Marketing
Termite and Pest Inspections
Termite Professional magazine
Termite Research
Termite Treatment
Soil treatment
Filter by content type
Taxonomy terms


Every now and then pest managers have to deal with a pest infestation in customers’ gardens. One of the more common of these infrequent invaders is the red and black seed bug. Would you be able to identify and red and black seed bug?

Common name: Red and black seed bug

Scientific name: Melanerythrus mactans (Family Lygaeidae)


Description: Small red, black, and white true bugs, up to 10mm long, usually found on lawns and outdoor areas. Nymphs are red with black legs, antennae, and wing buds.

Geographic distribution: Found across most of Australia.

Habitat: Lawns and gardens, feeding on a wide variety of plant seeds and fluids.

Pest status: A minor pest of mung beans, soy, cowpeas, and cotton. Some Lygaeids (Chinch bugs), including the Rutherglen bug (Nysius vinitor), do bite despite their usual diet being seeds, but the black and red seed bug is entirely harmless to people despite the scientific name. The bright colouration most likely advertises a foul taste and odour to potential predators.

Treatment: No insecticides are specifically registered to kill this insect. General use insecticides containing contact insecticides such as cyfluthrin and other synthetic pyrethroids are effective, but the usual care should be taken around pets, ponds, and vegetable patches.

Daniel Heald, technician and entomologist.

Images produced with kind permission from Daniel Heald.