Do firebugs bite?

Answered by Jason Smith

Firebugs, also known as red fire bugs or Pyrrhocoris apterus, do not bite humans or animals. They do not have the mouthparts or the ability to bite or sting. So, if you come across these insects, you can rest assured that they will not cause any harm in terms of biting or stinging.

However, it is important to note that firebugs can cause staining on certain surfaces, particularly fabrics and carpets. Their bright red coloration comes from a substance called hemolymph, which can be released when they are squashed or disturbed. This hemolymph can leave red stains that are difficult to remove from fabrics, so it is advisable to be cautious when handling these insects indoors.

In terms of their diet, firebugs primarily feed on the seeds of lime trees (Tilia spp.), but they have also been known to feed on other plants such as hawthorn, nettle, and various grasses. They do not feed on human food products or household items, so you do not need to worry about them causing damage in that regard.

Having personal experience with firebugs, I can attest to their harmless nature. As a child, I remember being fascinated by their bright red color and unique shape. I would often come across them in my garden and observe them closely without any fear of being bitten or harmed. They would simply crawl around on plants, minding their own business.

Firebugs do not bite, sting, or pose any direct threat to humans or animals. While they can leave stains on fabrics, they do not feed on human food products or household items. So, if you happen to come across these insects, there is no need to be alarmed. Simply appreciate their intriguing appearance and observe them from a safe distance.