How to Recognise Good Bugs from Bad Bugs

ladybug with morning dew

It’s wrong of you to jump to the conclusion that any bugs you encounter need to be eliminated promptly. Let’s take a look at a couple of pairs of insects that are regularly mistaken for each other and see if we can’t convince you otherwise. One is good and should be encouraged to stay and one should be encouraged to pack their bags and go. We’ll also give a few simple tips on how you can control the unwanted ones naturally.

Rove Beetles VS Earwigs

Close up photo of rove beetle

Rove Beetle

Rove beetles are your friend. They feed on other unwanted insects such as mites, mosquitoes, flies and aphids. Slender, about 2cm long and of a grey or brown colour they can be found scurrying about in leaf litter or rotting fallen fruit. When running they often lift up the tip of their abdomen, similar to a scorpion. Their short wing covers means you can clearly see this in action.

Close up photo of earwig

Earwig

Earwigs, on the other hand, are stretched out and flat. Lovers of moist, dark places also they can be distinguished from Rove beetles by their forcep-like pincers. When in the garden they love to dine on lettuce, dahlias, marigolds and roses. They also seem to enjoy invading people’s homes. Although they aren’t poisonous they can inflict a painful nip. Discourage their appearance by keeping your garden clear of leaf litter and fallen fruit. Repairing cracks and caulking up gaps in windows should stop them finding their way into your home.

Ladybirds VS Mexican Bean Beetle

Close up photo of ladybird

Ladybird

There more than 4.5 thousand ladybird species across the world and they are a familiar sight in the UK because of their distinctive domed shape and unmistakeable red wing covers with black spots. A popular children’s nursery rhyme ensures we are introduced to them from an early age. The number of spots on their back does not indicate how old they are but which particular species. They should be encouraged into your garden because their favourite food is aphids.

Close up photo of mexican bean beetle

Mexican Bean Beetle

The Mexican Bean Beetle is one ladybird species not normally found in the UK but is considered a pest particularly in the US. It is copper coloured and has 8 black spots on each wing. They love green beans, snap and Lima beans in vast quantities. Leaves are left with a lace-like appearance when they have finished their meal. Choosing early planting legumes and those that mature quickly will reduce the amount of food and so curtail their numbers.

Image by

  1. Gailhampshire
  2. Gilles Gonthier
  3. Stig Nygaard
  4. Jason Riedy
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