We just received our first homeowner insect ID request for a Bagrada bug. This is an invasive species in the U.S. and it has recently moved to Texas. We are trying to get a handle on how far it has spread in the State. To date (5/11/14) we know it is in Denton, El Paso, Midland and Lubbock counties.
These bugs prefer to feed on plants in the mustard family including broccoli, cabbage, rutabaga, cauliflower and kale. They also like to feed on wild mustards, London rocket and shepherd's-purse and have been observed feeding on strawberries, cotton, okra, and grasses like corn and wheat. These insects have piercing and sucking mouthparts and suck juices from plants rather than removing chunks of leaf tissue. Feeding injury can look like stippling, scorching or silvery patches on leaves and, in high numbers, these insects can kill plants in just a few days.
THE INSECTS PICTURED BELOW ARE NOT BAGRADA BUGS, THEY ARE THE VERY COMMON SPECIES KNOWN AS HARLEQUIN BUGS. PLEASE DO NOT REPORT THIS SPECIES.
The University of California has an excellent Bagrada bug general information fact sheet and some specific information for home gardens and landscapes.