This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:
Vincent, Alabama Barling, Arkansas Marion, Arkansas Greensboro, North Carolina Mooresville, North Carolina Rock Hill, South Carolina Austin, Texas Helotes, Texas Mc Kinney, Texas San Antonio, Texas Bumpass, Virginia Sterling, Virginia
On Nov 20, 2006, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
The scentless plant bug (Niesthrea louisianica) is native from Arizona to Florida north to New York and West to Iowa in the Mississippi Valley. Nymphs and adults feed on seeds of malvaceous plants. Host plants include rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), hibiscus, spurred anoda (Anoda cristata)and abutilon species. I found it feeding on a rock rosemallow (Pavonia lasiopetala) plant seeds. It feeds on flower buds, spent flowers and seeds. Masses of eggs are laid and are deposited on the undersides of leaves. Many times there are more than one generation per year.
Niesthrea louisianica are of great economic impact by reducing the seed viability of the weed velvet leaf, butter print, China jute (Abutilon theophrasti) which is a member of the Malvaceae family. It is is a major exotic weed of sorghum, corn, cotton and soybeans. A laboratory colony of N. louisianica was established in 1984 using imbibed velvetleaf seeds as the food source. In 1985, the colony was expandedt to support field releases in velvetleaf infested fields in the Midwest and New York State. In 5 States, approximately 83,000 adult N. louisianica were released and these reproduced. They were found more than a kilometer from the release point at some release sites mand in areas where they established themselves, a significant reduction in seed viability was recorded. Because of this, they are considered to be a beneficial insect.
Usually they are not damaging enough nor common enough to be considered a real ornamental plant pest due to the fact that they usually do not cause noticeable damage. If Niesthrea louisianica becomes abundant enough to cause concern, a pesticide can be applied for control on flower buds, spent blooms and undersides of leaves (if eggs are noticed). Please avoid spraying open blooms to prevent killing bees. If practical, hand removal is also effective.