Red and Black Bugs in the Calgary Juniper


There are numerous red and black bugs on the Calgary Juniper.
These are in a shade garden, sandy soil, (dirt) facing north in Toronto.
What are they? Are they harmful? What should I do?


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry.

It is always difficult to identify a plant or insect from a photograph. That being said, i believe the insect on your Calgary juniper is the large Milkweed bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus:

These insects feed on the seeds of milkweed plants by piercing the seed pod and can be found in all stages of growth on the plants in mid to late summer.Occasionally, these bugs have been seen to suck juices from other plants but usually do no significant damage to the plant. These insects have no known predators. If you wish to rid your junipers of these plants a strong blast of water from the hose will dislodge them alternatively, you can pick them off and either smash them or drown them in a dish of soapy water.