Adult Bagrada bugs are 5-7 mm long, and have black, shield-shaped bodies with distinctive white and orange markings. The Bagrada bug, also known as the painted or harlequin bug, was first discovered in June of 2008; in Los Angeles Co. California. Currently, the Bagrada bug is widely distributed in southern California, and also increasingly more common in southern Arizona.
Bagrada bug is a major bug control problem for crops like cabbage, kale, turnip, cauliflower, mustard, broccoli, and radish. If attacked, a host plant will sustain considerable damage, when adults and nymph Bagrada bugs insert their needle-like mouth parts, and begin to suck the vital juices; from the plant.
The heaviest infestations of Bagrada bugs are typically seen in organic farms, community gardens, and residential vegetable gardens, where little or no pesticides are used. Local residents, who are unfamiliar with this newly introduced species of true bug, often mistaken them for lady bugs.